The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a popular technical indicator that measures overbought/oversold conditions and trend strength of a stock or asset.
It is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and change of price movements for stocks and assets.
According to many experts, RSI is considered overbought when above 70 and oversold when below 30.
Traders can also generate signals by looking for divergences, failure swings, and center line crossovers.
This article will focus primarily on how the RSI can be used to identify trends in stocks.
What is the Relative Strength Index (RSI)?
The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a momentum indicator used in technical analysis to measure the magnitude of recent price changes and evaluate overbought or oversold conditions of stocks or assets.
Momentum investors use this information to decide whether to buy or sell securities, i.e. stocks. When securities have been exhibiting an upward price trend, the RSI can be used as a signal to purchase them. When they have been moving downward, it can be used as a signal to short-sell them.
The RSI oscillator is displayed as an oscillator (a line graph that moves between two extremes) and can read from 0 to 100.
Values of 70 or above indicate that a security is becoming overbought or overvalued and may be primed for a trend reversal or corrective pullback in price. An RSI reading of 30 or below indicates an oversold or undervalued condition.
Values in the 30%-50% range indicate a generally rising price, while values in the 50%-70% range indicate a generally declining price.
How to analyze overbought and oversold signs when trading stocks
Overbought and oversold signals are technical indicators used to indicate when a stock is trading at a price higher than what is considered “normal.” When a stock is trading higher than usual, it is deemed to be overbought. When a stock is trading lower than expected, it is oversold.
Oversold signals suggest that the selling pressure in the given stock is easing, and the traders should brace themselves for an upcoming rebound.
Overbought signals, on the contrary, indicate the momentum when the stock is reaching its maximum levels for bulls and is soon to experience a correction.
The RSI helps put the price movement in perspective and get a clearer understanding of the whole picture.
Things look for when applying RSI to stock trading
RSI is a popular technical indicator used in stock trading, but it should not be the only indicator. It has specific weaknesses that can lead traders astray. For example, it may give false buy or sell signals, and traders must always look at a broader time frame to get the complete picture.
It is calculated by taking the average gain and loss over a set number of periods and dividing it by the average loss for that same number of periods. The most common time frame traders use is 14 periods, but it can be shorter or longer depending on your analysis. Keep in mind that the shorter the time frame, the worse it will be for your analysis. RSI isn’t just about the strength of a trend; you also have to consider other factors such as volume and price action.
When trading stocks, it is essential to remember that the RSI can show signs of an overbought or oversold market for extended periods when the trend is strong. For example, if the RSI moves above 70, it may signify that the stock is becoming overvalued and could fall soon. Conversely, a reading below 30 could indicate that the stock has become undervalued and could rise quickly.
The RSI formula
The RSI is computed with a two-part calculation that starts with the following formula:
RS = Average gain / Average loss
RSI=100 − --------
1 + RS
To streamline the explanation of the formula, the RSI has been split down into its three fundamental components: RS, Average Gain, and Average Loss. This RSI estimate is based on 14 periods, and positive values convey losses, not negative values.
The first estimates for average gain and loss are straightforward 14-period averages:
The First Average Gain is the sum of the gains for the previous 14 periods divided by 14.
The First Average Loss is the sum of the previous 14 Periods’ Losses / 14
The second and subsequent computations are made using historical averages and the present gain or loss:
Average Gain = [(prior Average Gain) x 13 + current Gain] / 14
Average Loss = [(previous Average Loss) x 13 + current Loss] / 14
Adding the past and current values together is a similar smoothing approach to calculating an exponential moving average. This also indicates that the RSI readings grow more accurate as the computation time lengthens. Experts calculate their RSI values using at least 250 data points previous to the chart’s start date (if that much data is available). A formula will require at least 250 data points to duplicate our RSI values precisely.
The RSI calculation is usually based on 14 periods. The RSI may be computed using the calculations above, and the RSI line can then be placed alongside an asset’s price chart.
The RSI will grow in value as the frequency and magnitude of positive closes increases while decreasing in value as the number and size of losses increase.
The second portion of the algorithm smooths the outcome, ensuring that the RSI never falls below 100 or above 0, even in a highly moving market.
Lowest possible RSI value
A completely bearish market would give us the lowest possible RSI value.
The RSI would be zero:
RSI = 100 ? 100 / ( 1 + 0 ) = 100 ? 100 = 0.
To calculate the Lowest Possible RSI Value, you’ll need to use the Average and the Simple Moving Averages.
To calculate Simple Moving Averages, you’ll need to take the sum of each day’s Closing Price and divide that number by the number of days in your measurement period.
You’ll take a weighted average of all prices within your time frame and divide that figure by the total number of prices included in your calculation to calculate average prices.
The Lowest Possible RSI value is found when there is not enough data (in this case, one day) for either Moving Average calculation method to produce a reliable result. In this case, you can use Wilder’s Smoothing Method to calculate the RSI.
Highest possible RSI value
RSI can reach values from 0 (bearish market) to 100 (bullish market). The highest possible RSI value is defined as 100.
If the average decline were some very low number, but not zero, Relative Strength would be close to infinite, and the RSI would be close to 100:
RSI = 100 ? 100 / ( 1 + a big number ) = 100 ? 0 = 100
To calculate the highest possible RSI value, you must first determine the lowest possible RSI value. Next, you must average the advances and declines of your stocks.
How to use the RSI to your advantage
The RSI is a technical analysis indicator that traders can use to determine the relative strength of a security or market. It is based on the idea that when security or market is overbought, it has been trading at prices higher than it “should” be according to some underlying fundamental value.
When security or market is oversold, it has been trading at prices lower than it “should” be according to some underlying fundamental value. The RSI can be used in conjunction with other indicators to make more informed trading decisions.
For example, if the RSI indicates that security or market is overbought, you may want to wait for the price to come down before buying shares. And if the RSI shows that security or market is oversold, you may want to consider short selling.
You can use it on various assets, including currency pairs, indices, commodities, and shares.
It can be applied to any time frame but is most commonly used on weekly and monthly charts. The RSI can also be used across daily and forward contracts for spread bets and contracts for difference (CFDs).
RSI trading strategies
RSI is an integral part of the trader’s arsenal and can be used with other indicators to improve the accuracy and accuracy of trading decisions. RSI has been around for a long time and is known for its reliability, as seen in previous sections.
RSI values will typically move in the opposite direction of the MACD value if they move together.
The moving average convergence divergence (MACD) indicator is a trend-following momentum indicator that depicts the connection between two security’s price moving averages. By subtracting the 26-period exponential moving average (EMA) from the 12-period EMA, the MACD is calculated.
When trading with RSI, it is essential to pay attention to whether or not the indicator is moving in tandem with MACD, as this can indicate an opportunity for profit.
There are various strategies based on RSI values, so it is important to explore which ones work best for you before taking any action in the market.
RSI crossover method
The crossover method utilizes the RSI as an overbought indicator in combination with decelerating positive or negative trends. Following an oversold reading, one would purchase Amazon shares as the RSI climbs over the 30-trigger mark. When the RSI falls below the 70-overbought trigger threshold from the overbought area, a sell signal is triggered.
In essence, the crossover method might prevent a trader from buying when the market is falling and selling when the market is rallying rapidly. Traders would like to avoid a situation where they purchase when the RSI reaches 30, only to see it fall below 10.
RSI breakdown/breakout method
The RSI’s support and resistance levels may assist in determining whether negative or positive momentum is building. If the RSI breaks through the trendline support in the chart, it presents a chance to short the shares once it returns to its trend line level.
Deviation happens when momentum moves in one direction while prices move in the other direction. Prices would continue to decline or rally in this situation, but the RSI would struggle to demonstrate that momentum is building in the trend’s direction. Accelerating rate may imply that the trend is poised to backtrack its course.
This circumstance may present several trading possibilities.
The RSI is a critical technical analysis technique many traders incorporate into their trading plans. It is a flexible technical analysis tool that performs best when used in conjunction with another method.
You may also use moving averages or trendlines to identify levels at which the market is oversold and seeks support or overbought and seeks resistance.