How To Read A Minute Stock Chart | Finance

For fast-paced stock traders, a minute chart gives a detailed, up-close picture of the day’s action. A minute chart shows price changes broken down into very short intervals: one-minute, five-minute, and ten-minute periods, over which almost every large trade will result in a significant (but not always significant) price change. Following a minute chart can put you in profitable contact with the price trend of the day.

Stage 1

Open your trading software or go to an online financial website such as Yahoo! Finance or CNBC which provides stock charts. In order to trade on a minute chart, you need live quotes, which track frequent price changes live and as they happen. If you have a brokerage account, you should be able to access streaming quotes. Free sites will have 15 or 20 minute delayed quotes, which means the chart won’t really be useful for trading purposes.

Stage 2

Click on the tab on the site’s home page that says “trading”, “stocks” or “research”. This section of the site will contain information about individual stocks, including their price charts. Once you reach this section, enter the ticker symbol of the stock you wish to follow; you can search for the stock symbol, if you’re not sure what it is, by entering the full company name.

Stage 3

Access the price charts of the stock you are following by clicking on the tab that says “charts” or something similar. At the top of the graph there will be a tab for “range”. Click on the interval of minutes you are tracking. The price will be given on the left axis, the time on the bottom horizontal axis. Remember that stock charts are displayed in a variety of formats, the most useful being the classic “candlestick”, which graphically displays the high, low and close of each interval.

Stage 4

Follow the candlesticks as each new candlestick is generated. These narrow rectangles will be color-coded to indicate whether the closing price for each minute interval is higher (green) or lower (red) than the closing price for the last interval. The more green you see, the more upside trades there are, which tends to push the price up. A new close above the previous high also shows that the stock price is gaining momentum. A relatively long candlestick shows that the price is moving in a wider range and is more volatile.

Karen J. Nelson