Magazine article Modern Trader

How to Find the Right Support and Resistance

Magazine article Modern Trader

How to Find the Right Support and Resistance

Article excerpt

Finding support and resistance for a day-trader can keep him alive in a volatile market. Here's one idea, implemented with others, to find those target areas.

My personal preference for day-trading and short-term trading is to buy dips and sell rallies.

Two components are needed to make this strategy work. First, you have to be trading in the direction that gives you the best chance of success. Second, you have to be able to identify potential support or resistance for that trading day. I'll discuss one technique from each of these two components that make up my day-trading approach.

The first step is to determine which way the market is likely to go today - in other words, is the trend up, down or sideways?

One method to determine the market trend involves a couple of old standby technical indicators that are available on virtually any charting software: the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) and the stochastic indicators. These oldies but goodies really can be useful if used in the proper combination.

Look at both the MACD and the Slow Stochastic on a daily chart to determine in which direction you want to trade the next day. For the MACD, I use a little longer time value for my inputs then the standard - say, around a 10-30-10 exponential moving average combination. I also use a slow stochastic indicator with an input value of somewhere around 20 days.

Both of these indicators should be displayed together under the price data. Look for situations when both the MACD indicator and the stochastic indicator are on the same side of the signal line.

If both are above their respective signal lines, then trade the buy side. If both are below their respective signal lines, trade the sell side. Quite often you'll find the MACD and the stochastic indicators are on opposite sides of their respective signal lines. In these instances, avoid the market. …

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