Market Internals Ultimate Guide

Investors use a wide range of indicators to monitor the trends. They even follow the current financial news and ensure they never miss anything that can affect the market. But if you love being in sync with the market, you should try market internals.

Unlike other indicators, the market internals uses data from the market to determine the market’s trend. It gives you a feel of what is going on with the market, which can help you make the right decisions.

Unfortunately, very few indicators are market internals. These indicators can give you an edge in the market. So let’s explore the market internals indicators.

What Are Market Internals?

Market internals are indexes that give investors extra guidance on the stock market sentiments and performance. It gives you extra content beyond the market’s performance. The market internals tends to pull the data from the market and summarize the essential market measures.

Generally, it’s like taking the market’s pulse or giving it a check-up.

For instance, you know you’re healthy, have energy, and breathe normally. But a doctor can analyze your heart rate and blood pressure and confirm that everything is okay. The doctor can check if you have an underlying issue and help you manage or treat it.

Remember, you may feel fine but still have a developing health issue.

Well, this applies to the stock market, and this is where the market internals can help. They can show you how scared the traders are of the market crashing and if more stocks go down than up. Some of the most essential market internals include:

  • Arms Index
  • Advance-Decline ($ADD)
  • Volatile index (VIX)
  • Tick ($TICK)

How to Use Market Internals in Trading?

With market internals, you can use the above indicators to examine the market and predict its direction. For instance, $TICK gauges the selling and buying pressure of the stock on the market. On the other hand, Arms Index aids in determining the market’s internal weakness or strength.

Therefore, both swing and day traders can benefit from market internals.

Market Internals to Swing Trade

Swing traders need every advantage they can get to make a profit. So they’re always searching for opportunities in neutral or extreme market activity. This means observing the end-of-day and opening ticks.

If the market begins with high emotions, it can affect swing traders. Let’s say the market opens at +1600; then it’s considered very extreme. Remember, traders consider -1,000 and +1,000 quite extreme and -600 important. And when it fades, it’s referred to as tick fade.

Generally, investors are always looking for signs of extreme purchase and if it can be easily sustained. An extreme purchase can also drop to the neutral region. Remember, intense purchasing before the market opens can create great opportunities when the market opens.

The trading market internals will show swing investors what’s happening in a short time frame. Remember, a short period of extreme fear can guarantee extreme joy.

Market Internals for Day Traders

The market internals indexes also have some practical uses for a day trader. For instance, advance-decline line tracking can help determine if a trade is trending. It can also show you if it’s trading above or lower than the previous trading day’s close.

When the ticks are beyond zero, then the advance-decline line is positive. Actually, most stocks should be trending higher than they were yesterday. On the other hand, when it’s below zero, then the stocks decline.

In this case, zero serves as the finite line, and when the ticks ascend, then the market trends upwards.

Volume Spread Difference — $VOLSPD Or $UVOL-$DVOL

This indicator shows the difference between the stock volume advancing and the ones declining on a trading day. The Volume spread indicator has two tickers, $DVOL, and $UVOL.

Most charts come with separate tickers, while market internals Thinkorswim has both. So you’ll simply input $UVOL-$DVOL to access this indicator.

It’s most effective when working with two time frames. A short-term intraday will show you how it will trend in the next 60 minutes. A daily time frame will show you how the market will behave during the day. Therefore, it can help you plot short-term moving averages on daily charts.

In a 10-day chart with a zero line, when the moving average goes on top of the zero line, it’s a sign of an uptrend.


This index measures several shares in the NYSE that are upticking versus downticking for a few seconds.

For example, if it’s -1,000 in 6 seconds, it means that more than 1,000 shares are downticked than upticked. So the shadow trader market internals tick market internals helps identify extremes and fade them. But you have to be careful in a strongly trending market.

Day trader loves using this NYSE internals indicator in a strongly trending market. Therefore, when they find a trending market, they use this index as a confirmation index instead of a divergence. Some extremes include 1,400, 1,000, and 800.

The S&P 500 Volatility Index — The VIX

Generally, you can employ this indicator in your trades in several ways. Firstly, it can serve as a leading indicator, so you can use it for divergence or convergence. Remember, it negatively correlates to the market; therefore, when the Volatility index spike, so does the S&P.

You can also benefit from the volatility index’s mean-reverting nature. If you have traded options, you’re aware that implied volatility is usually overstated. So when it’s high, then you should start selling thanks to the premium built into the high price.

When you look at the VIX’s moving average with time, you will notice it is a sign of reverting nature.

Advanced Decline Difference — $ADD

$ADD is basically the difference between the advancing and declining shares. The indicator does have a positive and negative reading. So a -500 reading shows that over 500 shares declined than advanced on a specific day.

This indicator’s main usage is gauging the strength of the general stock. Generally, Microsoft and Apple make up about 7% of the S&P 500. So when these two stocks rally while the others move within a narrow range, then the 5&P will also increase.

Therefore, some disproportionally weighted shares can improve the strength of the market. This will make the market stronger than it really is. So to be on the safe side, you can confirm using the Advanced Decline Ratio. $ADD will help confirm a negative or positive action in the market.


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