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Average True Range (ATR)

Average True Range (ATR)

What Is the Average True Range (ATR)?

The average true reach (ATR) is a technical analysis indicator, presented by market technician J. Welles Wilder Jr. in his book New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems, that measures market volatility by breaking down the whole scope of an asset price for that period.

The true reach indicator is taken as the best of the following: current high less the current low; the absolute value of the current high less the previous close; and the absolute value of the current low less the previous close. The ATR is then a moving average, generally utilizing 14 days, of the true ranges.

The Average True Range (ATR) Formula

The most important phase in computing ATR is to find a series of true reach values for a security. The price scope of an asset for a given trading day is just its high minus its low. In the mean time, the true reach is really enveloping and is defined as:
TR=Max[(H  L),Abs(H  CP),Abs(L  CP)]ATR=(1n)(i=1)(n)TRiwhere:TRi=A particular true rangen=The time period employed\begin &TR = \text[(H\ -\ L), \text(H\ -\ C_P),\text(L\ -\ C_P)]\ &ATR=\bigg(\frac1n\bigg)\sum\limits^{(n)}_{(i=1)}TR_i\ &\textbf\ &TR_i=\text\ &n=\text \end

Instructions to Calculate the Average True Range (ATR)

Traders can utilize shorter periods than 14 days to produce more trading signals, while longer periods have a higher likelihood to create less trading signals.

For instance, assume a short-term trader just wishes to examine the volatility of a stock over a period of five trading days. Subsequently, the trader could ascertain the five-day ATR. Assuming the historical price data is organized in reverse chronological order, the trader tracks down the maximum of the absolute value of the current high minus the current low, the absolute value of the current high minus the previous close, and the absolute value of the current low minus the previous close. These computations of the true reach are finished for the five latest trading days and are then averaged to work out the principal value of the five-day ATR.

What Does the Average True Range (ATR) Tell You?

More out of control initially developed the ATR for commodities, albeit the indicator can likewise be utilized for stocks and indices. Basically, a stock encountering a high level of volatility has a higher ATR, and a low volatility stock has a lower ATR.

The ATR might be utilized by market technicians to enter and exit trades, and is a helpful instrument to add to a trading system. It was made to allow traders to all the more precisely measure the daily volatility of an asset by utilizing simple computations. The indicator doesn't show the price bearing; rather it is utilized fundamentally to measure volatility brought about by gaps and limit up or down moves. The ATR is genuinely simple to work out and just requirements historical price data.

The ATR is regularly utilized as an exit method that can be applied regardless of how the entry decision is made. One famous technique is known as the "light fixture exit" and was developed by Chuck LeBeau. The crystal fixture exit puts a trailing stop under the highest high the stock came to since you entered the trade. The distance between the highest high and the stop level is defined as a few on numerous occasions the ATR. For instance, we can take away three times the value of the ATR from the highest high since we entered the trade.

The ATR can likewise provide a trader with an indication of what size trade to put on in derivatives markets. It is feasible to utilize the ATR approach to position sizing that accounts for an individual trader's own ability to acknowledge risk as well as the volatility of the underlying market.

Illustration of How to Use the Average True Range (ATR)

As a speculative model, assume the main value of the five-day ATR is calculated at 1.41 and the 6th day has a true scope of 1.09. The sequential ATR value could be estimated by duplicating the previous value of the ATR by the number of days less one, and afterward adding the true reach for the current period to the product.

Next, partition the sum by the chose time span. For instance, the second value of the ATR is estimated to be 1.35, or (1.41 * (5 - 1) + (1.09))/5. The formula could then be rehashed throughout the whole time span.

While the ATR doesn't let us know in which heading the breakout will happen, it tends to be added to the closing price, and the trader can buy at whatever point the next day's price trades over that value. This thought is displayed below. Trading signals happen generally rarely, however normally spot huge breakout points. The logic behind these signs is that at whatever point a price closes in excess of an ATR over the latest close a change in volatility has happened. Taking a long position is betting that the stock will follow through in the vertical course.

Limitations of the Average True Range (ATR)

There are two primary limitations to utilizing the ATR indicator. The first is that ATR is a subjective measure, implying that it is not entirely clear. There is no single ATR value that will tell you unhesitatingly that a trend is going to reverse or not. All things considered, ATR readings ought to constantly be compared against before readings to get a vibe of a trend's strength or weakness.

Second, ATR just measures volatility and not the bearing of an asset's price. This can sometimes bring about mixed signals, especially when markets are encountering turns or when trends are at defining moments. For example, a sudden increase in the ATR following a large move counter to the overall trend might lead a few traders to think the ATR is affirming the old trend; nonetheless, this may not really be the case.


  • The average true reach (ATR) is a market volatility indicator utilized in technical analysis.
  • It is ordinarily derived from the 14-day simple moving average of a series of true reach indicators.
  • The ATR was initially developed for use in commodities markets however has since been applied to a wide range of securities.