How To Use Volume
Volume is a measure of how much of a given financial asset has been traded in a given period of time. It is a very powerful tool, but it’s often overlooked because it is such a simple indicator. Volume information can be found just about anywhere, but few traders or investors know how to use it to increase their profits and minimize risk.
For every buyer there needs to be someone who sold them the shares they bought, just as there must be a buyer in order for a seller to get rid of his or her shares. This battle between buyers and sellers for the best price on all different timeframes creates movement while longer term technical and fundamental factors play out. Using volume to analyze stocks (or any financial asset) can bolster profits and also reduce risk.
Basic Guidelines for Using Volume
When analyzing volume, there are guidelines we can use to determine the strength or weakness of a move. As traders, we are more inclined to join strong moves and take no part in moves that show weakness – or we may even watch for an entry in the opposite direction of a weak move. These guidelines do not hold true in all situations, but they are a good general aid in trading decisions.
Volume and Market Interest
A rising market should see rising volume. Buyers require increasing numbers and increasing enthusiasm in order to keep pushing prices higher. Increasing price and decreasing volume show lack of interest and this is a warning of a potential reversal. This can be hard to wrap your mind around, but the simple fact is that a price drop (or rise) on little volume is not a strong signal. A price drop (or rise) on large volume is a stronger signal that something in the stock has fundamentally changed.