Relative strength index Wikipedia


Since the indicator displays momentum, it can stay overbought or oversold for a long time when an asset has significant momentum in either direction. Therefore, the RSI is most useful in an oscillating market where the asset price is alternating between bullish and bearish movements. Trading with any type of momentum indicator requires patience and the ability to wait for confirmation. The appearance of one of these signals alerts traders of a price reversal, but signals against the trend are considered better for exits to trades rather than entries. A high RSI simply means that there were more bullish candles than bearish candles. Once we understand what the RSI does, we can see that overbought and oversold and NOT signals that indicate that price will turn.

This chart features daily bars in gray with a 1-day SMA in pink to highlight closing prices . Working from left to right, the stock became oversold in late July and found support around 44 . Bottoming can be a process – this stock did not bottom as soon as the oversold reading appeared. From oversold levels, RSI moved above 70 in mid September to become overbought. Despite this overbought reading, the stock did not decline; instead, it stalled for a couple weeks and then continued higher.


It simply means that the price is very weak as we have learned above. In addition to the basic 70/80 or 30/20 readings, traders also watch for divergence between price movement and the value of the RSI. 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.

How to use relative strength index?

The value of RSI oscillates from 0 to 100, with a value over 70 indicating the oversold condition and below 30 indicating the oversold condition. For a robust strategy, most traders combine RSI with other indicators, such as exponential moving averages and relatively short-term moving average crossings.

If you can quantify price strength and translate it into interpretable numbers, you can make trading decisions without guesswork and subjective interpretations. RSI forms another high without crossing back into overbought territory. The below strategies for trading with the RSI indicator are merely guidance and cannot be relied on for profit. When the RSI moves higher back to the trend line, it offers an opportunity to look for short setups.

Habits of Successful trader

Some traders like to add both indicators to their analysis and wait for signals to align for extra confirmation before making their trading decisions. Other traders may prefer to use one indicator or the other to avoid duplication in their analysis. Taking the prior value plus the current value is a smoothing technique like that used in calculating an exponential moving average .

analysis or longer timeframes are used for alternately shorter or longer outlooks. High and low levels—80 and 20, or 90 and 10—occur less frequently but indicate stronger momentum. While RSI readings below 30 might generate a „buy signal”, the asset’s downward trend might continue for a long time before it reverses course. If we plot that data point into an RSI chart, we can see that the stock in this example is close to overbought territory. We calculate the Initial Average Loss by summing all the price losses over the last 14 days and then dividing by 14; loss is always a positive number because it reflects a quantity. In summary, once we know how to plot the RSI indicator, it is relatively easy to read it and form an opinion on the asset with the help of the RSI indicator graph.

A reading of 20 and below is a strong indicator of an oversold condition. As we have discussed in the section on Bollinger Bands, we can identify the double bottom and double top pattern using the RSI indicator too. The gist of the double bottom pattern identification is as follows. The RSI indicator closes below 30 before rising higher and above the 30 barriers. Historically, an RSI of 30 or below is believed to be a good signal for buying as it indicates an oversold position. On the other hand, an RSI of 70 or above is considered suitable for selling the position.

The rate of change of price action can indicate if momentum is accelerating or decelerating. This is important as it can help traders determine the current trading environment and define which strategy to adopt. For example, many traders buy on a dip when negative momentum is decelerating and sell on a rally when positive momentum is decelerating. It indicates the best time to sell and purchase security using the trigger method. The RSI above 70 is considered overbought, and below 30 is considered oversold. In other words, if the average gain exceeds the average loss, it signals a potential decline in the market.


Signals can also be generated by looking for divergences, failure swings and centerline crossovers. The RSI compares bullish and bearish price momentum and displays the results in an oscillator placed beneath a price chart. The moving average convergence divergence is another trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between two moving averages of a security’s price. The MACD is calculated by subtracting the 26-periodexponential moving average from the 12-period EMA. The bulk of the calculation is determining the average gain, divided by the average loss. The relative strength index is a technical indicator used in the analysis of financial markets.


In addition to Wilder’s original theories of RSI interpretation, Andrew Cardwell has developed several new interpretations of RSI to help determine and confirm trend. First, Cardwell noticed that uptrends generally traded between RSI 40 and 80, while downtrends usually traded between RSI 60 and 20. Cardwell observed when securities change from uptrend to downtrend and vice versa, the RSI will undergo a „range shift.” Wilder thought that „failure swings” above 50 and below 50 on the RSI are strong indications of market reversals. For example, assume the RSI hits 76, pulls back to 72, then rises to 77. If it falls below 72, Wilder would consider this a „failure swing” above 70.

Determining the trend direction is important for maximizing the potential success of a trade. Many investors create a horizontal trendline between the levels of 30 and 70 when a strong trend is in place to better identify the overall trend and extremes. The relative strength index is a popular momentum oscillator introduced in 1978. The chart above shows the price of Apple shares along with the RSI in the upper panel for the six months XLM ending 5 March 2018. Apple’s share price was overbought once in early November 2017, according to the RSI. The RSI reached a high of 76 in November 2017 and a low of 17 in February 2018.

However, the reliability of this signal will depend in part on the overall context. If the security is caught in a significant downtrend, then it might continue trading at an oversold level for quite some time. Traders in that situation might delay buying until they see other technical indicators confirm their buy signal. As you can see in the following chart, a bullish divergence was identified when the RSI formed higher lows as the price formed lower lows. This was a valid signal, but divergences can be rare when a stock is in a stable long-term trend. Using flexible oversold or overbought readings will help identify more potential signals.


You will automatically be granted access to a free demo account, where you can practise with virtual funds. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 78% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Calculate the RSI using a time period of 21 and save it in a new column called RSI_21. We don’t really need an RS array, because it’s just a middle step in the RSI calculation.

  • Chart 12 shows Starbucks forming a lower high as RSI forms a higher high.
  • The RSI oscillates in a range between 0 and 100 representing a comparison of the magnitude of a stock’s recent gains to the magnitude of its recent losses.
  • True reversal signals are rare and can be difficult to separate from false alarms.
  • There is generally no RSI formula that can be relied on to determine when the rebound will occur.

It may enhance calculating rsi methods by informing entry and exit point decisions. However, as with most technical indicators, their indications are most accurate when they correspond to an extended trend. As a result, it will signal a reversal in the declining trend of the security price and cause a surge in its pricing.

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Assuming a 14-period RSI, a zero RSI value means prices moved lower all 14 periods and there were no gains to measure. This means prices moved higher all 14 periods and there were no losses to measure. Taking the prior value plus the current value is a smoothing technique similar to that used in calculating an exponential moving average. This also means that RSI values become more accurate as the calculation period extends. SharpCharts uses at least 250 data points prior to the starting date of any chart when calculating its RSI values. To exactly replicate our RSI numbers, a formula will need at least 250 data points.

Leading and Lagging Indicators in Forex – Benzinga

Leading and Lagging Indicators in Forex.

Posted: Sat, 04 Mar 2023 03:10:44 GMT [source]

It does this by comparing the divergence of two EMAs, or exponential moving averages, one a 12-period, and one a 26-period. Traders can then compare the scope of recent price changes with the scope of those that took place earlier. While we did mention that RSI indicators and MACD indicators have certain similarities, they have a different approach towards it.

In general, if you see an overbought, or overvalued, condition, you can expect that there will be a corrective decline in price soon. Oversold, or undervalued, conditions signal that a price increase could be coming. In other words, you should buy a stock when it reaches an RSI of 30 and sell or short when it hits an RSI of 70. Who buys such a market just because the RSI is showing oversold conditions could accumulate huge losses.

What Does RSI Mean?

The relative strength index (RSI) measures the price momentum of a stock or other security. The basic idea behind the RSI is to measure how quickly traders are bidding the price of the security up or down. The RSI plots this result on a scale of 0 to 100.Readings below 30 generally indicate that the stock is oversold, while readings above 70 indicate that it is overbought. Traders will often place this RSI chart below the price chart for the security, so they can compare its recent momentum against its market price.

And an RSI of 50 would mean that 7 past candles were bearish, 7 were bullish and the size of the average gain and loss was equal. The more candles were bullish than bearish, the higher the RSI is. In June 1978, Welles Wilder introduced the Relative Strength Index to the trading community in an article for Commodities Magazine. The Relative Strength Index is one of the most popular momentum oscillators used by traders. It is so popular that every charting software package and professional trading system anywhere in the world has it as one of its primary indicators. Wilder believed that tops and bottoms are indicated when RSI goes above 70 or drops below 30.

The bar chart is the most common chart expression for the RSI. In addition, you may plot a weekly chart to confirm the RSI indications on a daily chart; weekly charts offer more significance when tracking trending activity. Input Field is set to „Default”, which, when viewing a chart for a specific symbol, is the same as „Close”. – as well as what it’s like to trade with leverage – before risking real capital. For this reason, a demo account with us is a great tool for investors who are looking to make a transition to leveraged trading. Whether you are using the RSI to identify strength, look for turning points, or as a breakout trader, the RSI is your universal weapon.

The Relative Strength Index is a calculation that measures oscillations in the value of a stock over a period of time. Published in 1978, the RSI was developed by technical analyst J. Welles Wilder Jr. and looks at a stretch of 14 cycles, comparing average gains and average losses to establish a rating for a given stock. Using a spreadsheet in Excel reduces calculating RSI to a simple matter of entering gain and loss data daily. MACD stands for moving average convergence divergence and it is a measure of the strength of a stock’s price movements.