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Bollinger Band Indicator
Bollinger bands are a very powerful technical indicator. Some traders will swear that solely trading bollinger bands is the key to their winning systems. Bollinger bands are drawn within and surrounding the price structure of a stock. It provides relative boundaries of highs and lows. The crux of the bollinger band indicator is based on a moving average that defines the intermediate term trend of the stock based on the trading timeframe you are viewing it on. This trend indicator is known as the middle band. Most stock charting applications default the middle band to a 20 period moving average. The upper and lower bands are then a measure of volatility to the upside and downside. They are calculated as two standard deviations from the middle band.
Upper Band = Middle band + 2 standard deviations
Middle Band = 20 period moving average (most charting packages use the simple moving average)
Lower Band = Middle band - 2 standard deviations.
Bollinger Band Trading Strategies
Many of you have heard of traditional patterns of technical analysis such as double tops, double bottoms, ascending triangles, symmetrical triangles, head and shoulders top or bottom, etc. The bollinger bands indicator can add that extra bit of firepower to your analysis. They can help you understand certain characteristics of a stock such as the high or low of the day, whether or not the stock is trending, or even if it is volatile or not. On occasion when trading the bollinger bands, you will see the bands coiling very tightly which indicates the stock is trading in a narrow range. This is the trigger to watch for a price breakout or breakdown. Many times, large rallies begin from low volatility ranges. When this happens, it is referred to as "building cause". This is the calm before the storm.
Double Bottoms and Bollinger Bands
A common bollinger band strategy involves a double bottom setup. The initial bottom of this formation tends to have strong volume and a sharp price pullback that closes outside of the lower Bollinger band. These types of moves typically lead to what is called an "automatic rally". The high of the automatic rally tends to serve as the first level of resistance in the base building process that occurs before the stock moves higher. After the rally commences, the price attempts to retest the most recent lows that have been set in order to test the vigor of the buying pressure that came in at that bottom. Many bollinger band technicians look for this retest bar to be inside the lower band. This indicates that the downward pressure in the stock has subsided and that there is a shift now from sellers to buyers. Also pay close attention to the volume, you need to see it drop off dramatically.
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