Volume weighted average price (VWAP) was created in 1988 as a benchmark for institutions to determine the quality of their order execution. It is the average price for the day, weighted by volume, with each share traded getting equal weight. The cumulative average builds throughout the day, and if more volume comes in on an up move, the VWAP will rise, but if more volume comes in as the market moves lower, the VWAP will decline, and prices will be below it. According to veteran trader and alphatrends.net founder Brian Shannon, CMT, we can determine with 100% accuracy who has control at the beginning of the day based on where the VWAP is in relation to it. When thinking about support and resistance levels, traders use the word "porosity," which is similar to drawing a trendline with a crayon instead of a straight edge, where the VWAP becomes a battleground in that area. He calls them levels of interest rather than levels of resistance. The anchored VWAP initiated from the all-time high for the NASDAQ, for instance. It measures sentiments with precision and tells us that from that top, the average long participant is losing money because the price is lower than the average, while the average short seller is making money. Shannon advises that as the market comes up to the anchored VWAP, not only will long people be looking to break even, but short sellers might put a big offer on there and try to scare the long holders out of it. He sees it as a transition of a balance of power, and if buyers are able to wrestle away control and take control of the trend, prices can re-emerge in a new uptrend supported by the average participant being in a profitable position and the average short seller scrambling to cover their losses. Shannon advises looking at the shorter-term timeframe for trend alignment and measuring sentiment and psychology to determine who is in control from a particular event. He suggests measuring VWAP from an event and looking for the first couple of days or two, where buyers gain control, and then a battle ensues where sellers regain control. By analyzing the sentiment and psychology, traders can determine whether the buyers or sellers have regained control and make informed trading decisions.
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