Technical Indicator MEGA Reference Part 07a – Arms Index (TRIN) Part 1 of 2

Arms Index (TRIN)

The Arms Index , also know as the TRIN – “TRading INdex", (ticker: $TRIN) is a volume-based confirmation indicator as well as overbought and oversold indicator. The Arms Index has four components listed below:

  1. Advancing Issues on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) – $ADV or $NYADV
  2. Advancing Volume on the NYSE – $UVOL or $NYUPV
  3. Declining Issues on the NYSE – $DECL or $NYDEC
  4. Declining Volume on the NYSE – $DVOL or $NYDNV

The formula for the Arms Index is simply:

(Advancing Issues / Declining Issues) / (Advancing Volume / Declining Volume)

The intra-day 5-minute chart of the mini-Dow futures contract shows the $TRIN:

Interpreting the Arms Index

  • Neutral Reading = 1
  • Bearish Reading > 1
  • Bullish Reading < 1

The trend of the Arms Index is usually more important than whether or not the Arms Index is above or below 1. As can be seen in the intra-day chart above, when the mini-Dow was falling in price, the Arms Index was increasing. At 1.5, a very high Arms Index reading, a trader might take a contrarian stance and buy at the 1.5 level. In addition a trader might consider waiting to see a reverse or bottoming of the Arms Index before taking such action. Also notice that when the mini-Dow is increasing, the Arms Index is decreasing.

The Arms Index can be used from a longer term perspective. Some traders use moving averages of the inputs into the Arms Index equation. To illustrate: (10-day Moving Average (MA) of Advancing Issues / 10-day MA of Declining Issues) / (10-day MA of Advancing Volume / 10-day MA of Declining Volume) or one could simply take the 10-day Moving Average of the $TRIN.

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