Technical analysis is used to forecast the price movement of virtually any tradable instrument that is generally subject to forces of supply and demand, including stocks, bonds, futures and currency pairs. In fact, technical analysis can be viewed as simply the study of supply and demand forces as reflected in the market price movements of a security. It is most commonly applied to price changes, but some analysts may additionally track numbers other than just price, such as trading volume or open interest figures.
Over the years, numerous technical indicators have been developed by analysts in attempts to accurately forecast future price movements. Some indicators are focused primarily on identifying the current market trend, including support and resistance areas, while others are focused on determining the strength of a trend and the likelihood of its continuation. Commonly used technical indicators include trendlines, moving averages and momentum indicators such as the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) indicator.
Technical analysts apply technical indicators to charts of various timeframes. Short-term traders may use charts ranging from one-minute timeframes to hourly or four-hour timeframes, while traders analyzing longer-term price movement scrutinize daily, weekly or monthly charts.