Ants — Momentum, Volume and Price (MVP)

The Ants indicator is based on the research of David Ryan, three-time winner of the U.S. Investing Championship. David came up with the idea for the indicator while managing the New USA Growth Fund at William O’Neil + Company. David was interested to understand what drove some stocks higher once they were extended from their most recent base, while others had only moderate moves up.

What David found during his research was that stocks making the biggest moves often had consistent buying on volume over a period of 12 to 15 trading days. Stocks with these characteristics may be under institutional accumulation, where it may take days to weeks to fill a position.

Momentum, Volume And Price ( MVP )

The Ants indicator looks for the following:

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎■ Momentum - The stock is up at least 12 of the past 15 days.
‎ ‎ ‎ ‎■ Volume - The volume has increased over the past 15 days by 20% to 25%.
‎ ‎ ‎ ‎■ Price - The price is up at least 20% over the past 15 days.

Why Is The Indicator Called Ants?

The "Ants" reference comes from the original implementation at William O'Neil where small black marks were placed above price bars when the MVP criteria were met.

Ant Colors

When the indicator was created at William O'Neil, Ants were shown only when all three MVP requirements had been met. You may find it helpful to see Ants when momentum and volume or momentum and price are detected. With that in mind, the Ants indicator supports the following:

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎■ Gray Ants - Momentum requirement met.
‎ ‎ ‎ ‎■ Blue Ants - Momentum and price requirements met.
‎ ‎ ‎ ‎■ Yellow Ants - Momentum and volume requirements met.
‎ ‎ ‎ ‎■ Green Ants - Momentum, volume and price requirements met.

What Does It Mean If More Than 15 Ants Are Shown?

It is possible that two or more consecutive series of Ants overlap. For example, you may have one series of 15 bars that meet all the MVP requirements. Somewhere within that series, another run of 15 bars may begin that also meets the MVP requirements. In situations such as this, once each run of 15 Ants is displayed, the total number of consecutive Ants shown will be greater than 15.


Many thanks to David Ryan for his time to clarify the details of the MVP requirements and providing feedback and suggestions during the development of the Ants indicator.

Release Notes: version 2.0

What's new:
■ Ants can be shown on a horizontal line versus over each price bar.
■ Colors can be configured for each of the MVP criteria.

Release Notes: version 3.0

What's new:
■ Minor updates to the vertical offset calculations so changes are more consistent across all price ranges.
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Hi, thanks a lot again for this contribution, but what does it mean all that. Would it mean that we should buy after 15 days or between 11 days and 15 days if criteria are met ... for example?
+2 Reply
Often times stocks making big moves will have consistent buying on volume over a period of 12 to 15 trading days. This may mean the stock is being bought by institutional investors (mutual funds, etc).

The ants indicate the range of 15 days where the momentum, volume and price met the criteria as described. Depending on your trading style, after you see the ants, you could look for an opportunity to buy.
@PlayTheTrade, thank you very much for your clarification. Appreciated. Best regards
+1 Reply
Hi, Thanks for the Indicator.

Is there any way we can integrate this into screener to find a list of stocks that meets the criteria?
+1 Reply
PlayTheTrade Abhijeet18
I agree, that would be quite helpful. My understanding is that you cannot create custom screens in Pine. There may be another way to integrate an indicator into a screen, however, I have not looked into that.
Abhijeet18 PlayTheTrade

Thanks for the reply.
Are you planning to add custom timeframe, weekly and monthly in this indicator?
+1 Reply
PlayTheTrade Abhijeet18
The original implementation created by David Ryan was based on a daily chart. I am working on additional timeframes to see if the results are consistent.
Hi John, many thanks for this indicator, I have found it extremely helpful. I am looking at WSM and notice that is has the yellow "ants" - if I turn the setting "show ants only if all MVP criteria are met", I get the green "ants" instead. Is there a way to have the green "ants" shown as a preference? Or say above the yellow/grey/blue "ants". Without this setting, it is hard to visualize when the most important "ants" are on the chart. Appreciate your response and many thanks again for coding this. Good luck!
+1 Reply
If you look closely, you'll see a green dot at the start of the range, this is the start of a 15 day range that meets all the criteria. A new 15 day range starts the day after the start of the first range, so it overlaps all the green dots with yellow dots. If you change the Settings to only show Ants if all MVP criteria are met, you'll see only the green dots.

adams016 PlayTheTrade
@PlayTheTrade, thats great, much appreciated! Legend
+1 Reply
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