Rajandran R Founder of Marketcalls and Co-Founder Algomojo. Full-Time Derivative Trader. Expert in Designing Trading Systems (Amibroker, Ninjatrader, Metatrader, Python, Pinescript). Trading the markets since 2006. Mentoring Traders on Trading System Designing, Market Profile, Orderflow and Trade Automation.

Market Profile : Different Types of Profile Days

4 min read

Welcome to Market Profile Series. In the last tutorial, we saw the different types of markets (Balanced and Imbalanced). In this tutorial, we will be discussing the different types of Market Profile Days. By analyzing the shape of the profile, one can easily identify

  • who is in control in the market.
  • whether other timeframe players are present for the day.
  • What the market is trying to do. Which direction the market is attempting to move
  • Which are the key levels the market is attempting to test or re-visit

If you are new to market profile it is recommended to start here How to read a market profile charts

Non-Trend Day
Non Trend day is a balanced market profile which occurs before a major economic event, news, earning result outcome to happen result in lack of participants and a typical dull boring day. Range (high-low) for the day is very compressed and the risk-rewarding nature for an intraday trader is very less. Such days are characterized by low volume where long timeframe players dominance is clearly missing and the day is purely controlled by Day timeframe traders. Only scalping the market favors an intraday trader on these non-trend days.

Non Trend Days are mostly inside day where the current day’s range is within the previous day’s high-low range and the price rejection (at high or low) happens near to the previous days high volume node. There is no range extension on either sides which shows lack of other timeframe traders and the price rotates within Initial Balance. Market shows very low volatility and the Initial Balance is very small.

Normal Day
Normal day is a balanced market profile but with a wider Initial Balance. It occurs generally 65% of the total profile, the most widely seen profile in any markets. Trading centers around the point of control (fair place to conduct any business). One-sided range extension is seen or at time price trades around the wider initial balance with more trading activity balancing around the point of control.

Price generally rotates near the center of the profile and the maximum participation happens at the center of the profile with higher volumes at the POC (point of control). Single prints(Buying tails and Selling tails) on both the sides indicates lack of conviction among both the other time-frame buyers and sellers. Profile shape looks like a perfect bell-curved shape.

No one in control of this market type and the risk-reward ratio is higher for a day trader at the extremes. Wider the initial range, more risk-rewarding for the day trader. However, the profile is low risk rewarding for new shorter-term traders or long term players (who holds the position for more than a day) as the market closing is very close to the center of the profile.

A Profile day with wider initial balance with no range extension is also considered a normal day.

Normal Variation Day

Normal Variation Day is typically an imbalanced profile and the day is dominated by large timeframe players (Buyers or Sellers). Long time-frame players are waiting for the market to settle down where they consider the price to be fair and then they take control who drives the market aggressively post 11.00a.m or 12.00p.m with the range extension outside the initial range. The range extension is more than 2 times the Initial Range And the Initial Balance is typically smaller than the normal day but higher than the trend day.

The above picture shows a typical normal variation up day where the range extension happens in the ‘G’ period and the length of range extension is 2x Initial Balance.

Trend Day

Trend day is an imbalance profile where the day is controlled by the long timeframe participants and the conviction is very strong among the long timeframe players right from the beginning of the market. Other market participants have no options other than aligning in the direction of a longer timeframe. Many Short-term traders and intraday traders have the characteristics of trading against a trend day.

A Perfect Trend Day one timeframes throughout the day continuously. Hardly such trend days breaks the one-timeframing once.

Profile shape is vertical, elongated and very few price rotation and a clear sign of one-sided trend right from the beginning. And the Value Area is typically very large on a trend day. Risk-Reward Ratio is typically higher for a day trader during Trend Days.

Double Distribution Day

Double Distribution is an imbalance profile and one form of trend day where Initial Balance is small and the first price rotation (1st Balance Region) happens at Initial Balance. Then, the larger timeframe traders take control and drive the price in one direction. In the later session, another price rotation happens at the other side of the edge(2nd Balance Region). Both the price rotation regions should be separated by single prints. Risk-Reward Ratio is typically higher for a day trader during Double Distribution Days.

Neutral Day Center

Neutral Day Center is a balanced profile where the initial range is smaller than Normal day. Both the Larger timeframe buyers and Larger timeframe sellers are Present. They don’t trade directly each other but the intraday trader will act as a mediator between both the larger time-frame buyer and seller. Range Extension happens on both the sides (i.e Initial Balance Breaks out on both the sides). First half will be dull boring with low volume however the second half will be mostly dominated with bigger volumes and price finally manages to close around the center of the profile.

Neutral Day Extreme

Neutral day extremes are quite common on event days, days where both the larger timeframe players fight. Initial balance breaks out on both the sides but price managed to close at the one side of the days extreme.

The first half of the day is dominated by traders with low volume transactions followed by larger timeframe breaking the Initial balance on both the sides with strong volume.

P Profile Shape

P Profile days are short covering days and the letter A or B forms the bottom with single prints in the Initial Range and market opens at the bottom of the profile. The price rotation happens at the top of the profile (i.e at the range extension area).

b Profile Shape

b Profile days are long exit days and the letter A or B forms the top with single prints in the Initial Range and market opens at the top of the profile. The price rotation happens at the bottom of the profile (i.e at the range extension area).

Risk Reward ratio

  • lower in Non-Trend Day, Normal Day.
  • neutral in normal variation day and Neutral Day
  • higher in Trend Days and Double Distribution Day

Initial Balance Range

  • Non Trend Day – Narrow IB
  • Normal Day – Wider IB
  • Normal Variation Day – less than Normal Day IB
  • Trend Day – Narrow IB
  • Double Distribution Day – Narrow IB

In the next tutorial we will be discussing about the how to trade 80% rule , a simple and effective strategy to trade value area

Rajandran R Founder of Marketcalls and Co-Founder Algomojo. Full-Time Derivative Trader. Expert in Designing Trading Systems (Amibroker, Ninjatrader, Metatrader, Python, Pinescript). Trading the markets since 2006. Mentoring Traders on Trading System Designing, Market Profile, Orderflow and Trade Automation.

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7 Replies to “Market Profile : Different Types of Profile Days”

  1. hi. fine attempt to educate on MP with Indian index context. loved it after going through basics of MIP & MOM (thanks to Jay for introduction to it). have some query hoping to be not taken as a ‘finding loop hole practice’. a genuine educative interest only. isn’t ‘p’ shape profile means booking of shorts but absence of fresh longs. older shorts holding positions &/or new ones a\being added. vice verse for ‘b’ shape profile. booking profit by longs but absence od fresh shorts. older longs holding position &’/or fresh ones being added. need to be corrected on this ones. as said before, just eduinformative interested query. thank you for such wonderful easy yet detailed thread on MP. means a lot.

    1. This comment is a couple of years old, so I’m guessing that it won’t reach you. But to anybody reading this comment and wondering the same thing: Don’t use the MP as ways to find automatic entries. Use them to analyze what the market is expected to do. For instance, if price comes up to a high volume node and rejects quickly, the chances are that it will go lower. If it comes up and goes sideways, that’s showing uncertainty/acceptance of price. If it shoots right through, which is rare, that shows great strength. So it’s not as easy as “enter here, exit there”. If the markets were that easy, everybody would be able to trade them. It takes more thinking and analyzing than “enter here, exit there”.

      I hope this helps. If it does, always remember that great Croatian that helped you online 😛 hahaha

  2. When we have a P shape profile; how can we take advantage of this? Go long when prices pullback to the single print region after making daily highs? And vice versa with B shape profiles; short when prices retrace back to A/B period?

  3. How do i determine IB is Narrow, moderate or wider for a stock or index. Could you please share what to calculate to determine IB. Is it important to remember what day type it is forming for today? we need to wait till 10:15 at least to determine day type. Is there any easy way to memorize day types or identify in simplest way as the day progress or before second 30 minute candle closes?

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