What Are Williams %R For Day Trading?

9 minutes read

Williams %R is an indicator used in day trading to measure the momentum of price movements and identify potential overbought or oversold conditions in the market. Developed by Larry Williams, it is a technical analysis tool utilized to determine entry and exit points for traders.

Williams %R is calculated using the following formula: %R = (Highest High – Current Close) / (Highest High – Lowest Low) * -100. The indicator oscillates between a range of -100 and 0, representing oversold and overbought levels respectively.

When Williams %R crosses above -20, it suggests an overbought condition, indicating that the price has potentially risen too quickly and may be due for a reversal or pullback. Conversely, when Williams %R crosses below -80, it implies an oversold condition, indicating that the price has potentially dropped too quickly and may be ready for a rebound or upward move.

Traders typically look for divergences between the Williams %R indicator and the price movement to gain insights into possible trend reversals. For example, if the price reaches a new low while Williams %R establishes a higher low, it may indicate a bullish reversal is imminent. Conversely, if the price makes a new high while Williams %R forms a lower high, it may suggest a bearish reversal could occur.

Williams %R is a useful tool for day traders as it provides an indication of when the market may be reaching extremes and potentially due for a price correction. However, it is essential to use it in combination with other technical indicators and analysis methods to make well-informed trading decisions.

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What are the best resources to learn more about Williams %R in day trading?

There are various resources available to learn more about Williams %R in day trading. Here are some of the best options:

  1. Books: "New Trading Dimensions" by Bill Williams: This book covers various technical analysis indicators, including the Williams %R, and how to effectively use them in day trading. "Technical Analysis for Dummies" by Barbara Rockefeller: This beginner-friendly book provides an overview of technical analysis tools, including the Williams %R, with practical examples and explanations.
  2. Online Tutorials and Courses: Investopedia: Investopedia is a reliable online resource that offers comprehensive articles, tutorials, and videos on various trading indicators. They have a specific section dedicated to explaining the Williams %R indicator. YouTube: Numerous trading experts and educators create YouTube tutorial videos explaining the Williams %R and its application in day trading. Search for reputable channels, such as "TradeStation," "Investor Trading Academy," and "Adam Khoo," among others.
  3. Trading Forums and Communities: EliteTrader.com: Elite Trader is an active online forum where traders discuss various aspects of trading strategies, including the Williams %R indicator. You can find threads, questions, and discussions on this specific topic. Reddit: The subreddit r/Daytrading and r/StockMarket are popular community platforms where experienced traders share their insights, including resources and discussions about the Williams %R indicator.
  4. Charting Platforms and Software: TradingView: TradingView is a widely used platform for technical analysis. It provides interactive charts with a wide range of indicators, including the Williams %R. You can explore different timeframes, customize parameters, and backtest strategies using this platform. Thinkorswim: Thinkorswim, a platform by TD Ameritrade, offers advanced charting tools and technical indicators. It includes the Williams %R, allowing you to analyze and apply it directly on your trading platform.

Remember, while these resources can provide you with a good understanding of the Williams %R, combining it with other technical analysis tools and proper risk management is crucial for successful day trading.

How to scan for stocks using Williams %R indicator?

To scan for stocks using the Williams %R indicator, follow these steps:

  1. Understand the Williams %R indicator: Williams %R, also known as Williams Percentage Range, is a technical indicator that measures overbought or oversold conditions in a stock. It oscillates between 0 and -100 and is typically used for shorter timeframes, such as daily or weekly charts.
  2. Determine the criteria: Decide on the specific conditions you want to scan for. For example, you may want to identify stocks that are currently oversold and have a Williams %R reading below -80.
  3. Use a stock screening tool: Use a stock screening tool or software that includes Williams %R in its list of indicators. Popular platforms such as TradingView, Thinkorswim, or Bloomberg Terminal offer the ability to scan for stocks using technical indicators.
  4. Set the scan parameters: Set the parameters of the scan based on your criteria. In this case, you would set the scan to look for stocks with a Williams %R reading below -80.
  5. Run the scan: Execute the scan on the stock screening tool, and it will generate a list of stocks that meet your criteria.
  6. Analyze the results: Review the list of stocks generated by the scan and analyze their charts, fundamentals, and news to determine if they are suitable for investment or trading.
  7. Further refine the scan: If you want to narrow down the results or add additional criteria, you can refine the scan by specifying other conditions like market capitalization, sector, or specific technical patterns.

It's important to note that the Williams %R indicator should be used as part of a comprehensive analysis, along with other technical indicators, fundamental analysis, and market conditions, to make informed investment decisions.

How to identify divergence signals with Williams %R?

To identify divergence signals with Williams %R, follow these steps:

  1. Understand the concept of divergence: Divergence occurs when the price of an asset is moving in a different direction from the indicator. Bullish divergence happens when the price is making lower lows, while the indicator is making higher lows. Bearish divergence occurs when the price is making higher highs, while the indicator is making lower highs.
  2. Plot the Williams %R indicator: Open your preferred charting platform or trading software and add the Williams %R indicator to the chart. Set the desired period that suits your trading strategy.
  3. Analyze the price and Williams %R: Look for instances where the price is making higher highs or lower lows, while the Williams %R indicator is making the opposite movement. These are potential divergence signals.
  4. Confirm the divergence: Take a closer look at the chart and ensure the divergence is evident and not a temporary fluctuation. The divergence should be significant enough to validate it as a potential signal.
  5. Watch for bullish or bearish confirmation: For bullish divergence, wait for the price to start moving upwards to confirm the signal. For bearish divergence, wait for the price to start moving downwards. This confirmation will help you avoid false signals and potentially increase the probability of successful trades.
  6. Implement additional analysis: Divergence signals work best when combined with other technical analysis tools and indicators. Consider using support and resistance levels, trendlines, moving averages, or other indicators to strengthen your trading decisions.
  7. Plan your entry and exit strategy: Once you have identified a divergence signal that you believe is valid, plan your entry point, stop-loss level, and take-profit target. Remember to manage your risk and use proper money management techniques.

Remember, while divergence signals can be powerful, they are not foolproof. Always consider the broader market context, and practice using a demo account or small position sizes before implementing any new trading strategy.

What is the formula for Williams %R?

The formula for Williams %R is:

%R = (Highest High - Close) / (Highest High - Lowest Low) * -100


  • Highest High is the highest high price observed over the predetermined period.
  • Close is the closing price of the most recent period.
  • Lowest Low is the lowest low price observed over the predetermined period.
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