Relative Strength Index - RSI

Adjusting to this level takes some rethinking on the part of the traditionally schooled chartists.

Second, RSI must cross above 70 to become overbought. 

Failure Swings Wilder also considered failure swings as strong indications of an impending reversal.

Ultimate Guide to the Relative Strength Index (RSI) 

The Relative Strength Index - RSI is a momentum indicator that measures the magnitude of recent price changes to analyze overbought or oversold conditions. It is primarily used to attempt to identify overbought or oversold conditions in the trading of an asset.

In this way, trades are only taken in the trending direction, reducing the risk of potential false signals. A false signal occurs when the indicator gives a buy or sell signal after which the price doesn't follow through in the anticipated direction. Momentum and the Relative Strength Index. The reasoning is that, in these instances, directional momentum does not confirm price.

A bullish divergence forms when the underlying asset makes a lower low and RSI makes a higher low. RSI diverges from the bearish price action in that it shows strengthening momentum, indicating a potential upward reversal in price. A bearish divergence forms when the underlying asset makes a higher high and RSI forms a lower high.

RSI diverges from the bullish price action in that it shows weakening momentum, indicating a potential downward reversal in price. Divergence can last for a long time. Prices may continue to rise even though the RSI is showing a divergence. Therefore, divergence should not be acted on alone. If there is divergence present, it is wise to wait for the price to break in the direction of the divergence before acting.

Failure Swings Failure swings can also be used to spot price reversals. A bullish failure swing forms when RSI moves below 30, rises back above 30 and pulls back again, but holds above the 30 level. The failure swing is complete when the RSI breaks its recent high; this breakout is interpreted as a bullish signal. A bearish failure swing forms when the RSI moves above 70, pulls back below 70 and rises again, but holds below The failure swing is complete when the RSI breaks its recent low; this breakout is interpreted as a bearish signal.

The trader is waiting for an oversold condition in which to buy, but instead of buying immediately when the RSI moves back above 30, the trader has the option to wait and see if the RSI holds above the 30 level on the next drop.

The reverse would be true for selling at the 70 levels after the RSI has reached overbought conditions. Here is how the RSI looks when making a failure swing. Here's a real-world example in which a stock, in an overall uptrend, drops below 30 on the RSI. It then bounces but then drops below again. Following the next RSI rally, it holds above 30 and then rallies above the recent peak. That is the signal to buy. This makes sense, because the RSI is measuring gains versus losses.

In a downtrend, the RSI will tend to stay at lower levels. During an uptrend, the RSI tends to stay above 30 and should hit 70 often. During a downtrend, it is rare to see the RSI above 70, and the indicator frequently hits 30 or below.

To exactly replicate our RSI numbers, a formula will need at least data points. Wilder's formula normalizes RS and turns it into an oscillator that fluctuates between zero and The normalization step makes it easier to identify extremes because RSI is range bound.

RSI is 0 when the Average Gain equals zero. There were no gains to measure. RSI is when the Average Loss equals zero. This means prices moved higher all 14 periods. There were no losses to measure. The smoothing process affects RSI values. RS values are smoothed after the first calculation. Average Loss equals the sum of the losses divided by 14 for the first calculation. Subsequent calculations multiply the prior value by 13, add the most recent value and then divide the total by This creates a smoothing affect.

The same applies to Average Gain. Because of this smoothing, RSI values may differ based on the total calculation period. Parameters The default look-back period for RSI is 14, but this can be lowered to increase sensitivity or raised to decrease sensitivity. The look-back parameters also depend on a security's volatility. RSI is considered overbought when above 70 and oversold when below These traditional levels can also be adjusted to better fit the security or analytical requirements.

Short-term traders sometimes use 2-period RSI to look for overbought readings above 80 and oversold readings below This chart features daily bars in gray with a 1-day SMA in pink to highlight closing prices because RSI is based on closing prices. Working from left to right, the stock became oversold in late July and found support around 44 1. Notice that the bottom evolved after the oversold reading. The stock did not bottom as soon as the oversold reading appeared.

Bottoming can be a process. From oversold levels, RSI moved above 70 in mid September to become overbought. Despite this overbought reading, the stock did not decline. Instead, the stock stalled for a couple weeks and then continued higher. Three more overbought readings occurred before the stock finally peaked in December 2.

Momentum oscillators can become overbought oversold and remain so in a strong up down trend. The first three overbought readings foreshadowed consolidations. The fourth coincided with a significant peak. RSI then moved from overbought to oversold in January. The final bottom did not coincide with the initial oversold reading as the stock ultimately bottomed a few weeks later around 46 3. Like many momentum oscillators, overbought and oversold readings for RSI work best when prices move sideways within a range.

The stock peaked soon after RSI reached 70 and bottomed soon after the stock reached Divergences According to Wilder, divergences signal a potential reversal point because directional momentum does not confirm price.

A bullish divergence occurs when the underlying security makes a lower low and RSI forms a higher low. RSI does not confirm the lower low and this shows strengthening momentum. A bearish divergence forms when the security records a higher high and RSI forms a lower high. RSI does not confirm the new high and this shows weakening momentum.

The stock moved to new highs in September-October, but RSI formed lower highs for the bearish divergence. The subsequent breakdown in mid October confirmed weakening momentum. A bullish divergence formed in January-March. The bullish divergence formed with eBay moving to new lows in March and RSI holding above its prior low.

RSI reflected less downside momentum during the February-March decline. The mid-March breakout confirmed improving momentum. Divergences tend to be more robust when they form after an overbought or oversold reading. Before getting too excited about divergences as great trading signals, it must be noted that divergences are misleading in a strong trend.

A strong uptrend can show numerous bearish divergences before a top actually materializes. Conversely, bullish divergences can appear in a strong downtrend - and yet the downtrend continues. These bearish divergences may have warned of a short-term pullback, but there was clearly no major trend reversal.

Failure Swings Wilder also considered failure swings as strong indications of an impending reversal. Failure swings are independent of price action. In other words, failure swings focus solely on RSI for signals and ignore the concept of divergences.

A bullish failure swing forms when RSI moves below 30 oversold , bounces above 30, pulls back, holds above 30 and then breaks its prior high.

 

Calculation 

Developed by J. Welles Wilder, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and change of price movements. RSI oscillates between zero and Traditionally, and according to Wilder, RSI is considered overbought when above 70 and oversold when below

The Relative Strength Index - RSI is a momentum indicator that measures the magnitude of recent price changes to analyze overbought or oversold conditions. It is primarily used to attempt to identify overbought or oversold conditions in the trading of an asset. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and change of price movements. Learn more about the relative strength index (RSI) and how it can help you make informed investing decisions. 

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RSI Potential Buy Signal

The RSI, or relative strength index, is a popular form of technical analysis that helps investors predict price movements and identify trends. It provides a framework for identifying when stocks have been overbought or oversold, thus indicating a possible reversal of price movement momentum. To use the RSI effectively we must understand how it works and its trading applications, as well as its strengths and limitations.

In the chart below of Gold, two RSI time periods are shown, day (default) and 5-day. Notice how in this example, decreasing the time period made the RSI more volatile, increasing the number of buy and sell signals substantially. There is another way a trader might interpret Relative Strength Index buy and sell signals. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) was created by J. Welles Wilder Jr. and introduced in his book, "New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems," published in Wilder was a mechanical engineer.

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