Pivotal Lesson

Brandon Wendell
Instructor, CMT

Newer traders sometimes struggle when trying to identify supply and demand zones. My best advice is to practice and see if your zones are lining up with those identified by your instructors in the Extended Learning Track or the Pro Picks.

There is also an additional method to identify potential turning points in the markets. This method is not to replace identifying supply and demand, but is rather a way to supplement and perhaps to confirm those levels. This is not a magical tool that will work all the time. The tool/method I am talking about is floor trader pivot points.

Free WorkshopThe pivot points were created to give professional floor traders at exchanges a way to determine possible support and resistance without having to refer to charts. You may notice that I used the terms support and resistance rather than demand and supply as these are not the same things. The terms support and resistance refer to traditional technical analysis techniques and have been shown by many traders not to be as accurate as the patented supply and demand strategy from Online Trading Academy.

That being said, the support and resistance of pivot points may help to identify or even strengthen supply and demand zones found in your charts. The pivot point itself is simply the previous day’s high + the previous day’s low + the previous day’s close divided by three. This pivot point can act as a support or resistance level for price and can be applied to equities, Forex, and futures charts. Wait a minute! Not so fast, don’t the futures and Forex trade 24 hours a day? How can we get a close price? Actually, the trade price at 5:00PM New York time (EST) is used as the “closing time” for our calculations.

By using this pivot point number and some additional mathematical calculations, we can derive several additional support and resistance numbers. In fact, there are calculations for four support and resistance levels. We can use these pivot support and resistance as possible entry and target points for trading.

aapl pivot

Some trading platforms automatically draw pivot points on your chart for you, but if you are creating your trading plans the night before you can easily add the pivots to your chart. There are several websites that will give you the pivot points. One that I like is On the site there is a pivot point calculator where you can enter the numbers and receive the pivot points for any security.


Although the main use for the pivot points is intraday charting, you could plug in the weekly or even the monthly high, low, and close to determine the future support and resistance for swing and position trading. Remember, these pivot points should not take the place of the supply and demand zones that you visually identify on your charts. Those turning points were caused by the emotions of investors and traders and therefore carry more weight. These people will remember how they triumphed or were hurt at those price levels. Since pivot points do not carry those same emotions with them, they only work if traders believe they work and act in the same manner when price reached those levels.

Fortunately, they have gained enough popularity that they are almost a self-fulfilling prophecy on many stocks and markets. So, while not the end all, pivot points could help you determine the turning points of a stock, sector, index, currency, etc. This can be a valuable tool in your trading arsenal. So until next time, may all your trades be green and your losses small!

This newsletter is written for educational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and Investing involves high levels of risk. The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. The author may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this newsletter. Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed herein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all else, please obtain permission.