What are the best indicators to identify overbought and oversold stocks?
Identifying stocks that are overbought or oversold can be an important part of establishing viable trade entries. Though there are a number of indicators that can be used to assess these conditions, some are more popular than others. Two of the most common indicators of overbought or oversold conditions are the relative strength index (RSI) and the stochastic indicators. Each measurement has its strengths and weaknesses but, like most indicators, they are strongest when used in tandem.
The RSI is a range-bound oscillator that is calculated based on prior sessions' average gains versus losses. As the number of sessions used in the calculation increases, the more accurate this measurement becomes. When the RSI of a given security approaches 100, it is an indicator that the average gains increasingly exceed the average losses over the established time frame. The higher the RSI, the stronger and more protracted the bullish trend. A long and aggressive downtrend results in an RSI that sinks progressively toward zero. RSI levels of 80 or above are considered overbought, as this indicates an especially long run of successively higher prices. An RSI level of 30 or below is considered oversold.
The stochastic indicators, like the RSI, are also range-bound oscillators. However, where the RSI is calculated based on average gains and losses, stochastics compare the current price level to its range over a given period of time. Stocks tend to close near their highs in an uptrend and near lows in a downtrend. Therefore, price action that moves further from these extremes toward the middle of the range is interpreted as an exhaustion of trend momentum. A stochastic value of 100 means that the current session closed at the highest price within the established time frame. A stochastic value of 80 or above is considered an indication of an overbought status, with values of 20 or lower indicating an oversold status.