What Is the Volume-Weighted Average Price (VWAP)?
The volume-weighted average price (VWAP) is a technical analysis indicator used on intraday charts that resets at the start of every new trading session.
VWAP is important because it provides traders with pricing insight into both the trend and value of a security.
1. The volume-weighted average price (VWAP) is a single line on intraday charts.
2. It looks similar to a moving average line but smoother.
3. VWAP represents a view of price action throughout a single day's trading session.
4. Retail and professional traders may use the VWAP to help them determine intraday price trends.
5. VWAP typically is most useful to short-term traders.
VWAP is calculated by totaling the dollars traded for every transaction (price multiplied by the volume) and then dividing by the total shares traded.
VWAP = Cumulative Typical Price x Volume/Cumulative Volume
Where Typical Price = High price + Low price + Closing Price/3
Cumulative = total since the trading session opened.
How Is VWAP Used?
VWAP is used in different ways by traders. Traders may use VWAP as a trend confirmation tool and build trading rules around it. For instance, they may consider stocks with prices below VWAP as undervalued and those with prices above it, as overvalued. If prices below VWAP move above it, traders may go long on the stock. If prices above VWAP move below it, they may sell their positions or initiate short positions.
Institutional buyers including mutual funds use VWAP to help move into or out of stocks with as small of a market impact as possible. Therefore, when they can, institutions will try to buy below the VWAP or sell above it. This way their actions push the price back toward the average, instead of away from it.
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