13.2.2 Overview Of Technical Analysis

Discover the fundamentals and key concepts of technical analysis in securities trading. Learn how past price movements and market sentiment help predict future price directions.

Overview of Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is a method used to forecast the future price movements of a security based on historical price data. Unlike fundamental analysis, which focuses on a company’s intrinsic value, technical analysis is concerned with price action and market trends. The underlying belief of technical analysts is that all relevant information is already reflected in the price, and patterns will repeat because human psychology does not change.

Key Principles of Technical Analysis:
  1. Market Action Discounts Everything: All known information is already priced into the market.
  2. Price Moves in Trends: Prices are often driven by identifiable trends; a trend once established tends to persist.
  3. History Tends to Repeat Itself: Price patterns are assumed to recur over time, driven by market psychology.

Tools and Techniques

Price Charts

Technical analysts use various type of price charts to observe historical data:

  1. Line Charts: Connect closing prices over a specified period.
  2. Bar Charts: Include opening, high, low, and closing (OHLC) prices per period.
  3. Candlestick Charts: Provide a more visual sentiment analysis via ‘candles’ which show the same information as bar charts.

Indicators and Oscillators

  • Moving Averages: Used to smooth price data to identify trends. Common averages include Simple Moving Average (SMA) and Exponential Moving Average (EMA).
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI): Measures the speed and change of price movements to evaluate overbought or oversold conditions.
  • Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD): Shows the relationship between two moving averages of a security’s price.

Market Sentiment Analysis

Technical analysis dives into market sentiment and investor psychology. Often markets are influenced by emotional reactions rather than rational thinking, particularly in times of uncertainty.

Mental Models Used in Technical Analysis:
  • Herd Mentality: Investors following the majority’s actions, regardless of evidence or perspective.
  • Overreaction: Exaggerated market responses to news events.

Program Trading and Its Effects

Program trading, including high-frequency trading (HFT), involves sophisticated algorithms executing large volumes of trades instantly. While providing liquidity, it can also lead to exaggerated price movements unattached from fundamental evaluations.

Example: Market Reactions

A historical perspective highlights how technical analysis can provide insight due to reproducible investor behavior patterns:

The Subprime Mortgage Crisis (2008-2009)

During this period, market uncertainty led to widespread irrational seller-bias.

    graph TD;
	  collapsed_market[Stock Market Collapse]
	  subprime[Subprime Mortgage Crisis]
	  sellers(Sell-off by Investors)
	  market-recover[Market Recovery Around 2013]
	  subprime --> collapsed_market
	  collapsed_market --> sellers
	  sellers -->|Late Response| market-recover
Flash Crash (May 6, 2010)

An abrupt plunge and rebound triggered by HFT activities:

    graph TD;
	  dji_fall[Base: Dow Jones Industrial Average Falls]
	  panic[Initial Investor Panic]
	  hft_trade[High-Frequency Trading Impact]
	  dji_rise[Rebound in Five Minutes]
	  dji_fall --> panic
	  panic --> hft_trade
	  hft_trade --> dji_rise

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is technical analysis?

Technical analysis involves predicting future market movements based on past market data, analysis of price charts, and market sentiment.

How do technical analysts predict price movements?

They study historical price patterns and use tools such as moving averages, oscillators, and price charts to understand market psychology.

Why do patterns repeat in technical analysis?

Patterns tend to repeat due to consistent human psychological behavior in reacting to market events.

Key Takeaways

  • Technical analysis relies on historical price movements rather than intrinsic value.
  • Market sentiments and investor psychology play a crucial role in price predictions.
  • Tools and indicators like moving averages and RSI are essential in analyzing trends and momentum.
  • Program trading, including HFT, can significantly impact market movements.


  • Technical Analysis: The forecasting of future financial price movements based on examination of past price movements.
  • Moving Average: A widely used indicator in technical analysis that helps smooth out price action by filtering out the randomness from short-term price fluctuations.
  • RSI: Relative Strength Index, a measure of the speed and change of market movements.
  • MACD: Moving Average Convergence Divergence, a trend-following momentum indicator.
  • HFT (High-Frequency Trading): A type of algorithmic trading that involves the rapid execution of a large number of orders.

Remember: Thorough knowledge and critical application of technical analysis can help in making informed trading decisions in volatile and uncertain market environments.

📚✨ CSC Exam Bank ✨📚

Welcome to the Knowledge Checkpoint! You'll find 10 carefully curated CSC exam practice questions designed to reinforce the key concepts covered. These questions will help you gauge your grasp of the material, identify areas that need further review, and ensure you're on the right track towards mastering the content for the Canadian Securities certification exams. Take your time, think critically, and use these quizzes as a tool to enhance your learning journey. 📘✨

Good luck!

## What is the primary focus of technical analysis? - [ ] Evaluating a company's fundamental attributes - [ ] Calculating a company's intrinsic value - [x] Determining the future price direction based on past price movements - [ ] Regulating market activities > **Explanation:** Technical analysis focuses on predicting the future price direction of a security by analyzing past price movements and market sentiment, rather than fundamental attributes. ## According to technical analysts, why do recurring patterns exist in stock prices? - [x] Because most investors fail to learn from their mistakes - [ ] Due to random market movements - [ ] As a result of efficient market hypothesis - [ ] Due to regulatory interventions > **Explanation:** Technical analysts believe recurring patterns exist because most investors fail to learn from their mistakes, allowing identifiable patterns to predict future stock price movements. ## What kind of investor behavior can technical analysis help to understand? - [ ] Boardroom strategies - [ ] Corporate governance changes - [x] Investor emotions and psychology - [ ] Product lifecycle changes > **Explanation:** Technical analysis aims to understand the market sentiment and investor psychology behind the trends in stock prices. ## During times of uncertainty, how might investors behave? - [ ] They always act rationally - [x] They may act irrationally under the influence of mass psychology - [ ] They will delay all their transactions - [ ] They follow fundamental analysis strictly > **Explanation:** In times of uncertainty, investors may act irrationally influenced by mass psychology, often overreacting to market news by buying or selling quickly en masse. ## What is one unintended effect of sophisticated computerized trading strategies? - [ ] They ensure market stability - [x] They can cause price movements unrelated to earnings or historical prices - [ ] They eliminate all risks in trading - [ ] They minimize transaction costs > **Explanation:** Sophisticated computerized trading strategies, such as high-frequency trading, can unintentionally affect market prices in ways unrelated to the expected earnings or historical price movements. ## What event is cited as an example of extreme investor behavior during market uncertainty? - [ ] The Enron scandal - [x] The 2008–2009 subprime mortgage crisis - [ ] The dot-com bubble - [ ] The Black Monday of 1987 > **Explanation:** The 2008–2009 subprime mortgage crisis caused extreme investor uncertainty, leading even healthy stocks to collapse along with weaker ones, exemplifying irrational investor behavior. ## What caused the "flash crash" in May 2010? - [ ] Massive corporate fraud - [ ] Natural disasters - [ ] Regulations imposed by the SEC - [x] Computerized high-frequency trading > **Explanation:** The "flash crash" in May 2010, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 600 points in minutes, is believed to have been exacerbated by computerized high-frequency trading. ## When did the stock market recover to its pre-crisis peak after the 2008-2009 subprime mortgage crisis? - [ ] 2011 - [ ] 2012 - [x] 2013 - [ ] 2014 > **Explanation:** After the 2008-2009 subprime mortgage crisis, the stock market fell by about 50% and did not return to its pre-crisis peak until 2013. ## What do technical analysts rely on to forecast future stock price movements? - [x] Recurring patterns in past price movements - [ ] Economic policy changes - [ ] Company's annual reports - [ ] CEO’s public statements > **Explanation:** Technical analysts rely on identifying recurring patterns in past price movements to predict future stock price movements. ## What can mass psychology during market news lead to? - [ ] Market stability - [x] Quick buying or selling en masse - [ ] Regulatory interventions - [ ] Fundamental reassessment of stocks > **Explanation:** Market news can cause investors to overreact and quickly buy or sell en masse, leading to sudden price changes due to mass psychology.

Exciting News!

🚀 Launch Date: April 14th

🎉 Now On App Store!

📱 Available on iPhone and iPad

📚 Master the CSC® Exam with our top ranked iOS app! Packed with thousands of sample questions, it's your perfect study companion for acing the Canadian Securities Course Certification exams!

🎯 Achieve Your Professional Goals with ease. Try it now and take the first step towards success!

🌟 CSC Exam Questions 🌟

✨ Download Today! ✨

Tuesday, July 23, 2024