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Technical Indicators - part 2

In this page you will be familiar with two indicators: an oscillator that is Stochastic Oscillator and Bollinger Bands indicator.

As I mentioned before, Oscillators are technical indicators that tend to cycle or “oscillate” within a fixed or limited range, and Momentum in general term means strongly movement of prices in a given direction.

Stochastic Oscillator

The Stochastic Oscillator is a momentum indicator, it indicates whether the market is moving to new highs or new lows or is just meandering in the middle. This indicator is based on George Lane 's observations.

The Stochastic Oscillator is plotted in two lines Fast %k and Fast %D.

The formula is:
Fast %k = 100 * [( C – L (n) ) / ( H (n) – L (n) )]

C is the most recent closing price.
L (n) is the low of n previous trading day (or bar).
H (n) is the high price of the same n previous day (or bar).

Usually n is chosen 14.

A 3-period (day or bar) moving average is taken from Fast %k and called Fast %D. Fast %D is used as a signal line in the same way that the moving average of the MACD is used as a signal line for the MACD.

Stochastic Oscillator is plotted in two lines but, usually these lines cross each other many times. Now to smooth the chart, a 3-period moving average is taken from Fast %D and called Slow %D (Also, Fast %D is called Slow %K), so the smoothed chart is plotted with Slow %K and Slow %D.

Using of Stochastic Oscillator

1- Oscillators are used as an overbought/oversold indicator. A buy is signaled when the oscillator moves below 20, and then crosses back above 20. A sell is signaled when the oscillator moves above 80, and then crosses below 80.

2- Also, when %K crosses above or below %D, Buy and sell signals can be given. But, may be crossover occurs frequently in short periods and causes bad results. This using isn't very common.

Bollinger Bands

John Bollinger created Bollinger Bands in the 1960s; Bollinger Bands are used to determine support and resistance levels. This indicator consists of three lines; the middle line is an exponential moving average of price data and the two outside bands are equal to the moving average plus or minus standard deviation.

Standard Deviation is a statistical measure that indicates volatility of price. The bands will expand when price becomes volatile and they will contract during less volatile periods.

Using of Bollinger Bands

1- Bollinger Bands are used to determine the boundaries of market movements. If a market moved to the upper band or lower band, then there was a good chance that the market would move back to its average. In the other words, when price closes to upper band, market is overbought and when price closes to lower band, market is oversold.

2- Another using of Bollinger bands is that to indicate up-trends and down-trends. If price deflects off the lower band and crosses above moving average then price fluctuate between upper band and moving average, it comes to indicate upper price target. It is visa versa to indicate lower price.

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