Broad market index / quantifytools

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- Overview

Broad market index is a market breadth based oscillator, depicting broad market trend by analysing ratio between symbols moving up and symbols moving down in a given market. When market breadth is positive, more symbols are going up and when negative, more symbols are going down. As markets tend to correlate, broad market trend dictates likely path for all individual symbols that make up the market.

This tool provides market breadth for US equities (based on NYSE advancers - decliners) and ability to build two custom breadth baskets with up to 39 symbols included in each. Market breadth can be customized with variety of smoothing options, weighting and threshold modes to find most optimal rules for trend following. Performance of the model is reflected on metrics showing percentage of up/down moves during bullish/bearish states.

↑ 63% = 63% of price moves during positive breadth state are to the upside
↓ 59% = 59% of price moves during negative breadth state are to the downside

Breadth state is colorized on line and chart according to its state (negative/positive/equilibrium) and direction (trending up/down). Upper and lower bands depict historical turning points in breadth for identifying extremes in broad market trend. Triangles mark breadth thrusts, in other words abnormally large moves in breadth at either upper or lower extreme. Breadth thrusts can serve as early signs of broad market trend reverting.

- Concept and features

By default, market breadth is calculated based on NYSE advancers - decliners, usable for all major indices that depict broad markets in US equities (SP500, QQQ, IWM). Users can also build 2 custom breadth baskets consisting of up to 39 symbols for defining broad market on other asset classes, such as cryptocurrencies. Custom baskets are suitable for any chart that fairly represents a market as a whole.

Basket consisting of cryptocurrencies = Use on TOTAL (all cryptocurrencies aggregated)
Basket consisting of healthcare stocks = Use on XLV (healthcare sector ETF)

Breadth line can be further refined using various smoothing options (SMA, EMA, HMA, RMA, WMA), threshold method and weights. By default, threshold (dividing line between bullish and bearish states) is set to fixed at 0, depicting an equilibrium where equal amount of symbols are going up and down.

Threshold mode can also be set to Dynamic, switching threshold to a moving average of the breadth line. Fundamental functionality still remains, breadth line above threshold marks bullish state and below threshold marks bearish state. Difference here is that the threshold no longer depicts a point of equilibrium, but simply a smoothed version of the breadth line itself, which can catch turns in broad market trend earlier.

Breadth basket can be adjusted to volatility of the viewed chart, causing an overstating of breadth on high volatility and understating on low volatility. Weighting takes into account magnitude of up/down moves, which can provide better relevance for trend following purposes.

- Practical guide

Example #1: Broad market trend

The utility of market breadth is based on the idea that markets correlate and individual symbols making up the market will eventually join the broad market trend. With this in mind, going against broad market is like swimming upstream, it's going to be the hard way. A well performing basket with clear skew for upside and downside on respective breadth states can be used to form directional bias for trades and risk on/off regimes for investing.

Example #2 : Broad market reversals

Thrusts signify two things: a historical extreme in breadth and an aggressive move to the opposite direction. Thrusts are valuable clues for exhaustion in broad market trend, potentially leading to a reversal.

Example #3: Breadth/price divergences

Market breadth and price diverging signify events where most symbols that make up the market are going one way but a few high weight symbols (big tech for SP500) are going the other way. In other words, only a few symbols are moving the market while general interest and intention is to the other direction. Divergences in breadth and price are not ideal for sustainable trend and can be expected to eventually revert to the direction of broad market.

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