Trading With VWAP and MVWAP

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Trading With VWAP and MVWAP

What Is VWAP and MVWAP?

Moving volume-weighted average price (MVWAP) and volume-weighted average price (VWAP) are trading methods that all traders may use to guarantee they are obtaining the best price. These techniques, however, are most often utilized by short-term traders and in algorithm-based trading systems.

Key Takeaways

  • Moving volume-weighted average price (MVWAP) and volume-weighted average price (VWAP) are trading methods that all traders may use to guarantee they are obtaining the best price.
  • The VWAP is the average price at which a security has traded during the day, taking into account both volume and price.
  • MVWAP is a user-defined average of VWAP computations that has no ultimate value since it might vary from day to day.

Understanding VWAP and MVWAP

Longer-term traders may prefer MVWAP, while VWAP only considers one day at a time owing to its intraday computation. Both indicators are a form of price average that takes volume into consideration, providing a considerably more accurate depiction of price activity. The metrics also serve as standards for people and organizations wishing to determine if their order was executed well or poorly.

Calculating VWAP

VWAP is the average price a security has traded at during the day, depending on both volume and price, and it is essential because it gives traders insight into both a security’s trend and value.

Charting software does the VWAP calculation and provides an overlay on the chart displaying the results. This display, like other moving averages, takes the shape of a line. This is how that line is calculated:

  • Select a time window (tick chart, 1 minute, 5 minutes, etc.)
  • Determine the average price for the first period (and all periods in the day following).The average price is calculated by adding the high, low, and closing prices and dividing by three: (H+L+C)/3
  • Multiply the average price by the volume for that time period. This will provide a figure known as TPV.
  • Maintain a running sum of the TPV values, known as cumulative-TPV. This is accomplished by constantly adding the most current TPV to the previous values (except for the first period, since there will be no prior value).As the day proceeds, this number should get greater.
  • Keep a running count of the overall volume. To do this, keep adding the most current volume to the previous volume. This figure should rise as the day goes.
  • With your information, compute VWAP: [cumulative TPV cumulative volume]. This will provide a volume-weighted average price for each period, as well as the data needed to generate the flowing line that overlays the price data on the chart.
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If you are doing this manually, it is probably preferable to use a spreadsheet tool to track the data. A spreadsheet with column titles may be simply created, as seen in the image below. The necessary computations would have to be entered.

After calculating the VWAP, obtaining the MVWAP is relatively straightforward. An MVWAP is just a weighted average of the VWAP readings. VWAP is determined just once per day, however MVWAP might change from day to day since it is an average of an average. This offers longer-term traders with a volume-weighted moving average price.

If a trader desired a 10-period MVWAP, he or she would simply wait for the first ten periods to pass, then average the first ten VWAP computations. This would provide the trader the MVWAP, which begins to be charted at period 10. To obtain the MVWAP calculation again, average the most recent 10 VWAP data, add a new VWAP from the most recent period, and subtract the VWAP from 11 times ago.

Application to Charts

While knowing the indicators and the computations connected with them is crucial, charting software may do the calculations for us. It may be able to put the indication into software that does not have VWAP or MVWAP using the equations above.

The VWAP indicator will display on the chart when you pick it. In general, this indicator should not be able to update or edit any mathematical variables. If a trader wants to utilize the moving MVWAPindicator, they may change the number of periods averaged in the computation. This may be accomplished simply modifying the variable in the charting platform. To modify the number of averaged periods, choose the indicator and then navigate to its edit or properties function.


There are a few significant discrepancies between the indications that must be recognized.

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Throughout the day, VWAP will offer a running total. As a result, the day’s ultimate value is the volume-weighted average price for the day. For example, if a one-minute chart is used for a certain stock, 390 (6.5 hours X 60 minutes) computations will be performed for the day, with the last one representing the day’s VWAP.

In contrast, MVWAP will offer an average of the number of VWAP computations to be analyzed. This implies that there is no ultimate value for MVWAP since it may run from day to day, delivering an average of the VWAP value throughout time. This greatly expands the MVWAP’s customizability. It may be customized to meet unique requirements. It may also be tuned to be considerably more sensitive to market movements for short-term trades and strategies, or it can be tuned to level out market noise if a longer time is selected.

VWAP gives useful information to buy-and-hold traders, particularly after execution (or end of day).It informs traders if they obtained a better-than-average or a worse-than-average price that day. This information is not always provided by MVWAP.

Every day, VWAP will begin again. Because volume is high in the initial few minutes after the markets open, this activity is generally strongly weighted in the VWAP calculation. MVWAP may be carried from day to day since it always averages the most recent periods (10, for example), is less vulnerable to any given period, and gets less susceptible as the number of periods averaged increases.

General Strategies

When a security is trending, we may utilize VWAP and MVWAP to get market information. If the price is higher than the VWAP, it is an excellent intraday price to sell at. If the price is less than the VWAP, it is an excellent intraday price to purchase. However, there is a catch to employing this intraday strategy. Prices fluctuate, and what looks to be a fair bargain at one point in the day may not be at the end of the day.

On days when prices are rising, traders might try to purchase when they bounce off the MVWAP or VWAP. Alternatively, they might sell in a downtrend when the price approaches the line. The chart below depicts three days of price movement in the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV).As the price soared, it remained mostly above the VWAP and MVWAP, and drops approaching the lines created buying chances. As the price dropped, it remained mostly below the indications, and rebounds near the lines were selling chances.

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SLV with MVWAP (20) and VWAP in trending market, 10 minute chart. Image by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia2020

In addition, the indicators give tradable information in a variety of market settings.

SLV with MVWAP (20) and VWAP in ranging market, 10 minute chart. Image by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia2020

For rapid trades on range days, traders may purchase when the price crosses above VWAP/MVWAP and sell as the price crosses below VWAP/MVWAP. This strategy risks getting trapped in a whipsaw effect. A trader may also utilize additional indicators, such as support and resistance, to try to purchase when the price is below the VWAP and MVWAP and sell when the price is above the two indications.

Finally, if shares were purchased below the VWAP, the price obtained was higher than average. It was a better-than-average selling price if the security was sold above the VWAP.

The Bottom Line

VWAP and MVWAP are both important indicators with some distinctions. MVWAP is customizable and delivers a value that changes from day to day. VWAP, on the other hand, offers the volume average price for the day, but it starts again every day. MVWAP may be used to smooth data and decrease market noise, or it can be adjusted to respond more quickly to price movements. If a trader sells over the daily VWAP, he or she receives a higher-than-average selling price. Similarly, traders who acquire below the VWAP get a higher-than-average purchasing price. Attempting to catch pullbacks toward the VWAP and MVWAP on trending days might offer a beneficial return if the trend continues.

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