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Welcome back! This lesson is, perhaps, the most important in this course: What makes up a trend? And we’re going ...

Welcome back! This lesson is, perhaps, the most important in this course: What makes up a trend? And we’re going to get to the details in just a little bit. But first I want to go over a really important concept that needs to sink in, for you to be able to take full advantage of Technical Analysis: the idea that in Technical Analysis, everything comes down to Price.

The price of the stock tells you everything. As a technical analyst, we’re not worried about whether a stock is undervalued or overvalued; we’re not worried about whether yesterday’s earnings report for Infosys is fully reflected in today’s price of Infosys. The price, as we know from the Big 3 Tenets of Technical Analysis, takes all relevant information into account.
“Price is King” – and while this might seem like a really basic principle, the implications are incredibly powerful.

We’re going to go back 28 years; that is to 1987. If you’re an investor or a trader, the year 1987 should ring a bell. In finance, October 17th, 1987 is known as “Black Friday”. The Dow Jones Industrial Average – the US equivalent to India’s Sensex and the most watched index in the world, fell a staggering 22% during one trading day.
A monthly chart from July 1987 through January 1988 shows that the crash occurred mid October and caused a sharp fall. From August through October, the Dow rallied from 2400 up to 2700 within 2 months: that’s a 12.5% surge. What’s really interesting, however, is what happens when you do a quick search to try to figure out why and how the crash occurred. It turns out that there is no consensus at all! There’s just so much information from all sorts of theories that have risen – ranging from political events occurring around the world, inflation concerns, the introduction of computerized trading, overvaluation of the markets, to a lack of liquidity in the markets.

Call me crazy, but if the world’s brightest economists can’t figure out why the stock markets crashed 22% during a single day, then perhaps their approach is not perfect. What’s even more interesting, perhaps slightly humorous, is that immediately after the event occurred, 33 of the “most prominent economists in the world” met in the United States. These scholars, who spent the vast majority of their lives dedicated towards trying to not only prevent, but also find answers to situations like this, concluded that the next few years, and I quote, “would be the most troubled years since the 1930s”, when the Great Depression occurred and completely destroyed the American economic system.
It turns out that, contrary to what that panel of economists predicted, the markets flourished – from November 1987 through November 1989, the Dow Jones Industrial Average went up in value by almost 50%.

So why are we bringing up this story from almost three decades ago? Because one savvy trader, Paul Tudor Jones, did the complete opposite of what all the fundamental analysts did: he simply looked at the price charts, saw that a downward trend was imminent, and shorted the market right before the market crashed. It was pure technical analysis, with the basic foundation built upon the idea that the market might be overpriced as a whole. And he went on to make billions of dollars.

For Paul Tudor Jones to have been able to make that trade, he must have been able to see something in the price charts. And, as we’ve mentioned over and over again, technical analysis is all about trends. Let’s go over the different parts of a trend.

If you recall, we covered the three types of trends: uptrends, downtrends, and sideways trends. How do we objectify an uptrend? Using candlesticks, ofcourse.
Take a single candlestick bar, add a second bar to it. When the low of the second bar is higher than than the low of the first bar, this is called ‘breaking the previous bar’s low’. When you have multiple bars breaking the previous bar’s low and creating new highs, you get a ‘rally’. The opposite is a ‘decline’. The meeting point of a rally and a decline is called a ‘swing high’. And when the market turns from a decline to a rally, we witness a ‘swing low’.

Let’s take a step back and think about why a swing high would form. We talked about how trends form when accumulation and distribution occurs; that is, when demand picks up, the markets rally upward, and vice versa when there is an overabundance of supply. Therefore, when you hit the point in time when supply overtakes demand, you hit a peak – this causes a ‘resistance point’, an important indicator in technical analysis, and a swing high gets formed. The opposite is true with swing lows – demand overtakes supply, ‘a support level’ is created, and an ensuing swing low develops.
When a number of bars congregate, the swing high will be the highest point among them all, and it’s identified by the high of the bar (not the close).

Three Kinds of Trends: How to objectively define them?
We’ve briefly gone through the types of trends. For a proper uptrend to form, you need to see consecutive higher swing lows. Downtrends are just the opposite. A downtrend is formed when we notice consecutive lower swing highs.

Check out this example – During the last 7 months of 2014, crude oil prices began a long, arduous fall. Cairn India, which refines crude oil, saw its profits shrink. This naturally got reflected in its stock price – numerous instances of consecutive lower swing highs.

If you recall, at the beginning I mentioned that this lesson is, perhaps, the most important in this course. Do you now realize why? Let’s go back to that infamous 1987 crash, but extend it from January 1987 through the end of 1987 using weekly charts. Now place yourself in August or September of 1987. Are we in an uptrend? Keep that thought in mind. Because if you cannot conclusively answer “yes”, then you would have never been caught up in that mess. Isn’t it amazing how a simple chart can be so powerful?

The next lesson is going to:
• take this concept of breaking apart a trend
• and understanding the different components behind it
• and expand on it by showing you how to build an objective trading system.

If that sounds interesting, then I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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Add Your Question
Orpheus Almeida 2 years ago


stock chart is explained in so easy manner but here i would like to know about the method to analyse stock  and index option chart as it is very difficult to judge option movement.

Ajay Kumar 1 year ago


Dear sir,

Thanks a lot again. Every time I say thank u is very less compared to what u have given us. Actually my friends cheat me in commodities trade. Since then I was looking for a system so that I can learn myself. And I found the Trade Academy. Back tested these techniques n getting results.

I will do both commodities as well as equities. I m still back testing.

Commodities I want to learn because rewards are huge though risk is also huge. But ur techniques has proved most of the time successful during back test. So i requested to add some lesson on commodities too so that we can learn better.

Thank u Prateek ji again for ur valuable support. God bless u.

Prateek Singh
Prateek Singh 1 year ago

It’s unfortunate you had a bad experience because of your friend’s advice. I think you are on the right track now that you are trading your own system. I will try to upload some commodity examples, although my best guess is that these techniques should work on all trending commodities.

Ajay Kumar 1 year ago


Dear Prateek sir,

Thank u for giving us your valuable time n reply to our questions. I know any number of times we thank u it is very less compared to the knowledge u have shared here on TA.

I do trade in equities n will start trading in commodities very shortly after back testing of swing system is over. Commodities I prefer because rewards are huge though risk is also huge. Swing trade system has proved to me successful 80-90% of the time during back testing. So I requested to add some lesson on commodities so that our understanding will increase.

Thank u very much once again. God bless u.

Arish N 2 years ago


Nicely explained but thing is if u show with indicators its good example to get up and down trend  and very easy to understand.

Orpheus G 2 years ago


Chart pattern indicates a price movement, but please indicate that where to take position ? and also provide volume based buying or selling level for quick position.

Javed 8 months ago


Thanks For the video, As most of the trader like me who also do full time job  get time to trade in the evening only and we have no option other then commodities.would be good if you make some video on commodities also.

Sourabh Purohit 1 year ago


where can I find course reading material?


Prateek Singh
Prateek Singh 1 year ago

When you select a course, if it has course material you will see it at the top right corner. Here is the link for Technical Analysis: https://tradeacademy.in/course/intro-to-technical-analysis/ (top right button)

Kashyap Borah 1 year ago


Hey Prateek,

There is two kind of candlestick “the Red (Bearish) and the Green (Bullish)” which both forms the Swing High and Swing Low. But do the combination of the both always require to form High and Low or else one (say a red bar) with 2 or 3 of its kind is sometime enough.

Prateek Singh
Prateek Singh 1 year ago

Don’t be confused with the color of the candle. We need a move up (green bar) then a down move (red bar). The HIGHEST point in that congregation is the swing high. Hope that helped.

Ajay Kumar 1 year ago


Dear sir,,

Do these technical (swing high and swing low) work for commodities trade also like silver gold crude oil etc..??

Prateek Singh
Prateek Singh 1 year ago

Yes they do but make sure it’s a higher timeframe like daily or weekly. Best way is to test on on last 1 year data. Do try using the Newton Method on it, the results maybe pretty good.

Ajay Kumar 1 year ago


Dear Sir,

I am back testing swing high n swing low trade system n results of that are stunning. I have applied it on commodities too, awesome results on daily charts as well as hourly charts. Thank you very much for giving us this knowlege that to without any cost, awesome. God bless you.

If possible sir kindly add some topics on commodities too. Thank u again for such a commendable work. Thank you

Prateek Singh
Prateek Singh 1 year ago

Thank you! We had set our minds when we started that we won’t share anything that does not work. We are so happy you found TA useful. Commodities is not in the picture right now but we are getting alot of requests, are you primarily a commodities trader?