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joshdance

The Close of a Bar is Meaningless

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Mitsubishi - very true.

I once dared to ask about a famous persons indicators and weather or not the numbers actually stacked up in tests, not as a judgement but out of interest and in terms of the best way to use them. There were two responses.....

 

from himself - no, they were best applied in context and in combination with other things and used only as a helper (plus there was a bit about, these are proprietary indicators that others pay a lot for etc)

 

from his followers - I was burned at the stake for even suggesting such heresy. (This was on an open chat room on Bloomberg - so one might think there was some level of professionalism there...but no.)

 

Needless to say I took the developers advice and used them as he suggested - his followers however I decided to steer well clear of as they clearly assigned a lot of meaning to something even the developer suggested you dont. :)

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Hi yom,

 

The forum is mostly self-moderated by the members to prevent spammers, etc. New member posts are also moderated for this purpose.

 

thanks,

MMS

 

 

I understand Thanks MMS, just need to get some content on board is all :)

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It has been my experience that not only is the close significant, but since the markets are fractal, the close of the bars, on every time frame is significant.

 

A good example would be the appearance of a bear doji or hammer (open and close are at or near the bottom of the bar) above the upper Bollinger Band in a bull market. I have rarely ever seen the market do anything but go down after these post.

 

It does not matter what time frame you are looking at. You will see a price drop at least to the 4 bar moving average. Often the price will drop all the way to the 18 bar MA.

 

Now, on the 3 minute chart, that may be a trend change that takes us all the way to the lower bollinger band as well. The same move on the 10 minute chart, you may find a less significant fluctuation, the 30 minute might reflect it as nothing more than a correction, and you quite possibly won't see it as anything more than a stall in price movement before the bull trend resumes on the daily chart, but the move still occurred just the same. It just wasn't enough to make money trading it.

 

Now, if this same pattern appears on the weekly chart, you might be able to look forward to a months worth of short selling. It will still move from where it is, down each level, and possibly all the way to the lower BB though, same as when you see it on the 3 minute chart. It's just has more room to move on the weekly chart.

 

Either way, the close near the bottom of the bar, in this case means something significant.

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JD,

 

I admire your adherence to statistical proof but its tough to debate something using logic if your counter argument is always - where is your statistical proof? I could ask you the same thing - where is your statistical proof that closes don't matter? If you or I did have proof we could then enter debates as the validity of the proof.

 

As for VSA I am not trying to label it the holy grail. It just represents a proven trading style which heavily relies on the close of bars. There are VSA traders trading everything from 2 minute charts to dailies. There are plenty of ways to skin a cat and be a winning trader but I can't think of one that doesn't take the close of a bar into consideration.

 

A single bar means nothing in isolation. A single close cannot either. We need a series of data points to make meaning out of anything in trading. Inferences can start being made as soon as there are two bars or two closes.

 

The close is like a little sample of price and time. Its a snapshot at regular intervals. I doubt these snapshots can tell a radically different story if the shot is at 1:10 instead of 1:00. I haven't bothered to prove this but I see no reason to test this belief. Like you said what I am doing works for me.

 

As for when you should set your 4 hour time bars in the 24 hour forex market - there is a logical choice. On Sundays the spot forex market opens at 5 pm eastern time. This is the logical place to start 4 hour bars as you will have no partial bars on your chart. Its also most likely what the pros do.

 

Lastly, as to why VSA traders are trading spot forex when there is only tick volume available. Its because tick volume is highly correlated to contract volume. This can be verified by putting a chart of the spot FX market up next to the futures contract. There is even a possibility that the spot forex tick data is more accurate than the CME data for the purposes of VSA. The spot market has much greater liquidity than the futures market and this shows up in the tick volume. Spot forex allows much smaller trade sizes which is beneficial to any new trader.

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Josh,

 

Agree intraday closes are arbitrary but as I said previously daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly closes can sometimes be as well due to buy/sell imbalances and so-called "window dressing".

 

Then the previous close loses any importance once the market re-opens.

 

So that even in a 24 hour market if the opening range fails to sustain the previous closing range that shows that previous close was not accepted.

 

Current price in the here and now and then the new opening price to start a new day/week etc are most important.

 

Sun

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Mitsubishi - very true.

I once dared to ask about a famous persons indicators and weather or not the numbers actually stacked up in tests, not as a judgement but out of interest and in terms of the best way to use them. There were two responses.....

 

from himself - no, they were best applied in context and in combination with other things and used only as a helper (plus there was a bit about, these are proprietary indicators that others pay a lot for etc)

 

from his followers - I was burned at the stake for even suggesting such heresy. (This was on an open chat room on Bloomberg - so one might think there was some level of professionalism there...but no.)

 

Needless to say I took the developers advice and used them as he suggested - his followers however I decided to steer well clear of as they clearly assigned a lot of meaning to something even the developer suggested you dont. :)

 

I don't get to see my brother very often.So we tend to talk for 3-4 hours on the phone once in a while.And he is one of the very few people i've ever known who makes me challenge my own beliefs about things.He said something very interesting to me last time.

Imagine a primitive man on a desert plain.In the distance,through the shimmering heat rising from the ground he sees a shape.He cannot tell from this distance whether the shape is potential food or a potential predator.Should he move towards it because he needs to eat,or should he run away from a potential threat? And then he said that although modern man does not have quite the same situation to face,still,he must live with uncertainty,and he should embrace that uncertainty.And i said to him that embracing uncertainty is very much what trading is about....

Maybe one of the reasons why this thread seems to be so popular is because it is challenging us to re-evaluate how we deal with uncertainty.Nothing we do can make trading less uncertain (the future direction). But if we become certain that something we use is adversely affecting our trading we should change it immediately.

We come to places like this to learn new things,and maybe get feedback on our ideas,but like i said before,we don't appear to be very open minded even when we are doing that.

Would be interesting if joshdance could tell us more about why he started the thread as it relates to his personal trading.

Edited by mitsubishi

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Nope i dont care about closes really,but it is useful infromation i think, i'll generally enter 10 seconds b4 the close im primarily a time trader, price is basically irrelevant, when times up the market will move regardless of price. And when time is up for a large spectrum TF player them current prices will not be seen again for some time IMO

 

Hi yom,could you expand a little bit on this? Very few people talk about time.The close of a "time bar"..if there is such a thing...sounds interesting

I noticed recent high on spx was 55points/55 hours

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I admire your adherence to statistical proof but its tough to debate something using logic if your counter argument is always - where is your statistical proof? I could ask you the same thing - where is your statistical proof that closes don't matter? If you or I did have proof we could then enter debates as the validity of the proof.

 

Just to be clear, I'm not offering proof to why the closing price of an intraday bar is unimportant, because it's just my opinion, thus can have no proof. Yet, I clearly explained why I hold this opinion, and was asking for the same as to your opinion of the opening price being unimportant.

 

I am not a big statistical guy, but when people say things like "it's clear that the activity increases near the end of the hourly bar," and this is relatively easy to test, yet the person doesn't bother to test it, I tend to doubt the validity of the claim, if the person doesn't even believe enough in it to actually test it. An assertion stated as an observation is one thing, but to claim it as truth without offering any evidence is IMO at the root of why so many traders wander aimlessly--they accept as fact what is only in reality conjecture, and then perpetuate that information as truth, when in fact it has no real factual ground to stand on.

 

 

I doubt these snapshots can tell a radically different story if the shot is at 1:10 instead of 1:00.

 

Many here who use the closing price of a bar would probably disagree -- in fact, people will wait 20 seconds for a 5 minute bar to close before doing something, so ten minutes would probably be important to some.

 

As for when you should set your 4 hour time bars in the 24 hour forex market - there is a logical choice. On Sundays the spot forex market opens at 5 pm eastern time.

 

Can you link to a reference for this somewhere? I just searched and found some sites say 6pm, some say 4:15pm, some say 5pm. As there is no centralized exchange, it seems not quite right that all trading begins at one time--this is after all, an interbank market.

 

There is even a possibility that the spot forex tick data is more accurate than the CME data for the purposes of VSA. The spot market has much greater liquidity than the futures market and this shows up in the tick volume.

 

Yes but unfortunately you don't get to see that liquidity; you only get to see what your broker shows you. Perhaps the tick volume is somewhat accurate, but you have no benchmark and no way of knowing real volume. I don't think the CME futures contracts are a good representation either, which is why I stay away from currencies altogether.

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Mitsubishi - very true.

I once dared to ask about a famous persons indicators and weather or not the numbers actually stacked up in tests, not as a judgement but out of interest and in terms of the best way to use them. There were two responses.....

DeMark?

 

(I hate this stupid min 20 characters BS message) there done! :)

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....................................................................

Maybe one of the reasons why this thread seems to be so popular is because it is challenging us to re-evaluate how we deal with uncertainty.Nothing we do can make trading less uncertain (the future direction). But if we become certain that something we use is adversely affecting our trading we should change it immediately.

...........................................................................

 

Excellent comment, I couldn't agree more and that is why I only trust myself with simplicity.

 

I have a suggestion for people to try if they have not tried this exercise before.

 

Switch your chart to one tic and watch what happens ... every bar closes on the high or the low ... watch it for a reasonable period of time over several days and see what comes to mind.

 

I don't know what bar sizes and bar types People are running, or whether they think that the Intraday bar close is useful or useless.

 

But if you want to know the root of the bars you watch then you might find this exercise enlightening.

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Rolling along ...

 

What you will be doing by undertaking this exercise is revealing everything that goes on inside the bar that you have elected as the cornerstone of your trading method.

But you will be seeing it for the first time.

 

Some of you may look at the one tic chart and see nothing ... nothing at all.

Other People may be amazed at the amount of information they have been denying themselves.

 

Some People may be thinking right now that the action is too fast, whilst other People correctly surmise that their synthesized bar must be building at the same speed ... how can it not!

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Excellent comment, I couldn't agree more and that is why I only trust myself with simplicity.

 

I have a suggestion for people to try if they have not tried this exercise before.

 

Switch your chart to one tic and watch what happens ... every bar closes on the high or the low ... watch it for a reasonable period of time over several days and see what comes to mind.

 

I don't know what bar sizes and bar types People are running, or whether they think that the Intraday bar close is useful or useless.

 

But if you want to know the root of the bars you watch then you might find this exercise enlightening.

 

That's interesting.I definately could trade with no chart at all as long as i have daily ohlc with the proviso that i know precisely what time the high and low is printed.Yet i always have a chart available to mainly glance at once i'm happy with my position. (i watch closely when the trade first goes on using a candle chart,as i like to "see" the intial move develop away from my entry.) And my preferred time frame always seems to be the 5 min chart.Sometimes i'll change time frames but i never really feel it helps me.If i want to re-check the bigger picture it will always be a 5 min chart showing the last ten days and once after the close i look at the daily/weekly.

What's interesting about this thread is,as my trading has improved i've settled into a routine (if it 'aint broke don't fix it) I've always felt that this is potentially a problem- habit,i mean.Jury still out.

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Jwas asking for the same as to your opinion of the opening price being unimportant.

 

My opening comment was meant to be a joke. I should have been more clear.

 

I am not a big statistical guy, but when people say things like "it's clear that the activity increases near the end of the hourly bar," and this is relatively easy to test, yet the person doesn't bother to test it, I tend to doubt the validity of the claim, if the person doesn't even believe enough in it to actually test it.

 

I have no idea how to go about testing this. I didn't intend for this to be construed as a statement of fact. If it is true I would classify it as a loose correlation.

 

Many here who use the closing price of a bar would probably disagree -- in fact, people will wait 20 seconds for a 5 minute bar to close before doing something, so ten minutes would probably be important to some.

 

I meant from a VSA standpoint - I think averaged over time you would end up with the same number of trade signals regardless of how you tuned the clock. I can't speak about other modalities but I would guess the same would hold true.

 

Can you link to a reference for this somewhere? I just searched and found some sites say 6pm, some say 4:15pm, some say 5pm. As there is no centralized exchange, it seems not quite right that all trading begins at one time--this is after all, an interbank market.

 

Sure -

Trading Sessions | When Can You Trade Forex? | Learn Forex Trading

Forex Market Hours

Forex Global Market Trading Hours

Forex Trading Hours - Worldwide Forex Trading Times

 

They all say the same thing - Forex market opens on Sunday 5 pm EST (10:00 pm GMT), closes on Friday 5 pm EST

(10:00 pm GMT).

 

The reason why professionals look at 4 hour charts is because it slices the day by session. Asia, Europe and North America each get one 4 our morning bar and 1 4 hour evening bar.

 

Yes but unfortunately you don't get to see that liquidity; you only get to see what your broker shows you. Perhaps the tick volume is somewhat accurate, but you have no benchmark and no way of knowing real volume. I don't think the CME futures contracts are a good representation either, which is why I stay away from currencies altogether.

 

Why do you want to invalidate the futures contract volume? What do you trade? I think while we are challenging everything we know about trading you might consider challenging the notion of precision. Do you really need to know the exact volume figure to trade with volume? Do you need to know the exact price? Is anything this precise in trading? If needed absolute precision in trading people would only trade watching time and sales (some do). For most of us we don't want all the noise. This is why most of us would prefer to look at a 15 minute chart than a 1 minute chart.

Edited by YertleTurtle

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............................................................

What's interesting about this thread is,as my trading has improved i've settled into a routine (if it 'aint broke don't fix it) I've always felt that this is potentially a problem- habit,i mean.Jury still out.

 

This is the catch-22 we all face to some extent or another.

 

On the one hand we strive for consistency and results and on the other hand we are unaware of our ultimate potential ... we just know that it lies in front of us.

 

You mentioned 'habit' and I believe that as our consistency becomes more consistent then it becomes a good habit leaving us free to open our minds to pushing our potential.

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Why do you want to invalidate the futures contract volume? What do you trade? I think while we are challenging everything we know about trading you might consider challenging the notion of precision. Do you really need to know the exact volume figure to trade with volume? Do you need to know the exact price? Is anything this precise in trading? If needed absolute precision in trading people would only trade watching time and sales (some do). For most of us we don't want all the noise. This is why most of us would prefer to look at a 15 minute chart than a 1 minute chart.

 

This is a good point; I trade equity index futures, almost always ES. Whether I need to know the exact number or not, well surely we don't need a lot of things. But I feel more comfortable knowing that the data I get is accurate and centralized, unlike the spot forex market. I just don't want to trade a market where I can't even see things at the transaction level, such as spot forex. I used to trade forex and now could no longer do it due to this.

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Why do you want to invalidate the futures contract volume? What do you trade? I think while we are challenging everything we know about trading you might consider challenging the notion of precision. Do you really need to know the exact volume figure to trade with volume? Do you need to know the exact price? Is anything this precise in trading? If needed absolute precision in trading people would only trade watching time and sales (some do). For most of us we don't want all the noise. This is why most of us would prefer to look at a 15 minute chart than a 1 minute chart.

___________________________________________________________

This makes no sense to me.If i want to make a decision based on vol then i def want to know the exact figure.I never watched time and sales..wouldn't even know what i'm looking at,but i do need precision.

I need precise highs and lows in order to work out the maths,otherwise using maths would be pointless.We're probably comparing apples and oranges here. 1 min chart = noise,yeah for me i agree. but that doesn't reinforce your point -it's a seperate issue to precise data say for vol. I don't trade currencies btw,so maybe i'm missing the point you're trying to make here.

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@JD,

 

Currency futures are regulated and have equal precision to the e-mini S&P. This doesn't mean this data is perfectly accurate. The big players come up with ways to trade off of the exchange.

 

@Mitsubishi,

 

I guess you have a different trading style but you are saying that 1 tick up or down would mess up your trading? I'm not sure what maths you use in trading but most indicators are averaging data. Whether you are calculating daily pivots, moving averages or stochastics I find it hard to believe that a couple of ticks would change any trading outcomes drastically.

 

Also - different charting providers handle data differently coming from the exchanges. You may get different data or bad data or adjusted data just based on what platform you use. If I ask you what is 1 divided by 7 what would reply 0.142857 repeating? Wouldn't .14 be enough precision?

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...

@Mitsubishi...

 

1 tick up or down ...?

 

:haha: We should note for the readers that Mitsubishi is not typical.

His trading is to the tick AND to the second ;)

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@JD,

 

Currency futures are regulated and have equal precision to the e-mini S&P. This doesn't mean this data is perfectly accurate. The big players come up with ways to trade off of the exchange.

 

@Mitsubishi,

 

I guess you have a different trading style but you are saying that 1 tick up or down would mess up your trading? I'm not sure what maths you use in trading but most indicators are averaging data. Whether you are calculating daily pivots, moving averages or stochastics I find it hard to believe that a couple of ticks would change any trading outcomes drastically.

 

Also - different charting providers handle data differently coming from the exchanges. You may get different data or bad data or adjusted data just based on what platform you use. If I ask you what is 1 divided by 7 what would reply 0.142857 repeating? Wouldn't .14 be enough precision?

 

sorry turtle (no relation?) i forgot the documentation for the registration and application of the medication,,,,:helloooo::doh:

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The OP said that the only bar on which the close was important was the daily bar.

 

I often wonder how people can develop such wrong perceptions of market data. But after years I realize that my perceptions also changed and sometimes dramatically as I realize something that, although in front of me all the time, I hadn't perceived.

 

Bar close is important in at least two ways. First it sets a closing price and second it sets the highs and lows for sure ... no more changes.

 

Now, the OP has perceived truth in daily closes. Personally I perceive them in other time frames as well, but, they are market specific. It depends on what timeframes are being watched by a large enough percentage of that market so that closes and ohlc relationships matter for that market. Think about daily closes ... in forex, which close is more important, the London midnight close or the Greek midnight close (corresponds to the end of the Globex afternoon)? So are even daily closes necessarily simple?

 

As a trader I try to understand how the rest of the market is reading what happens and how their expectations of the future are impacted by what they see and hear. That provides the basis for the next bet.

 

So maybe those who don't see it will never see it and maybe it will matter to them and damage their trading results. It depends; hopefully not.

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I suppose for any observation to acquire meaning in the context of trading it has to be shown to make money or at least preserve capital and it has to do so in a consistent and repeatable way. The closing price of any single bar may in itself not be that significant though I do remember reading Linda Bradford Raschke that if a daily close was in the top 25% range of the day then a follow through was statistically more likely the next morning and vice versa for close near the bottom. Tom Demark has looked at the significant of closes in relation to previous bars and would argue that there are patterns which are consistent and reliable enough to make money even down to a 1 min timeframe. A quick example of this would be if the close of the present bar is greater than the close of the fourth bar previous then the price has flipped and the odds favour a change of direction. (in Metastock code C > Ref(C,-4)))

 

If you start from the belief that Technical Analysis has meaning (as opposed to belief in a purely random market) then the use of any phenomenon which can be backtested and shown to have reliable and consistent results has meaning. In this context the H,O,L,C all have the potential be full of meaning...........if as traders we are creative enough to find a way to use them profitably.

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........... Tom Demark has looked at the significant of closes in relation to previous bars and would argue that there are patterns which are consistent and reliable enough to make money even down to a 1 min timeframe. A quick example of this would be if the close of the present bar is greater than the close of the fourth bar previous then the price has flipped and the odds favour a change of direction. (in Metastock code C > Ref(C,-4)))...........

Although he uses closing price relationships in TD Sequential, look at TD Camouflage, as well as many other indicators, to see how he values the next day's opening price with greater importance.

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Actually, the OPEN of a bar is far more important to me as a "gap trader." No, of course not, I do not trade gaps exclusively but I use GAP opens, meaning a tick or more opens beyond the previous bar's close (5 or 15min charts) and IF I am inclined to trade in the direction of that gap, it is a strong indication of a continuation pattern.

 

I trade on a 5 min chart primarily and look for "hinges" in price action - - - where one sees a key pivot level broken (not a pivot point, but rather a change in direction, or a turning point leading to a new exhaustion area (a top or bottom of a good range run).

 

I will WAIT for a hinge to BREAK AND HOLD, not just break and that means I will definitely wait for the hold to occur and enter my trade based on my primary entry rules.

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What are your thoughts? If you use the closing of a bar as a part of your trading, or if you feel that a bar's closing price is important, can you explain and convince me (or others)?

 

josh, i can explain what i do...i'm not interested in convincing anyone of my being right.

 

i use 10min bars to enter and exit. nothing complicated.

 

when i am looking to exit i'll wait until bar close...often times price is already below my exit, but recovers on close keeping me in a trade that turns profitable.

 

i gotta believe if i'm waiting on bar close, there may be significant number of traders doing the same thing, no?

 

peter

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