As of 04/12/2024
  Indus: 37,983 -475.84 -1.2%  
  Trans: 15,498 -250.79 -1.6%  
  Utils: 855 -6.47 -0.8%  
  Nasdaq: 16,175 -267.11 -1.6%  
  S&P 500: 5,123 -75.65 -1.5%  
YTD
 +0.8%  
-2.5%  
-3.0%  
 +7.8%  
 +7.4%  
  Targets    Overview: 04/12/2024  
  Up arrow39,800 or 37,700 by 05/01/2024
  Up arrow16,200 or 15,000 by 05/01/2024
  Up arrow885 or 850 by 05/01/2024
  Up arrow16,700 or 15,800 by 05/01/2024
  Up arrow5,250 or 5,025 by 05/01/2024
As of 04/12/2024
  Indus: 37,983 -475.84 -1.2%  
  Trans: 15,498 -250.79 -1.6%  
  Utils: 855 -6.47 -0.8%  
  Nasdaq: 16,175 -267.11 -1.6%  
  S&P 500: 5,123 -75.65 -1.5%  
YTD
 +0.8%  
-2.5%  
-3.0%  
 +7.8%  
 +7.4%  
  Targets    Overview: 04/12/2024  
  Up arrow39,800 or 37,700 by 05/01/2024
  Up arrow16,200 or 15,000 by 05/01/2024
  Up arrow885 or 850 by 05/01/2024
  Up arrow16,700 or 15,800 by 05/01/2024
  Up arrow5,250 or 5,025 by 05/01/2024

Bulkowski on When Price Reaches Intraday High and Low

My book, Swing and Day TradingSwing and Day Trading: Evolution of a Trader book., discusses when securities reach the intraday high and low starting on page 193. I show a picture of the book on the left. By clicking this link and buying the book, you help support thepatternsite.com.

 

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This article discusses research that finds the most common minutes when price reaches the intraday high and low.

Intraday High-Low: Summary

Price reaches the day's high and low often within the first minute of the stock's open. Within the first hour of trading, the day's high occurs 49% of the time and price reaches the day's low 46% of the time, on average.

Intraday High-Low: Background

A May 2011 article in Active Trader magazine titled, "Intraday swing extremes," gave me the idea for this research. Their staff tested the E-Mini Nasdaq 100 futures to determine when price is most likely to set the day's high and low.

I decided to test this for stocks.

Intraday High-Low: Methodology

I used a database covering both bull (2/2003 to 12/2005) and bear (2/2007 to 2/2009) markets on 55 stocks. That gave me over 60,300 samples of data on the 1-minute scale.

For each day, I found the day's high and low and logged when those occurred. From the analysis, I excluded all half trading days, such as half days before a market holiday.

Top of page More

Intraday High-Low: Results

When Does Price Hit the Day's High/Low?
Period High  Low 
First minute10%9%
First half hour 40%37%
First hour49%46%
Last hour19%20%
Last half hour14%14%
Last minute3%3%

The results were similar to what Active Trader staff reported in their article. Most of the time, the intraday high or low is set early in the session, often in the first minute. Activity remains high for several minutes after the open and tapers off until near the end of the trading day. Within a few minutes of the close, activity picks up again and price may post new highs or lows then, but the level is about a third of the opening minutes.

The table shows the results.

For example, in the first minute, price reaches the day's high 10% of the time. The first minute also sees price making the day's low 9% of the time.

Another example: The first hour sees price post the day's high 49% of the time and the day's low 46% of the time.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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See Also

 

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