What Are Market Profile Charts & Best Software To Use?

Market Profile Charts Provide Market Direction & Unique Time Price Opportunity Data. Learn How to Read Market Profile & The Best Software to Use

A Market Profile chart is a day-trading tool that displays the price activity over a certain period. It helps traders identify the most traded prices and develop strategies to exploit these areas.

By looking at a Market Profile chart, traders can see where the market has been over the course of the day and develop trading plans accordingly. It helps in finding supply and demand levels and possible turning points in price action. Using this information, informed traders can enter trades with better chances of being profitable.

Market Profile Charts

Market Profile Charts were developed in the 1980s by the Chicago Board Of Trade Director and trader J. Peter Stiedlmayer. Stiedlmayer’s concepts of Market Profile charting and the Liquidity Databank were huge steps forward in using charting for trading and providing liquidity.

What is a Market Profile Chart?

The Market Profile chart uses price and time to provide a unique way to visualize market action and the most important prices of a day’s trading. The three core concepts are the point of control (POC), the time price opportunity (TPO), and 30-minute time blocks.

Market Profile Chart Explanation
Market Profile Chart Market Profile Chart Explanation


How to Read a Market Profile Chart

To interpret a Market Profile Chart, you must understand the key terminology, the point of control (POC), the time price opportunity (TPO), and the time block.

1. Point of Control (POC)

The Point of Control (POC) is the price where most trades occurred during a certain period. This can be considered an important reference point for traders since it shows the majority opinion about where prices may move.

The Point of Control is considered the stock’s fair price for the day. This is when the stock is traded the most during the day, week, or month. This is also referred to as value pricing, where most traders see the equity value as fair.

The value area is the price range at which 70% of the action happens.

2. Time Price Opportunity (TPO)

The Time Price Opportunity (TPO) indicates the volume and liquidity at each price level throughout the day’s trading. It essentially tells you how many trades were done at each price.

Above the point of control suggests the stock is overpriced, therefore a possible confirmation for a short-term short. Below the point of control would mean a possibly undervalued equity, thus a possible long trade. Each time block letter represents a TPO.

When the price is above and below the value areas, this represents a possible ideal buying or selling point.

3. Time Blocks

The 30-minute time blocks indicate the opening and closing of the markets and any noteworthy changes in trading volume throughout the day.

“A” represents the first 30 minutes of trading, and “B” represents the second 30 minutes. The point of control is the area (price range) where most trades occur during the day. Lowercase lettered time blocks represent out-of-market hours trading.

Market Profile Time Block Start Time End Time
A – Market Open 08:00 08:29
B 08:30 08:59
C 09:00 09:29
D 09:30 09:59
E 10:00 10:29
F 10:30 10:59
G 11:00 11:29
H 11:30 11:59
I 12:00 12:29
J 12:30 12:59
K 13:00 13:29
L 13:30 13:59
M 14:00 14:29
N 14:30 14:59
O – Market Close 15:00 15:29


Understanding these concepts and how to read a Market Profile Chart allows you to gain insight into market sentiment and make more informed decisions about your trades.

How to use Market Profile Charts For Trading

The Market Profile chart is a graphical representation of the traded volume within specific time blocks. It can be used to identify potential buying and selling points for traders. The higher the traded volume in a time block, the more significant it is as an area of support or resistance. The points above and below the value areas represent possible ideal buying or selling points.

The Market Profile chart is also useful in determining market sentiment and how active traders are in certain time blocks. It can be helpful for technical analysis, as it provides information about the underlying factors affecting price action.

When Should You Buy and Sell with a Market profile chart?

When an area has a higher traded volume, it is typically a good time to buy or sell. Traders should look for areas where the traded volume increases significantly at specific points within the chart. This could indicate strong support or resistance levels and potential buying or selling opportunities.

When looking at the Market Profile chart, traders should also look for areas of accumulation or distribution. Accumulation is when traders buy up the asset, and Distribution is when traders sell off the asset. This can be a good sign for potential opportunities to buy or sell, as it indicates that it is likely an imbalance in supply and demand within the market.

Video: Learn About Market Profile Charts

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Best Software for Market Profile

Out of our Top 10 Stock Market Analysis Software Review winners, only two companies offer market profile charts as standard.

1. MetaStock

MetaStock is a clear winner in stock charting, covering all the core chart types and including Point & Figure, Equivolume, and Market Profile charts.

Regarding indicators, MetaStock has 300+ different types, including Darvas Box and Ichimoku Cloud. MetaStock will also help you develop your own indicators based on their coding system.

Candlestick Pattern Recognition & Analysis Add-On With MetaStock
Candlestick Pattern Recognition & Analysis Add-On With MetaStock
Visit MetaStock Read the MetaStock Review


2. Optuma

Optuma offers institutional-grade charting with an array of 400+ technical indicators and drawing tools, specializing in Market Profile Charts & Gann tools such as Gann Grid Lines, Gann Fans, and Gann Swing.

Optuma Software Review Review
Innovative Wheel Chart Analysis with Optuma
Visit Optuma Read the Optuma Review

Pros & Cons of Market Profile Charts

People who use market profile charts become evangelists for the cause. They believe it offers unique insights into buy and sell opportunities. It can be a good option if you are a quick-fire day trader. On the downside, it can require serious effort to learn how to use them, and very few stock chart services offer this type of charting.


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