What is 'Volume'
Volume is the number of shares or contracts traded in a security or an entire market during a given period of time. For every buyer, there is a seller, and each transaction contributes to the count of total volume. That is, when buyers and sellers agree to make a transaction at a certain price, it is considered one transaction. If only five transactions occur in a day, the volume for the day is five.
BREAKING DOWN 'Volume'
Volume is an important indicator in technical analysis as it is used to measure the relative worth of a market move. If the markets make a strong price movement, then the strength of that movement depends on the volume for that period. The higher the volume during the price move, the more significant the move.
Fundamental analysis is based on company performance and is used to determine which stock to buy. Technical analysis is based on price and is used to determine when to buy. Technical analysts are primarily looking for entry and exit price points, and volume levels provide clues about where the best entry and exit points are located.
Volume Trends Confirm Strength
Volume is one of the most important measures of strength for traders and technical analysts. Put simply, volume refers to the number of contracts traded. For any trade to occur, the market needs to produce a buyer and a seller. A transaction occurs when buyers and sellers meet and is referred to as the market price. From an auction perspective, when buyers and sellers become particularly active at a certain price, it means there is a lot of volume.
Analysts use bar charts to quickly determine the level of volume. Bars also provide easier identification of trends in volume. When bars are higher than average, it is a sign of high volume or strength at a particular market price. In this way, analysts use volume as a way to confirm a price movement. If volume increases when the price moves up or down, it is considered a price movement with strength.
If traders want to confirm a reversal on a level of support, or floor, they look for high buying volume. Conversely, if traders are looking to confirm a break in the level of support, they look for low volume from buyers. If traders want to confirm a reversal on a level of resistance, or ceiling, they look for high selling volume. Conversely, if traders are looking to confirm a break in the level of support, they look for high volume from buyers.