Relative volume compares the volume at a specific time in the trading day versus the prior volume at the same time of day over a specified range. This is an ideal way to gauge if there is significant volume driving a price move, either up or down.

What’s Unique About this Relative Volume Indicator?

Many relative volume indicators simply divide the current volume by the average volume . Unfortunately, this calculation is not an accurate gauge of volume at a specific point in time and it will not account for typical spikes in volume that occur early and late in the day.

This indicator calculates relative volume on an intraday chart, looking at the volume for each bar in the current timeframe, over a range of days that is configured in Settings. For example, if the preferred lookback is set to 50 and you are on a 5-minute chart at 1:00pm, the indicator will determine the average of cumulative volume traded up to 1:00pm on each 5-minute bar, over the past 50 days. The result is an accurate representation of the “true” volume for a specific time in the day.

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Relative Volume as Percentage or Ratio

Relative volume can be shown as a percentage change, a ratio or both. The calculations are the same, it’s more about your preference.

For example, if a stock has traded 1M shares at 10:00am, yet the average over the past 50 days at 10:00am is 500k shares, the percentage increase is 100% and the ratio, typically referred to as RVol, would be 2.0.

Intraday Charts

To accurately determine volume at a specific point during the trading day, as compared to the average at that same time of day, calculations need to be done on an intraday chart. This is your go-to chart to gauge realtime volume flow.

Daily, Weekly and Monthly Charts

Relative volume data is also shown on daily, weekly and monthly charts, however, it’s important to note these values are based on the close of the respective timeframe.