On-Balance Volume OBV: Definition, Formula, and Uses As Indicator

A period’s volume is positive when the close is above the prior close and is negative when the close is below the prior close. As we have seen during the Flash Crash, even a retail trader can destabilize a whole asset class by generating artificial trading volume from his computer. One of the indicators traders often compare the OBV to is the cumulative delta volume indicator. However, aside from being volume indicators, they don’t have many other similarities. The on-balance volume indicator is, arguably, the most popular volume trading indicator.

False breakout situations occur when there is a declining volume or even a little increase over a breakout. This indicates a lack of interest and should serve as a warning sign for a higher probability of a false breakout. To provide further confirmation, the original developer of the OBV indicator and most of the traders applying it suggest combining it with a 20-period MA. Earlier we mentioned that traders use the OBV indicator to spot institutional and small investors’ presence.

  • Tuned is only suitable for investors who fully understand the risk of loss and may experience large drawdowns.
  • The Accumulation Distribution Line is a volume indicator that measures the cumulative flow of money into and out of a stock.
  • When the security closes lower than the previous close, all of the day’s volume is considered down-volume.
  • A rising OBV reflects positive volume pressure that can lead to higher prices.
  • Thus, one should buy when indicators move above 50% line from below and sell when indicator drops below 50% line from above as shown in the daily chart of Bharat Heavy Electronics Ltd.

On Balance Volume (OBV) uses volume and price to measure buying and selling pressure. Buying pressure is evident when positive volume exceeds negative volume, and the OBV line rises. Selling pressure occurs when negative volume exceeds positive volume, and the OBV line falls. Analysts can use OBV to confirm the underlying trend or look for divergences that may foreshadow a price change. As with all indicators, it’s important to use OBV in conjunction with other aspects of technical analysis. OBV can be combined with basic pattern analysis or to confirm signals from momentum oscillators.

So do professionals who want to further complement their analysis by adding some volume-based insights. To better forecast the shifts in the price direction, we pair the OBV with a 20-day moving average. As you can see, the OBV follows the MA very closely in some parts of the chart.

On-Balance Volume Indicator (OBV) – “The Smart Money Indicator”

The reason is that volume is often a clear representation of the buying/selling pressure and factors traders’ behavior before the price starts to reflect it. Traders nowadays use the on-balance volume indicator to identify trend confirmations, trend reversals (divergence), oversold and overbought markets, etc. The OBV-MACD indicator is a momentum-based technical analysis tool that helps traders identify trend reversals and trend strength. This Pine script is an implementation of the OBV-MACD indicator that uses the On-Balance Volume (OBV) and Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicators to provide a momentum data of OBV. By tracking changes in OBV over time, traders can gain a better understanding of market sentiment and adjust their strategies accordingly. It can also be used in conjunction with other technical indicators such as moving averages or MACD for further confirmation.

  • As a result, traders can use this tool to confirm trends or identify potential price reversals.
  • The put-call rato gauges the volume of trading in put options as opposed to call options.
  • The On-Balance Volume (OBV) indicator was developed by Granville, who believed that volume could signal an upcoming trend change or significant market movement.
  • However, OBV doesn’t provide specific information about the financial asset, which can lead to misinterpretations.
  • Granville’s investment theories suggest that asset prices will eventually move in the same direction as the market’s dominant transactional flows.

An EMA is an excellent tool to remove noise from any data set and crosses indicate a change in the OBV direction. This strategy aims to open a trade when a new trend or reversal is detected. As with other momentum indicators, such as the MACD, higher levels of the OBV indicator’s stronger momentum reinforces the current price trend. When the OBV diverges from the direction of a security’s price movement, it may be an early indicator of a pending trend change.

Limitations of OBV

Chartists should instead focus on the characteristics of the OBV line. Second, determine if the current trend matches the trend for the underlying security. Once broken, the trend spectre.ai forex broker review for OBV will change and these breaks can be used to generate signals. Therefore, closing prices should be considered when looking for divergences or support/resistance breaks.

Understanding On-Balance Volume

Each of these two lines is a relative-strength formula that contains both the famous RSI and CCI formulas, smoothed by a Hull… Combining the OBV indicator with other forms of technical analysis, such as trend lines or moving averages, or even other indicators, can help to confirm the early signals the OBV indicator provides. The indicator’s creator was convinced by the theory that volume precedes price, and created the OBV indicator to signal when volume makes a large jump without moving the price of an asset. This signals that institutional investors and other “smart money” are taking positions ahead of a major crowd sentiment change. Granville first introduced the indicator in his book New Key to Stock Market Profits, which was reprinted in 2010.

On Balance Volume (OBV)

The tick volume is a total number of purchases and sales (price ticks). The value of On Balance Volume is a cumulative moving average of the trading xtrade forex broker review volume. As readings in the OBV indicator can be distorted when major events occur, traders should always look to an economic calendar.

Include a moving average line to the OBV to look for OBV line breakouts; traders can confirm a breakout in the price if the OBV indicator makes a concurrent breakout. Many traders simply use the on-balance volume indicator as a confirming technical indicator of a stock’s price trend. For example, when a stock is steadily rising in price, traders monitoring the on-balance volume indicator will expect to see it rising as well. Notice how BBY broke its downtrend line in late February and OBV confirmed with a resistance breakout in March.

Trading Examples Using On-Balance Volume

Traders apply this indicator to determine price movements or when they want to confirm price trends. The calculation depends on the divergences between the volume and the price. Essentially, the OBV indicator seeks to quantify the cumulative buying and selling pressure behind an asset based on its volume changes. On Balance Volume Technical Indicator (OBV) is a momentum technical indicator that relates volume to price change. The indicator, which Joseph Granville came up with, is pretty simple.

High volume indicates more interest in the stock and the presence of buyers and sellers in that stock. When the stock is in an uptrend, and there is an increase in volume along with the ongoing uptrend, the stocks will continue to go up. We research technical analysis patterns so you know exactly what works well for your favorite markets. The accumulation distribution indicator (ADL) is a volume-measurement kind of indicator.

On-balance volume and the accumulation/distribution line are similar in that they are both momentum indicators that use volume to predict the movement of “smart money”. In the case of on-balance volume, it is calculated by summing the volume on an up-day and subtracting the volume on a down-day. Overall, incorporating OBV analysis into your trading strategy can provide valuable insights into market trends and help you make more profitable trades. When used in conjunction with OBV, RSI can help confirm whether a trend is strong or weak by measuring the momentum behind price movements. Studies have shown that stocks with higher OBV tend to outperform those with lower values over time, making it an important tool for traders and investors alike.

Learning to apply the OBV indicator for the identification of such practices will help you stay away from such unstable and artificially-influenced trends. For example, if the price increases, the volume is added to the OBV. The On-Balance Volume indicator is the white coat investor just one of many of the helpful studies and indicators that are included within PrimeXBT’s built-in charting software. It is also known as the volume-weighted Relative Strength Index (RSI), as it also includes volume, unlike RSI which only incorporates price.

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