In simple terms, price action is a trading technique that allows a trader to read the market and make trading decisions based on the actual price movement on the chart, rather than relying on lagging indicators. Most indicators are derived from the actual prices on the chart, so they are in fact, giving them information on past price movements.
My definition of Price Action Analysis:
Price action analysis is the analysis of the price movement of a market over time. By learning to read the price action of a market, we can determine a market’s directional bias as well as trade from reoccurring price action patterns or price action setups that reflect changes or continuations in market sentiment.
What tools are used for price action trading?
Since price action trading relates to recent historical data and past price movements, all technical analysis tools like charts, trend lines, price bands, high and low swings, technical levels (of support, resistance and consolidation), etc. are taken into account as per the trader’s choice and strategy fit.
The tools and patterns observed by the trader can be simple price bars, price bands, break-outs, trend-lines, or complex combinations involving candlesticks, volatility, channels, etc.
Psychological and behavioral interpretations and subsequent actions, as decided by the trader, also make up an important aspect of price action trades. For e.g., no matter what happens, if a stock hovering at 580 crosses the personally-set psychological level of 600, then the trader may assume a further upward move to take a long position. Other traders may have an opposite view – once 600 is hit, he or she assumes a price reversal and hence takes a short position.
No two traders will interpret a certain price action in the same way, as each will have his or her own interpretation, defined rules and different behavioral understanding of it. On the other hand, a technical analysis scenario (like 15 DMA crossing over 50 DMA) will yield similar behavior and action (long position) from multiple traders.