Dow Theory: The Market Discounts Everything
AAA
  1. Dow Theory: Introduction
  2. Dow Theory: The Market Discounts Everything
  3. Dow Theory: The Three-Trend Market
  4. Dow Theory: The Three Phases Of Primary Trends
  5. Dow Theory: Market Indexes Must Confirm Each Other
  6. Dow Theory: Volume Must Confirm The Trend
  7. Dow Theory: Trend Remains In Effect Until Clear Reversal Occurs
  8. Dow Theory: Dow Theory Specifics
  9. Dow Theory: Current Relevance
  10. Dow Theory: Conclusion

Dow Theory: The Market Discounts Everything

By Chad Langager and Casey Murphy, senior analyst of ChartAdvisor.com

The first basic premise of Dow theory suggests that all information - past, current and even future - is discounted into the markets and reflected in the prices of stocks and indexes.


That information includes everything from the emotions of investors to inflation and interest-rate data, along with pending earnings announcements to be made by companies after the close. Based on this tenet, the only information excluded is that which is unknowable, such as a massive earthquake. But even then the risks of such an event are priced into the market.

It's important to note that this is not to suggest that market participants, or even the market itself, are all knowing, with the ability to predict future events. Rather, it means that over any period of time, all factors - those that have happened, are expected to happen and could happen - are priced into the market. As things change, such as market risks, the market adjusts along with the prices, reflecting that new information.

The idea that the market discounts everything is not new to technical traders, as this is a major premise of many of the tools used in this field of study. Accordingly, in technical analysis one need only look at price movements, and not at other factors such as the balance sheet. (For more on this, see The Basics Of Technical Analysis.)

Like mainstream technical analysis, Dow theory is mainly focused on price. However, the two differ in that Dow theory is concerned with the movements of the broad markets, rather than specific securities.

For example, a follower of Dow theory will look at the price movement of the major market indexes. Once they have an idea of the prevailing trend in the market, they will make an investment decision. If the prevailing trend is upward, it follows that an investor would buy individual stocks trading at a fair valuation. This is where a broad understanding of the fundamental factors that affect a company can be helpful.

It's important to note that while Dow theory itself is focused on price movements and index trends, implementation can also incorporate elements of fundamental analysis, including value- and fundamental-oriented strategies.

Having said that, Dow theory is much more suited to technical analysis.

Dow Theory: The Three-Trend Market

  1. Dow Theory: Introduction
  2. Dow Theory: The Market Discounts Everything
  3. Dow Theory: The Three-Trend Market
  4. Dow Theory: The Three Phases Of Primary Trends
  5. Dow Theory: Market Indexes Must Confirm Each Other
  6. Dow Theory: Volume Must Confirm The Trend
  7. Dow Theory: Trend Remains In Effect Until Clear Reversal Occurs
  8. Dow Theory: Dow Theory Specifics
  9. Dow Theory: Current Relevance
  10. Dow Theory: Conclusion
RELATED TERMS
  1. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s ...
  2. Supply

    A fundamental economic concept that describes the total amount ...
  3. Principal-Agent Problem

    The principal-agent problem develops when a principal creates ...
  4. Profit Margin

    A category of ratios measuring profitability calculated as net ...
  5. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis ...
  6. Discount Bond

    A bond that is issued for less than its par (or face) value, ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How is the Dow Jones Industrial Average used in the Dow theory?

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is used in the Dow theory as a confirmation of strength or weakness in the Dow Jones ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the best technical indicators to complement the Uptick Volume?

    In technical analysis, uptick volume is almost always used in conjunction with downtick volume to measure net volume or the ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Tame Panic Selling with the Exhausted Selling Model

    The exhausted selling model is a pricing strategy used to identify and trade based off of the price floor of a security. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Point and Figure Charting Using Count Analysis

    Count analysis is a means of interpreting point and figure charts to measure vertical price movements. Technical analysts ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the formula for calculating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Excel?

    The compound annual growth rate, or CAGR for short, measures the return on an investment over a certain period of time. Below ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

    The common assumptions made when doing a t-test include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!