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Fast Stochastic Oscillator

www.cmsfx.comDeveloped by George C. Lane in the 1950's, the Stochastic Oscillator comes in 3 flavors: Fast, Slow, and Full. The Stochastic Oscillator is a momentum indicator designed to show the relation of the current close price relative to the high/low range over a given number of periods using a scale of 0-100. It is based on the assumption that in a rising market the price(s) will close near the high of the range and in a declining market the price(s) will close near the low of the range.

The Stochastic Oscillators are typically plotted as 2 lines: %K and %D. %K is the main (fast) line and %D is the signal (slow) line.

The Fast Stochastic Oscillator is calculated by the formula:

Fast %K = ((Today's Close - Lowest Low in %K Periods) / (Highest High in %K Periods - Lowest Low in %K Periods)) * 100

%D = 3-period simple moving average of Fast %K

Interpretation

There are three basic techniques for using the various Stochastic Oscillators to generate trading signals.

Crossovers: 1) %K line / %D line Crossover: A buy signal occurs When the %K line crosses above the %D line and a sell signal occurs when the %K line crosses below the %D line. 2) %K line / 50-level Crossover: When the %K line crosses above 50 a buy signal is given. Alternatively, when the %K line crosses below 50 a sell signal is given.

Divergence: Looking for divergences between the Stochastic Oscillator and price can prove to be very effective in identifying potential reversal points in price movement. Trade long on Classic Bullish Divergence: Lower lows in price and higher lows in the Stochastic Oscillator; Trade short on Classic Bearish Divergence: Higher highs in price and lower highs in the Stochastic Oscillator.

Overbought/Oversold Conditions: The Stochastic Oscillator can be used to identify potential overbought and oversold conditions in price movements. An Overbought condition is generally described as the Stochastic Oscillator being greater than or equal to the 80% level while an oversold condition is generally described as the Stochastic Oscillator being less than or equal to the 20% level. Trades can generated when the Stochastic Oscillator crosses these levels. A buy signal occurs when the Stochastic Oscillator declines below 20% and then rises above that level. A sell signal occurs when the Stochastic Oscillator rises above 80% and then declines below that level.

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