Investor's wiki



What Is Autocorrelation?

Autocorrelation is a mathematical representation of the degree of likeness between a given time series and a lagged variant of itself throughout successive time spans. It's reasonably like the correlation between two different time series, yet autocorrelation utilizes a similar time series two times: once in its original form and when lagged one or additional time spans.

For instance, assuming it's rainy today, the data recommends that it's bound to rain tomorrow than if today's unmistakable. With regards to investing, a stock could have a strong positive autocorrelation of returns, proposing that assuming that it's "up" today, it's bound to be up tomorrow, too.

Normally, autocorrelation can be a helpful tool for traders to use; especially for technical analysts.

Figuring out Autocorrelation

Autocorrelation can likewise be alluded to as lagged correlation or serial correlation, as it measures the relationship between a variable's current value and its past values.

As an extremely simple model, investigate the five percentage values in the chart below. We are contrasting them with the column on the right, which contains similar set of values, just climbed one line.

 Day % Gain or LossNext Day's % Gain or Loss
 Monday 10% 5%
 Tuesday 5% -2%
 Wednesday -2% -8%
 Thursday -8% -5%
 Friday -5% 
While ascertaining autocorrelation, the outcome can go from - 1 to +1.

An autocorrelation of +1 addresses a perfect positive correlation (an increase found in one opportunity series prompts a proportionate increase in the other time series).

Then again, an autocorrelation of - 1 addresses a perfect negative correlation (an increase found in one opportunity series brings about a proportionate reduction in the other time series).

Autocorrelation measures linear relationships. Even on the off chance that the autocorrelation is infinitesimal, there can in any case be a nonlinear relationship between a period series and a lagged rendition of itself.

Testing for Autocorrelation

The most common method of test autocorrelation is the Durbin-Watson test. Without getting too technical, the Durbin-Watson is a statistic that recognizes autocorrelation from a regression analysis.

The Durbin-Watson generally creates a test number reach from 0 to 4. Values closer to 0 demonstrate a greater degree of positive correlation, values closer to 4 show a greater degree of negative autocorrelation, while values closer to the middle recommend less autocorrelation.

So for what reason is autocorrelation important in financial markets? Simple. Autocorrelation can be applied to completely examine historical price developments, which investors can then use to anticipate future price developments. In particular, autocorrelation can be utilized to decide whether a momentum trading strategy seems OK.

Autocorrelation in Technical Analysis

Autocorrelation can be helpful for technical analysis, That's since technical analysis is generally worried about the trends of, and relationships between, security prices utilizing charting procedures. This is interestingly, with fundamental analysis, which centers rather around an organization's financial wellbeing or management.

Technical analysts can utilize autocorrelation to figure out the amount of an impact past prices for a security have on its future price.

Autocorrelation can help decide whether there is a momentum factor at play with a given stock. In the event that a stock with a high positive autocorrelation posts two straight long stretches of big gains, for instance, it very well may be reasonable to anticipate that the stock should rise over the next two days, too.

Illustration of Autocorrelation

We should expect Rain is hoping to decide whether a stock's returns in their portfolio show autocorrelation; that is, the stock's returns connect with its returns in previous trading meetings.

In the event that the returns show autocorrelation, Rain could portray it as a momentum stock since past returns appear to influence future returns. Rain runs a regression with the prior trading session's return as the independent variable and the current return as the dependent variable. They track down that returns one day prior have a positive autocorrelation of 0.8.

Since 0.8 is close to +1, past returns appear to be a generally excellent positive predictor of future returns for this specific stock.

Accordingly, Rain can adjust their portfolio to exploit the autocorrelation, or momentum, by continuing to hold their position or accumulating more shares.


  • Autocorrelation measures the relationship between a variable's current value and its past values.
  • An autocorrelation of +1 addresses a perfect positive correlation, while an autocorrelation of negative 1 addresses a perfect negative correlation.
  • Autocorrelation addresses the degree of comparability between a given time series and a lagged form of itself throughout successive time stretches.
  • Technical analysts can involve autocorrelation to measure the amount of influence past prices for a security possess on its future price.