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Old 03-09-2007, 08:47 AM   #1

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[VSA] Volume Spread Analysis Part I

I wanted to start a thread about VSA and how it can be used to trade. I had kind of put this off, to be honest...didn't think it held anything for me. I decided to expand my horizons last night and am I glad I did!! This VSA stuff is intensely amazing to see.

What is Volume Spread Analysis? From my meager understandings...here it goes:

VSA is a sound methodology to show you when professional money is taking advantage of an imbalance in the marketplace in an attempt to move it in the opposite direction. By using volume per bar and the spread of that bar (the hi to the lo) and the close of that bar, you are able to see that professional money is entering the market.

From what I've been looking at you are able to see that money start moving into the market in bars prior to the actual high volume/hi spread bar. For example...a trade I took yesterday would have absolutely been avoided had I put this methodology to work.



I watch a 5min chart as well as a 233t chart of the Mini Dow. This 5min chart shows you something...Notice how that bar prior to the "spinning top" (last bar pictured) has a major increase in volume from ANY bar in the prior 4 hours.

With VSA we know that strength is shown on down bars and weakness is shown on up bars. Kind of counter-intuitive...but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

The professionals have to buy SO much at a time that they need the market to be liquid enough to support their buying, so they MUST buy on downward bars. Exact opposite for selling. The "late to the party Charlies" are buying when they can't possibly stand to not be long, and who is liquidating so they can buy? The Pros.



Notice what happened in the next bar...price shot up. The trade I took was sell that retracement to VAH/R1 cluster. Had I been privy to what VSA has to offer, I would have seen that volume was increasing DRAMATICALLY, we had a VERY widespread bar and we closed in the upper half of that bar. Is that a sign that pros are buying? Sure as heck is!!

So, please...let's add to this discussion. This is a powerful way to look at things in conjunction with Auction Theory and Market Profile.

Last edited by TinGull; 03-09-2007 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:14 PM   #2

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re: [VSA] Volume Spread Analysis Part I

Thank you for starting this thread. I hope it will continue to grow and be a real source of learning and sharing of ideas.

Volume Spread Analysis is a very valuable tool in my opinion.

Just some quick observations:

1. We have a wide spread candle with volume that is higher than any volume bar that can be seen on the chart. This candle closes lower than the previous candle, but in the upper portion of its range. Clearly there is demand (buying) going on in this bar.

VSA does not care about the open, so the fact that the candle is red means little to use. (personally I do like to see the open on some candles, but technically we do not use them.)

The more you use VSA, the more you will see Professional activity around the key numbers (aka Floor pivots). Time and time again, the Smart Money shows itself around these levels.

2. The very next candle is narrow, closes down from the previous bar, closes near its low and has volume less than the previous two bars. THIS IS NO SUPPLY.

immediately after the Smart Money enters in the form of demand (buying), there is a No Supply bar. That means all the excess supply was soaked up on that wide range previous bar. Note surprisingly, the previous bar has a long tail where supply was swamped by demand (buyers swamping sellers).

3. While not VSA, the No Supply bar shows a divergence with your Delta tick tool. Very interesting. VSA gets its roots from Wyckoff more than 100 years ago. Way before any tick delta tool could be made. Not saying it's a bad tool, saying it is great how this new tool hits the nail on the head in this situation.

the 1520 bar looks like another No supply bar and again there is a green dot on the bar.

4. Price comes back down to the area of the pivot. This bar is wide spread with volume less than the previous two bars and closes in the middle of its range. Again, No Supply. Bars that close in the middle of their range should always draw your attention.

Look one bar back. This bar has high volume-relative to the volume bars before it. Now if this bar, which closes down, was truly weakness then why does the next bar close equal to it and not down? Because there was some buying going on in the bar.

Note that this last No Supply bar actually has less volume than the first one in this same area. At this point, price is definitely poised to rise...........

P.S. LOL I just realized that TTM (or H.A.) is on the candles, so I could be wrong about the close of these candles
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Old 03-11-2007, 04:27 AM   #3

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re: [VSA] Volume Spread Analysis Part I

Having sat through 4 long sessions awhile back with the boyz from TradeGuider.. I agree that VSA has some merit, but I also agree with your final comments, Profiler.... as TTM/Heikin Ashi candlesticks are not truly compatible with using VSA. Either way, I am glad to see this thread get started, so thanks for that, Tin Gull.

Happy Trading
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:18 PM   #4

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re: [VSA] Volume Spread Analysis Part I

I flicked through 'Master the Markets' by Tom Williams and thought it contained some useful points but overall I think VSA is more suitable for stock traders. A lot of the concepts revolve around market makers and their ability to see what other traders cannot see (stops and limits) but this isn't applicable trading futures on exchanges like Globex, ECBOT, EUREX and Euronext. We can see the same things that everyone else can see through the time and sales and order book so it makes sense to concentrate on that information instead of just focussing on volume and price.

Last edited by notouch; 03-11-2007 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:06 AM   #5

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re: [VSA] Volume Spread Analysis Part I

Quote:
Originally Posted by notouch »
I flicked through 'Master the Markets' by Tom Williams and thought it contained some useful points but overall I think VSA is more suitable for stock traders. A lot of the concepts revolve around market makers and their ability to see what other traders cannot see (stops and limits) but this isn't applicable trading futures on exchanges like Globex, ECBOT, EUREX and Euronext. We can see the same things that everyone else can see through the time and sales and order book so it makes sense to concentrate on that information instead of just focussing on volume and price.

That is simply not the case. The text may seem "outdated" in that there much talk of Market Makers, but this only goes to show how the principles have stood the test of time. How the markets are manipulated by Smart Money (the term Todd Krueger prefers to Market Makers) remains little changed since the days of Wyckoff.

I find it hard to believe that you think there are not Professionals with things on their screen, like where the stops are, that the retail trader does not have. The playing field in simply not that level.

I have attached a chart showing what is going on in the Euro. A market (retail Spot Forex) not even around at the time the book.

Attached Thumbnails
[VSA] Volume Spread Analysis Part I-post-5.png  

Last edited by mister ed; 03-29-2008 at 12:28 AM. Reason: add chart back
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:39 AM   #6

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re: [VSA] Volume Spread Analysis Part I

Spot FX is totally different to futures. I agree in spot FX there are investment banks who can see the stops of their own customers. In futures on the other hand who exactly are these "Smart Money Professionals" who can see all the stops? The stops are held at the exchange and can't be seen by any traders.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:03 PM   #7

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re: [VSA] Volume Spread Analysis Part I

Back to VSA...

when PivotProf was talking about the no supply bar showing a divergence between the delta I have on my chart...what that was showing was with all the contracts sold to drive that price down that far, there was enough buying to bring that price back to near equilibrium. This happened late this afternoon on the YM.

Notice the stair stepping volume leading up to the climactic bar. That bar is showing a massive amount of volume (biggest on the 5min chart all day) and no excess supply overhead with a little bit of demand creeping in. The delta graph is showing that while there were enough contracts bid down to bring the price to VAH, the bar ended with almost a net 0 amount of differentiating contracts. This meant that there were enough buyers on that down bar to swing price right around. now...it was late in the day and price advanced for only about 15 points...but it's still good to note that the principles are applying.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:20 PM   #8

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re: [VSA] Volume Spread Analysis Part I

Hi T.

Let's take a look at that large candle with the ultra high volume. If this volume represented selling:

1. The close should be on the low.

2. The next bar should NOT be closing equal or up. I think this candle is up based on the color of the volume bars.

As you correctly stated, this large bar does look like climatic action/stopping volume. From a VSA perspective, we see the next bar up (or equal) and this confirms the buying on the previous bar.

What I always like to see, is Professional Money showing itself at certain "known" levels. Here we see the Smart Money entering as price moves towards the VAH.
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