A layman’s guide to Support and Resistance

NSE:NIFTY   Nifty 50 Index
In this thread, I would try with the best of my knowledge to explain the following questions as easily and briefly as possible.

1. What is a support level?
2. What is a resistance level?
3. What is their importance?
4. When and where to place Buy/Sell orders?

Support and resistance levels are a critical part of trend analysis because they are used to make specific trading decisions. The fact that these levels flip roles between support and resistance can be used to determine the range of a market, trade reversals, bounces, or breakouts. They help in the identification of a trend reversal.

For example, you might identify an upcoming support level and decide to start buying the stock as it approaches the said support knowing that it will likely rebound higher. The support and resistance levels test and confirm the trends and should be closely tracked by every trader. These levels exist due to an influx of buyers and sellers at key junctures.

So, the question arises- what do support and resistance really mean?

What is a Support?
A support level/zone is a level where the price tends to find support as it falls. This means that the price is more likely to “rebound” from this level rather than pierce through it. However, once the price breaks down this level, it is likely to continue falling until meeting another support level.

What is a Resistance?
A resistance level/zone is a level where the price tends to find resistance as it rises. This means that the price is more likely to “bounce back down” from this level rather than break through it. However, once the price pushes above this level it is likely to continue rising until it meets another resistance level.

Trade setup:
1. Buying the support
The price gets rejected from the resistance level a few times. Finally, after a good attempt, the price manages to break out from the resistance. Don’t buy yet, wait for the retest since it can be a false breakout and you may end up losing your money. After a successful retest, open up your long positions. Make sure to lock in profits on the way up.

2. Selling the resistance
The price gets rebounded from the support level a few times. After a few attempts, the price finally breaks down of the support level. Don’t sell yet since it can be a false breakdown, wait for the retest. If the retest is successful, close your long positions on the breakdown point. Some may want to open short positions too.

Role Reversal/ Change of Polarity
A resistance level after a successful breakout turns into a support level and a support level turns into a resistance level after a breakdown. The turning of Resistance into a Support is or vice versa is known as "Change of Polarity".

A zone keeps on flipping roles between support and resistance. Sometimes, it acts as a support, and other times it acts as a resistance. Hence, never consider a zone as fixed support or resistance. Moreover, consider these zones a potential support or resistance zones because there isn't any certainty that these will act as the desired zone.

Useful Tips:
1. Avoid placing orders at these major points since there exists a lot of volatility around these points.
2. Take care to not place buy/sell orders directly at these levels since there is a good chance of not hitting the exact levels. Use approximate margins for placing orders.
3. Never ever forget to use a stop loss if for an instance the trade doesn’t go as expected.

Rajat Kumar Singh,
B.Tech (Delhi Technological University)
Community Manager (IN), TradingView

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