How To Trade With Stochastics?

The stochastic oscillator is a momentum indicator to compare the closing price of a commodity to its price range over a given time span. The idea behind this indicator is the prices tend to close near their past highs in bull markets, and near their lows in bear markets. Transaction signals can be spotted when the stochastic oscillator crosses its moving average.

Two stochastic oscillator indicators are typically calculated to assess future variations in prices, a fast (K) and slow (D). Comparisons of these statistics are a good indicator of speed at which prices are changing or the Impulse of Price.

The two Stochastics lines:
- K – Is the main line and is usually displayed as a solid line
- D – Is simply a moving average of the K and is usually displayed as a dotted line

There are two well known methods for using the K and D indicators to make decisions about when to buy or sell stocks. The first involves crossing of K and D signals, the second involves basing buy and sell decisions on the assumption that K and D oscillate.

In the first case, D acts as a trigger or signal line for K. A buy signal is given when K crosses up through D, or a sell signal when it crosses down through D. Such crossovers can occur too often, and to avoid repeated whipsaws one can wait for crossovers occurring together with an overbought/oversold pullback, or only after a peak or trough in the D line. If price volatility is high, a simple moving average of the Stoch D indicator may be taken. This statistic smoothes out rapid fluctuations in price.

In the second case, some analysts argue that K or D levels above 80 and below 20 can be interpreted as overbought or oversold. It is recommended that buying and selling be timed to the return back from these thresholds. In other words, one should buy or sell after a bit of a reversal. Practically, this means that once the price exceeds one of these thresholds, the investor should wait for prices to return back through those thresholds (e.g. if the oscillator were to go above 80, the investor waits until it falls below 80 to sell). In currencies we mainly use the Stochastic Oscillator on the 15 and 60 minute charts.

Use Stochastics in Trending market The key is when the market is trending up, we will look for oversold conditions (when the Stochastics fall below the oversold level (below 20) and rises back above the same level) to get ready to trade, and in the same way, when the market is trending down we will only look for overbought conditions (when the Stochastics rise above de overbought level (above 80) and falls back below the same level.

Use Stochastic in Trend-less market
- Buy when K falls below the oversold level (below 20) and rises back above the same level.
- Sell when K rises above de overbought level (above 80) and falls back below the same level.