Understanding Technical Analysis

By: Adam Heist
Stocks need to be understood before making any major moves. This can be accomplished by a few methods known as analyses. Technical analysis is one of the most useful methods to understand the trends of the stock market. Technical analysis is a method in which the stock chart data is examined and the future moves in the market are predicted on their basis. Investors using technical analysis are not bothered about the kind of companies they are dealing in. These investors are playing for short-term. They will sell their stock as soon as they reach the limits of their projected profit.

Experts who study technical analysis presume that the stocks will move in certain predictable patterns. These would take into account natural disasters that could drastically affect the stock market. These experts consider both geographical and historical information to decide in what manner the stock market would move in the future. Technical analysis depends on such external factors, but it does not study the potential of the company itself whose stock is being considered.

For this reason, investors who rely on technical analysis do not play for the long-term. They are not interest in the growth potential of a particular company, because they will likely be gone from the market by then.

The whole premise is based on the movement of the market as a whole, and the entry and exit points will be charted on the base of such market fluctuations.

It is possible for investors to benefit from upswings as well as downswings in the market by playing for either the long-term or the short-term. Orders such as stop loss and limit can be used to make the investments safe.

The modern technical analyst has several tools available at his/her disposal. Since the stock market has been playing for several centuries now, many stock patterns have developed. The basic concepts are still the support and resistance, which are applied to the lowest limit a downswing price can go to and the highest limit an upswing price can go to, respectively. Support and resistance are the limits from which the prices will bounce back, once they reach that level.

Charts are a very important tool used by the technical analyst. The most popular charts are the bar charts, which contain vertical bars representing the stock prices over a particular time period. The bar chart will show the highest and the lowest prices at both ends of the bar. If the bar is long, it means a larger price spread, while if the bar is short, then it means a smaller price spread. The position of the side bars would indicate whether the price increased or decreased and also the spread between the opening and closing prices.

Another popular kind of chart is the candlestick chart. Here solid bars (known as candles) are used to show the variations between the closing prices and the opening prices. Shadows are used from the candles to indicate the highest and lowest prices respectively. Color coding is used in this method. A black or red candlestick would indicate that the closing price was lower than the previous period, while a white or green candlestick would indicate the price closed higher. Apart from the color coding, shapes can also be used to indicate several things. A green candlestick with short shadows would mean a bullish market, while a red candlestick with short shadows is a bearish market. The candlestick pattern is a very sophisticated type of pattern, with about twenty different kinds of shaped in use.

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