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What Is A Market Tell? at Trader’s Narrative

What Is A Market Tell?

poker hand tellIn poker, a “tell” is any change in the pattern of behavior by a player that gives insight into their strategy. It could be anything: how fast they bet, how they throw their chips in, feigning ignorance or interest, etc. You can’t really win at poker if you don’t have a mastery of tells.

In the same way, the stock market provides “tells”. If you know where to look. Today’s market tell, as I mentioned yesterday, was obviously, Citigroup (C).

Let’s take a look at today’s intra-day action to see what this market tell offered us. As you’ll see from the chart, Citigroup acted as a reliable tell by breaking down from its morning range before the market did.

citigroup c market tell

It then continued to lead the market in sinking lower. So if you were watching Citi, instead of, or at least in conjunction with, the general market indices, you would be able to react much faster.

The concept of a market tell is a useful one but just like in poker, the “tell” itself can change from hand to hand. So while today’s market tell was obvious, tomorrow’s may not be.

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3 Responses to “What Is A Market Tell?”  

  1. 1 Johan

    Off topic:

    You CAN really win at poker without tells. Even at high stakes poker.

    In Texas Hold’em someone may have flopped a three of a kind, and think his hand is unbeatable and sending out tells about this. But maybe some other guy flopped a three of a kind with aces and have the best hand there is. In poker, it can be dangerous to look for tells on an amateur.

    A decent player would be the best one to look for tells on when it comes to poker.

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