Technical Analysis & Efficient Market Hypothesis Essay Sample
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Technical Analysis & Efficient Market Hypothesis Essay Sample
In finance, technical analysis is a security analysis discipline used for forecasting the direction of prices through the study of past market data, primarily price and volume. Behavioral economics and quantitative analysis use many of the same tools of technical analysis, which, being an aspect of active management, stands in contradiction to much of modern portfolio theory. The efficacy of both technical and analysis is disputed by efficient-market hypothesis which states that stock market prices are essentially unpredictable.
The principles of technical analysis are derived from hundreds of years of financial markets data. Some aspects of technical analysis began to appear in Joseph de la Vega’s accounts of the Dutch markets in the 17th century. In Asia, technical analysis is said to be a method developed by Homma Munehisa during early 18th century which evolved into the use of candlestick techniques, and is today a technical analysis charting tool. In the 1920s and 1930s Richard W. Schabacker published several books which continued the work of Charles Dow and William Peter Hamilton in their books Stock Market Theory and Practice and Technical Market Analysis. In 1948 Robert D. Edwards and John Magee published Technical Analysis of Stock Trends which is widely considered to be one of the seminal works of the discipline. It is exclusively concerned with trend analysis and chart patterns and remains in use to the present.
As is obvious, early technical analysis was almost exclusively the analysis of charts, because the processing power of computers was not available for statistical analysis. Charles Dow reportedly originated a form of point and figure chart analysis. Dow Theory is based on the collected writings of Dow Jones co-founder and editor Charles Dow, and inspired the use and development of modern technical analysis at the end of the 19th century. Other pioneers of analysis techniques include Ralph Nelson Elliott, William Delbert Gann and Richard who developed their respective techniques in the early 20th century. More technical tools and theories have been developed and enhanced in recent decades, with an increasing emphasis on computer-assisted techniques using specially designed computer software.
While fundamental analysts examine earnings, dividends, new products, and research. Technicians also employ many techniques, one of which is the use of charts. Using charts, technical analysts seek to identify price patterns and market trends in financial markets and attempt to exploit those patterns. Technicians use various methods and tools, the study of price charts is but one. Technicians using charts search for archetypal price chart patterns, such as the well-known head and shoulders or double top/bottom reversal patterns, study indicators, moving, and look for forms such as lines of support, resistance, channels, and more obscure formations such as flags, pennants, balance days and handle patterns. Technical analysts also widely use market indicators of many sorts, some of which are mathematical transformations of price, often including up and down volume, advance/decline data and other inputs. These indicators are used to help assess whether an asset is trending, and if it is, the probability of its direction and of continuation. Technicians also look for relationships between price/volume indices and market indicators. Examples include the relative strength index, and MACD. Other avenues of study include correlations between changes in Options (implied volatility) and put/call ratios with price.
Also important are sentiment indicators such as Put/Call ratios, bull/bear ratios, short interest, Implied Volatility, etc. There are many techniques in technical analysis. Adherents of different techniques (for example, candlestick charting, Dow Theory, and Elliott wave theory) may ignore the other approaches, yet many traders combine elements from more than one technique. Some technical analysts use subjective judgment to decide which pattern(s) a particular instrument reflects at a given time and what the interpretation of that pattern should be. Others employ a strictly mechanical or systematic approach to pattern identification and interpretation. Technical analysis is frequently contrasted with fundamental analysis, the study of economic factors that influence the way investor’s price financial markets. Technical analysis holds that prices already reflect all such trends before investors are aware of them. Uncovering those trends is what technical indicators are designed to do, imperfect as they may be. Fundamental indicators are subject to the same limitations, naturally. Some traders use technical or fundamental analysis exclusively, while others use both types to make trading decisions.
In my project I have not only explained how to read the technicals of the market but have also explained how to play the upcoming news and results to make INDIAN retail investors understand the market sentiments and transforms them from an average trader into a market analyst. Let me give you some quick examples to help you understand the market sentiments and understand Support and Resistance levels. Example 1: Nifty
Let us look at the Nifty chart for last 6 months of 2011.
Nifty 6 Months Daily Chart – Support & Resistance levels
I have marked few pivot points on the chart. Green arrow (i.e. level of 5600) is where market makes small bounce after a sharp downfall from levels of 6200. Once the level of 5600 is broken, we see how it acts as a very strong resistance level for the market and Nifty reverses from the same 5600 level 4 times. Now let us look at Nifty chart for slightly longer time frame (Say 1 year) to judge the market trend.
Nifty 1 Year Daily Chart – Understanding Market Trend
We see Nifty is in a down trend. We know the resistance level for Nifty from the 6 months charts. This helps trading in Nifty with lot more conviction along the trend and profit from it. Nothing rocket science but just simple tricks to trade with conviction and profit from it. Example 2: Nestle India
Nestle India 1 Year Daily Chart – Support and Resistance Levels
Like the previous example, here also I have marked few pivot points to understand support and resistance levels for the stock. Nestle India bounces twice from levels of 3200 clearly suggesting strong support levels and needless to say 4200 acts as a very strong resistance for the stock. The point when 4200 is taken out clearly suggesting break out pattern, perfect for getting into the stock.
Technical analysis employs models and trading rules based on price and volume transformations, such as the relative strength index, moving averages, regressions, inter-market and intra-market price correlations, business cycles, stock market cycles or, classically, through recognition of chart patterns. Technical analysis stands in contrast to the fundamental analysis approach to security and stock analysis. Technical analysis analyzes price, volume and other market information, whereas fundamental analysis looks at the facts of the company, market, currency or commodity. Most large brokerage, trading group, or financial institutions will typically have both a technical analysis and fundamental analysis team. Technical analysis is widely used among traders and financial professionals and is very often used by active day traders, market makers and pit traders. In the 1960s and 1970s it was widely dismissed by academics. In a recent review, Irwin and Park reported that 56 of 95 modern studies found that it produces positive results but noted that many of the positive results were rendered dubious by issues such as data snooping, so that the evidence in support of technical analysis was inconclusive; it is still considered by many academics to be pseudoscience.
Academics such as Eugene Fama say the evidence for technical analysis is sparse and is inconsistent with the weak form of the efficient-market hypothesis. Users hold that even if technical analysis cannot predict the future, it helps to identify trading opportunities. In the foreign exchange markets, its use may be more widespread than fundamental analysis. This does not mean technical analysis is more applicable to foreign markets, but that technical analysis is more recognized as to its efficacy there than elsewhere. While some isolated studies have indicated that technical trading rules might lead to consistent returns in the period prior to 1987, most academic work has focused on the nature of the anomalous position of the foreign exchange market. It is speculated that this anomaly is due to central bank intervention, which obviously technical analysis is not designed to predict. Recent research suggests that combining various trading signals into a Combined Signal Approach may be able to increase profitability and reduce dependence on any single rule.
A fundamental principle of technical analysis is that a market’s price reflects all relevant information, so their analysis looks at the history of a security’s trading pattern rather than external drivers such as economic, fundamental and news events. Therefore, price action would also tend to repeat itself due many investors collectively tend toward patterned behavior – hence technicians’ focus on identifiable trends and conditions.
Market action discounts everything
Based on the premise that all relevant information is already reflected by prices, technical analysts believe it is important to understand what investors think of that information, known and perceived.
Prices move in trends
Technical analysts believe that prices trend directionally, i.e., up, down, or sideways (flat) or some combination. The basic definition of a price trend was originally put forward by Dow Theory. An example of a security that had an apparent trend is AOL (America Online) from November 2001 through August 2002. A technical analyst or trend follower recognizing this trend would look for opportunities to sell this security. AOL consistently moves downward in price. Each time the stock rose, sellers would enter the market and sell the stock; hence the “zigzag” movement in the price. The series of “lower highs” and “lower lows” is a tell tale sign of a stock in a down trend. In other words, each time the stock moved lower, it fell below its previous relative low price. Each time the stock moved higher, it could not reach the level of its previous relative high price. Note that the sequence of lower lows and lower highs did not begin until August. Then AOL makes a low price that does not pierce the relative low set earlier in the month. Later in the same month, the stock makes a relative high equal to the most recent relative high. In this a technician sees strong indications that the down trend is at least pausing and possibly ending, and would likely
stop actively selling the stock at that point.
History tends to repeat itself
Technical analysts believe that investors collectively repeat the behavior of the investors that preceded them. To a technician, the emotions in the market may be irrational, but they exist. Because investor behavior repeats itself so often, technicians believe that recognizable (and predictable) price patterns will develop on a chart. Technical analysis is not limited to charting, but it always considers price trends. For example, many technicians monitor surveys of investor sentiment. These surveys gauge the attitude of market participants, specifically whether they are bearish or bullish. Technicians use these surveys to help determine whether a trend will continue or if a reversal could develop; they are most likely to anticipate a change when the surveys report extreme investor sentiment surveys that show overwhelming bullishness, for example, are evidence that an uptrend may reverse; the premise being that if most investors are bullish they have already bought the market (anticipating higher prices).
And because most investors are bullish and invested, one assumes that few buyers remain. This leaves more potential sellers than buyers, despite the bullish sentiment. This suggests that prices will trend down, and is an example of contrarian trading. Recently, Kim Man Lui, Lun Hu, and Keith C.C. Chan have suggested that there is statistical evidence of association relationships between some of the index composite stocks whereas there is no evidence for such a relationship between some index composite others. They show that the price behavior of these Hang Seng index composite stocks is easier to understand than that of the index.
(Stock chart showing levels of support (4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) and resistance (1, 2, and 3); levels of resistance tend to become levels of support and vice versa.)
The industry is globally represented by the International Federation of Technical Analysts (IFTA), which is a Federation of regional and national organizations. In the United States, the industry is represented by both the Market Technicians Association (MTA) and the American Association of Professional Technical Analysts (AAPTA). The United States is also represented by the Technical Security Analysts Association of San Francisco (TSAASF). In the United Kingdom, the industry is represented by the Society of Technical Analysts (STA). In Canada the industry is represented by the Canadian Society of Technical Analysts. In Australia, the industry is represented by the Australian Professional Technical Analysts (APTA) Inc and the Australian Technical Analysts Association (ATAA). Professional technical analysis societies have worked on creating a body of knowledge that describes the field of Technical Analysis. A body of knowledge is central to the field as a way of defining how and why technical analysis may work. It can then be used by academia, as well as regulatory bodies, in developing proper research and standards for the field. The Market Technicians Association (MTA) has published a body of knowledge, which is the structure for the MTA’s Chartered Market Technician (CMT) exam.
Since the early 1990s when the first practically usable types emerged, artificial neural networks (ANNs) have rapidly grown in popularity. They are artificial intelligence adaptive software systems that have been inspired by how biological neural networks work. They are used because they can learn to detect complex patterns in data. In mathematical terms, they are universal function approximates, meaning that given the right data and configured correctly; they can capture and model any input-output relationships. This not only removes the need for human interpretation of charts or the series of rules for generating entry/exit signals, but also provides a bridge to fundamental analysis, as the variables used in fundamental analysis can be used as input.
As ANNs are essentially non-linear statistical models, their accuracy and prediction capabilities can be both mathematically and empirically tested. In various studies, authors have claimed that neural networks used for generating trading signals given various technical and fundamental inputs have significantly outperformed buy-hold strategies as well as traditional linear technical analysis methods when combined with rule-based expert systems. While the advanced mathematical nature of such adaptive systems has kept neural networks for financial analysis mostly within academic research circles, in recent years more user friendly neural network software has made the technology more accessible to traders. However, large-scale application is problematic because of the problem of matching the correct neural topology to the market being studied. Back testing
Systematic trading is most often employed after testing an investment strategy on historic data. This is known as back testing. Back testing is most often performed for technical indicators, but can be applied to most investment strategies (e.g. fundamental analysis). While traditional back testing was done by hand, this was usually only performed on human-selected stocks, and was thus prone to prior knowledge in stock selection. With the advent of computers, back testing can be performed on entire exchanges over decades of historic data in very short amounts of time. The use of computers does have its drawbacks, being limited to algorithms that a computer can perform. Several trading strategies rely on human interpretation, and are unsuitable for computer processing. Only technical indicators which are entirely algorithmic can be programmed for computerized automated back testing.
COMBINATION WITH OTHER MARKET FORECAST METHOD
John Murphy states that the principal sources of information available to technicians are price, volume and open interest. Other data, such as indicators and sentiment analysis, are considered secondary. However, many technical analysts reach outside pure technical analysis, combining other market forecast methods with their technical work. One advocate for this approach is John Bollinger, who coined the term rational analysis in the middle 1980s for the intersection of technical analysis and fundamental analysis. Another such approach, fusion analysis, overlays fundamental analysis with technical, in an attempt to improve portfolio manager performance. Technical analysis is also often combined with quantitative analysis and economics. For example, neural networks may be used to help identify inter market relationships. A few market forecasters combine financial astrology with technical analysis. Chris Carolan’s article “Autumn Panics and Calendar Phenomenon”, which won the Market Technicians Association Dow Award for best technical analysis paper in 1998, demonstrates how technical analysis and lunar cycles can be combined. Calendar phenomena, such as the January in the stock market, are generally believed to be caused by tax and accountings related transactions, and are not related to the subject of financial astrology. Investor and newsletter polls, and magazine cover sentiment indicators, are also used by technical analysts.
Whether technical analysis actually works is a matter of controversy. Methods vary greatly, and different technical analysts can sometimes make contradictory predictions from the same data. Many investors claim that they experience positive returns, but academic appraisals often find that it has little predictive power. Of 95 modern studies, 56 concluded that technical analysis had positive results, although data-snooping bias and other problems make the analysis difficult. Nonlinear prediction using neural networks occasionally produces statistically significant prediction results. A Federal Reserve working paper regarding support and resistance levels in short-term foreign exchange rates “offers strong evidence that the levels help to predict intraday trend interruptions,” although the “predictive power” of those levels was “found to vary across the exchange rates and firms examined”. Technical trading strategies were found to be effective in the Chinese marketplace by a recent study that states, “Finally, we find significant positive returns on buy trades generated by the contrarian version of the moving-average crossover rule, the channel breakout rule, and the Bollinger band trading rule, after accounting for transaction costs of 0.50 percent.”
An influential 1992 study by Brock et al. which appeared to find support for technical trading rules was tested for data snooping and other problems in 1999; the sample covered by Brock et al. was robust to data snooping. Subsequently, a comprehensive study of the question by Amsterdam economist Gerwin Griffioen concludes that: “for the U.S., Japanese and most Western European stock market indices the recursive out-of-sample forecasting procedure does not show to be profitable, after implementing little transaction costs. Moreover, for sufficiently high transaction costs it is found, by estimating CAPMs, that technical trading shows no statistically significant risk-corrected out-of-sample forecasting power for almost all of the stock market indices.”Transaction costs are particularly applicable to “momentum strategies”; a comprehensive 1996 review of the data and studies concluded that even small transaction costs would lead to an inability to capture any excess from such strategies.
In a paper published in the Journal of Finance, Dr. Andrew W. Lo, director MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering, working with Harry Mamaysky and Jiang Wang found that” Technical analysis, also known as “charting,” has been a part of financial practice for many decades, but this discipline has not received the same level of academic scrutiny and acceptance as more traditional approaches such as fundamental analysis. One of the main obstacles is the highly subjective nature of technical analysis – the presence of geometric shapes in historical price charts is often in the eyes of the beholder. In this paper, we propose a systematic and automatic approach to technical pattern recognition using nonparametric kernel regression, and apply this method to a large number of U.S. stocks from 1962 to 1996 to evaluate the effectiveness of technical analysis.
By comparing the unconditional empirical distribution of daily stock returns to the conditional distribution – conditioned on specific technical indicators such as head-and-shoulders or double-bottoms – we find that over the 31-year sample period, several technical indicators do provide incremental information and may have some practical value. In that same paper Dr. Lo wrote that “several academic studies suggest that … technical analysis may well be an effective means for extracting useful information from market prices.” Some techniques such as Drummond Geometry attempt to overcome the past data bias by projecting support and resistance levels from differing time frames into the near-term future and combining that with reversion to the mean techniques.
TICKER TAPE READING
In recent decades with the popularity of PCs and later the internet, and through them, the electronic trading, the chart analysis became the main and most popular branch of technical analysis. But it is not the only one branch of this type of analysis. One very popular form of technical analysis until the mid-1960s was the “tape reading”. It was consisted in reading the market information as price, volume, orders size, speed, conditions, bids for buying and selling, etc.; printed in a paper strip which ran through a machine called a stock ticker. It was sent to the brokerage houses and to the homes and offices of most active speculators. Such a system fell into disuse with the advent in the late 60’s, of the electronic panels.
Another form of technical analysis used so far was via interpretation of stock market data contained in quotation boards, that in the times before electronic screens, were huge chalkboards located into the stock exchanges, with data of the main financial assets listed on exchanges for analysis of their movements. It was manually updated with chalk, with the updates regarding some of these data being transmitted to environments outside of exchanges (such as brokerage houses, bucket shops, etc.) via the aforementioned tape, telegraph, telephone and later telex. This analysis tool was used both, on the spot, mainly by market professionals for day trading and scalping, as well as by general public through the printed versions in newspapers showing the data of the negotiations of the previous day, for swing and position trades. Despite to continue appearing in print in newspapers, as well as computerized versions in some websites, analysis via quotation board is another form of technical analysis that has fallen into disuse by the majority.
EFFICIENT MARKET HYPOTHESIS
Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) is a theory, which states that in any given time, the prices on the market already reflect all known information, and also change fast to reflect new information. Therefore, no one could outperform the market by using the same information that is already available to all investors, except through luck. The efficient-market hypothesis (EMH) contradicts the basic tenets of technical analysis by stating that past prices cannot be used to profitably predict future prices. Thus it holds that technical analysis cannot be effective. Economist Eugene Fama published the seminal paper on the EMH in the Journal of Finance in 1970, and said “In short, the evidence in support of the efficient markets model is extensive, and (somewhat uniquely in economics) contradictory evidence is sparse.” Technicians say that EMH ignores the way markets work, in that many investors base their expectations on past earnings or track record, for example. Because future stock prices can be strongly influenced by investor expectations, technicians claim it only follows that past prices influence future prices. They also point to research in the field of behavioral finance, specifically that people are not the rational participants EMH makes them out to be.
Technicians have long said that irrational human behavior influences stock prices, and that this behavior leads to predictable outcomes. Author David Aronson says that the theory of behavioral finance blends with the practice of technical analysis: By considering the impact of emotions, cognitive errors, irrational preferences, and the dynamics of group behavior, behavioral finance offers succinct explanations of excess market volatility as well as the excess returns earned by stale information strategies. Cognitive errors may also explain the existence of market inefficiencies that spawn the systematic price movements that allow objective TA [technical analysis] methods to work. EMH advocates reply that while individual market participants do not always act rationally (or have complete information), their aggregate decisions balance each other, resulting in a rational outcome (optimists who buy stock and bid the price higher are countered by pessimists who sell their stock, which keeps the price in equilibrium). Likewise, complete information is reflected in the price because all market participants bring their own individual, but incomplete, knowledge together in the market. In finance, the efficient-market hypothesis (EMH) asserts that financial markets are “informationally efficient”.
In consequence of this, one cannot consistently achieve returns in excess of average market returns on a risk-adjusted basis, given the information available at the time the investment is made. There are three major versions of the hypothesis: “weak”, “semi-strong”, and “strong”. The weak-form EMH claims that prices on traded assets (e.g.,stocks, bonds, or property) already reflect all past publicly available information. The semi-strong-form EMH claims both that prices reflect all publicly available information and that prices instantly change to reflect new public information. The strong-form EMH additionally claims that prices instantly reflect even hidden or “insider” information. Critics have blamed the belief in rational markets for much of the late-2000s financial crisis. In response, proponents of the hypothesis have stated that market efficiency does not mean having no uncertainty about the future, that market efficiency is a simplification of the world which may not always hold true, and that the market is practically efficient for investment purposes for most individuals. HISTORY
The efficient-market hypothesis emerged as a prominent theory in the mid-1960s. Paul Samuelson had begun to circulate Bachelier’s work among economists. In 1964 Bachelier’s dissertation along with the empirical studies mentioned above were published in an anthology edited by Paul Cootner. In 1965 Eugene Fama published his dissertation arguing for the random walk hypothesis, and Samuelson published a proof for a version of the efficient-market hypothesis. In 1970 Fama published a review of both the theory and the evidence for the hypothesis. The paper extended and refined the theory, included the definitions for three forms of financial market efficiency: weak, semi-strong and strong. It has been argued that the stock market is “micro efficient” but not “macro efficient”. Further to this evidence that the UK stock market is weak-form efficient, other studies of capital markets have pointed toward their being semi-strong-form efficient.
A study by Khan of the grain futures market indicated semi-strong form efficiency following the release of large trader position information (Khan, 1986). Studies by Firth (1976, 1979, and 1980) in the United Kingdom have compared the share prices existing after a takeover announcement with the bid offer. Firth found that the share prices were fully and instantaneously adjusted to their correct levels, thus concluding that the UK stock market was semi-strong-form efficient. However, the market’s ability to efficiently respond to a short term, widely publicized event such as a takeover announcement does not necessarily prove market efficiency related to other more long term, amorphous factors. David Dreman has criticized the evidence provided by this instant “efficient” response, pointing out that an immediate response is not necessarily efficient, and that the long-term performances of the stock in response to certain movements are better indications.
Beyond the normal utility maximizing agents, the efficient-market hypothesis requires that agents have rational expectations; that on average the population is correct (even if no one person is) and whenever new relevant information appears, the agents update their expectations appropriately. Note that it is not required that the agents be rational. EMH allows that when faced with new information, some investors may overreact and some may underreact. All that is required by the EMH is that investors’ reactions be random and follow a normal distribution pattern so that the net effect on market prices cannot be reliably exploited to make an abnormal profit, especially when considering transaction costs (including commissions and spreads). Thus, any one person can be wrong about the market—indeed, everyone can be—but the market as a whole is always right. There are three common forms in which the efficient-market hypothesis is commonly stated—weak-form efficiency, semi-strong-form efficiency and strong-form efficiency, each of which has different implications for how markets work.
In weak-form efficiency, future prices cannot be predicted by analyzing prices from the past. Excess returns cannot be earned in the long run by using investment strategies based on historical share prices or other historical data. Technical analysis techniques will not be able to consistently produce excess returns, though some forms of fundamental analysis may still provide excess returns. Share prices exhibit no serial dependencies, meaning that there are no “patterns” to asset prices. This implies that future price movements are determined entirely by information not contained in the price series. Hence, prices must follow a random walk. This ‘soft’ EMH does not require that prices remain at or near equilibrium, but only that market participants not be able to systematically profit from market ‘inefficiencies’. However, while EMH predicts that all price movement (in the absence of change in fundamental information) is random (i.e., non-trending), many studies have shown a marked tendency for the stock markets to trend over time periods of weeks or longer and that, moreover, there is a positive correlation between degree of trending and length of time period studied (but note that over long time periods, the trending is sinusoidal in appearance). Various explanations for such large and apparently non-random price movements have been promulgated.
The problem of algorithmically constructing prices which reflect all available information has been studied extensively in the field of computer science. For example, the complexity of finding the arbitrage opportunities in pair betting markets has been shown to be NP-hard. In semi-strong-form efficiency, it is implied that share prices adjust to publicly available new information very rapidly and in an unbiased fashion, such that no excess returns can be earned by trading on that information. Semi-strong-form efficiency implies that neither fundamental analysis nor technical analysis techniques will be able to reliably produce excess returns. To test for semi-strong-form efficiency, the adjustments to previously unknown news must be of a reasonable size and must be instantaneous. To test for this, consistent upward or downward adjustments after the initial change must be looked for.
If there are any such adjustments it would suggest that investors had interpreted the information in a biased fashion and hence in an inefficient manner. In strong-form efficiency, share prices reflect all information, public and private, and no one can earn excess returns. If there are legal barriers to private information becoming public, as with insider trading laws, strong-form efficiency is impossible, except in the case where the laws are universally ignored. To test for strong-form efficiency, a market needs to exist where investors cannot consistently earn excess returns over a long period of time. Even if some money managers are consistently observed to beat the market, no refutation even of strong-form efficiency follows: with hundreds of thousands of fund managers worldwide, even a normal distribution of returns (as efficiency predicts) should be expected to produce a few dozen “star” performers.
LATE 2000s FINANCIAL CRISIS
The financial crisis of 2007–2012 has led to renewed scrutiny and criticism of the hypothesis. Market strategist Jeremy Grantham has stated flatly that the EMH is responsible for the current financial crisis, claiming that belief in the hypothesis caused financial leaders to have a “chronic underestimation of the dangers of asset bubbles breaking”. Noted financial journalist Roger Lowenstein blasted the theory, declaring “The upside of the current Great Recession is that it could drive a stake through the heart of the academic nostrum known as the efficient-market hypothesis.” Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker chimed in, saying it’s “clear that among the causes of the recent financial crisis was an unjustified faith in rational expectations [and] market efficiencies.” At the International Organization of Securities Commissions annual conference, held in June 2009, the hypothesis took center stage. Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator for the Financial Times, dismissed the hypothesis as being a useless way to examine how markets function in reality. Paul McCulley, managing director of PIMCO, was less extreme in his criticism, saying that the hypothesis had not failed, but was “seriously flawed” in its neglect of human nature.
The financial crisis has led Richard Posner, a prominent judge, University of Chicago law professor, and innovator in the field of Law and Economics, to back away from the hypothesis and express some degree of belief in Keynesian economics. Posner accused some of his Chicago School colleagues of being “asleep at the switch”, saying that “the movement to deregulate the financial industry went too far by exaggerating the resilience – the self healing powers – of laissez-faire capitalism.” Others, such as Fama himself, said that the hypothesis held up well during the crisis and that the markets were a casualty of the recession, not the cause of it. Despite this, Fama has conceded that “poorly informed investors could theoretically lead the market astray” and that stock prices could become “somewhat irrational” as a result. Critics have suggested that financial institutions and corporations have been able to reduce the efficiency of financial markets by creating private information and reducing the accuracy of conventional disclosures, and by developing new and complex products which are challenging for most market participants to evaluate and correctly price.
Finally we can conclude that the Technical analysis is a methodology to assist you in deciding the timing of investments, which is very vital to make wise investment decisions. The technical analysis is based on the assumption that history tends to repeat itself in the stock exchange. If a certain pattern of activity has in the past produced certain results nine out of ten, one can assume a strong likelihood of the same outcome whenever this pattern appears in the future. However technical analysis lacks a strictly logical explanation. Technical Analysis is the study of the internal stock exchange information and not of those external factors which are reflected in the stock market. All the relevant factors, whatever they may be can be reduced to the volume of the stock exchange transactions and the level of share price or more generally, the sum of the statistical information produced by the market. Few of the most commonly used technical analysis methods for share market Trading are Japanese Candlestick (most powerful stock charting method), Price Curves, Trend Lines, High Low Charts and Moving averages. CHART PATTERNS
There are four main types of charts that are used by investors and traders depending on the information that they are seeking and their individual skill levels. The chart types are: the line chart, the bar chart, the candlestick chart and the point and figure chart.
The most basic of the four charts is the line chart because it represents only the closing prices over a set period of time. The line is formed by connecting the closing prices over the time frame. Line charts do not provide visual information of the trading range for the individual points such as the high, low and opening prices. However, the closing price is often considered to be the most important price in stock data compared to the high and low for the day and this is why it is the only value used in line charts. Penny Stock of the Day
Figure 1: A line chart|
The bar chart expands on the line chart by adding several more key pieces of information to each data point. The chart is made up of a series of vertical lines that represent each data point. This vertical line represents the high and low for the trading period, along with the closing price. The close and open are represented on the vertical line by a horizontal dash. The opening price on a bar chart is illustrated by the dash that is located on the left side of the vertical bar. Conversely, the close is represented by the dash on the right. Generally, if the left dash (open) is lower than the right dash (close) then the bar will be shaded black, representing an up period for the stock, which means it has gained value. A bar that is colored red signals that the stock has gone down in value over that period. When this is the case, the dash on the right (close) is lower than the dash on the left (open).
Figure 2: A bar chart
The candlestick chart is similar to a bar chart, but it differs in the way that it is visually constructed. Similar to the bar chart, the candlestick also has a thin vertical line showing the period’s trading range. The difference comes in the formation of a wide bar on the vertical line, which illustrates the difference between the open and close. And, like bar charts, candlesticks also rely heavily on the use of colors to explain what has happened during the trading period. A major problem with the candlestick color configuration, however, is that different sites use different standards; therefore, it is important to understand the candlestick configuration used at the chart site you are working with. There are two color constructs for days up and one for days that the price falls. When the price of the stock is up and closes above the opening trade, the candlestick will usually be white or clear. If the stock has traded down for the period, then the candlestick will usually be red or black, depending on the site. If the stock’s price has closed above the previous day’s close but below the day’s open, the candlestick will be black or filled with the color that is used to indicate an up day.
Figure 3: A candlestick chart|
Point and Figure Charts
The point and figure chart is not well known or used by the average investor but it has had a long history of use dating back to the first technical traders. This type of chart reflects price movements and is not as concerned about time and volume in the formulation of the points. The point and figure chart removes the noise, or insignificant price movements, in the stock, which can distort traders’ views of the price trends. These types of charts also try to neutralize the skewing effect that time has on chart analysis.
Figure 4: A point and figure chart|
When first looking at a point and figure chart, you will notice a series of Xs and Os. The Xs represent upward price trends and the Os represent downward price trends. There are also numbers and letters in the chart; these represent months, and give investors an idea of the date. Each box on the chart represents the price scale, which adjusts depending on the price of the stock: the higher the stock’s price the more each box represents. On most charts where the price is between $20 and $100, a box represents $1, or 1 point for the stock. The other critical point of a point and figure chart is the reversal criteria. This is usually set at three but it can also be set according to the chartist’s discretion. The reversal criteria set how much the price has to move away from the high or low in the price trend to create a new trend or, in other words, how much the price has to move in order for a column of Xs to become a column of Os, or vice versa. When the price trend has moved from one trend to another, it shifts to the right, signaling a trend change.
Charts are one of the most fundamental aspects of technical analysis. It is important that you clearly understand what is being shown on a chart and the information that it provides. Now that we have an idea of how charts are constructed, we can move on to the different types of chart patterns.
* http://www.sfomag.com/departmentprintdetail.asp?ID=1776333475 * http://www.technicalanalysisofstocks.in/
* http://stockcharts.com/school/doku.php?id=chart_school:overview:technical_analysis * http://www.tradersedgeindia.com/basics_technical_analysis.htm
* Reminiscences of a Stock Operator; With new Commentary and Insights on the Life and Times of Jesse Livermore – By Edwin * Algorithm Design – By Kleinberg
* “Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work”, The Journal of Finance – By Eugene Fama * Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets – By Murphy, John J * Technical Analysis: The Complete Resource for Financial Market Technicians – By Kirkpatrick and Dahlquist
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