volume : main force behind major market moves

BINANCE:BTCUSDT   Bitcoin / TetherUS
Volume is one piece of information that is often neglected, however, learning to interpret volume brings many advantages and could be of tremendous help when it comes to analyzing the markets. In addition to technicians, fundamental investors also take notice of the numbers of shares traded for a given security.

Volume analysis can help to confirm the existence, or a continuation, of a trend - If trading volume increases, prices generally move in the same direction - or trend reversal - If there is no relationship between the trading volume and the price of a security, this signals weakness in the current trend and a possible reversal.

Essentially, trading volume can legitimize a security's price action, which can then aid an investor in their decision to either buy or sell that security.

So let’s begin by having a closer look at what volume is and how it can help traders!

What is Volume?
The volume represents all the recorded trades for a security that occurs in a given time interval. It is a measurement of the participation, enthusiasm, and interest in a given security. Think of volume as the force that drives the market. Volume substantiates, energizes, and empowers price. When volume increases, it confirms price direction; when volume decreases, it contradicts price direction.
In theory, increases in volume generally precede significant price movements. However, If the price is rising in an uptrend but the volume is reducing or unchanged, it may show that there’s little interest in the security, and the price may reverse.
A high volume usually indicates more interest in the security and the presence of institutional traders. However, a rapidly rising price in an uptrend accompanied by a huge volume may be a sign of exhaustion.
Traders usually look for breaks of support and resistance to enter positions. When security break critical levels without volume, you should consider the breakout suspect and prime for a reversal off the highs/lows
Volume spikes are often the result of news-driven events. Volume spike will often lead to sharp reversals since the moves are unsustainable due to the imbalance of supply and demand

Important note: there’s no centralized exchange where trades are recorded, so the volume data represents what happens at a particular exchange only

In most charting platforms, the volume indicator, one of the oldest market indicator, is presented as color-coded bars, green if the security closes up and red if the security closed lower, where the height of the bars show the amount of the recorded trades. Additionally, there are many custom studies, available on trading platforms as it is the case for @TradingView, where the volume information is presented with added additional insight, such as adding volume moving average, presenting relative volume with four colored histogram

What Else?

Apart from the volume itself, your ability to assess what volume is telling you in conjunction with price action can be a key factor in your ability to turn a profit in the market. It makes little sense to analyze the volume alone. To correctly interpret the volume data, it shall be seen in the light of what the price is doing. there are a lot of other indicators that are based on the volume data as well as price action. Analyzing those volume indicators has always helped traders and investors to better understand what is happening in the market. Here are some of the commonly used volume indicators:

• On Balance Volume
• Money Flow Index
• Chaikin Money Flow

On Balance Volume
The On Balance Volume indicator, is a technical analysis indicator that relates volume flow to changes in a security’s price. It uses a cumulative total of positive and negative trading volume to predict the direction of price. The OBV is a volume-based momentum oscillator, so it is a leading indicator — it changes direction before the price

Granville, creator of OBV, proposed the theory that changes in volume precede price movements in a measurable way. He believed that volume was the main force behind major market moves and thought of OBV’s prediction of price changes as a compressed spring that expands rapidly when released.

It is believed that the OBV shows the interactions between the institutional and retail traders in the market

If the price makes a new high, the OBV should also make a new high. If the OBV makes a lower high when the price makes a higher high, there’s a classical bearish divergence — indicating that only the retail traders are buying. Another type of bearish divergence occurs when the price remains relatively quiet and fails to make a higher high but the OBV soars higher than the previous high — indicating that the institutional traders are accumulating short positions. On the other hand, if the price makes a lower low and the OBV makes a higher low, there is a classical bullish divergence, showing that the institutional traders don’t believe in that move

Money Flow Index
The Money Flow Index indicator (MFI) is a tool used in technical analysis for measuring buying and selling pressure. This is done through analyzing both price and volume. When the MFI rises, this indicates an increase in buying pressure. When it falls, this indicates an increase in selling pressure. The Money Flow Index can generate several signals, most notably: overbought and oversold conditions, divergences, and failure swings
The MFI is essentially the RSI with the added aspect of volume

Chaikin Money Flow
The Chaikin Money Flow indicator (CMF) is a volume indicator that measures the money flow volume over a chosen period. The money flow volume is a measure of the volume and where the price closed relative to the trading session’s range. It comes from the idea that buying pressure is indicated by a rising volume and recurrent closes in the upper part of the session’s price range while selling pressure is demonstrated by an increasing volume and repeated closes in the lower part of the price range.
Both buying and selling pressures are accompanied by an increase in volume, but the location of the closing prices are in accordance with the direction of price

There are many others, that you may be interested to check further
• Price-Volume Trend (PVT)
• Volume Price Confirmation Indicator (VPCI), Dormeier’s awarded study
• Ease of movement
• Accumulation/distribution, base for Chaikin Money Flow
• Volume-Weighted Average Price
• Volume-Weighted Price Bars, present if price movements are supported by Volume

• …

Additional example custom studies to the one presented with the idea

Volume analysis is very important to traders and investors. There are numerous volume indicators out there, but we have discussed some of the commonest ones. Study them and add them to your analysis tools to improve your trading.