Andrew’s Pitchfork is the indicator used in technical analysis and designed by Alan Andrews. Andrew’s Pitchfork represents three lines, parallel to each other, upon that, median line is equidistant from upper and bottom lines of channel. This way trend channel is constituted, which is divided into two smaller channels (watch pic. 1). Each of the lines is the support or resistance line.
Picture 1. Andrew’s Pitchfork on the chart
Building Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator
To build Andrew’s Pitchfork, it is required to indicate three points on the chart:
- trend maximum
- trend minimum
- starting minimum or maximum of trend.
In Alan Andrews' terms, maximum and minimum points serve as pivot points in which price changes its direction. Author used B and C lettes for designation. A letter marks the start of the median line – starting point of trend. To build the median line, it is required to find an average price between those two points which in its turn should be pivot as well and be the price of the previous high or low (watch pic. 2).
Picture 2. The choice of pivot points for building Middle line
Having found three pivot points and united B and C, we shall find the middle of cutting and lay line from A point through it – that will be “handgrasp” of Andrew’s Pitchfork. Further you will need to lay lines that are parallel to the middle one from B and C points. Those extreme lines (support and resistance) were called “tines” by the author (refer to the pic. 3) Upon that, median line divides trend for two equal parts, that is to say, is the middle. At present many terminals provide inbuilt indicator for Andrew’s Pitchfork.
Picture 3. Building Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator
Application of Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator
This indicator is usually applied by a trader for working in trend's channel and helps to define reversal points of the price. To put it simple, while building Andrew’s Pitchfork, a trader determines support and resistance levels forming trend's channel. Within framework of this channel the price will move bouncing from the lines.
- The more often price hits and bounces from support and resistance levels, the stronger trend is.
- Often price aspires for median line. Therefore, if a trader notices bounce from high or low line, it is more probable to expect profit near median line.
- Often the median line is used for to enter or add to the position, because if price goes through it, in 80% of cases it will be back after reaching the next trend line.
- Sometimes breakthrough of lines happens, which is interpreted as change of a short-term or middle-term trend. Thus, if trend channel is broken, you need to re-draw indicator by changing incline angle or the distance between the lines.
- To choose pivot points, it is better to refer to higher time-frames, which minimizes discrepancies and wrong alerts.
- To confirm alerts, it is better to refer to supplementary indicators, because Andrew’s Pitchfork cannot provide 100% guarantee.
- Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator is well-matched with indicators of overbought and oversold markets such as MACD, RSI, CCI). This instrument will perfectly suit beginners because it is simple in terms of application and comprehension. However, the more often traders turns to the indicator, the better they learn to define pivot points. Therefore even professional traders often use Andrew’s Pitchfork for technical analysis of the chart.