Indicators are based on the price and the volume of the market. Indicators are used as a secondary measure to the actual price movements and add additional information to the analysis of securities. Indicators are used to confirm price movement and the certainty of chart patterns.
They are used to give order to the price data, so that it is possible to identify possible opportunities which can be exploited profitably by the trader. No indicator is right or wrong with respect to the signals that it emits, but each of them must be used with an appropriate money management strategy in order to deliver the desired results.
There are two main types of indicator constructions: trend and oscillators. Oscillator indicators have a range, for example between zero and 100, and signal periods where the security is overbought (near 100) or oversold (near zero). Trend indicators are displaying strength or weakness, but they vary in the way they do this.
The indicators also are divided in: leading and lagging. A leading indicator precedes price movements, giving them a predictive quality, while a lagging indicator is a confirmation tool because it follows price movement. A leading indicator is thought to be the strongest during periods of sideways or non-trending trading ranges, while the lagging indicators are still useful during trending periods.
The two main ways that indicators are used to form buy and sell signals in technical analysis is through crossovers and divergence. Crossovers are the most popular and are reflected when either the price moves through the moving average, or when two different moving averages cross over each other. The second way indicators are used is through divergence, which happens when the direction of the price trend and the direction of the indicator trend are moving in the opposite direction. This signals to indicator users that the direction of the price trend is weakening.
Indicators that are used in technical analysis provide an extremely useful source of additional information. These indicators help identify momentum, trends, volatility and various other aspects in the technical analysis of trends. It is important to note that while some traders use a single indicator solely for buy and sell signals, they are best used in conjunction with price movement, chart patterns and other indicators.