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Indicators: Stochastic Oscillator

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Stochastic Oscillator:

The Stochastic Oscillator technical indicator compares where a security’s price closed relative to its price range over a given time period.

The Stochastic Oscillator is displayed as two lines. The main line is called %K. The second line, called %D, is a Moving Average of %K. The %K line is usually displayed as a solid line and the %D line is usually displayed as a dotted line.

There are several ways to interpret a Stochastic Oscillator. Three popular methods include:

  • Buy when the Oscillator (either %K or %D) falls below a specific level (for example, 20) and then rises above that level.Sell when the Oscillator rises above a specific level (for example, 80) and then falls below that level;
  • Buy when the %K line rises above the %D line and sell when the %K line falls below the %D line;
  • Look for divergences. For instance: where prices are making a series of new highs and the Stochastic Oscillator is failing to surpass its previous highs.

    Stochastic Oscillator Indicator

Author: MetaQuotes Software Corp.

Sergey Golubev
Sergey Golubev  

Pinpointing Forex Trend Trade Entries with Stochastics

  • An uptrend is made up of higher highs and higher lows. Traders can use Stochastics to find excellent risk to reward entries at those low support points in the trend.
  • A downtrend is made up of lower highs and lower lows. Forex traders can use Stochastics to find excellent risk to reward entries at these resistance high points
  • Stochastics can be used to alert a forex trader to either tighten stops, reduce the position size, or take profit once in a trend trade

By far, traders who trade in the direction of the predominant daily trend have a higher percentage of success than those who trade the counter trend. One of the biggest attractions of the Forex market it is characterized by long trends that afford traders the potential to make hundreds of pips if they have timed their entries with precision and used protective stops to limit risk.

But How Can Traders Find Where to Enter with a Risk for Maximum Gain?

The mantra, “the trend is your friend until it ends,” can be found in many trading books, but it seems that many forex traders have not made the trend their friend and in some cases, the trend has become the enemy. Rather than being on the receiving end of those pips afforded to traders who have correctly entered the trend, many traders have been on the “giving” end of the trade losing pips while fighting the trend.

As people have turned to online dating services to meet their ideal match, forex traders can turn to stochastics as a way of making the trend the their friend again.

In an uptrend on a daily chart, stochastics %K and %D lines moving below the horizontal ‘20’ reference line and coming back above the 20 line indicates that the profit-taking correction is coming to an end. The stochastic crossing up also tells us that buyers are beginning to enter the market again. In addition, this shows that there is good support.

How to Trade the Trend Using Stochastics

Patience is the name of the game when attempting to trade with the trend. Getting into the trend too early can expose traders to large drawdowns. Getting in too late reduces the amount of profit before the swing is completed.

Use the stochastics indicator to find that “Goldilocks” entry of not too early and not too late. Once a strong uptrend is found, wait for stochastics with the settings of 15, 5, 5 to move into the oversold region below the 20 horizontal reference line. Next, wait for the %K and %D lines to move back above the 20 line. Enter long with a stop placed a few pips below the last low. Set a limit for at least twice the size of the stop.

Once in an uptrend position, traders will attempt to squeeze as much profit as possible. Traders usually take profits on their open position or trail stops once stochastics moves into the overbought region. It is important to note that a forex currency pair can continue to make new highs even though stochastics is in the overbought region.

So next time you see a trend and you do not know how to make it your “friend”, let the stochastics indicator introduce you! Once these swings are highlighted by stochastics, stop placement becomes easier as well. stochastics crossovers in an uptrend can help you pinpoint your entries to join the major trend.

Sergey Golubev
Sergey Golubev  

Forum on trading, automated trading systems and testing trading strategies

Something Interesting to Read April 2014

newdigital, 2014.04.14 20:48

Theory Of Stochastic Processes : With Applications to Financial Mathematics and Risk Theory

This book is a collection of exercises covering all the main topics in the modern theory of stochastic processes and its applications, including finance, actuarial mathematics, queuing theory, and risk theory.

The aim of this book is to provide the reader with the theoretical and practical material necessary for deeper understanding of the main topics in the theory of stochastic processes and its related fields.

The book is divided into chapters according to the various topics. Each chapter contains problems, hints, solutions, as well as a self-contained theoretical part which gives all the necessary material for solving the problems. References to the literature are also given.

The exercises have various levels of complexity and vary from simple ones, useful for students studying basic notions and technique, to very advanced ones that reveal some important theoretical facts and constructions.

This book is one of the largest collections of problems in the theory of stochastic processes and its applications. The problems in this book can be useful for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for specialists in the theory of stochastic processes.

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