DEFINITION of 'Market Breadth'
Market breadth is a technique used in technical analysis that attempts to gauge the direction of the overall market by analyzing the number of companies advancing relative to the number declining. Positive market breadth occurs when more companies are moving higher than are moving lower, and it is used to suggest that the bulls are in control of the momentum. Conversely, a disproportional number of declining securities is used to confirm bearish momentum.
BREAKING DOWN 'Market Breadth'
A large number of advancing issues is a sign of bullish market sentiment and is used to confirm a broad market uptrend. Traders will specifically look at the number of companies that have created a 52-week high relative to the number that created a 52-week low because this data can provide longer term information about whether the bullish or bearish trend will continue.