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What's the meaning of vwap in stocks?

Haiden Holmes

Aug 01, 2022 14:36

VWAP is less well-known than the Moving Average and the MACD. Nonetheless, you've likely heard about VWAP before. The volume weighted average price (VWAP) is a well-recognized versatile instrument that technical traders extensively employ to identify promising stocks for investment. VWAP trading techniques assist active traders in identifying entry and exit points for trades by using the information on the quantity of an asset traded in addition to the recorded prices.

VWAP stocks meaning

The volume weighted average price (VWAP) is a regularly used benchmark that is generated from the ratio of the average share price of a stock to the total volume of shares traded over a specific time period. This metric assists investors and analysts in determining if the current price of a stock is comparatively overvalued or underpriced relative to the day's average trading price. Frequently, this data is utilized to simplify the entry or exit from a position.

The VWAP is used as a benchmark to evaluate the quality of executions for big orders. For instance, if a portfolio manager wishes to purchase tens of thousands of shares below the day's average price, the VWAP is often the price to beat. The success of a trader entrusted with buying such a huge position is determined by comparing the average purchase price to the VWAP at the time the position was acquired.

The interpretation of a VWAP indication

VWAP provides traders with critical information on a stock's price movement, enabling them to pinpoint the exact point in a certain time frame where momentum resides. Consider an example: a trader may be dealing with a stock that has repeatedly failed to break above the VWAP line owing to persistent selling pressure. If someone opens a short position without knowing the precise point at which the stock breaks above the VWAP indicator line, he may find himself on the wrong side of market momentum.

Below the VWAP line, stocks are deemed "cheap" or "of value," signaling traders to start a short position. In contrast, stock prices exceeding the VWAP line are labeled "expensive."

So, how can one determine whether a price is moving over or below the VWAP line? Constructing a technical system to draw together candlestick charts and trend lines is possible. A VWAP chart compares the trend line to a support and resistance line, and the candlesticks show price movement.

Moving VWAP is a moving average line that graphically depicts stock price movement versus price. It monitors end-of-day VWAPs over time, and its time period may be modified to cover as many VWAPs as desired.

Note that VWAP and Moving VWAP may not always operate in conjunction.

The significance of volume weighted average price

The VWAP indicator is significant for its intended application. It offers a context for the price movement based on where the stock is trading in reference to the VWAP line (above or below). A stock trading above the VWAP as the line rises in a bullish trend, and vice versa for a bearish trend. For example, if the VWAP line for stock XYZ is declining, you may want to wait for the stock price to penetrate the VWAP and reverse direction before playing the trend. VWAP gives a visual representation of supply and demand in relation to the stock price and trend direction.

Popular Indicator  

VWAP is an often self-fulfilling prophecy since it is such a popular instrument among traders. If a stock is trading higher, but below the VWAP, traders may expect a test of the VWAP and enter a long position targeting the VWAP if the stock is trading below the VWAP. As traders join the bandwagon in an attempt to be ahead of the next trader, the stock may surge towards the VWAP. Bears who anticipate a rejection at the VWAP may execute limit orders to short-sell the stock at the VWAP in anticipation of profit takers and further sellers. The VWAP is most effective when used in conjunction with other indicators or a trading strategy.

Used by Institutions

Institutions and fund managers can utilize the VWAP to evaluate the quality of their order fills. If orders are consistently completed over the VWAP, the manager may seek out alternative market makers or traders to execute order fills. Institutions may choose to enter a position, but the price at which they do so can influence the market. Additionally, the VWAP is utilized to evaluate institutional orders' liquidity and market effect. If the trader is carelessly completing orders, the shares will increase, generating a chasing aspect to the fills and a potential precipitous decline once the orders have been completed.

What procedures are required to compute VWAP?

In the first stage, we determine the average price of the traded stock (during the first five minutes of the trading day) by averaging its high, low, and closing prices. After calculating the average value, the volume of shares exchanged during these times is multiplied.

Next, we find the total volume of shares exchanged throughout the period and add them together.

The total value generated by multiplying the price of shares at each interval by the corresponding volume of shares traded is then divided by the total volume of shares traded during the day.

How to determine the volume weighted average price

Each day, the volume-weighted average price is calculated. It begins when markets open and concludes when they shut for the day. Since it is performed daily, intraday data are utilized in the computation. Following is the formula for determining VWAP:

Sample Calculation

The initial step is to determine the average price of the stock. It is the average of the stock's peak price, low price, and closing price for the day. Using the formula [(H+L+C)/3], the average price of a stock with H = 20, L = 15, and C = 18 would be:

Price on Average = (20 + 15 + 18) / 3 = 17.67

Next, multiply the average price by the unit volume. If V equals 20, then.

17.67 * 20 = 353.33

You can maintain a running tally of the volume throughout the day to determine the cumulative volume, and 78 is the cumulative volume in our case.

Consequently, using the VWAP calculation given above:

VWAP = 353.33 / 78 = 4.53

The volume-weighted average price may be calculated for each period to display the VWAP for each stock chart data point. On the stock chart, the VWAP results are depicted as a line. It is not always necessary for an investor to compute the VWAP; trading software performs the calculation automatically. The trader must simply define the number of periods to be included in the VWAP computation.

Pros and cons of VWAP

Pros of VWAP

In algorithmic trading, VWAP ratios assist traders and investors in determining the optimal price at which to purchase or sell based on market volume. By guaranteeing sufficient liquidity, traders may often anticipate lower transaction costs and optimal execution.

VWAP is very beneficial for trading huge quantities of shares. Attempting to purchase a big volume of a single stock on the market might artificially inflate its price; by utilizing VWAP, traders can verify they are not boosting the trading volume of the asset they wish to purchase.

Cons of VWAP

Using the VWAP ratio presents a number of challenges. The majority of issues originate from the fact that a VWAP is a cumulative indicator, meaning that it relies on a large number of data points that will continue to expand in number during the day. A huge data set might generate VWAP line lags, similar to moving average lags, which is why the majority of traders and investors only employ one-minute timeframes.

Volume weighted average price signals

At times, the indications from the VWAP might be misleading, and this is due to the fact that the identical indication signal might be interpreted in two distinct ways.

VWAP breakout

When the price rises above the VWAP indicator, it indicates that the bullish advance is robust. It is so robust that the price has surpassed its average value on the graph. Consequently, we receive a lengthy signal. For a bearish breakout, the same rules apply, but in the other direction.

Moreover, a significant trend is indicated if, at the end of the trading day, the VWAP is smooth but obviously slanted.

Due to the first small number of periods, the trading day begins with typical VWAP dynamics. The indication is already smooth later in the day, although it is still sloping downwards, and this indicates that the trend is quite robust.

Support and resistance to the VWAP

The Volume Weighted Average Price line may be utilized as price support or resistance. Since the indicator is a daily average of all periods, it has psychological meaning on the chart. If the price approaches the VWAP line from below and begins to hesitate in the region, the VWAP may be regarded as resistance. If this occurs in the other direction, the indicator may support the price, resulting in a positive rebound.

Price was above the VWAP line

If the price rises significantly following a bullish break through the VWAP, this may have a different meaning. If the price moves much above the VWAP, then the bullish trend is quite strong. However, if this trend continues for a short time, it indicates that the price is well over its average, and it may be time for a reduction. Similar rules apply to bearish breakouts but in the other way. This performs the same function as the oscillator's overbought/oversold signals.

During a brief period of time, the VWAP line depicts a rapid price increase. Moreover, trading volumes are rather high, suggesting that this might be the cause of the surge. The price then lowers to the VWAP for less than 10 minutes to test its strength as a support line.

Remember that purchasing much below the VWAP may be a good deal because the price is well below the daily average (make sure to understand the cause of the move). Since the price is much over its daily average, it is also considered a good bargain to sell it at a premium.

Is VWAP high good?

This depends on several variables. For instance, if a stock is approaching the VWAP indicator high, it is a positive indication. However, if a stock has been trading above the VWAP high for an extended period of time, this tells a different message.

This indicates that the asset has been over-purchased for several days. Alternatively, investors have been purchasing this stock far more often than in the past, so they may begin selling immediately. Then, you shouldn't just purchase any asset that is priced over the VWAP.

How do we use the VWAP?

The primary idea underlying VWAP is that the addition of volume produces a more accurate picture of a stock's demand and trend. Imagine a simple hypothetical scenario in which stock goes up on two trades, each for 10,000 shares, and subsequently ticks down on two 100-share orders. The stock has returned to its opening price, but demand in these four trades is significantly more bullish than negative overall.

Consequently, institutions who need to execute these high-volume trades will frequently want to come as near as feasible to VWAP. Keeping close to the VWAP enables the big volume to move in a series of trades without significantly moving the stock, as such trades should, in principle, be fairly in line with demand.

Traders of all sizes view VWAP as a more accurate indicator of demand than a basic candlestick chart. A rising VWAP trend line indicates that more stock is moving into security. However, if the stock price does not reflect this strength, there may be an opportunity for intraday trading.

The inverse is also true: a dropping VWAP trend line indicates that sellers are attempting to move more volume, but the absolute trade-by-trade pricing of the stock may not reflect this overall bearishness.

Traders employing VWAP techniques think that the trend line at the opening of the trading session may frequently indicate the direction of the stock for the session. If VWAP is increasing, but the stock price is not, the market will often finally catch up, allowing day traders to purchase the stock in advance.

Traders with greater expertise will also employ more intricate VWAP tactics, interpreting the indicator as support or resistance in the same way that longer-term traders view moving averages.

VWAP vs. moving VWAP

VWAP is an intraday-day indicator that often lasts minutes or hours and is utilized by traders with short-term horizons. Conversely, moving VWAP is a superior alternative for long-term traders since it provides signals over a longer time frame.

VWAP and moving VWAP are both intriguing instruments. To acquire a real-time sense of price reversal, traders utilize VWAP indicators that may be adjusted to a shorter time period.

In contrast, traders who follow other moving trend lines, such as moving average or moving average proxies, find moving VWAP to be a useful component of their trading approach. Traders that employ a price reversal strategy also take advantage of the moving VWAP. In addition, they use a crossover approach to detect the direction of a trend when a rapid average crosses over a slow average. Moving VWAP is frequently employed in conjunction with envelope channels during price reversal transactions to better comprehend price movement.

VWAP: Is it bullish or bearish?

The VWAP indicator cannot be classified as bullish or bearish since this indicator indicates both bullish and bearish trends. Then, the signal should be interpreted in its context.

This implies that you should additionally examine the asset's price from days prior. Therefore, it is impossible to discern if the VWAP stock signal is bullish or bearish, and the VWAP indicator can provide both buying and selling indications.


VWAP, or volume weighted average price, is a method for estimating a stock's value over a single trading day. It establishes a benchmark for transactions based on the highs and lows of a stock's price and the volume of trading at those values. VWAP is a modified form of the standard moving average utilized in technical analysis. The VWAP combines price and volume and delivers more meaningful information than moving averages. It is commonly employed in trading methods to determine market entrance and exit. In day trading, the volume weighted average price is most advantageous.


Is VWAP an effective indicator?

VWAP, also known as volume weighted average price, is an excellent indicator that displays the stock's intraday equilibrium price. This level attracts the attention of many traders since it is a strong support and resistance level. Attention should be paid to this region for entrances and exits.

Should I employ VWAP while trading?

Each investor must select the analytical tools that best suit their needs and are most at ease with them. Numerous investors find VWAP useful, and others disregard VWAP in lieu of alternative measurements.

How do you profit from VWAP?

No strategy of trading can guarantee a profit, but many investors feel that purchasing at or below (or selling at or above) VWAP is preferable to trading without regard to VWAP.