jones transportation average

As mentioned, some traders wonder whether the Dow theory is still applicable today. Even though this argument is rational, the Dow Theory remains to be popular and applicable. And the accuracy of the technical analysis has proven that the applicability Dow Theory is also undisputable. A trader should only consider the trend to have changed if there is substantial evidence that it has reversed. Dow Theory is a technical analysis structure introduced by Dow – the founder of Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones & Company. This theorist was part of the intellects that brought forth the Dow Jones Transportation Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average .


The first assumption is that the manipulation of the trend is not possible. When large amounts of money are at stake, the temptation to manipulate is bound to be present. Hamilton did not argue against the possibility that speculators, specialists or anyone else involved in the markets could manipulate the prices. He qualified his assumption by asserting that it was not possible to manipulate the primary trend.

The theory operates on the efficient markets hypothesis , which states that asset prices incorporate all available information. In other words, this approach is the antithesis of behavioral economics. Dow theory is a simple yet incisive market theory based on the connection between industrial output and transportation. Day traders will need to decide for themselves how reliable this theory is, or any similar theory, seems to them. Dow theory is a theory related to the general business cycle that uses Dow Jones compiled averages to interpret the strength of any proposed expansion or contraction of the market. A primary trend, upward or downward, lasts at least for one year.

Understanding the Dow Theory

It is predicted in consideration of events that are happening or are bound to happen which would drag down the prices of the stocks in the market. Consecutively higher highs and higher lows in a downward-trending market demonstrate a possible reversal to an upward trend. A reversal in the primary trend is signaled when the market cannot create successive peaks and troughs in the direction of the primary trend. A secondary trend, shorter, aiming to correct the primary trend.

According to the theory, asset prices reflect the health of the economy and business circumstances. Therefore, by evaluating these variables and events, one may determine the trajectory of fundamental market movements in Forex and other forms of investment such as stocks and commodities. In October, the DJIA formed a higher low while the DJTA recorded a new low. After the higher low, the DJIA followed through with higher lows and highs, indicating an overall upward momentum. By early November, the DJTA had begun to confirm with the DJIA, and the primary trend had shifted from bearish to bullish. Bull MarketsA bull market occurs when many stock prices rise 20% from a recent low, with the price climb spanning for an extended period.

Distribution phase, where news of a decline begins to be distributed throughout the investing community via various channels. I/we have a beneficial short position in the shares of SPX, NDX either through stock ownership, options, or other derivatives. While Information Technology is still the largest sector at 21% of the index, it is closely followed by Health Care at 20%, while Financials make up a significant 15% share. The higher weighting of Financials and lower weighting of Tech stocks largely explains the higher dividend yield on the Dow Industrials relative to the S&P 500, which yield 1.9% and 1.4% respectively. However, the DIA ETF itself pays a slightly lower dividend yield than the underlying index it tracks, at just 1.7%.


In a bull market, these are the accumulation phase, the public participation phase, and the excess phase. In a bear market, they are called the distribution phase, the public participation phase, and the panic phase. The primary trend is the general direction for prices, but it is not the only direction. This is the secondary trend, which is a price movement in the opposite direction of the primary trend and over a shorter duration.

This last tenet, that two opposing primary trends cannot coexist on two different market indices, was undoubtedly the most important to Charles Dow. In other words, the primary trend discovered on a market index must always be confirmed by a similar trend on another market index and vice versa. The Dow theory is a financial markets theory developed by Charles H. Dow that rests on six basic tenets that were a precursor to modern-day technical analysis​. • Two opposing primary trends cannot coexist on two different market indices. A primary trend discovered on a market index must always be confirmed by a similar trend on another market index. shows the conviction of the traders and investors trading that stock. If volume begins to decrease with price increases, there are less bullish traders/investors wanting to buy higher prices. Not only did Dow believe that the movements of the 2 averages must confirm each other, he also thought that volume for 1 or both averages must confirm the trend.

How Does Dow Theory Work in Technical Analysis?

An up-trend is defined by a series of higher-highs and higher-lows. In order for an up-trend to reverse, prices must have at least one lower high and one lower low . The following chart shows the Dow Industrials and the Dow Transports at the beginning of the bull market in 1982. In anticipation of a recovery from the recession, informed investors began to accumulate stock during the First phase (box "A"). A steady stream of improved earnings reports came in during the Second phase (box "B"), causing more investors to buy stock. Euphoria set in during the Third phase (box "C"), as the general public began to aggressively buy stock.

It is a period marked by improving business conditions and increased valuations in stocks. This is considered the easiest stage to make money as participation is broad and the trend followers begin to participate. In Sept-96, the DJIA ($INDU) recorded a new high, thereby establishing the primary trend as bullish. During the advance from Sept-96 to Mar-97, the DJIA never declined for more than two consecutive weeks.

He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The key point to note is that a divergence in the Industrials and the Transports is a necessary but not sufficient conditions. In other words, it does not guarantee a major market top in the DIA, but a major market top in the DIA has almost never occurred in the absence of underperformance in the Transports sector. Earnings potential, competitive advantage, management competence — all of these factors and more are priced into the market, even if not every individual knows all or any of these details. In more strict readings of this theory, even future events are discounted in the form of risk.

Remember, the trend is assumed to be in force until proven otherwise. Possibly the greatest fear of the airlines is that people will stop flying in airplanes. Business travel accounts for a large portion of airline revenues, especially the high margin revenues. With the development of the Internet and networking, the need for business travel could be greatly reduced in the future. Federal Express has already experienced a slowdown in the quantity of business documents being shipped.

It is likely that the stock was caught up in the general market advance at the time. However, when the major indices were hitting new highs in December, Coca-Cola was starting to flounder and resume its primary trend. After the elapse of more than a century since Charles Dow's death, his basic ideas still remain true. The easiest way to make money in the markets is to follow the primary trend, for that is the easiest trend to see and to forecast. Also, notice how I did not include Volume on my top five list.

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While valuations have retreated somewhat since my previous article in June, the price/earnings ratio remains significantly above its long-term average. The chart below shows the price-to-peak earnings of the Dow Industrials, which helps to strip out periods when the market was trading at a high PE ratio due to temporary declines in earnings. Because the stock market and stock prices are the result of many complex interactions, forecasts can never be 100% accurate or even close to it. But by studying the market with an emotional detachment, one can anticipate market moves and make profits exceeding losses. Primary Downtrends, or Bear Markets, on the other hand, can also be categorized into three phases, although like in Bull Markets, not always.

Even though Charles Dow is credited with developing Dow Theory, it was S.A. Nelson and William Hamilton who later refined the theory into what it is today. Hamilton also wrote The Stock Market Barometer in 1922, which sought to explain the theory in detail.

Volume as Confirmation

This indicator suggests there may be reason to be optimistic short term. A pullback on one of the averages must exceed 3% and then ideally hold above the prior lows on both the Industrial and the Transportation averages. The Dow theory is based on the analysis of maximum and minimum market fluctuations to make accurate predictions on the direction of the market. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 78% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider.

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With some amount of flexibility, a small difference such as this should be considered alright. A double top & double bottom is considered a reversal pattern. A double bottom occurs when a stock’s price hits a shallow price level and rebounds back with a quick recovery. Following the price recovery, the stock trades at a higher level for at least 2 weeks . After which the stock attempts to hit back to the low price previously made.

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However, when a series of days are combined, a structure will start to emerge and analysis becomes better grounded. The Dow Theory is a trading approach formulated by Charles Dow, the founder of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones and Company. The works of Charles Dow are considered the foundation of technical analysis in the markets.

A primary bull market is defined as a long sustained advance marked by improving business conditions that elicit increased speculation and demand for stocks. In a primary bull market, there will be secondary movements that run counter to the major trend. The Dow Theory attempts to identify the primary trend a market is in. It is comprised of three primary trends, each made up of secondary and minor trends. The theory assumes that the market already has knowledge of every possible factor and that prices reflect current information.