Detecting Excess Market Moves

Sometimes markets move too fast and too far. This article is all about a new method to detect excess market moves. A new indicator will be presented, which overcomes many of the downsides of traditional ones like RSI or Bollinger Bands.

Overbought and Oversold Indicators

I am sure you are familiar with the traditional indicators RSI and Bollinger Bands. Legions of analysts have used them to detect excess market moves and market reversals. You might have used a RSI reading above 70 or below 30 or a market close outside of a 2 standard deviation Bollinger Band to do so. But these traditional indicators have a big downside: they are always calculated over a given period of time: 14-bar RSI, or 20-bar Bollinger Bands. You can surely adjust this setting to your market, but who tells you that e.g. a 17-bar calculation period is better than taking the last 14 or 20 bars into account? Going this way is a slippery road and you might fall down the cliffs of curve fitting.

classic excess indicators

classic excess indicators

A new algorithm for excess detection

Bollinger Bands already has the key ingredient for a useful reversal detector: it measures the market move in standard deviations. But it does the measure only over a fixed interval setting, thus missing a lot of shorter or longer excess market moves.

To overcome this restriction and find all excess moves, I did me an indicator which searches for excess moves over multiple intervals. This is how it works:

First the algorithm calculates a volatility measure. All data on the chart, prior to the testing bar, is used. The formula used is described over here. After the volatility of the market has been calculated, the algorithm measures all market moves for a given number of bars. A standard setting might be to calculate all moves between 5 and 200 bars. From this list of moves, normalised in volatility multiples, the algorithm picks the biggest moves. Then a trigger value is applied and the algorithm checks if the biggest move found is more than e.g. 3 times the expected volatility. To show the found move on the chart, the algorithm waits for another bar, and if this bar does not form a new low for bearish moves or a new high after a bull move, the move is shown on the chart. A reversal or at least an end of the exuberant market move can be expected.

market excess detection

market excess detection

On the chart above you see this new indicator in action. The right chart is Bitcoin on an hourly timeframe, the right one is German power on a daily timeframe. Both charts use the same settings and search excess moves with a length of 5 to 200 bars. The lines are fixed (confirmed) with a 2-bar counter move.

Some examples for excess detection indicator

To see the effect of different settings have a look at the chart below. All 3 charts detect moves between 10 and 200 (hourly) bars. A 1 bar confirmation delay is used. The difference between the charts is the minimum volatility multiple which is used to detect the excess. From left to right it uses a 1, 3 and 5 times the average fair bet volatility to define the minimum move.

Kahler excess detector - different settings

Kahler excess detector – different settings

Statistical test of excess indicator

If this indicator is any useful, the market should show a different behaviour on the bars after an excess move has been detected than on an average day. To see if this is true the signal efficiency can bet tested using the methodology described in an earlier post.

excess detector test

excess detector test

The chart above shows the excess detector applied on daily JPY Forex data. Only bullish reversals are detected. On the right side you see the average profit factor for the days after a reversal (2*vola, 1 bar confirmation) has been detected. Although it has been a falling market (magenta benchmark below 1) the signal generates showed an average profit factor of more than one – a strong indication that this indicator is able to predict a bullish move after a sell off has been detected. Even in an overall bearish market.

Usage and general thoughts

There is no indicator which will tell you what the future will bring, but a good indicator will flash a warning sign if the current state of the market is going to change. My excess indicator, like Bollinger Bands and RSI, will tell you when the markets have moved too far. It does this detection independently from a fixed period setting. You have to decide which timeframe you are interested in, e.g. short term = 3 to 10 bars, mid term=10 to 21 bars, long term=21 to 200 bars, and then use the signals of this indicator as a setup to your trading strategy.

If the indicator tells me that there has been an excess bearish move, I will not set up a new short position. I neither would set up a long position if this sell off happened in a bearish market. But I will think about using a tight trailing stop to lock in the profits of my short position.

If there has been an excess bearish move in an uptrend, I might want to start to scale into a long position, using a tight stop loss at the beginning and the let it run until my indicator flashes a warning sign in the other direction.

Never forget that money is made with position sizing and risk management, although a nice indicator can help… :)

Tradesignal Indicator Code

You can download the source code of this indicator as a txt file. Copy and paste the content of the text file into a new indicator in Tradesignal and start exploring.  You will need the latest version of TS (10.2) and have a chart with at least 1000 bars of data. By downloading the indicator you are accepting the smallprint.

Kahler’s Excess Detector

 

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The coastline paradox and the fractal dimension of markets

Coastlines are fractal curves. When you zoom in, you will see similar shaped curves on every scale. The same is true for market data. On a naked chart you can hardly tell if it is a daily or hourly chart. This article will explore this feature of crinkly curves and show how much markets and coastlines have in common.

The coastline paradox

When trying to measure the length of the British coastline you will quickly notice, that the length measured depends on the length of the ruler you use. The shorter the ruler, the longer the measured length of the coastline.

When measuring a straight line, the length of the ruler has no influence. You can measure 1 meter with a 1cm ruler applied 100 times or with a 50cm ruler applied 2 times. Both methods will give you the same result. Not so when measuring a crinkly line like a coast.

British coastline length paradox

British coastline length paradox (c) wikipedia

In 1967 Benoit Mandelbrot wrote a famous article in Science magazine about this problem. This was the birth of fractal geometry. The basic assumption was, that if a curve is self similar, this self similarity can be described by the fractal dimension of a curve. Self similarity means, that if you zoom into a curve, it looks similar on all zoom levels.

Coastline paradox in financial markets

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Detecting Support and Resistance Levels

Support & Resistance levels are essential for every trader. The define the decision points of the markets. If you are long and the market falls below the previous support level, you most probably have got the wrong position and better exit.

The detection of support and resistance levels is usually highly subjective and based on the analysts experience. In this article I will use a simple algorithm to detect the levels and show them on the chart. Continue reading

Profit from large daily moves

Whenever the market shows an exceptional day ranges it is time to take bite. See how you can profit from large daily market moves.

Open-Close Range

When looking at any chart, you will surely notice that the large candles tend to close near the high or low. This is due to herding. Once the market is moving significantly, everyone hops on and the large move becomes even larger. This is true for daily, weekly and intraday candles.

The chart shows an indicator which plots the daily move. Every opening is set to zero and the absolute move of the day is drawn. Around these normalised candles a long term 2 standard deviation volatility band is drawn.  Right now the 2 standard deviation volatility for SPX is about +/- 46 points.

Take a bite before the market closes

As you can see this +/-46 point barrier above/below the opening of the day is a wonderful entry point. If you enter long 46 points above the opening and go short 46 points below the opening nearly all entries would have lead to a profitable trade. To get an even higher probability of success you can volume as a confirmation. Large moves must also show high volume. The exit is done at the end of the session. This analysis does not give any indication for the next days move. So be fast, take your bite and go home with a small profit and no overnight position.

No free lunch

On the chart it looks easy, but be careful. As an example the last bar shown on the chart first crossed the band to the downside, reversed and crossed above the upper band. So you will need to use a trailing stop to lock in profits and avoid to take the full -46 to +46 points trade as a loss!

 

 

 

 

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Multivariate regression analysis

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Quality of an Entry Signal

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Classical technical indicators like RSI and Stochastic are commonly used to build algorithmic trading strategies.  But do these indicators really give you an edge in your market? Are they able to define the times when you want to be invested? This article will show you a way to quantify and compare the edge of technical indicators. Knowing the edge of the indicator makes it an easy task to select the right indicator for your market.

The edge of an indicator

Any technical indicator, let it be RSI, moving averages or jobless claims, has got a primary goal. It should signal if it is a wise idea to be invested or not. If this indicator signal has any value, on the next day the market should have a higher return than it has on average. Otherwise  the usage of no indicator and a buy and hold investing approach would be the best solution.

The edge of an indicator in investing consists of two legs.

  1. the quality of the signal
  2. the number of occurrences

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Analyzing at which time daily market extremes are established shows the significance of the first and last hours of market action. See how different markets show different behavior and see what can be learned from this analysis.

Probability of Extremes

A day of trading usually starts with a lot of fantasies for the future, then we try to survive the day and end it with a lot of hope for tomorrow. This psychological pattern can also be shown when analyzing intraday market data. A high level of fantasies usually leads to a strong market movement, and thus market extremes can often be seen near the beginning or the end of the trading session. Continue reading

Noisy Data strategy testing

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Synthetic market data?

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