Top-Down Analysis

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DEFINITION of 'Top-Down Analysis'

A method of analysis that involves looking at the "big picture" first, and then analyzing the details of smaller components. By first analyzing the overall picture, such as a macroeconomic trend, an investor can start narrowing potential companies to analyze. A trader that uses technical analysis may use top-down analysis as part of their trading system.

BREAKING DOWN 'Top-Down Analysis'

A day trader may first analyze daily or weekly charts to determine the asset's longer term trend, and strong support and resistance levels; and then move to a smaller time frame of charts, to determine a good entry point. For example, if an asset is trending upwards on the daily chart, and there is good bullish momentum on the hourly chart, a trader using top-down analysis could then move to a 15 minute chart and find a good entry point for a long position.

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