The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is an oscillator that measures a particular financial instrument’s current relative strength compared to its own price history. The RSI should not be confused with relative strength which rates a financial instrument in relation to a market such as the S&P index.
The RSI is plotted on a vertical scale numbered from 0 to 100. The formula to calculate the RSI is 100-[100/(1+A)] where A is the average of the “up” closes over the calculation period divided by the average of the “down” closes over the calculation period. Recognia uses the popular 14-bar period in the calculation of the RSI. The “A” for a 14-day period is calculated by dividing the 14-day “up” close average by the 14-day “down” close average. An “up” close or a “down” close is defined as the absolute change in price from close to close.
The RSI sometimes shows more clearly than the price chart itself the support and resistance lines for a financial instrument. Failure Swings which are also known as support or resistance penetrations or breakouts can be detected by using the RSI. Failure swings occur when the RSI passes a previous high or falls below a recent low.
Divergences (when market trends go in a different direction than market indicators predicted, usually signifying the onset of a trend change) occur when the price makes a new high (or low) that is not confirmed by a new high (or low) in the RSI. Prices usually correct and move in the direction of the RSI.
A financial instrument is considered to be oversold when its RSI falls below 30 and overbought when its RSI rises over 70.
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