John J.Murphy – Ten Laws of Technical Trading (Article)

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Ten Laws of Technical Trading (Article)

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The following are John’s ten most important rules of technical trading:

Map the Trends
Spot the Trend and Go With It
Find the Low and High of It
Know How Far to Backtrack
Draw the Line
Follow That Average
Learn the Turns
Know the Warning Signs
Trend or Not a Trend?
Know the Confirming Signs

4. Know How Far to Backtrack
Measure percentage retracements. Market corrections up or down usually retrace a significant portion of the previous trend. You can measure the corrections in an existing trend in simple percentages. A fifty percent retracement of a prior trend is most common. A minimum retracement is usually one-third of the prior trend. The maximum retracement is usually two-thirds. Fibonacci Retracements1) of 38% and 62% are also worth watching. During a pullback in an uptrend, therefore, initial buy points are in the 33-38% retracement area.
5. Draw the Line
Draw trend lines. Trend lines are one of the simplest and most effective charting tools. All you need is a straight edge and two points on the chart. Up trend lines are drawn along two successive lows. Down trend lines are drawn along two successive peaks. Prices will often pull back to trend lines before resuming their trend. The breaking of trend lines usually signals a change in trend. A valid trend line should be touched at least three times. The longer a trend line has been in effect, and the more times it has been tested, the more important it becomes.
6. Follow that Average
Follow moving averages. Price moves above or below moving averages provide objective buy and sell signals. They tell you if the existing trend is still in motion and they help confirm trend changes. Moving averages do not tell you in advance, however, that a trend change is imminent. In stock trading, the three most important ones are the 20-day average for short-term trends, 50-day for intermediate trends, and 200-day for major trends. Crossings of two moving averages also provide trading signals. Three popular combinations are 5-20 days, 20-50 days, and 50-200 days. Exponential moving averages (EMAs) are usually more suitable for spotting moving average crossings.
7. Learn the Turns
Track oscillators. Oscillators help identify overbought and oversold markets. While moving averages offer confirmation of a market trend change, oscillators often help warn us in advance that a market has rallied or fallen too far and will soon turn. Two of the most popular are the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and the Stochastics Oscillator. They both work on a scale of 0 to 100. With the RSI, readings over 70 are overbought while readings below 30 are oversold. The overbought and oversold values for Stochastics are 80 and 20. Most traders use 14 days or weeks for Stochastics and either 9 or 14 days or weeks for RSI. Oscillator divergences often warn of market turns. These tools work best in a trading market range. Weekly signals can be used as filters on daily signals. Daily signals can be used as filters for intra-day charts.


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