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Floor Traders Pivots

by Jim Harrison, 4734 days ago
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Pivot System price levels act as potential support and resistance zones throughout the day. They serve as focal points for floor professionals as they adjust their bids and offers, especially when trading activity is slow. The use of these values, along with tape reading skills and candlestick pattern recognition can help in determining appropriate areas for trade entry, stop placement, and exits.

The principle reference level under this system is the Daily Pivot, or the Pivot Point (DPP). Generally, as we enter each trading day, we regard this level as our balance point between bullish and bearish forces. A demonstration of significant price activity above the Daily Pivot is considered to have bullish implications, while significant activity below this level is bearish. Although actual trading activity is initiated by a variety of other market indications, we look at price behavior relative to the Daily Pivot level as an aid in determining the market's general directional bias.

The day's trading activity can generally be thought of as revolving around and gravitating towards the Daily Pivot level. As price moves away from this zone and approaches either the first level of resistance (R1) or the first level of support (S1), market behavior becomes increasingly critical. Any rejection of these newly attained levels increases the likelihood of a return to the DP. On the other hand, a breach of either of these levels is regarded as market acceptance and a perceived change in the valuation of the instrument being traded.

Additionally, should the market extend its move even further from the Daily Pivot, penetration through each successive level of support or resistance is generally regarded as having drawn in a greater degree of participation from off-floor interests. An increase in off-floor interests represents a greater likelihood that longer-term positions are being established, resulting in greater potential for the market to trend even further. Each consecutively greater level of Pivot System support or resistance breached is generally regarded as having stirred the interest of successively longer term participants.

Once the market has made a convincing break of a particular support or resistance level, that level is considered to have reversed its support/resistance role, and, subsequently, becomes a test point for further market activity. For example, if the first level of support (S1) is penetrated to the downside, any return to that level is considered a test of that level's integrity. The rejection of any price advance back towards the level of S1 is considered to be a successful test of that breach, and adds to that level's credibility as a renewed valuation point. Furthermore, any additional move away from that level has the potential to force the market through the next level of support or resistance, drawing players of even a longer time-frame into the market, and so on, continually expanding the market's range of activity.

The longer time frame traders will ?owake up? or become active as we expand price to and or beyond the inner levels of the Pivot System. As price breaks through the levels of R2 or S2 they will most likely resolve the price action in one of two ways. First, we will see an acceptance of the new found value resulting in what we refer to as trend days where price seems to move only in one direction with force. Alternatively, if the new found value is not generally accepted by the longer time frame traders, price will attempt to find its way back to the Daily Pivot Point.

The traditional formula for calculating Floor Trader Pivot System Support and Resistance Levels are as follows:
Pivot(P)       =(H + L + C)/3
Resistance level 1 (R1) =(2*P) - L
Support level 1 (S1)       =(2*P) - H
Resistance level 2 (R2)       =(P - S1) + R1
Support level 2 (S2)       = P - (R1 - S1)
Resistance Level 3 (R3)       =(P - S1) + R2
Support Level 3 (S3)       = P - (R2 - S1)

This formula generally uses what we refer to as 24 hour data, including a high and or a low that may have occurred outside Regular Trading Hours. Alternatively, one could use just the High, Low and Close price information from the Regular Trading Hours to calculate the Pivot Point. Certain traders also have modified the formula in a number of different ways to including opening price gaps and mid day recalculations in price which is not the scope of this article.

Pivot levels of support and resistance can also be applied to the weekly and monthly time frames.

Daily and Weekly Floor Trader Pivot Level Confluence

Those areas in which multiple levels exist in proximity can be considered to have a greater likelihood of providing stronger support or resistance. The same process can be applied to the monthly time frame to add even more potential for confluence.
An important point to remember about these Floor Trader Pivot Numbers is that they act as potential support and resistance zones throughout the trading day. The "context" in which they occur often determines their significance. Your use of tape reading skills combined with an ability to properly interpret candlestick formations can lead to a very simple, yet powerful trading set up and play a critical role in the appropriate use of Floor Trader Levels as a profit tool.


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