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Home » Dow Theory Explained: What It Is and How It Works

Dow Theory Explained: What It Is and How It Works

Dow fleshed out the theory in a series of editorials in the Wall Street Journal, which he co-founded. The Dow Theory is a technical framework that predicts the market is in an upward trend if one of its averages advances above a previous important high, accompanied or followed by a similar advance in the other average. Charles is a nationally recognized capital markets specialist and educator with over 30 years of experience developing in-depth training programs for burgeoning financial professionals.

Adam received his master’s in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as the complete turtletrader review well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The US had population centers but factories were scattered throughout the country. Dow’s first stock averages were an index of industrial companies and rail companies. To Dow, a bull market in industrials could not occur unless the railway average rallied as well, usually first. According to this logic, if manufacturers’ profits are rising, it follows that they are producing more. If they produce more, then they have to ship more goods to consumers. Hence, if an investor is looking for signs of health in manufacturers, he or she should look at the performance of the companies that ship their output to market, the railroads.

Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree from Bridgewater State University and has worked on print content for business owners, national brands, and major publications.

The reversal of a downward primary trend occurs when the market no longer falls to lower lows and highs. This happens when the market establishes a peak that is higher than the previous peak, followed by a trough that is higher than the previous trough, which are the components of an upward trend. One of the main techniques used to identify trend reversals in Dow theory is peak-and-trough analysis. Apeakis defined as the highest price of a market movement, while atroughis seen as the lowest price of a market movement.

In other words, this approach is the antithesis of behavioral economics. In such a paradigm, different market indices must confirm each other in terms of price action and volume patterns until trends reverse. For example, if the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbs to an intermediate high, the Dow Jones Transportation Average is expected to follow suit within a reasonable period of time. The stock market discounts all newsStock prices quickly incorporate new information as soon as it becomes available.

Premisas de la Teoría de Dow

The “short swing” or minor movement varies with opinion from hours to a month or more. The three movements may be simultaneous, for instance, a daily minor movement in a bearish secondary reaction in a bullish primary movement. The Dow theory on stock price movement is a form of technical analysis that includes some aspects of sector rotation. The theory was derived from 255 editorials in The Wall Street Journal written by Charles H. Dow (1851–1902), journalist, founder and first editor of The Wall Street Journal and co-founder of Dow Jones and Company. George Schaefer organized and collectively represented Dow theory, based on Dow’s editorials.

If one index, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, is confirming a new primary uptrend, but another index remains in a primary downward trend, traders should not assume that a new trend has begun. A primary trend will pass through three phases, according to the Dow theory. 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 sixth tenet of Dow theory contends that a trend remains in effect until there is a clear sign that the trend has reversed.

Tipos de tendencias según la Teoría de Dow

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For example, if the price were to move above the line, it’s likely that the market will trend up. Trends are confirmed by volumeDow believed that volume confirmed price trends. When prices move on low volume, there could be many different explanations.


The theory has undergone further developments in its 100-plus-year history, including contributions by William Hamilton in the 1920s, Robert Rhea in the 1930s, and E. Aspects of the theory have lost ground, for example, its emphasis on the transportation sector—or railroads, in its original form—but Dow’s approach still forms the core of modern technical analysis. The Dow theory is an approach to trading developed by Charles H. Dow who, with Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser, founded Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and developed the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896.

  • Hence, if an investor is looking for signs of health in manufacturers, he or she should look at the performance of the companies that ship their output to market, the railroads.
  • A dead cat bounce is a temporary recovery of asset prices from a prolonged decline or bear market that’s followed by a continuation of the downtrend.
  • The truth is that you are probably paying more than necessary for Teoria De Dow .
  • He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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In more strict readings of this theory, even future events are discounted in the form of risk. The Editorial Team at is dedicated to providing the best information on learning. From attaining a certificate in marketing to earning an MBA, we have all you need. The six basic tenets of Dow theory as summarized by Hamilton, Rhea, and Schaefer are described below. The theoretical Dow Jones Index is a method of calculating the Dow Jones index that assumes all index components hit their high or low at the same time during the day.

Rendimiento de la Teoría de Dow

Charles has taught at a number of institutions including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, and many more. Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance.

Dow himself never used the term Dow theory nor presented it as a trading system. Trends exist until definitive signals prove that they have endedDow believed that trends existed despite “market noise”. Markets might temporarily move in the direction opposite to the trend, but they will soon resume the prior move. The trend should be given the benefit of the doubt during these reversals. Determining whether a reversal is the start of a new trend or a temporary movement in the current trend is not easy.

The Market Discounts Everything

With meet the frugalwoods review , you will be able to save more money than you ever thought possible. You can learn from the mistakes of others and begin to save money right away. Charles Dow relied solely on closing prices and was not concerned about the intraday movements of the index. For a trend signal to be formed, the closing price has to signal the trend, not an intraday price movement.

William Goetzmann, Stephen Brown, and Alok Kumar believe that Cowles’ study was incomplete and that W.P. Hamilton’s application of the Dow theory from 1902 to 1929 produced excess risk-adjusted returns. Alfred Cowles in a study in Econometrica in 1934 showed that trading based upon the editorial advice would have resulted in earning less than a buy-and-hold strategy using a well pepperstone options trading diversified portfolio. Cowles concluded that a buy-and-hold strategy produced 15.5% annualized returns from 1902 to 1929 while the Dow theory strategy produced annualized returns of 12%. 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.

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