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Volume Profile

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Definition of 'Volume Profile'

A Volume Profile is similar to a Market Profile inasmuch as they both show a profile (a bell curve) against the Y-axis of the chart to represent the most traded area(s) of the time period that they have been constructed against.

The major difference, a significant one, is that a Volume Profile is constructed using the volume traded at each price while Market Profile is constructed based on time brackets traded that the market traded at each price called TPOs.

Against each price on the vertical axis you will typically see a bar that represents the number of contracts that were traded at that price. This type of chart can also be normalized to show a percentage of the day's total volume traded at that price. Volume Profile is agnostic about time that the market remained at each price.

The philosophy behind Market Profile is that the more Time Periods at Price=N in which an issue trades, the more significant is that price. Volume Profile does not care when an issue trades at Price=N, it cares only how much of an issue trades at a particular price.

In theory, an issue could trade one contract at Price=N in each of 48 1/2 hour time periods during a trading day. The same issue could trade 50,000 contracts at Price=X in only a single 1/2 hour time period. In Market Profile, Price=N would appear as a "peak" and Price=X would appear as a valley. In Volume Profile, X would be the "peak" and N would be the "valley".

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