Relative Strength vs Relative Strength Index: Whats the Difference?

what is relative strength index

The goal is to predict where prices are going, not to signal how strongly a stock is performing. A positive reversal forms when RSI forges a lower low, and the security forms a higher low. This lower low is not at oversold levels but is usually between 30 and 50.

  • And even if a reversal does occur, it won’t necessarily happen in short order.
  • This RSI metric is converted into a simple indicator which ranges between zero and 100.
  • One valuable tool to understand is the Relative Strength Index (RSI).
  • An RSI value above 70 indicates overbought conditions, suggesting the security may be due for a pullback.
  • In this case, we will use the RSI together with the simple moving average (SMA) of 7, 20, and 50 days.

Traders in that situation might delay buying until they see other technical indicators confirm their buy signal. 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 (a trading range) where the asset price is alternating between bullish and bearish movements. The moving average convergence divergence (MACD) 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-period exponential moving average (EMA) from the 12-period EMA.

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The stock ultimately bottomed around 46 a few weeks later (3); the final bottom did not coincide with the initial oversold reading. It is also frequently watched for divergence signals of possible upcoming trend changes. 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. The relative strength index is a momentum indicator that averages prices over a period.

A nine-day EMA of the MACD, called the signal line, is then plotted on top of the MACD line. Traders may buy the security when the MACD crosses above its signal line and sell, or short, the security when the MACD crosses below the signal line. An RSI divergence occurs when price moves in the opposite direction of the RSI. In other words, a chart might display a change in momentum before a corresponding change in price. After the RSI is calculated, the RSI indicator can be plotted beneath an asset’s price chart, as shown below. The True Strength Index (TSI) indicator is another momentum oscillator commonly confused with RSI.

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On the other hand, a reading below 30 suggests the stock may be oversold and could be ready to move higher. As you can see in this example, when the RSI moves near 70, the price tends to weaken afterward. Now, it’s important to note that these what is relative strength index 70 and 30 readings work best when a stock is neutral, as shown here. Compiling the Relative Strength Index can get rather technical. RSI is calculated based on average price gain and average price loss, typically in a 14-day window.

what is relative strength index

The RSI was designed to indicate whether a security is overbought or oversold in relation to recent price levels. It’s calculated using average price gains and losses over a given period of time. The default time period is 14 periods, with values bounded from 0 to 100. Relative Strength is a simple ratio of two securities’ prices, whereas RSI is calculated using a more complex formula that accounts for average gains and losses over a specified period.


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