Using A Bar Chart

Two common types of Bar charts used in stock trading are HLC (High-Low-Close) and OHLC (Open-High-Low-Close).

I myself like using OHLC charts, as I often look at intraday charts and find these helpful based on my personal experience with them. I started using OHLC charts many years ago and still use them on a regular basis.

Learning how to use different types of charts will give you a better background to make improvements in your own trading plan.


An HLC chart shows a vertical bar which represents the price range for the specified time frame and a smaller horizontal bar that shows the current price of the stock on an intraday chart, or the closing stock price for time frames that have already passed.

Sometimes the horizontal bar will be to the right only, as in my charts I have shown, and other times the horizontal bar appears across the vertical line, on both sides. Either way, on an HLC chart, the horizontal line only shows the closing price.

hlc bar chart


An OHLC chart has a single vertical bar with a horizontal bar on the right showing the current or closing price as above, but also has an additional horizontal bar on the left side, showing where the opening price for the specified time frame was.

ohlc bar chart

Traders use these types of charts to show the volatility for a specific time frame. Being able to view the volatility, by seeing the range of a stock price movement, allows for opportunities that would otherwise not exist if you were using a Line Chart.

If you will be Day Trading or Scalping, you must be able to see the price range over different time frames. This will enable you to maximize your profits and help to minimize any losses.

Without being able to see the price range for any given time frame, you could potentially miss out on profits you could have gained, as well as incur losses that could have been avoided.


Here is the same BAC chart as above except now I am showing a 1 year time frame.


ohlc bar chart

This allows you to see where the stock price has been in the past to give you a better idea of how it is doing overall, not just as of lately.

If you click on the chart to open a larger image, you can see the OHLC marks.

You will notice when you open the larger chart image, that even as the chart gets larger, the individual bars can be hard to see sometimes with this type of chart.

When you take a look at a Candlestick chart, you will see that it can be viewed a lot easier over longer time frames than a bar chart.


As with any type of chart, once you decide to use any particular one(s), it is best to learn as much as possible on that particular type to help give you the most benefit.




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