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Linda Raschke presents:

Traditional and Unique

q Ways
y to use
Relative Strength

MTA November 10,2011

Copyright 2011 Linda Raschke and LBRGroup,Inc.

All rights reserved.
Relative Strength
History Respected technicians, market practitioners and
academics cite relative strength for the past 90 years.

Theory The strongest groups get stronger.

Practice Traditional RS investment models to short term

day trading applications.

Filters market environment and volume,

Relative Strength
Relative Strength is one of the most powerful tools for
making money in markets. The theory is that the stronger
a market is,
is the greater the supply demand imbalance,
and the greater likelihood it will continue to outperform
other markets.
Relative Strength should never be considered a primary
timing tool, but works best when used in a consistent
framework using other market indicators.
Like all indicators,
indicators it is a powerful tool in certain market
environments but does not work well in other market
Relative Strength History
Robert Rhea (1933) wrote about relative strength in Barrons. He
compared the percentage swings on an individual stock to the % moves
on the Dow Jones.
Gartley (1930s) looked at stock groups using relative strength. He was
among the first to quantify RS. His work laid the foundation for the
concept of beta, defined by William Sharpe.
Richard Wyckoff (1930
s) buy
buy relative strength on reactions
reactions. Relative
strength is measured by those issues that give up the least ground on the
reactions down.
George Chestnutt (1960s) American Investors fund outperformed the
Dow for 30 years
years. choose the best performing stocks from the best
performing industries. He used punch cards and an IBM computer to
follow a disciplined strategy.
Edwin Coppock (1960s) Did studies on relative strength and published in
R l i strength
h iis especially
i ll useful
f l ffor iintermediate
di and
d llong
term trading.
Relative Strength -History

Robert Levy (1967) pioneered academic studies on RS. Over his test
period in the 1960s, he concluded that 6 months was the optimal window
by which to measure RS and this was used to predict the subsequent 6
month period.

William ONeil (1960s) - select from leaders with a look back of 6 & 12
months. Hold for next 6 and 12 months.

James OOShaughnessy
Shaughnessy (1997) What
What Works on Wall Street
Street Popularized
Relative Strength among the upcoming quants.
When does Relative Strength work best and
when should it not be used?

RS works best in up-trending markets, in heavy volume

markets, and thrusts off cyclical lows. It works well in
b h stocks,
both k sectors, and
d commodities.
di i

It falls apart in strong downtrends, or right after a

market has had an initial downside break. It also will
under perform in a light volume trading range. Lastly, if
the market has already had an extended markup, rotation
ill ttend
d tto ttake
k place.
Practical Applications
Traditional investment models and look back periods. A 6-
month look back tends to work best, and a 4 week look
back period tends to perform worst.

Measuring off cycle lows: Use of 2,3,or 5 period Rate of

Change tto d
t i th
the iinitial
iti l momentum
t th
t PPattern
recognition works well with swings, too.

Trading in stocks and futures: Ranking the first 30 minute

range, looking for the Open-Drive principle.

Day trading in stocks or stock indexes: confirmation/non-

confirmation and leadership

Trading in commodities
Comparison of 4 indexes by visual inspection. Confirmation/non-
confirmation and RS based on structure of the swings.
Detecting changes in leadership: pattern recognition vs.
analysis. Wyckoff used pattern recognition.
quantitative analysis
Buy the RS leaders off Cycle lows. In this case, Relative Strength is
determined by comparative structure of the swings.
Comparison of two stocks in the same industry group: KO
divided by S&P 500 with 180
180--period moving average.
PEP divided by
y S&P 500 with 180-
period moving
g average
You can measure RS to see if it is rising or falling,
increasing or decreasing in momentum.

To obtain a relative strength line, divide the price of the

stock by the price of a market index (or another stock if
comparing the two).

Price rising and RS rising is most bullish.

Price falling and RS falling indicates the weakest scenario.

Classic technical indicators can be applied to a relative

strength line to highlight trend, confirmation and non-
confirmation, and even momentum.
MCD divided by
y S&P 500 with 180-
period moving
g average
DE divided by
y S&P 500 with 180-
period moving
g average
y, oils shares are turning
g into the RS leaders again.
Which of these two stocks gave the best initial
thrust off a cycle low in the indexes? (2-
ROC measures the initial momentum thrust)
Rank the position of a 3-
3-period RSI at a cycle low or 3
3--5 days
after the low. AA has one of the lower rankings no matter
where you measure it.it
Compare AA to WMT, which gives a higher RSI reading
g if y
you measure it at a cycle
y low or shortly
thereafter. Which performed best over the following week?
Day-trading stocks:
Take (close open)/(high low) of the first thirty minute
bar and sort for the highest and lowest readings. If you do
not have a sorting routine such as radar scan offered by
TradeStation, simple visual inspection works quite well.
You are looking for that open-drive concept where prices
move sharply off their opening level for the first 30

There will almost always be an intraday 15 minute bull flag

or use the reactions in the S&Ps to time entry as well.

Do not use this

h strategy on light
l h volume
l trading
d ddays.
There will not be enough follow-through after the initial
morning thrust.
First 30-
30-minute bar can set tone for the day. Here are 4 stocks on
the same day, which was a trend day down.
NYSE Volume 30 minute bars: Look for higher volume inthe
first 30 minutes when using relative strength to day trade.
Futures: First 30
30--minute bar off 7 AM reading-
reading- similar relative
strength reading approach to day trading stocks.
Same trading day with lines drawn at the 7 AM reading instead.
Easy to see a grid of 20 markets this way!
Which markets will be weakest/strongest into the close?
The top 4 were the weakest ones and close on their lows. Crude
and EC hold up best (the red line marks the 7AM CST reading)
Which of the 6 markets will p
perform best on the next upswing?
p g
EC and Gold had the largest swings down, and thus the next
swing up was weaker
Both the Swiss and the Yen were considered to be safe
havens during periods of Arab turmoil and European debt
crisis, but which market turned out to be the home run?