Time and sales is a real-time data feed that shows the details of the trading activities of a particular security. The time and sales account show price, date and time, and volume of every trade of that security. Traders use it for technical analysis. For example, the T&S account will show that a buy order for 100 shares of ABC stock was made on the NASDAQ at 12:45:52 for $78.99.
The T&S account is very detail-oriented. If we compare it with the historical time, it can be compared with reading ticker tapes for an individual stock. It works in real-time. You can easily access it on a trading platform. It is displayed in the time and sales window. It appears in a tabular form on the window where the tally of trades for a particular stock runs continuously. The primary components of T&S, price, direction, volume, and date/time, are arranged in columns. The data rows are often coded in different colors. The various colors indicate if the trade has occurred on, outside, or in the bid or ask. A number of trading platforms allow traders to customize the T&S display. They can add volume or price filters according to their preferences.
Historical Time and Sales Data in the Metatrader platform traders can see in MT4 trade history section (Choose the ‘account history’ tab at the bottom and then Right-click within to choose custom dates, and save these reports to your computer if needed.)
How You Can Leverage Time and Sales Data for Your Benefits
Even if the tools are similar, every investor has a different strategy and way of using these tools. This is what makes all the difference. Some investors prepare their strategies by using fundamental analysis, where they focus on the overall value of a company to analyze the risk involved. Others focus on technical analysis, where they focus on the price movements and trade volumes. One of the techniques involved in technical analysis involves reading the time and sales data.
In technical analysis, investors forecast prices using various charts and graphs that are based on price movements of a particular security. Time and sales data is complementary to these charts and graphs and enables the investors to almost accurately estimate the share price movement.
For example, investors use candlesticks and charts to see trading ranges for a particular time period. These charts allow them to see the double bottom, Hikkake patterns and handle. This is in aggregate, that is, it gives a broader view, making trading riskier. When these charts are supplemented by the time and sales data, the information becomes more refined. The investors can have more detailed information about the upcoming trends of a security.
As the time and sales data gave the investors a more detail-oriented picture of the trends, they can make a more informed decision regarding their trade. Time and sales is a tricky concept for the new traders as it gives real-time feeds. It can leave them perplexed. They should start by focusing on a shorter period of time. See how the volume of trade, direction, and price behaves during that time. They must notice every spike or change in these components. Time and Sales data, if used properly, can prove to be highly beneficial where stocks are traded in a large volume.