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Pivot Points and Daily
Support and Resistance|
Markets, no matter in what they deal, exist to facilitate trade,
nothing more, nothing less. As such prices will continually fluctuate
between supply and demand to enhance the exchange process. The market
abhors a stand off, it cannot exist in a state of paralysis. So market
traders will constantly adjust bid and ask prices to keep the exchange
going - a combination of a traditional auction to seek top prices, then
switching to a Dutch auction to explore for a price bottom.
MP illustrates that the majority of trading in a day is by floor traders or "locals" as they are called. These locals constantly take prices up and down to very short term levels of support and resistance, exploring the narrow limits of price/valuation tolerance. Trading for the day will persist between this narrow range unless "outside" buyers and sellers are attracted to the price changes that occur. If the narrow range of support or resistance established by the floor traders can be wrestled from them, then off floor short term traders will be attracted and enter the market, as buyers if short term resistance is overcome or as sellers if short term support is violated. These breakout points then usually reverse their function and serve as test points, i.e. previous resistance becomes support and previous support becomes resistance.
Now the active range of trading expands as the off floor traders enter the fray. If more longer established support and resistance can be successfully breached during the new short term trend that emerges, with the activity of the off floor traders, then longer term traders, position traders, with an intermediate or long term intention of their market commitment will be attracted to join the market.
If one knew the range parameters of support and resistance used by floor traders one would have a handle on the significant areas where off floor and possibly position traders may take over the market direction from the rotating locals. Well the locals calculate from the previous day's range the pivotal or inflexion price and the areas of support and resistance. The calculations are very simple and the results invariably have an influence on the market activity of the day. In fact, if no other information that relates to the market becomes available then the locals' parameters may dominate the day.
The calculation for the new day are calculated from the High (H), low (L) and close (C) of the previous day.
First area of resistance = R1 = 2P - L
So unless significant market news has been made available between yesterday's close and today's opening you can expect locals to take prices to test the near term support and resistance and the pivot price. Should, for any reason, these near term support and resistance areas fail then the second such area will likely be tested. If these support or resistance areas fail, because of market influencing news or observations, the off floor or, more particularly, intermediate term positional players will likely enter the market and make the market trend.
So these floor trader pivot points are areas to be aware of and respect. They are both dangerous and areas of opportunity. Stop orders to enter at these points are readily whipsawed by 'floor sweeping' by the locals as they rotate up and down the perceived range. On the other hand, if you find support or resistance was forthcoming as appropriate it offers a low risk entry point with a close Stop loss point identified. On the other hand, failure of anticipated support and resistance, as appropriate, offers a low risk entry point with a close Stop loss point identified in what is likely to be a trend emerging from the 'local' noise of the market.
Even if you are not a day trader, knowing the key pivot, support and resistance points can help the short term off floor and intermediate positional trader to identify potential entry points and stop loss levels for your trade if your other criteria have determined the direction in which you should be trading.
Make it a daily ritual, calculate the pivot point and the areas of support and resistance after the close each day for the markets you are interested in. Study the next day's price action in the context of those pivot points so that you get familiar with the dynamics of the market.
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