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Bollinger Bands® Introduction:
Bollinger Bands are a technical trading tool created by John Bollinger in the early 1980s. They arose from the need for adaptive trading bands and the observation that volatility was dynamic, not static as was widely believed at the time.

The purpose of Bollinger Bands is to provide a relative definition of high and low. By definition prices are high at the upper band and low at the lower band. This definition can aid in rigorous pattern recognition and is useful in comparing price action to the action of indicators to arrive at systematic trading decisions.

Bollinger Bands consist of a set of three curves drawn in relation to securities prices. The middle band is a measure of the intermediate-term trend, usually a simple moving average, that serves as the base for the upper band and lower band. The interval between the upper and lower bands and the middle band is determined by volatility, typically the standard deviation of the same data that were used for the average. The default parameters, 20 periods and two standard deviations, may be adjusted to suit your purposes.

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April 2014 Excerpt
We arrived at the current stock market levels at roughly the end of November last year, call it 20 weeks ago. We've been higher and lower since, but here we are five months later with little in the way of progress to cite. The driver of this trading range has been uncertainty; primarily uncertainty about growth. As soon as the uncertainty wanes and portfolio managers reach consensus they will move en masse in the direction of that consensus. With current forecasts for first quarter GDP in the one percent range a consensus for growth will not likely be reached soon. Until such time the markets will continue to weather-vane with each bit of news, as we are essentially rudderless from a fundamental perspective. As the risk-on/risk-off mentality is still the predominant meme—we see no sign of that changing soon -- the weather-vaning is likely to be quite volatile at times as everyone piles on the latest news. However, underlying demand is quite clear; witness the resilience of the market recently in light of an increasingly belligerent Russia.

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