What is the Market Profile?
The Market Profile is a 3-dimensional approach to trading the markets. Historically only price has been used to graph market activity and we see this in the traditional bar and candlestick charts which are common amongst traders. The Market Profile approach is to plot Price, Volume and Time together on one chart. Price is measured on the vertical or Y axis and Time is measured on the horizontal axis. The interaction of Price and Time creates Volume which is measured on the chart directly.
The Market Profile approach is to view the movement of the market as an auction which has both Buyers and Sellers trying to outdo each other or arrive at a fair price which is called the value of the market.
To build the auction, one has to understand clearly that
a) Price – advertises opportunity. ( and not all price is value)
b) Time – regulates this opportunity
c) Volumes – Measure of the market to tell us whether the opportunity was a success or failed.
In the chart above we see a 30-minute bar of an instrument which tells us about the movement of the underlying in the color of the bar and a few patterns of the bar called candlestick patterns which are dependent only on the relation between the Open and the close of the bar. In candlestick charts, the entire focus goes on the close of the bar which determines even the color of the bar.
In the Market Profile chart on the right, we see a lot more information and is a truer representation of the process of the buying and selling which has occurred in the market. We go much beyond the Open, High, Low and Close of the bar and the Market Profile gives us more information in terms of where the market has seen the most number of transactions and which part of the day was dominated by the Buyer or the Seller the most.
The Market Profile approach to trading is a truer approach giving a clearer X-ray view to the trader of the Buying and Selling actually happening. It also allows us to know which Time frames are active and we get an insight into their inventory positions, participation, emotional trading etc, not available in traditional charting patterns.
This detailed examination through a Market Profile chart can allow traders to cut losses, decrease risk and increase the chances of profitability in their trading.
Where to watch these Market Profile charts Live?
The Market Profile charts are available for a view in the Vtrender Trading Room. You can see the charts Live in the working hours of the exchange with zero delays. Interpretation and Analysis of the chart in a Live Market Situation is done by active traders and you can also see how they utilize the information to make live trades with the information as it develops.
The Vtrender Trading Room is at-https://vtrender.com/trading-room/
We also use an advanced form of the Market Profile which is the Volume Profile and have specially crafted Market profile Trading strategies and Volume Profile trading strategies unique to the Room.
A preview of the Vtrender Trading Room and it’s benefits is at – https://vtrender.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Intro-2-VTR.mp4
A bit more on the Market Profile with the Terminology
Timeframes: The market profile recognizes five distinct types of individuals who operate in the markets. These are a) Scalper, b) Day trader, c) Short-term player, d) Intermediate-term player, e) Long-term player. Each of these individuals have a perception which they bring to the market and this perception helps move the markets. The scalper and the day trader are responsible for maintaining the liquidity of the markets.
Value: The perception which all of the above-mentioned players bring to the markets after the bid-ask process helps build what we call “value”. Value is different for each of the mentioned players and they will move the price up or down depending on this perception. For example, if the intermediate term seller thinks that the market is overpriced he will jump in to move price down. On a daily timeframe, the period where 70 % of the volume action takes place is defined as the value area. Similarly, we have a weekly and a monthly value area.
Buyers: Individuals of any timeframe who feel that the present market is underpriced and therefore less in value. These individuals will move price up.
Sellers: Same role as the above except they think that the market is overpriced and will move the price down.
Auction: The activities of buyers and sellers recorded through the bid-ask process is called auction. The auction results in the formation of the value area which the buyers and the sellers agree as the fairest value for the day. As the auction moves away from the value area, buyers and sellers change their definition of value. If higher prices are agreed upon in the auction, the value is supposed to move higher and consequently, the market moves up.
Selling tail: The failure of the auction at higher levels to attract new buyers results in the sellers swiftly moving in forming what is called a selling tail.
Buying tail: The same activity as above, but in the opposite direction. The bigger the size of the tails the more aggressive is the action/ reaction.
Point of Control ( POC) – This is the region where the most activity occurs during the day and has a high volume around it as a result. This POC is also considered the fairest price of the day or the week. The POC is measured across daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly time frames.
Developing Point of Control – The POC of the current day developing
Excess: A buying tail or a selling tail is also called an excess . The excess is the end of one auction and the beginning of the other.
Poor Lows/ Highs: This is an area which puts an end to an existing auction through exhaustion rather than an excess. It is also called an unfinished auction and price returns back to this point for a fresh probe after a small pullback.
Pull back low/ high – This is a very important concept in a trending day especially where the market recovered from an initial probe midday to check on old inventory. Participants use the pullback to adjust positions for the trend of the day. The Pullback high/ low is important for the rest of the sessions also as it is associated with inventory.
Bell curve: The proper statistical distribution where the POC is placed in the middle of the profile chart and 68.7% of the day’s trading Volume is on either side of this POC. On the charts, it looks like a Bell kept sideways and hence called a bell curve
Different day types – Covered in detail here at – https://vtrender.com/market-profile-day-types/
Vwap – This is the weighted average price of the movement of the instrument. It is calculated by using the ratio of price multiplied by the number of shares divided by total shares traded
Close: The final auction of the day
Open The first auction of the day. If there is a large difference in the open and the close then again the perception of value in the market has changed. More types of open are at – http://vtrender.blogspot.com/2011/02/market-profile-glossary.html
Balance: A region where trade is contained and the price does not move vertically. This area is also called Value. A balance occurs in all timeframes. A balance is also the end of an auction. Excess and balance are considered opposite terms in an auction
Imbalance: The opposite of a balance. Price breaks away from a balance to form an imbalance. Either the Buyer or the seller is more aggressive when an imbalance happens
Initial balance: The first 60 Minutes of a trading day is called the initial balance. As the name suggests, the IB tries to set up the day’s balance or define the value for the day.
Range extension: The movement away from the initial balance is called the range extension. Success or failure of the range extension gives us an indication of the type of day unfolding.
Spike – The movement in the last hour of the day is called a spike. A spike is an auction which is not complete and hence unverified. This happens mostly due to exchange closing hours. The next day needs to be watched for confirmation/ rejection of the spike. More – https://vtrender.com/spike-rules/
Initiative activity: Control by the buyer or seller in the trading day is called initiative activity. As the name suggests, the action determines conviction on the part of the players to move the market. The strength of the initiative activity is useful to determine which party will have a role to play in the day
Responsive activity: This is a response to Initiative activity, the strength of which can determine changes to the trend of the timeframe.
One Time Frame behavior: A trending situation or an imbalance driven by Initiative activity
The Market Profile approach to Trading is discussed extensively with Live Market Analysis in the Vtrender Trading Room. We have a large community of Market Profile Traders who come together to watch the Market profile charts and discuss trading strategies for intraday and positional trading based on the information provided by these unique market profile charts.
You may wish to check a few more writings on Market Profile on this blog. Look up for more Intraday Trading strategies and Other Market Profile trading strategies – https://vtrender.com/random-musings-on-market-profile/