What is Market breadth

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  • 01 Nov 2023
What is Market breadth

Key Highlight

  • The relative change of rising to falling securities in a market is analysed by market breadth.

  • The strength or weakness of movements in the main index is measured through a technical analysis technique.

  • Volumes are also included in some broad indicators.

Market breadth is a set of technical indicators that evaluate price changes and decreases in the individual stock index. The market breadth, compared to the number of stocks that are experiencing price decreases, represents the overall number of stocks with an increase in prices. The securities are listed on the stock exchange as part of a specific index. The stock index's package of securities The movements of the index indicate investor sentiment throughout the stock market.

The breadth of the market is not an isolated indicator. Other technical indicators, e.g., trade volume, may be included in this report. This allows the stock index to be predicted by traders for future price reversals.

To evaluate the overall condition of the index, traders and investors take into account market breadth. A reliable, if not accurate, indicator of future price increases in the index may be the market breadth. Similarly, it could be an early warning sign of a future decline in prices.

Market breadth indicators can be helpful, but sometimes they do not give an accurate picture of the market. In some cases, they can't anticipate further changes in price paths, often referred to as price reversals. In other cases, the market's breadth may be too early to signal a reversal.

Positive market breadth is the phenomenon that occurs when the number of stocks increasing exceeds the number of stocks decreasing. It shows that the prevailing market sentiment is positive and confirms an overall rise in prices for individual securities within the index. Conversely, negative market breadth occurs when a larger number of companies experience a drop in their share price. This indicates that market sentiment is broadly negative, as measured by a drop in the stock index.

It is confirmed if the index increases, and positive market breadth can be observed. Alternatively, the index is considered to be in divergence if it is rising yet a negative market breadth is noted, or vice versa. For most traders, confirmation of divergence is an essential element in determining whether or not the indicator can be relied upon.

There are currently several broad indicators on the market, each of which uses a formula and calculation method. Some of them are cumulative, with each day's value added to or subtracted from the previous value. In others, the period providing the data point is not cumulated.

The decline and advance lines are the clearest indicators of breadth for a new trader. These are cumulative indicators, where an initial value is replaced by or subtracted from the latest advances, e.g., numbers of advancing and declining stocks.

The components of market breadth are as follows:

1. The number of advancing and declining issues

The number of advancing and declining issues, which refers to the total number of stocks that have risen or fallen in price, is an essential element of market breadth. To determine whether the market is fueled by bullish or negative sentiment, analysts can compare these figures.

2. New Highs and New Lows

The comparison of stocks that have risen to new 52-week highs and those that have fallen to new 52-week lows is another component of the market's breadth. This information provides a long-term view of market strength or weakness, which contributes to a comprehensive understanding of market breadth.

3. Number of increasing and decreasing volumes

The volume of shares traded on rising and falling issues is also taken into account by market breadth as well as for the purpose of determining the number of issues. The volume data, which offers a more detailed analysis of market sentiment, contributes to the price changes.

The application of market breadth in portfolio management is as follows.

1. Risk Management

By indicating possible market corrections or periods of increased volatility, breadth data may also be helpful in managing risk. Portfolio managers can adjust their position to manage risk proportionately by acting on those signals, such as reducing exposure to more risky assets or sectors when there are negative divergences.

2. Diversification

Market breadth indicators can assist in the choice of portfolio diversification. For example, diversification across different sectors or asset classes might be advisable to reduce exposure to specific stocks when the market breadth is limited in the number of stocks that are driving it. On the other hand, broad market size could indicate that maintaining or increasing exposure to wider markets is safe.

The drawbacks of market breadth NSE are as follows.

The broad indicators can provide valuable information, but they also have limitations. Firstly, they may provide false signals, which signal a reversal of the trend that does not take place. In addition, broad indicators can serve better in the medium to long term and may not be a good indicator of short-term trading.


All traders should be aware that they can only calculate the breadth indicators using indexes and not any specific stock. All this is based on the information available in these indicators. This is useful to analyze the stock market's strength. To increase the chances of success, traders should be aware that market breadth is a type of technical analysis tool that is employed in addition to chart patterns and technical indicators.

FAQs on Market Breadth

The previous day's Breadth Line Value = No. Of advance stocks -No. of decline stocks + No. Of day's Breadth Line Value The breadth line will increase and vice versa if the number of advance stocks exceeds the number of decline stocks.

This indicates that the sentiment on the market is negative, which, in turn, can decrease the value of the index. The index is said to be in divergence when the stock index is rising in value, but the market breadth indicators show a negative market breadth.

The Advance/Decline line is the most fundamental market breadth indicator. Still, there are a number of other well-liked ones as well, including On Balance Volume (OBV), the McClellan Summation Index, and the Arms Index (TRIN).

Monitoring for divergence and confirmation is a tactic used in the majority of market breadth indicators. It is confirmed when the indicator moves in a positive direction and the index starts to rise. Divergence occurs when the index or indicator is moving in a different direction. That's a warning that the index's going to reverse soon.

A widely observed technical indicator that can be regarded as an indication of relative importance for market movements is the breadth or diffusion of performance.

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