relative strength index definition

The relative strength index (RSI) is a momentum indicator used in technical analysis which measures the speed and change of price movements. It compares the average number of days that the price of an instrument closed up to the average number of days that it closed down. Before getting too excited about divergences as great trading signals, it must be noted that divergences are misleading in a strong trend.

  • As you can see in the above chart, the RSI indicator can stay in the overbought region for extended periods while the stock is in an uptrend.
  • When combined with other technical indicators, the RSI can provide additional insights to improve trading strategies and enhance risk management.
  • When the RSI and price both make higher highs or lower lows, it indicates a bullish or bearish convergence, respectively.
  • From oversold levels, RSI moved above 70 in mid September to become overbought.
  • Each time the Relative Strength Index reached over 70 on the sample gold chart, it resulted in a strong drop and successful sell signal.

This can help traders evaluate whether stocks are overvalued (trading above their real value) or undervalued (trading below their real value). Stocks that are undervalued might soon see a price increase, while overvalued stocks may see a decline. Knowing this information can help investors decide when to buy or sell securities in order to make a profit.

What is your risk tolerance?

According to Wilder, divergences signal a potential reversal point because directional momentum does not confirm price. A bullish divergence occurs when the underlying security makes a lower low and RSI forms a higher low. RSI does not confirm the lower low and this shows strengthening momentum.

Please ensure you understand how this product works and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing money. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a powerful technical analysis tool that helps traders identify potential entry and exit points in the market. By considering both divergence and convergence, traders can enhance their trading strategies, relative strength index definition reduce the risk of false signals, and improve their overall market analysis. Conversely, a bearish divergence occurs when the price makes higher highs while the RSI forms lower highs, signaling a potential trend reversal to the downside. What this means is that as an oscillator, this indicator operates within a band or a set range of numbers or parameters.

Risk Management When Using RSI

Overbought describes a period with a significant and consistent upward movement in price over time without much pullback. It is a term used when an asset is believed to trade at a price beyond its intrinsic value, meaning it’s priced above where it should be according to technical and fundamental indicators. Overbought conditions may indicate a price correction or trend reversal and signal traders to exit (sell) a position.

Only applicable when Bollinger Bands are selected as the MA Type in the Inputs section, otherwise the bands will not appear even if this is selected. Can toggle the visibility of the Lower Bollinger Band well as the visibility of a price line showing its value. Can toggle the visibility of the Upper Bollinger Band well as the visibility of a price line showing its value.

RSI buy and sell signals

Divergences occur when the RSI moves in a direction opposite to that of prices and they can be identified by comparing the two charts. Positive and Negative Reversals can be boiled down to cases where price outperformed momentum. And because Positive and Negative Reversals only occur in their specified trends, they can be used as yet another tool for trend confirmation. Some traders believe that Wilder’s overbought/oversold ranges are too wide and choose to alter those ranges. For example, someone might consider any number above 80 as overbought and anything below 20 as oversold.

Support and resistance levels measured by moving averages or trendlines can also be used to find levels where the market is oversold and finds support, or overbought and finds resistance. RSI helps traders identify overbought or oversold conditions in the market, as well as potential trend reversals. It is calculated by comparing the average price gains to the average price losses over a specific period, usually 14 days. RSI can be used to construct many different trend trading strategies.

How to read the RSI indicator?

When price hits a new low or high that isn’t supported by a corresponding new low or high in the RSI reading, this can indicate an impending price reversal in the market. When combined with other technical indicators, the RSI can provide additional insights to improve trading strategies and enhance risk management. The primary function of the RSI is to demonstrate overbought and oversold conditions. However, it can also point to a general trend, a trend reversal, or corrective pullbacks in price.

  • In fact, most traders accept that the signals given by the RSI in strong upward or downward trends often can be false.
  • Cardwell’s books are out of print, but he offers seminars detailing these methods.
  • It is displayed as an oscillator (a line graph) on a scale of 1 to 100.
  • Divergence can be either positive or negative, where positive ones indicate that an asset’s price hits a new low as the indicator’s value climbs.
  • This information is not a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell an investment or financial product, or take any action.
  • Notice how the first dip in the RSI is much lower than the second one, despite the stock’s price actually hitting a lower low.
  • Among the most popularly used and relied on technical indicators, is the Relative Strength Index.