scorecardresearchWhat do 'overbought' and 'oversold' mean in the stock market? An explainer

What do 'overbought' and 'oversold' mean in the stock market? An explainer

Updated: 01 Nov 2022, 09:17 AM IST

Stocks that are overbought or oversold are ones that analysts believe are not trading at their real value. An oversold stock may be worth more than its present trading price, whilst an overbought stock may be selling for more than it is worth. Continue reading as we discuss this in detail.

Stocks that are overbought or oversold are ones that analysts believe are not trading at their real value.

Stocks that are overbought or oversold are ones that analysts believe are not trading at their real value.

Similar to many other professions, stock market trading uses a lot of jargon that is hard for a novice to understand. Trading shares, commodities, and a variety of other markets requires an understanding of overbought and oversold levels. Therefore, it's crucial to comprehend what these stages are and how to spot them.

Overbought and oversold levels represent the price of an asset in relation to its true value. They offer buy and sell points for a variety of asset types and contribute to the definition of market conditions and potential trends. Although options, currency, and commodities can also be traded, shares are the asset class most frequently linked with these levels.

We shall try to decode both these definitions one by one.

Overbought refers to a scenario when excessive demand for a certain asset pushes the price of the underlying asset to levels that are inconsistent with some fundamentals. An asset is said to be overbought when it has undergone rapid increases in value over a short period of time.

In this market scenario, everything evidence—including research, reports, mood, and indicators—points to the price of a stock being higher than the market price.

Occasionally, a stock is overly pushed with promises of high profits. The surging stock draws more buyers than sellers. The excess of demand causes a positive swing in the stock price. A company's financial statements occasionally don't reflect much development despite the hype; in these cases, the stock is referred to as overbought.

However, determining how overbought an item actually is is quite subjective and can vary amongst investors.

On the other hand, when an underlying asset's price has decreased significantly and to a level lower than where its real worth is, the asset is said to be oversold. This typically happens as a result of overreaction in the market or panic selling. In this situation, assets that have fallen sharply in value over a short period of time are sometimes deemed to be oversold.

This may be the consequence of unfavourable news regarding the firm in issue, a dim future for the company, a declining sector of the economy, or a declining market as a whole. An oversold stock implies that selling has driven the price too low and that a reaction, known as a price bounce, is anticipated.

Some traders wrongly interpret oversold as a buy signal. Instead, it is more of a warning. It informs investors that an asset is trading below the low end of its recent price range or at a lower fundamental ratio than usual. This does not imply that you should purchase the asset. Even if a stock or other asset appears to be inexpensive by historical standards, it may continue to be sold off if investors believe it has a bleak future.

Overreactions to news, earnings announcements, and other market-moving events sometimes lead to overbought and oversold circumstances, which tend to drive prices to extremes. Therefore, the foundation of an effective trading strategy is identifying the maturity of these price fluctuations.

Technical analysis, which highlights patterns in market movements by utilizing price charts and indicators, is the greatest method for determining overbought and oversold levels. Since historical patterns are seen to repeat themselves, technical analysis uses prior levels to forecast future moves.

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First Published: 01 Nov 2022, 09:17 AM IST