Darvas Box Theory

What is ‘Darvas Box Theory’

Darvas box theory is a trading strategy that was developed in 1956 by former ballroom dancer Nicolas Darvas. Darvas’ trading technique involves buying into stocks that are trading at new highs. A Darvas box is created when the price of a stock rises above the previous high but falls back to a price not far from that high.

Explaining ‘Darvas Box Theory’

The Darvas box theory is essentially a momentum strategy. It uses market momentum theory and technical analysis to determine when to enter and exit the market, and it uses fundamental analysis to determine what to buy or sell. If the price breaks out of the box, it is a sign of a breakout. In this way, the Darvas box helps traders determine what price to enter and exit the market.

The Philosophy: What to Buy

The main idea behind Darvas’ trading philosophy is to focus on growth industries. These are industries that are expected to outperform the market. Darvas selected a few stocks from these industries and monitored their prices every day. He looked for signs that the stock was ready to make a strong move. The main indicator he used to look for these signs was volume. A significant increase in volume increased the likelihood of a big move. Darvas looked for unusual volume on a handful of companies in industries he expected to grow.

The Trading Strategy: When to Enter and Exit

Once Darvas noticed unusual volume, he created a Darvas box with a narrow price range. The stock’s low for the time period presents the floor of the box. The stock’s high for the time period represents the ceiling of the box. When the stock breaks through the ceiling of the box, the trader is supposed to buy the stock. Likewise, when the stock goes below the floor of the Darvas box, it is time to sell.

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