What are Forex Bulls and Bears Indicators?

Among lots of different technical indicators, there are bears power and bulls power indicators. The two indicators combined are known as the Elder-Ray index in the commemoration of their original creator, Dr. Alexander Elder.
 
Using the two indicators, the Elder-Ray indicator tries to look behind the apparent prices and determine the actual strength of buyers’ (bulls) and sellers’ (bears) interests on the market. Both bulls and bears are trying to push the price in their favor, either up for selling or down for buying.
 
Apart from the bulls bears Power indicator combination, the Elder-Ray indicator also uses the Exponential Moving Average (EMA) to calculate the strength of two sides of the trade. Usually, a 13-day EMA is taken as a baseline, and depending on how the bears and bulls' powers act relative to it, traders may buy or sell their assets.
 
Basically, when the EMA is increasing while the bear power is negative but increases, the Elder-Ray indicator gives out the signal to buy an asset; conversely, when the EMA is decreasing while the bull power is positive but decreases, the Elder-Ray indicator gives out the signal to sell an asset. In the end, these forces interchange between one another and balance out the general price of the asset.
 

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Bears and bulls power indicator explained

In any type of market, whether it’s foreign exchange, commodities, or anything else, there are two major forces that determine the price on a product/service: demand and supply. In trading, the sides that represent demand and supply are called “bulls” and “bears” respectively.
 
Bulls are interested in buying an asset, and as any regular buyer, they want to get the product/service as cheaply as possible. bears are interested in selling an asset, and they want to do that as extensively as possible. The two sides are this constant competition of interests, which ultimately leads to a balanced price that is more or less acceptable for both bulls and bears.
 
Forex bulls and bears behave the same way. To actually measure the strength of the signals, that is, how successfully bulls and bears manage to influence prices at their advantage, the Russian-America professional trader, Dr. Alexander Elder created an indicator called the Elder-Ray.
Bulls and bears power for beginners
The second name “Ray” hints to the indicator’s ability to see through the surface of the market prices, just like an X-ray does. Using it, traders can detect the potential strength of an uptrend/downtrend and make trading decisions accordingly.
 
The Elder-Ray indicator incorporates bulls and bears power oscillators to detect the trend - whether a price is in an uptrend or a downtrend. On top of that, this indicator also uses the Exponential Moving Average (EMA) indicator, which is also a trend-detecting tool. These individual elements together give out various signals to the traders.
 
Bulls power derives from the subtraction of an exponential moving average (usually, the time frame is 13 days) from a high price of an asset. Bear power derives from the subtraction of the EMA from a low price of an asset. Then, the two powers are put as histograms in the bar chart.
 
Then, a 13-day EMA is taken as a baseline that is going to measure the strength of the bulls and bears powers. By interpreting the individual movements of the 13-day EMA and bulls and bears power histograms, as well as the positioning of these elements with respect to one another, the Elder-Ray indicator gives out signals as to when to buy or sell an asset.
Now, let’s talk about how traders actually interpret the movements of Bulls and Bears signals. In a combination of a 13-day EMA, the Elder-Ray indicator gives out a signal to buy an asset when the following conditions are met:
 
  • The EMA is in an uptrend (increasing)
  • The Bears Power is negative but is increasing as well
 
These two trends show that: a. The average price has been increasing for the past 13 days and b. The sellers’ (Bears) position is at its lowest point and is starting to increase. Therefore, it is the best time for a trader to buy an asset.
Bulls bears power indicator mt4

Conversely, the Elder-Ray indicator gives out a signal to sell an asset when the following conditions are met:
 
  • The EMA is in a downtrend (decreasing)
  • The Bulls Power is positive but is decreasing as well
 
What these two trends show is that: a. The average price of the asset has been going down for the past 13 days, and b. The buyers’ (Bulls) position is at its weakest point but is slowly gaining strength. Therefore, this is the best time to buy an asset.
 
These two main conditions are absolutely essential to the detection of a trend and for the Elder-Ray indicator to be precise in its signals.


The buyers and sellers strength indicator in MT4

When it comes to using the Bulls Bears power indicator MT4 is one of the simplest pieces of software for it. They are available to the platform as a default, therefore, adding them to a chart is quite simple.
 
All traders have to do is click the “Insert” menu at the top-right corner, go to the “Indicators”, choose “Oscillators,” and then put both “Bull Power” and “Bear Power” in the chart. While these indicators can be put individually, it is much more effective to use them together, as was the original intention of Dr. Elder.
Bulls & bears indicator chart
And, alongside those two indicators, it’s also important to plot the 13-day Exponential Moving Average on the chart. This way, the Elder-Ray index will work at its best and the signals will be more accurate.
 
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Bulls & Bears Power indicators - Key takeaways

Bulls and Bears Power indicators are used in trading to measure the strength of trends in trading. Bulls power measures the strength of buyers’ position and Bears power measures the sellers’ position.
 
The two indicators were developed by Dr. Alexander Elder who, by combining a 13-day Exponential Moving Average to these indicators, created the Elder-Ray index. When a trader uses the Elder-Ray index to observe the prices, they get signals to either buy or sell an asset.
 
The signal to buy an asset occurs when the 13-day EMA (baseline) is increasing, while the Bulls power is negative but increasing. The signal to sell an asset occurs when the EMA is decreasing, while the Bears power is positive but decreasing. These individual indicators are available in MetaTrader 4 on default and can easily be applied to the chat.
 

FAQ on bulls and bears power indicators

1.What does bulls and bears power mean?

In trading, as well as any other market, there are two essential participants: buyers and sellers. Buyers create demand for a given product/service, whereas sellers supply those to the market.
 
In trading terms, buyers are called Bulls, and sellers are called Bears. Within the Bulls vs Bears indicator division, Bulls are always trying to buy assets at the lowest possible price, while Bears want the highest selling price for their assets.
 
The Bulls and Bears power for beginners, therefore, is quite simple to understand: these indicators are put on the chart in order to measure just how successfully buyers (Bulls) and sellers (Bears) are managing to buy/sell their assets at preferred prices.


2.Which software offers bulls and bears power indicators?

Bulls and Bears power oscillators are among the default indicators in many pieces of software, including MetaTrader 4/5, cTrader, etc. That’s because these indicators are very often used to receive signals as to when to buy or sell an asset.
 
In MT4, it is very easy to put these oscillators onto the chart. All a trader needs to do is go to the “Insert” menu at the top-right corner of the screen, go down to “Indicators”, choose “Oscillators”, and select “Bulls Power” and “Bears Power”. These are two different indicators, yet to use them most effectively, it is better to use them in a combination.
 
Plus, to complete the Elder-Ray set, traders can also put the Exponential Moving Average indicator to the chart. This way, there will be a 13-day baseline that will indicate whether the average price has been increasing or decreasing for the past 13 days, while the power oscillators will measure the strength of those trends.


3.How to interpret Bulls and Bears power indicator signals in trading?

As noted in the article, it is better to use Bulls and Bears power indicators with the Exponential Moving Average. Usually, the EMA is plotted for 13 days as a baseline.
 
So, as a rule of thumb, the Elder-Ray indicator gives out the buy signal when the following conditions are met:
 
  • The EMA is increasing
  • The Bears power is negative but increasing
 
Conversely, the sell signal occurs when the following conditions are met:
 
  • The EMA is decreasing
  • The Bulls power is positive but decreasing
 
These are the two most essential conditions for each signal; when they occur, the Elder-Ray index gives out the signal to make a corresponding decision.

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