Market Profile® Keys for Traders and Investors The Chicago Board of Trade® and WindoTrader® Corporation present: Market Profile® is a registered trademark of the Chicago Board of Trade® 2003 - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The following information is offered as an abridged • edition of the Market Profile® Basic User’s Guide • available through the WINdoTRADEr® website at: • www.windotrader.com • WindoTrader® Corporation thanks the Chicago • Board of Trade® for it’s support in creating the • Market Profile® Basic User’s Guide.
CBoT® Market Profile® • The Market Profile® was developed in the early 1980's by The Chicago Board of Trade® and Peter Steidlmayer as an analytical decision support tool to organize and display market generated information. • The Market Profile's® key components are time, price, and volume which are then combined and displayed in a statistical distribution much like a normal bell-shaped curve to reveal pricing patterns and value.
CBoT® Market Profile®(con’t) • The Market Profile® is not a trading system. It does not give buy, sell, entry, exit, overbought or oversold indicators. The trader makes trading decisions based on an independent evaluation of market price and value information. • The Market Profile® trader, through study and experience, can learn to identify the market's underlying dynamics and structure (trending versus trading range) and then initiate, manage and exit trades accordingly. This differs from typical technical analysis which usually measures price movement.
What is the Market Profile®? • A structure for organizing a developing market. • A horizontal and vertical display of the dynamic process of market activity. • A visual display of the market’s current ‘value’ or ‘fair’ price range. The Market Profile is:
What is the Market Profile®? (con’t) • A decision support tool to help traders better understand the ‘present’ condition of the market. • A tool for recording the market’s current activity through the organization of time, price, and volume. • A graphic reflection of all market participant opinions. The Market Profile is:
The Market’s Auction Process The market’s auction process translates countless supply and demand factors into the market’s current price. The market’s current price is determined through the market’s own price discovery or bid-offer auction process. Basically, the market auctions up until there are no more buyers, and down until there are no more sellers. This is known as a ‘dual auction’ process which means the end of an ‘up’ auction is the beginning of a ‘down’ auction and vice versa.
The Market’s Auction Process (con’t) More specifically, the market moves directionally seeking an opposing directional response resulting in the initial directional move being stopped. Understanding this auction process through the use of market ‘tools’ such as the Market Profile® allows traders and investors to identify and effectively respond to the market’s ‘continuation or change’ scenarios. A key factor in identifying potential ‘continuation or change’ scenarios is the Market Profile’s vertical and horizontal display of the market’s own current activity and it’s current price / value relationships. Following are several ‘Keys’ to understanding the benefits of using the Market Profile® as a ‘tool’ in your trading and / or investing toolkit.
Market Profile® ‘Keys’ • Direction • Initial Balance • Point of Control • Range Extension • Tails/Single Prints • Trading Ranges • Trends • Volume
Direction • Understanding the market's CURRENT directional bias and STRENGTH of that bias. • Auctions up until buying is exhausted. • Auctions down until selling is exhausted.
Initial Balance • Range established during the first two periods of trade. • Above average Initial Balance range projects potential trading range session. • Below average Initial Balance range projects potential trending session.
Point of Control • Point of Control – Longest line of letters (TPO’s) or most common price. • Highlights area of highest market activity during current trading session.
Range Extension • Price trading beyond initial balance high and / or low. • No range extension usually means the short-term trader is in control of the market. • Range extension usually means longer-term trader in control of the market.
Tails and Single Prints • A Tail - Consecutive single prints at either a high or low extreme. • Buying Tail - Formed by market moving lower and buyers entering the market aggressively. • Selling Tail - Formed by market moving higher and sellers entering the market aggressively.
Tails and Single Prints (con’t.) • Spikes are tails occurring in the last period of the session and are potential keys to trading the following session’s open. • Single prints are found between distributions in a trading session. • The length / range of the tail or single print is usually an indication of the potential ‘strength’ of the tail or single print.
Trading Range • A narrow range of prices that persists through time. • Initial balance range usually greater than average. • Confirmed balance edges create risk and opportunity. • A trading range is defined by trader’s timeframe.
Trading Range (con’t.) • Primarily a short-term trader’s market. • Usually characterized by little or no participation by the longer-term trader. • One key to trading a trading range is to be patient and wait for the market to ‘challenge’ the extremes and then enter on a failure to break-out of the range. • More trading opportunities with limited potential.
Trends • A market moving with clear, sustained direction. • Divergence of price away from value. • Trends are defined by the trader’s timeframe.
Trends (con’t.) • A trending market moves directionally until it finds ‘value’ or a ‘fair price’ and trade is shut-off by an opposite response. • Trends are usually ‘telegraphed’ by a narrow Initial Balance or news. • Trade location is usually secondary to trade execution. • Monitoring Value Area changes is key to trading trends.
Value • Value is identified by price acceptance, i.e., a price zone where the market trades over time. • Unfair or rejected price is where market spent minimal time trading, i.e., tails / single prints. • Price x Time = Value !
Value Area • The value area is that area / zone where approximately 70% (1 standard deviation) of the session’s volume was recorded. • The value area - where two-sided trade primarily occurred. • A key measure of overall current market activity. • Value area range is one key to trading range activity or trending activity.
Value Area (con’t.) • Market opening and trading above value area favors higher prices. • Market opening and trading below value area favors lower prices. • Many times the directional bias of the market can be determined by the TPO count.
Volume • A primary measure of the overall ‘quality’ of the current market activity. • Reading volume through volume relationships, i.e., greater than, less than, or equal to previous volumes. • Convergence versus divergence relationships between price and volume.
Volume (con’t) • High volume areas tend to attract market activity. • Low volume areas tend to reject market activity. • Volume is best interpreted over time and in relation to average volume.
Market Profile® Trading Principles • Know when the market is in a trading range or trending mode and trade accordingly. • Continually monitor value area development, value area placement, reference points and volume. • Understand what’s happening and why it’s happening! • Understand what’s not happening and why it’s not happening!
Windotrader® Corporation, again, thanks the Chicago Board of Trade® for it’s support in creating both editions of the Market Profile® Basic User’s Guide. To view the unabridged version and attend a narrated presentation of the Market Profile® Basic User’s Guide, please go to: www.windotrader.com