Tired of missing market turns? 

Want to understand what the “smart money” is doing? The positive volume index, or PVI, can help! This powerful trading indicator analyzes the relationship between price changes and volume, revealing what experienced investors might be up to. When you understand the PVI, it can help you see potential trends, reversals, and the overall strength of market movements.

The article gets into how to apply the PVI. It shows the method of calculation, gives advice on using it to verify trends, and suggests combining with additional technical instruments for more comprehensive examination. Both experienced traders and newcomers can improve their choices by using PVI. Ready to dive in? 

Decoding the Positive Volume Index (PVI)

The positive volume index, or PVI for short, is a financial tool designed to measure how much the changes in higher trading volume affect price directions. It’s based on the idea that when trading volume goes up, it might be because traders who know what they’re doing are active. So the PVI focuses on understanding this relation between big shifts in volume and prices going up. The index mainly looks at days when there are more shares traded than the day before, suggesting that on these days, bigger investors who know a lot may be trading.

The main reason for using the PVI is to act like a guide that shows trends, which assists people who trade and invest in understanding whether the market is strong or weak. This might not be clear if they only look at price changes. The PVI does this by focusing on days when more stocks are being traded and giving information about possible growing bullish trends that we cannot see directly. On days when there is a lot of trading, big investors who control lots of money decide to purchase shares usually because they have done extensive research and study. This suggests that the stocks might do well in the future.

Traders, and particularly ones concentrating on technical analysis, often use the PVI alongside different indicators to enhance their trading approach. When they combine signals from the PVI with those from other technical tools like moving averages or momentum oscillators, traders believe they can predict long-term price changes better and adapt their plans in line with these predictions. Additionally, traders who focus on stock and raw material markets prefer the PVI because volume is very important to confirm if price movements are real.

The PVI is basically a strategic instrument for people who want to grasp and take advantage in the shifts caused by knowledgeable, volume-based investments. It’s more than just an indicator of past events; it can also hint at what may happen in the future, which makes it a very important tool for traders trying to remain ahead in tough financial markets.

Mechanics of the Positive Volume Index

The positive volume index, or PVI, works with a simple rule: it only changes on days when there is more volume than the last day. If the volume does not go up, then the PVI stays the same. The PVI is especially sensitive to movements that are thought to come from knowledgeable buying, which typically happens on days when there’s a lot of trading activity.

Traders begin by setting a starting point, usually at 1000 for simplicity and to make it easier to compare. When the volume goes up on a certain day, they use this formula to adjust the positive volume index:

Image of PVI formula

“Today’s Price Change” shows how today’s closing price is different from the closing price of yesterday. This number makes it easier to see how big changes in volume can make the effect on the index stronger when prices move a lot.

Under conditions of a steady market, where changes in trading volume are small and regular, the PVI might not change much. This suggests there is no substantial activity from traders with inside information. However, when the market is unstable—for instance around times of company news or economic changes like all of the effects of the recent Fed interest rate news—the PVI can go up quickly. These actions indicate that knowledgeable investors are responding to recent news or events, believed to be operating with better understanding.

The way the PVI acts in varied market conditions can give traders clues about when big participants might be starting or stopping their trades. This is especially useful in markets that are famous for having a lot of buying and selling activity, like stocks and commodities, where changes in trade volumes tell us more. By monitoring the PVI, traders can assess how strong current trends are or predict changes when the index moves differently from overall market prices.

Reading Signals from the PVI

The positive volume index, or PVI, is very important for traders. They use it to study the force of market trends and see possible changes, especially when there are more transactions happening.

Bullish Signals:

When the PVI goes up, it means that smart investors are purchasing shares because they expect the market to increase. This upward movement is very positive if it happens together with important events in the market that might push prices up. When the PVI goes up quickly, it usually means a long time of rising prices is coming, showing that people believe in the market.

Bearish Signals:

When the PVI stops increasing or starts to go down while prices are still rising, it might show that people are less interested in buying. This situation hints that the market trend is getting weaker and a trend reversal could happen soon.

Interpreting Signals:

Traders employ the PVI to spot differences between how prices move and the patterns of volume. For example, if there are new highest prices but the PVI does not show more volume for these high levels, it might suggest that the trend is not strong. On the other hand, if PVI goes up when prices are falling, it could mean that smart investors begin purchasing because they expect the market to recover.

Strategic Insights:

Sudden changes in the PVI, whether higher or lower, can signal early signs of shifts in what the market feels before these are shown in prices. But one should use the PVI with different indicators and information about the market for a complete plan when trading, especially when markets are unpredictable or complicated.

By learning and using the knowledge from the PVI, people who trade can more effectively handle the market’s rises and falls, possibly getting an advantage in forecasting what will happen next.

Calculating the PVI

The PVI is an instrument in technical analysis that monitors the change of price on days when more trading volume happens compared to the day before. Learning how to work out the PVI can give traders knowledge about what investors do on busy trading days, and it can hint at where the market might be going.

Step-by-Step Calculation of the PVI:

  1. Begin the PVI by choosing a starting number, which is usually 1000 because it makes the math simpler and easier to understand.
  2. For every day of trade, check if the trading volume is more than it was on the last day. We change the PVI only when today’s volume is bigger compared to yesterday’s.
  3. Find out the PVI: When there is more volume on some days, you change the PVI with this equation. 

Image of the PVI new formula


  • Price Change = Today’s closing price – Yesterday’s closing price
  • Price_{previous} = Yesterday’s closing price

No Change on Decrease Days: On days when the volume decreases or remains the same, the PVI remains unchanged from the previous day’s value.

Example Calculation:

Suppose we have a stock with the following price and volume data:

  • Day 1: Close = $50, Volume = 10,000 (Initialize PVI = 1000)
  • Day 2: Close = $52, Volume = 12,000
  • Day 3: Close = $51, Volume = 11,000

On Day 2, the volume increased compared to Day 1. Applying the PVI formula:

PDVnew = 1000 – (2 x 1000 / 50) = 1000 + 40 = 1040

On Day 3, despite a price drop, the volume did not exceed Day 2’s volume, so the PVI remains at 1040.

This calculation shows that the PVI pays attention to days when more shares are traded, which helps people who analyze markets and those who trade see how changes in how many shares are bought or sold affect prices. If you watch the PVI for a while, you can get an idea of what confident investors think—these are likely the ones behind changing trading volumes on busy days. 

Strategies for Trading with the PVI

The positive volume index (PVI) is a very useful tool for traders who want to follow long-term trends in the market that are affected by changes in volume. To make the best use of PVI when trading, here are some important strategies:

  • Identifying Trends: Use the PVI to measure how strong market trends are. If the PVI goes up steadily, it shows strong buying and a positive trend. But if the PVI is going down in a bear market, it means there’s continued selling pressure and probably the downward trend will keep going.
  • To make sure of the signal, use PVI together with different technical signs to see which way trends are going. If PVI goes up at the same time as a Moving Average that is also going up or if it crosses over resistance lines, this shows that the trend is likely moving upwards and suggests a good moment to buy.
  • Awareness of Divergence: Monitor for cases of bullish divergence where the PVI goes up even though the price is going down. This could suggest that a positive trend reversal might happen as it indicates increasing buyer interest despite the declining prices.
  • When you use the PVI together with other indicators of volume such as On-Balance Volume or Negative Volume Index, it improves your market evaluation. You get a better view of how much people are trading on days when prices go up and when they fall down which helps to understand what is happening in the market more clearly.
  • Risk Management: Use good practices for managing risk by combining PVI indications with stop-loss methods. For example, set a stop loss under the previous small drop when you trade following an upward signal from PVI to protect from sudden changes in the market.

Using the PVI gives traders a way to see and make use of trends that come from volume changes. But it is very important to combine the PVI with different tools for analyzing and managing risks, so they can do better in trading and avoid losing money.

Illustrating the Positive Volume Index

To show how the PVI is used in a real situation, we will look at what happened with Apple’s stock (AAPL) during the last two weeks.

At the close of April, Apple was one of the significant players moving in the market, together with firms such as Tesla and Domino’s. In these times, there was a noticeable rise in the PVI which suggested a strong growth in trading volume on days that also saw an increase in stock prices. This surge in the PVI reflected growing investor interest, coinciding with positive market dynamics.

Middle Stage: Apple’s progress kept growing after they shared an earnings report that was more positive than people worried about, along with news about a big program to buy back shares. This made the stock price go up even more and we saw this rise reflected in the ongoing growth of the PVI. The idea here was that the positive feeling among buyers wasn’t just staying steady but might actually be getting stronger, as additional investors became interested due to good news.

Check out how the PVI and price move together on AAPL’s chart:

Two-week chart of AAPL showing candlestick price movements and PVI below.

Two-Week Price Chart of Apple Inc. (AAPL) with the PVI

Subsequent Progress: Although the performance was good, worries started in early May 2024 about a decrease in iPhone sales throughout almost all countries, which brings some doubt regarding where Apple’s stock will go next. But if traders use the PVI information, they can understand the market feelings that are supported by volume data. This gives them one more way to look at things when dealing with future uncertainties.

Concluding, the positive volume index (PVI) pays attention to volume changes when prices go up and can give useful hints about how people feel in the market and possible turning points. Traders who learn these patterns using instruments like PVI get extra details that help them choose wisely, especially when markets are unstable or shifting quickly.

Comparative Analysis: PVI vs. OBV

Positive volume index (PVI) and On-Balance Volume (OBV) are important tools for technical analysis. Both use trading volume to give different insights into the market, but they have basic differences in how they are used and affect trading plans.

Core Differences:

  • PVI pays attention to the days when more shares are being traded, showing what investors with less information are doing. It only changes its values on these busy days, which helps understand the feelings of everyday investors and how they might affect where the stock market is going.
  • OBV takes into account the volume of trades every day, it adds up this volume to a running total when the market ends higher, and reduces it on days when the market finishes lower. This technique tries to forecast future price changes by checking if the trading volume agrees with the existing trend in prices.

Usage and Implications:

  • When PVI goes up, it shows that more regular investors feel positive on days with lots of trading and this may mean prices will rise. If PVI falls, it means these investors have negative feelings which could lead to falling prices.
  • OBV importance: OBV is very important for verifying if price trends are continuing or showing they might change soon. If the OBV goes up, it means buyers have more control and this helps prices go higher. But if the OBV goes down, it can mean that we may see prices starting to fall.

Strategic Applications:

  • PVI for Trading: It is good to see sentiment differences, and PVI might show possible market changes if its direction is not the same as price actions.
  • In trading, the OBV is good for breakout methods. When there’s a large rise in OBV while prices are breaking out, it shows strong buying force which confirms that the trend is real.


Both PVI and OBV use volume to understand market movements, but they do it differently. PVI helps see the effects of sudden large changes in volume, whereas OBV gives strong backing to confirm if price trends are real. Using both markers can improve market study, giving a more complete view of how volume influences market activities.

Evaluating the PVI: Pros and Cons

The positive volume index, or PVI, is a useful tool for those who trade. It helps them see what the investors with less information are doing on days when there’s more trading happening.


  • Understanding Market Feelings: The PVI is very good at noticing changes in the feelings of investors who are not experts, giving knowledge when there’s a big change in how much people are buying and selling.
  • It helps confirm general market movements when its rise matches with the climbing prices, indicating ongoing strong upward trends.
  • Concentrate on lasting trends: The PVI overlooks days with little trading, offering a more transparent perspective of long-term trends in volume that is excellent for assessing market movements over a longer period.


  • Data Gaps: The PVI only refreshes on days when there is more trading, and it might miss significant short-term changes in the market that happen during less busy times.
  • If we think that the big increases in trading amounts come mainly from people who just make noise, it might cause us to misunderstand things, because not every time does it happen because of investors without good information.
  • The PVI should be combined with other indicators like for example the volume price trend indicator, for the best results; this makes its market analysis more complete.


Although the PVI provides useful insights into investor behavior, it is most effective when complemented with other technical tools. To maximize the utility of the PVI, traders should combine it with additional indicators and incorporate helpful tools like trade signals. This approach allows for a more comprehensive market analysis that considers changes in both volume and price, helping traders mitigate risks and enhance decision-making. 

Synergizing the PVI with Other Indicators

When a trader uses the positive volume index (PVI) together with other analytical instruments, it can significantly enhance their capacity to examine and make knowledgeable choices in financial markets. The PVI shows its best performance when used alongside indicators that offer extra insights into changes driven by trading volume.

Effective Combinations with the PVI:

  • Moving averages like the SMAs and EMAs, help to identify the direction of the market. When there is a rise in both the positive volume index and moving average, it indicates that there is likely a powerful trend upwards in the market. But if the positive volume index goes down and also the moving average falls, this might show that the market could start to be negative.
  • The Relative Strength Index, often called RSI, calculates the speed and magnitude of price movements. If there is a big increase in Positive Volume Indicator at the same time as a high RSI value, it signifies that the market possesses robust upward momentum. However, if this sign goes down and the RSI value is also low, it suggests that the market trend is moving downwards.
  • Cumulative Volume Index (CVI): The CVI tracks the cumulative volume to assess buying and selling pressure. An upward trend in CVI coupled with a rising positive volume index points to sustained buying interest, reinforcing a bullish outlook. Conversely, a falling CVI and positive volume index can indicate increasing selling pressure, hinting at a bearish trend.

Strategic Benefits:

When you combine the PVI with these measures, you get a clearer understanding of how markets act. It makes confirming trading hints better. Such cooperation aids investors in spotting stronger spots to start and finish trades, control dangers in a better way, and move through difficult market situations with more sureness.


Combining the PVI with known technical indicators such as moving averages, RSI, and MACD improves analysis and makes decision-making stronger. By using this combined method, traders can understand market movements better and change their strategies when needed.


The positive volume index, or PVI, is very important for those who analyze finances and trade. It gives special understanding into how the market moves because of traders who do not trade often. This index shows us trends about trading volume that many times people don’t see when they only look at price changes. It helps to reveal what less regular traders are doing and this can show big changes in the market situation.

When you use PVI together with different tools for technical analysis, it becomes much more useful. This helps to confirm trends and predict when they might change direction with greater certainty. But even though it has benefits, traders must understand where the PVI falls short and the best situations to apply it. Integrating the PVI well into wider strategies for stock analysis, while recognizing its strong points and weak points, allows traders to use opportunities in the market driven by volume effectively.

Positive Volume Index: FAQs

How Does the Positive Volume Index Differ from Typical Volume Analysis?

The positive volume index takes note of the days when more trading happens than the day before, looking at how many regular people are taking part in the market. It shows what normal investors do differently from usual ways that just look at changes in how much is traded each day without caring if it’s more or less.

What are the Primary Signals to Look for When Using the PVI?

Observe the changes in PVI’s number that show different directions of market trends. If PVI goes up, it means the trend is positive; if it goes down, the trend seems negative. Differences between the PVI and the way prices move are important signs that suggest possible changes in market direction.

Is It Possible to Use the PVI Effectively across Different Market Types, Including Stocks, Foreign Exchange, and Commodities?

The PVI is used in different markets such as shares, currency exchange, and goods. How well it works changes depending on how much the market is traded and the impact of traders who make decisions based on unpredicted information. It performs best in markets where volume data is reflective of genuine market sentiment.

What are the Common Pitfalls When Interpreting the PVI?

Many people depend too much on the Price Volume Index without looking at other signs, they do not understand the messages correctly when there are unpredictable changes in trade amounts, and they forget about outside things that can change how much is traded. If the price volume index stays the same for a time, someone might think nothing is happening but actually it may mean a big change in price will happen soon.

How Often Should the PVI Be Recalculated for Optimal Trading Performance?

The frequency for adjusting the PVI needs to match with an investor’s strategy of trading. Those who trade over long periods could adjust it every week or month, whereas those who trade in short terms might find it useful to update it each day to better catch quick changes in the market.