Benefits Of Trading With Pivot Points: A Step-By-Step Guide

Pivot points can give traders key price levels to help identify potential entry and exit points. They can also help traders identify trend reversals, as well as potential breakout points. They can be combined with other technical indicators to improve your trading strategy.

intraday pivot pointsAs a long time trader, I’ve seen many trading strategies come and go. But one method that’s been around for decades and continues to be effective is trading with pivot points.

Pivot points are calculated using the previous day’s highs, lows, and closing prices to determine potential support and resistance levels for the current day.

Benefits Of Using Pivot Points

  1. Provides a clear view of market sentiment by identifying key price levels where buyers or sellers may enter or exit positions.
  2. They help traders manage risk by providing specific entry and exit points based on these levels.
  3. Point calculations are widely available online and in most charting software programs, they’re easy to use for both novice and experienced traders alike.

In this article, we’ll take a step-by-step guide to understanding how pivot points work and show you how they can help improve your trading success.

Understanding Pivot Points

As traders, we all want to find an edge in the markets. Pivot points are one tool that can help us with that.

A pivot point is a technical analysis indicator used to determine potential support and resistance levels based on the previous day’s (weeks) price action.

Trading with pivot points involves using these levels as reference points for entering and exiting trades. By incorporating a pivot points trading strategy in your trading plan, you can improve your odds of success by identifying key levels objectively where buying or selling pressure may emerge.

Pivot point analysis is fairly straightforward because the pivot point indicators will do all the work for you.

Understanding how to trade with pivot points can provide valuable insight into market movements and help increase profits over time. With this knowledge of what the main pivot point is where the other points are, it’s important to understand their importance in trading.

The Importance Of Pivot Points In Trading

Pivot points are an objectivetrading indicator that takes any subjectivity out of finding levels that may potentially be turning points in price.


The most commonly used pivot points are the daily pivot points, which calculate the average price of an asset over a 24-hour period.

Weekly pivot points calculate the average price of an asset over a week-long period, while monthly pivot points calculate the average price over a month-long period.

In addition to these traditional pivot point levels and calculations, some traders also use Camarilla pivot points, which take into account multiple levels of support and resistance based on yesterday’s high, low, and close prices.

How To Calculate Pivot Points

Now that we understand the different types of pivot points, it’s time to learn how to calculate them. 

The good news is that you don’t need a degree in mathematics or complex software to do so.  All you need is a pivot point calculator, which can be found online for free.

Daily Pivot Points

Daily pivot points are calculated based on the previous day’s high, low, and closing prices. Traders use them as reference levels to determine potential support and resistance areas in intraday trading.  To calculate daily pivot points, simply add the high, low, and close prices from the previous day and divide by three.

Calculation| Daily/Weekly/Monthly Formula
Pivot Point (High + Low + Close) / 3
Support 1 (2 x Pivot Point) – High
Resistance 1 (2 x Pivot Point) – Low
Support 2 Pivot Point – (High – Low)
Resistance 2 Pivot Point + (High – Low)
Support 3 Low – 2 x (High – Pivot Point)
Resistance 3 High + 2 x (Pivot Point – Low)

Weekly Pivot Points

Weekly pivot points take into account closing price data from the previous week, while monthly pivot points consider price data from the past month. These longer-term calculations can be helpful in identifying major trend changes or significant price movements.  

For weekly and monthly pivot points, use the same formula but with data spanning seven days and 30-31 days respectively.

In the next section, we will explore different types of support and resistance lines of pivot points that traders should know about when using this technique.

Pivot Point Strategies For Day Trading

Trading with pivot point charts is popular among day traders due to its ability to quickly identify potential support and resistance levels. The pivot point support and pivot point resistance levels can help traders determine zones to look for trade entries, profit targets, and placing a stop loss.

Pivot point day trading involves using daily pivots as reference points for trading decisions throughout the day.

Pivot point scalping is a strategy that looks to profit from small price movements.  This is generally through exiting your trade at the first sign of price losing momentum.

Traders can also use the daily pivots trading strategy, which involves holding positions overnight based on the previous trading day each’s high, low, and close prices.  This would be something to consider during those times we see strong trends in the market.

By incorporating these strategies into their trading plan, day traders can potentially increase their profits while minimizing risk. In the next section, we will discuss swing trading with pivot points and how it differs from day trading.

Sample Pivot Point Day Trading Strategy

There are many methods to trade and the best strategy is the one that suits you.  Here is an example of how to form a long only strategy and you can use this one as the basis for your own.

Timeframe 5-minute chart
Indicators Pivot point indicator (set to daily levels), Moving average (20-period simple moving average)
Setup criteria Wait for the market to open and allow for the first 5-minute candle to form.

Identify the daily pivot point level (PP) and the support and resistance levels (S1, S2, R1, R2) using the pivot point indicator.

Look for a bullish candlestick pattern to form above the daily pivot point level (PP).

Confirm the bullish bias by ensuring that the 20-period moving average is sloping upwards.

Enter a long trade at the market price if the above criteria are met.

Stop loss Set the stop loss below the low of the bullish candlestick pattern.
Take profit Set the take profit at the first resistance level (R1).
Trade exit Exit the trade if the price reaches the take profit level or if the price breaks below the 20-period moving average.
Risk management Risk no more than 1% of your trading account balance on each trade.

This example shows a $4.00 move from trade entry to R1 profit target.  The entry is a simple breakout play on the first pause in a bullish up move.


There are other entry methods you can use including trend line breaks if you can draw one.  Notice the take profit level, R1, was met and price began to consolidate the most of the morning.

Swing Trading With Pivot Points

Pivot points are an excellent tool for swing traders looking to make a profit by taking advantage of short-term market movements. 

By using pivot points in your trading strategy, you can improve your chances of success while minimizing risk. One popular pivot point reversal strategy is the ‘swing trading’ method. This involves entering and exiting trades based on price swings within the trend.

For example, if the market is trending upwards, look for opportunities to buy at the support level and then sell near resistance levels.

Some useful pivot point trading strategy tips include setting stop-losses at key levels and paying attention to price action around pivot points. With this approach, you’ll be able to take advantage of quick profits without being overly exposed to market volatility.

Tips For Trading With Pivots
  1. Incorporate other technical analysis tools like moving averages or Fibonacci retracements
  2. Use multiple timeframes for confirmation of trends and signals
  3. Keep track of news events that could affect the market
  4. Develop a disciplined approach with clear rules for entering and exiting trades – and stick to those rules consistently. This helps to manage risk and avoid emotional decision-making based on market fluctuations.

Scalping With Pivot Points

Scalping with Pivot Points is an effective strategy for traders who want to make quick profits. By using standard pivot points on point charts, traders can identify key levels of support and resistance in the market. These levels help them determine when to enter or exit trades.

One popular technique used in scalping with pivot points is the pivot point reversal strategy. This involves waiting for a price action pivot point signal at a support or resistance level before entering a trade.

Traders then aim to capture small gains by exiting their positions quickly as soon as they see a change in trend direction. With practice, this strategy can be very profitable for those who are patient and disciplined enough to wait for the right signals.

Combining Pivot Points With Technical Indicators

After learning about scalping with pivot points, it’s time to take your trading strategy up a notch by combining them with technical indicators. By doing so, you can gain an even better understanding of market trends and make more informed decisions on when to enter or exit trades.

PIVOT POINTS WITH MACDOne way to do this is by using pivot point charts in conjunction with the MACD indicator. This combination allows traders to identify momentum shifts and potential trend reversals.

Another option is to use pivot point support and resistance levels alongside the RSI indicator, which helps determine overbought and oversold conditions.

Finally, some traders prefer to combine pivot points with the Stochastic oscillator for confirmation of price movements. Whatever method you choose, incorporating technical indicators into your pivot point strategy can help increase profitability while minimizing risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The History Of Pivot Points In Trading?

The history of pivot point trading dates back to the early 20th century, originating from floor traders in stock markets. They have since expanded to various markets, including forex and commodities. Pivot points help traders identify potential price movements and make informed decisions about entering or exiting trades.

Can Pivot Points Be Used With Fundamental Analysis?

Yes, pivot points can be used in conjunction with fundamental analysis. By combining technical indicators like pivot points with fundamental data, traders gain a more comprehensive understanding of market trends, leading to better-informed decisions.

Are There Specific Markets Or Assets Where Pivot Points Are More Effective?

Pivot points are more effective in highly volatile markets, such as forex and commodities, as well as major indices like the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average. These markets experience rapid price movements and respond well to pivot points, which help traders identify key support and resistance levels.

How Often Should Pivot Points Be Recalculated During A Session?

Pivot points should be recalculated at the start of each new trading day or week, depending on the market and time frame used for analysis.

What Are Some Common Mistakes Traders Make When Using Pivot Points?

Some common mistakes traders make when using pivot points include relying too heavily on them without considering other market indicators, not recalculating pivot points frequently enough, and ignoring the impact of significant news events on prices.


As a trader who has looked into pivot point, I highly recommend at least testing them with your trading strategy. I like the objectiveness of using them to find levels to pay attention to.

It’s important to remember to avoid common mistakes such as relying solely on them or not recalculating frequently enough. By utilizing pivot points alongside other analysis tools and proper risk management techniques, traders can increase their chances of success in the markets.

Author: CoachShane
Shane his trading journey in 2005, became a Netpicks customer in 2008 needing structure in his trading approach. His focus is on the technical side of trading filtering in a macro overview and credits a handful of traders that have heavily influenced his relaxed approach to trading. Shane started day trading Forex but has since transitioned to a swing/position focus in most markets including commodities and futures. This has allowed less time in front of the computer without an adverse affect on returns.