Bollinger Bands

Bollinger bands have three lines, an upper, middle and lower. The middle line is a moving average of prices; the parameters of the moving average are chosen by the trader. There is no magic moving average number, so the trader can set the moving average so it aligns with the techniques discussed below.

After Ledoux the exact sequence of trading band development gets foggy. He believes it is crucial to use indicators based on different types of data.

The Bollinger Bounce

Bollinger Bands are similar to moving average envelopes. The basic interpretation of Bollinger Bands is that prices tend to stay within the upper- and lower-band. The basic interpretation of Bollinger Bands is that prices tend to stay within the upper- .

Breakouts provide no clue as to the direction and extent of future price movement. They are simply one indicator designed to provide traders with information regarding price volatility.

John Bollinger suggests using them with two or three other non-correlated indicators that provide more direct market signals. He believes it is crucial to use indicators based on different types of data.

This strategy has become one of the most useful tools for spotlighting extreme short-term price moves. Learn to pounce on the opportunity that arises when other traders run and hide. Bollinger Bands have become an enormously popular market tool since the s but most traders fail to tap its true potential. This intraday strategy picks tops and bottoms based on a clear recovery following an extreme move. Find entry or exit signals or develop a complete system based on average true range.

Learn how traders can use "the usual suspects" standard for trend trading when it comes to choosing indicators for commodities investing. As we move into September, technology is back to being the hottest sector on Wall Street. Use Bollinger Bands in forex trading to identify entry and exit points with ranging trends or to spot increasing volatility Learn more about how to identify buy and sell trading signals when implementing a moving average crossover strategy with Historical volatility is a long-term assessment of risk.

Here's how to calculate it in Excel. Find out about a common strategy that traders use with the volume-weighted average price, including the use of VWAP with The middle band is a simple moving average that is usually set at 20 periods. A simple moving average is used because the standard deviation formula also uses a simple moving average.

The look-back period for the standard deviation is the same as for the simple moving average. The outer bands are usually set 2 standard deviations above and below the middle band.

Settings can be adjusted to suit the characteristics of particular securities or trading styles. Bollinger recommends making small incremental adjustments to the standard deviation multiplier. Changing the number of periods for the moving average also affects the number of periods used to calculate the standard deviation.

Therefore, only small adjustments are required for the standard deviation multiplier. An increase in the moving average period would automatically increase the number of periods used to calculate the standard deviation and would also warrant an increase in the standard deviation multiplier. Bollinger suggests increasing the standard deviation multiplier to 2. W-Bottoms were part of Arthur Merrill's work that identified 16 patterns with a basic W shape.

In particular, Bollinger looks for W-Bottoms where the second low is lower than the first but holds above the lower band. There are four steps to confirm a W-Bottom with Bollinger Bands. First, a reaction low forms. This low is usually, but not always, below the lower band. Second, there is a bounce towards the middle band. Third, there is a new price low in the security.

This low holds above the lower band. The ability to hold above the lower band on the test shows less weakness on the last decline. Fourth, the pattern is confirmed with a strong move off the second low and a resistance break. First, the stock formed a reaction low in January black arrow and broke below the lower band.

Second, there was a bounce back above the middle band. Third, the stock moved below its January low and held above the lower band. Even though the 5-Feb spike low broke the lower band, Bollinger Bands are calculated using closing prices so signals should also be based on closing prices. Fourth, the stock surged with expanding volume in late February and broke above the early February high.

M-Tops were also part of Arthur Merrill's work that identified 16 patterns with a basic M shape. According to Bollinger, tops are usually more complicated and drawn out than bottoms. Double tops, head-and-shoulders patterns, and diamonds represent evolving tops.

In its most basic form, an M-Top is similar to a double top. However, the reaction highs are not always equal. The first high can be higher or lower than the second high. Bollinger suggests looking for signs of non-confirmation when a security is making new highs. This is basically the opposite of the W-Bottom. A non-confirmation occurs with three steps. First, a security creates a reaction high above the upper band.

Second, there is a pullback towards the middle band. Third, prices move above the prior high but fail to reach the upper band. This is a warning sign. The inability of the second reaction high to reach the upper band shows waning momentum, which can foreshadow a trend reversal. Final confirmation comes with a support break or bearish indicator signal.

The stock moved above the upper band in April. There was a pullback in May and then another push above Even though the stock moved above the upper band on an intraday basis, it did not CLOSE above the upper band. The M-Top was confirmed with a support break two weeks later. Also, notice that MACD formed a bearish divergence and moved below its signal line for confirmation. Price exceeded the upper band in early September to affirm the uptrend. After a pullback below the day SMA middle Bollinger Band , the stock moved to a higher high above Despite this new high for the move, price did not exceed the upper band.

This flashed a warning sign. The stock broke support a week later and MACD moved below its signal line. Notice that this M-top is more complex because there are lower reaction highs on either side of the peak blue arrow. This evolving top formed a small head-and-shoulders pattern. Moves above or below the bands are not signals per se.