How To Trade A Channel

Welcome back everybody in today's blog we'll answer the question, How To Trade A Channel?. I'll show you what a channel is and how to trade a channel so let's answer the first question.


What is a channel?


What is this mysterious thing that you sometimes hear about? Well here's what happens, sometimes a stock gets stuck and it's moving sideways between support and resistance. Anytime you see that happening, when a stock gets stuck in what we call a trading range, moving between support and resistance, we call that a trading channel.

What's great about a channel is it provides a predictable pattern of repeating behavior. This is something that you can anticipate and in time, of course, turns into something you can trade. You have a higher probability of making a profit with a couple of channels.

Let's take a look at this example.

American Express.

You see how we rallied up into the $95 range and we pulled back down to the $85 range. Then we went back up to $95 and again back down to $85 and we did this several times over. That's a channel and you can trade easily this channel.

Identifying A Channel


Trading channels usually happen after a big trend. You see below in our example, we had this nice trend. After the trend, you can see how it began to move between support and resistance and there you can see the trading channel and your trading opportunity.

Let's look at another example.

Gold

You can see how the stock traded up to about $105 and then on down to about $95 and it just kept going back and forth.

Here in this particular case, it's actually what we would call a downward channel. It's moving downward ever-so-slightly but again you're trading between support and resistance in a bit of a predictable and repeatable pattern.

And here's another example, just to kind of to drive the principal home.

Halliburton

You can see the channel is starting to form here across the bottom living between about $37.50 and about $45 per share. 

So when a stock gets stuck most people want to avoid it and say I don't want to touch that stock, because it looks like nothing's happening. But if you zoom in and you look a little closer to the price action, you realize that there's actually an opportunity.

For example let's take a closer look.

CVS

Every time the stock gets up here to about the $126 to $127 range it turns around and goes down. It's not always precise, a lot of people want these things to be precise and it's not always that way.

Sometimes it's more of a zone or what I call a resistance zone.

So maybe three or four dollars or usually $1 or $2 range, where it kind of gets stuck moving sideways, but it trades up to a top-of-the-range, which is usually within about a dollar or two and then down to the bottom of the range, which I would call a support zone.

Support & Resistance

So supports where the buying pressure is going to show up and resistance is where selling pressure is going to show up.

What you'll notice about this trade, while the typical trader wouldn't want to touch it, the active trader is getting in here and buying at support and selling at resistance. They're making $8 every time and there's 4 or 5 opportunities to do that in this trade.

Now this is not day trading, I want to be really clear, this is not day trading at all. This is simply buying at support and selling at resistance!

In this case it's about three or four weeks that you're in the trade and then you get to your target.

So the next question is how do you do it? How do you trade a channel.

How to Trade a Channel

There's really two ways to trade it.

  1. Bullish trade at support - when the stock is going up you buy the stock at support or buy the call option at support.
  2. Bearish trade at resistance - when the stock is going down you short the position or buy a put option.

So look back to the example above and as it's bouncing up off support go ahead either buy the stock or buy the call option. If you're a little more advanced you could do a bull put spread as well.

Then as it moves up to the resistance area and it starts to turn back down, you're going to short the position or buy some puts. And again if you're a little more advanced you could do a bear call spread.

That's how you trade the channel, you just keep moving in and out of the trade.

Essential Trading Concept

I've just started to scratch the surface on this concept, but it's essential in learning how to become a great technical trader. Once you understand this concept, then you can apply it to all the rest of the techniques we teach you with your technical analysis.

If you want to learn more about this concept and others we teach at TradeSmart, you can of course stayed tuned for more of our Trader's Tips!

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