Friday, November 20, 2009

Two Reasons I Like Volume Bars in Market Charts


Here is the day's trade in the ES futures, with each bar representing 50,000 contracts traded. I find this to be a useful perspective on markets for several reasons:

1) The bars draw faster in busy market periods and slower in low volume periods. Because I look for trade ideas by comparing successive bars on the chart, this has the natural effect of slowing me down when markets are thin and keeping me involved when markets are moving.

2) The bars separate the effects of volume on volatility. Because each bar represents the same volume traded, we can see markets gain and lose volatility through the day and readily identify when volatility is correlated with market direction. I'll post more on this topic later; it's quite important.

In general, I find it helpful to view charts in different ways over different time periods. Many times, a hypothesis will jump out from one perspective that could not be seen with a different view. The idea is to stay fertile and flexible in thinking and adapt to shifting market conditions.

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2 comments:

JimRI said...

I have been watching both range and volume based charts for a while and the patterns are very clear. However, when the opportunities occur they can move very fast and without some alert, I miss it altogether.

Kelly said...

Hi Dr. Brett,

Long time reader and first time poster. I am wondering if you ever tried looking at range bars in Market Delta and compare it to time based and volume based bars.

I find range bar helpful in market condition like most part of today when ES sat at a very small range for quiet a long time making false breakouts before making a meaningful move.