Volume-Weighted Average Price (VWAP)

What Is the Volume-Weighted average Price ( VWAP ) ?

The volume-weighted average price ( VWAP ) is a technical analysis indicator used on intraday charts that resets at the start of every new trade session .

It’s a trade benchmark that represents the average price a security has traded at throughout the day, based on both book and price.

VWAP is significant because it provides traders with pricing insight into both the course and value of a security .

Key Takeaways

  • The volume-weighted average price (VWAP) appears as a single line on intraday charts.
  • It looks similar to a moving average line, but smoother.
  • VWAP represents a view of price action throughout a single day’s trading session.
  • Retail and professional traders may use the VWAP to help them determine intraday price trends.
  • VWAP typically is most useful to short-term traders.


Volume Weighted Average Price

Understanding the Volume-Weighted Average price

VWAP is calculated by totaling the dollars traded for every transaction ( price multiplied by the volume ) and then dividing by the total shares traded .

VWAP = Cumulative Typical Price x Volume/Cumulative book

Where distinctive Price = High price + low price + Closing Price/3

accumulative = total since the trading session opened.

How to calculate VWAP

By adding the VWAP index to a streaming graph, the calculation will be made mechanically. however, to calculate the VWAP yourself, follow the steps below .

Assume a 5-minute chart. The calculation is the same regardless of what intraday time frame is used .

  1. Find the average price the stock traded at over the first 5-minute period of the day. To do this, add the high, low, and close, then divide by three. Multiply this by the volume for that period. Record the result in a spreadsheet, under column PV.
  2. Divide PV by the volume for that period. This will produce the VWAP.
  3. To maintain the VWAP throughout the day, continue to add the PV value from each period to the prior values. Divide this total by total volume up to that point.

To make step 3 easy in a spreadsheet, create columns for accumulative PV and accumulative volume and apply the recipe to them .

TradingView .

How Is VWAP Used ?

VWAP is used in different ways by traders. Traders may use VWAP as a swerve confirmation cock and human body deal rules around it. For exemplify, they may consider stocks with prices below VWAP as undervalue and those with prices above it, overvalued. If prices below VWAP move above it, traders may go long the lineage. If prices above VWAP move below it, they may sell their positions or initiate short positions .

institutional buyers including reciprocal funds use VWAP to help move into or out of stocks with as small of a marketplace shock as possible. therefore, when they can, institutions will try to buy below the VWAP, or sell above it. This way their actions push the price back toward the modal, alternatively of away from it.


VWAP ‘s incorporation of volume is valuable to traders for what it can indicate about the degree of trade action during light periods of time—whether the competition is taking or exiting positions.

special Considerations

The Difference Between VWAP and a simple Moving Average

On a chart, VWAP and a bare move average ( SMA ) may look similar. however, these two indicators are calculated differently and represent different results .

VWAP is calculated by multiplying typical price by volume, and the divide by full bulk .

A simpleton move average integrate price but not volume. The SMA is calculated by totaling close prices over a certain period ( say 10 days ) and then dividing the sum by the phone number of periods ( 10 ) .

Limitations of VWAP

VWAP is a single-day indicator and restarts at the open of each new trade day. Attempting to create an average VWAP over many days could distort it and result in an incorrect index .

While some institutions may prefer to buy when the monetary value of a security is below the VWAP, or sell when it is above, VWAP is not the lone factor to consider. In firm uptrends, the price may continue to move higher for many days without dropping below the VWAP at all or entirely occasionally. therefore, waiting for the price to fall below VWAP could mean a miss opportunity if prices are rising quickly .

VWAP is based on historic values and does not inherently have predictive qualities or calculations. VWAP is anchored to the afford price range of the day. therefore, the indicator increases its lag as the day goes on .

This can be seen in the way a 1-minute menstruation VWAP calculation after 330 minutes ( the duration of a distinctive trade session ) will frequently resemble a 390-minute move average at the end of the trade day .

What Is the Volume-Weighted Average Price (VWAP)?

The volume-weighted average price ( VWAP ) is a measurement that shows the modal price of a security, adjusted for its book. It is calculated during a specific trade session by taking the total dollar rate of trading in the security and dividing it by the volume of trades. The convention for calculating VWAP is accumulative typical price x bulk divided by accumulative volume.

Why Is the Volume-Weighted Average Price Important?

VWAP gives traders a smoothed-out indication of a security ’ sulfur price ( adjusted for volume ) over meter. It is used by institutional traders to ensure that their trades do not move the price of the security they are trying to buy or sell excessively highly. For example, a hedge fund might refrain from submitting a bargain ordering for a price above the security ’ mho VWAP, in order to avoid artificially inflating the monetary value of that security. Likewise, it might avoid submitting orders besides far below the VWAP, so that the price is not dragged down by its sale.

What Is the Difference Between the Volume-Weighted Average Price and a Simple Moving Average (SMA)?

Like the VWAP, the simple move average provides traders with a less explosive watch of the recent price vogue of a security. Unlike the VWAP, however, the simple move average does not take into account the level of volume in that security ’ second trade. VWAP weights each day ’ mho price change by the sum of bulk occurring in that day, whereas the simple move average integrate price and no volume .

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