What do ‘overbought’ and ‘oversold’ mean in the stock market? An explainer

Looking at risk, we note that skew is again negative in the instances where the RSI was in an overbought condition and positive when the RSI was in an oversold condition. The common thing between overbought and oversold markets is that, in both cases, analysts consider the instruments not trading for their true worth and look forward to a near-future correction. With oversold markets, the asset has fallen to a level where it trades much cheaper than it is worth. Such situations are usually a result of panic selling or market overreaction. A stochastic value of 100 means that prices during the current period closed at the highest price within the established time frame.

  1. Accordingly, an investor interested in an oversold stock should utilize a variety of tools and analyses when making their final decision.
  2. When a stock’s price touches or moves above the upper band, it’s considered overbought, signaling a potential price drop.
  3. In the sections below, we’ll explore overbought and oversold conditions within the context of both uptrends and downtrends.
  4. The term oversold refers to a condition where an asset has traded lower in price and has the potential for a price bounce.
  5. His preferred instruments are ETFs but also maintains a portfolio of cryptocurrencies.

However, traders should be cautious and seek confirmation from other indicators or news events before making a decision. However, it’s important to remember that a stock can remain overbought for an extended period, particularly in a strong bull market. Generally, an RSI value above 70 indicates that a security is becoming overbought and may be primed for a price pullback. Conversely, an RSI below 30 suggests that a security is oversold and might be ready for a price bounce. In other words, an overbought market condition is when prices surge quickly to the point that they become expensive and are due for a pullback or a downward correction.

Overbought and Oversold Levels

Overbought and oversold levels are essential in the financial market. In this article, we have looked at how they work, how to identify them, and some of the most important concepts of trading them. The same concept applies in fundamental analysis, where stocks tend to rise after getting substantially overvalued. Indeed, historically, overvalued stocks tend to underperform their undervalued peers. The chart below shows a financial asset whose price is at an oversold level. This article will outline what it means for a currency pair to be overbought or oversold, and what trading opportunities arise from these situations.

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The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Common indicators of overbought include RSI, Bollinger Bands, and Stochastic Oscillator. In the case of overbought, buyer demand decreases, while in the case of oversold, seller demand decreases. To identify these levels You can also use Chaikin Oscillator, DeMarker, Relative Vigor Index (RVI), and the Force Index.

However, bear in mind that it takes time to master the indicator’s signals, so if you are just starting, you should better stick with the RSI or the Stochastic Oscillator. The RSI is very similar to the Stochastic Oscillator in the context that it also measures price momentum to identify overbought and oversold markets. The main difference is that the RSI doesn’t rely on a simple moving average as a second line. However, bear in mind that the indicator can remain within the overbought or oversold zone for an extended time. The indicator can’t tell you when exactly the price reversal will take place. That is why it is essential to complement it with other technical trading tools and keep an eye on the price.

This typically happens as a result of overreaction in the market or panic selling. In this situation, assets that have fallen sharply in value over a short period of time are sometimes deemed to be oversold. In fact, these descriptors are often just platitudes without referencing whether the market is trending.

Maximizing their returns this way helps them make the most out of the market opportunities. The RSI is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and change of price movements. It’s calculated using the ratio of higher closes to lower closes over a specified period, typically 14 periods. Sometimes, a security can remain overbought for an extended period, particularly during a strong uptrend.

The indicator appears as a series of dots on a chart, standing next to the price bars. The indicator stands below the price during bullish trends, while during bearish periods, it remains above it. Once the indicator leaves this range, the market is considered either overbought (when above +100) or oversold (when below -100). An overbought stock is one that is overvalued, which means the outlook is bearish as there will be a pullback on the stock soon, meaning its price will fall as investors start selling. Just because stocks have gone up or down too much does not mean that they still cannot go higher or lower.

Overbought and oversold levels represent the price of an asset in relation to its true value. They offer buy and sell points for a variety of asset types and contribute to the definition of market conditions and potential trends. Although options, currency, and commodities can also be traded, shares are the asset class most frequently linked with these levels. While both indicate a potential upcoming price correction, the difference between overbought and oversold markets is in the direction of the expected reversal they signal.

When using the RSI, the key is to wait until the indicator level crosses back under 70 or above 30. An oversold stock, on the other hand, would be one that is seen as trading below its current value. It is a suggestion that the short-term declines are coming to an end, and a rally could be imminent. While overbought indicators can provide useful signals, they should be used as part of a broader analysis.

It would be akin to a physician referencing body weight without considering height and age. Parabolic SAR is a preferred trading indicator because it reveals details about the market’s overall state and the pace with which price swings occur. A value above 80 often indicates an overbought condition, suggesting the possibility of a price decline.

How Does Light Volume Affect the Stock Market?

Some traders use pricing channels like Bollinger Bands to spot overbought areas. On a chart, Bollinger Bands are positioned at a multiple of a stock’s standard deviation above and below an exponential moving average. The bigger the distance between the individual dots is, the more likely it is for quick, decisive price movements (overbought and oversold zones). When the dots get closer to each other, it is an indication that we might expect a slowdown in momentum. While all this sounds great on paper, the truth is that identifying overbought and oversold markets might be a bit challenging for first-timers. Some traders spend years polishing and mastering their strategies, but it is well worth it in the end.


When you trade CFDs, you can go long or short on a huge range of markets, which makes them a great way speculate on overbought and oversold market conditions. When trading in overbought conditions, risk management becomes increasingly important. Setting stop-loss orders can help limit potential losses in case the price continues to rise despite overbought conditions. darwinex review Leveraged trading in foreign currency or off-exchange products on margin carries significant risk and may not be suitable for all investors. We advise you to carefully consider whether trading is appropriate for you based on your personal circumstances. We recommend that you seek independent advice and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before trading.

Careful analysis is needed though, as there could be good reasons why investors no longer like the company as much as they once did. We want to wait until the RSI falls back below 70 and then place our sell trade. Trading overbought conditions can be a tricky endeavor, especially in the volatile crypto market. However, with the right strategies and risk management techniques, you can capitalize on these situations.

These levels are important because they often give signs on when to exit a trade or double-down on the situation. They will not always tell you exactly when to buy or sell a security. However, they can serve as valuable tools to help you decide on entering or exiting a trade. The latter gives fewer but stronger signals and is reliable even outside of trending markets, unlike the MACD.

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