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Stochastic Oscillator: a Step by Step guide to Day Trade with it DTTW

Stochastic Oscillator

In a similar vein, oversold readings are not necessarily bullish. Securities can also become oversold and remain oversold during a strong downtrend. Closing levels consistently near the bottom of the range indicate sustained selling pressure. It is, therefore, important to identify the bigger trend and trade in the direction of this trend. Look for occasional oversold readings in an uptrend and ignore frequent overbought readings.

The 2 lines are similar to the MACD lines in the sense that one line is faster than the other. Find the approximate amount of currency units to buy or sell so you can control your maximum risk per position. In the previous parts, we have explained what the Stochastic Oscillator is. A common question is on the difference between the oscillator and the Stochastoc RSI or the StochRSI. Diana is an economics enthusiast with a passion for politics and investing. Having previously worked as a financial translator, she provides in-depth articles and guides on the world of finance and commerce.

Bull/Bear Divergences

The default setting for the Stochastic Oscillator is 14 periods, which can be days, weeks, months or an intraday timeframe. A 14-period %K would use the most recent close, the highest high over the last 14 periods and the lowest low over the last 14 periods. This line is plotted alongside %K to act as a signal or trigger line. Are the highest and lowest prices in the last 5 days respectively, while %D is the N-day moving average of %K (the last N values of %K). Usually this is a simple moving average, but can be an exponential moving average for a less standardized weighting for more recent values. There is only one valid signal in working with %D alone — a divergence between %D and the analyzed security.

Stochastic Oscillator

However, despite the fact the price was making lower highs, the Stochastic oscillator recorded higher highs, thus forming a hidden divergence. When a divergence occurs, a potential change in price direction could be on the cards.


The idea behind the indicator is that in bullish market prices will close near the high, and in a bearish market prices close near the low. This is seen as a signal that the trend is about to reverse.

A bullish divergence occurs when prices are making lower lows, but the stochastic indicator makes higher lows in the oversold territory. This is a signal to buy because the bearish price movement lacks momentum. A bearish divergence occurs when prices are making higher highs, but the stochastic indicator makes lower highs in the overbought territory. This is a signal to sell because the bullish price movement lacks momentum. There are not many differences from the fast stochastic. However, the slow %K is the same as the fast %D (thus, it’s a 3-period moving average of the fast %K).

Stochastic Oscillator Overbought Downturn

The Slow Stochastic Oscillator smooths %K with a 3-day SMA, which is exactly what %D is in the Fast Stochastic Oscillator. Notice that %K in the Slow Stochastic Oscillator equals %D in the Fast Stochastic Oscillator . The stochastic oscillator is included in most charting tools and can be easily employed in practice. The standard time period used is 14 days, though this can be adjusted to meet specific analytical needs. Transaction signals are created when the %K crosses through a three-period moving average, which is called the %D. The stochastic indicator and the MACD are both oscillators, and have a similar objective, although they arrive at that objective in different ways.

  • For example, a reading above 80 implies that the current closing price is near the highest high of the range, which is in fact the highest price of the last 5 candlesticks.
  • The underlying security forms a lower high, but the Stochastic Oscillator forms a higher high.
  • This will lead to fewer signals, as the indicator is smoothed.
  • This line is plotted alongside %K to act as a signal or trigger line.
  • The slow line is the moving average of the faster %K line.

For instance, if there’s an uptrend, wait until the indicator forms a buy signal. If you’re trading with a downtrend, wait for a sell signal. The full is like the slow one, but it includes an additional parameter. It allows an investor to determine the period of the simple moving average besides the standard period of 3.

Overbought vs Oversold

The sell signal would be generated once the stochastic decreases below 80 level. The stochastic oscillator is a range-bound indicator that measures market momentum. It identifies the periods when the market is overbought and oversold. As a result, it provides perfect entry and exit points. You can see that the indicator was in the overbought area. The signal to sell appeared when the %K line crossed the %D from the top downwards. However, we see that the crossover happened several times.

  • These crossovers may appear anywhere on the study, but signals above the lines at 20 and 80 are considered to be stronger.
  • 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider.
  • For instance, when a faster MA crosses a slower MA upwards, it implies an uptrend is in place.
  • A reading of 100 indicates the highest point during the designated time period.
  • Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work.
  • A bullish divergence can be confirmed with a resistance break on the price chart or a Stochastic Oscillator break above 50.

14 and 3 are considered the standard settings for this type of oscillator. The stochastic oscillators formulaThe lowest low and highest high are the lowest and highest levels during the specific period.

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