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Cumulative TICK Indicator for ThinkOrSwim – New and Improved!

New & Improved Cumulative Tick Indicator

Awhile back I posted the Cumulative TICK indicator on the downloads page, but after experimenting around with it for the past several days I wanted to do some updates and improvements. So I’ve just posted the new code on the site and anyone who has downloaded it before will have immediate access to the new code and the new features. I always want to make sure I offer a good product and good value, so your feedback is important to me. Please let me know in the comments if there are any additional features you are looking for and I’ll see if I can incorporate them in the next version. I’m always programming something, so usually it doesn’t take too long for me to improve things.

What’s New

So first of all, I realized that the old indicator didn’t seem to work properly on certain instruments and timeframes due to data peculiarities in TOS. So I fleshed out the code to account for those situations, and now the indicator works on futures like the E-mini S&P 500 as well as stocks and ETFs. And it also works on any timeframe … monthly, daily, hourly, etc. Originally it had only worked in the way Dr. Brett Steenbarger originally used it and talked about it on his blog. But I realized a lot of traders would probably adjust it to their own trading styles, so I wanted it to work for every situation possible. And now it does that.

Second, to make it useful on long-term historical charts, I wanted to add some features. Normally, since the market rises generally over time, the cumulative TICK just keeps growing and growing. The adjusted cumulative TICK fixes part of that by subtracting a moving average to turn the output into more of an oscillator. But on long-term charts that still didn’t fully solve the ever-growing graph problem. What I needed was a “reset” function for long-term charts the same way intraday charts reset at the beginning of each day. So what I did was add the option to have it reset each year, month, or week. Each of these can be independently set.

Third, I’ve added the ability to choose your own average type and length for the Adjusted Cumulative TICK.

cumulative tick indicator set

New BONUS Indicator: TICK Extremes Indicator

This is an indicator that a lot of traders use to fade high and low TICK extremes. I’ve tried to make it really easy to customize by letting you show or hide the zero line, average line, and extreme levels. You can choose what levels you want to use based on whether you’re on a long term chart or a short term chart. And you can set the average type and length as well. All the colors and graph types are customizable as well.

tick extreme indicator thinkorswim

New BONUS Indicator: Comparative TICK Indicator

I’ve seen traders use this in other platforms, and I had some time to kill so I thought I’d see what I could do with it in TOS. Essentially this indicator lets you look at multiple cumulative TICKs at the same time and compare how different markets are behaving relative to each other. So you might compare the NYSE TICK to the Nasdaq TICK, S&P 500 TICK, Dow TICK, etc. The automatic comparison line lights up green when all the TICKs are up-ticking, and red when all the TICKs are down-ticking. You can literally type in any comparison TICK symbol available in Thinkorswim.

comparative tick indicator for thinkorswim

The complete list of TICK symbols is listed here for easy access:

  • $TICK – NYSE
  • $TICK/Q – Nasdaq
  • $TIKA – Amex
  • $TICKAC – Amex composite
  • $TICKARC – ARCA composite
  • $TICKC – NYSE composite
  • $TICKC/Q – Nasdaq composite
  • $TIKI – DJIA
  • $TIKIC – DJIA composite
  • $TIKND – Nasdaq 100
  • $TIKNDC – Nasdaq 100 composite
  • $TIKRL – Russell 2000
  • $TIKRLC – Russell 2000 composite
  • $TIKSP – S&P 500
  • $TIKSPC – S&P 500 composite
  • $TIKUS – All USA
  • $TIKUSC – All USA composite


So just as a quick recap, the cumulative TICK indicator set has been improved and updated with the following new features:

  • Works on all instruments
  • Works on any time frame
  • Custom yearly, monthly, weekly reset function to make it useful on long-term charts
  • Choose your own average type and length for the adjusted cumulative TICK
  • Set a custom closing and opening time if desired
  • New TICK extremes indicator lets you fade high and low TICK readings
  • New comparative TICK indicator lets you see how the different markets are doing relative to each other

This set comes with 4 separate thinkScripts. It includes the basic Cumulative TICK indicator, the Adjusted Cumulative TICK indicator, the TICK Extremes Indicator, and the Comparative TICK indicator.

You can check out the screenshots, video and description of the Cumulative TICK indicator here.

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Intraday Multiple Timeframe VWAP

Four-hour and 1-hour intraday VWAPs for ThinkOrSwim

Multiple Timeframe VWAP Indicator for ThinkOrSwim

I wanted to take a minute and tell you guys about my new Multiple Timeframe VWAP indicator for ThinkOrSwim. Most of you guys know I love volume, and recently (in the past year) I’ve started trading based on VWAP, or volume weighted average price. VWAP just makes sense: it’s the rolling average price at which the most volume traded during the current time frame (usually day). It’s a good indicator of what the most fair price is for that timeframe.

For VWAP to work, it has to reset at a certain time. Most people look at daily VWAP which resets overnight, either at midnight or at the start of regular hours trading. Longer term traders often look at yearly VWAP, which resets each year on January 1st.

But you can calculate VWAPs for any timeframe, and I’ve found that 1-hour VWAPs and 4-hour VWAPs are incredibly useful — in addition to the normal daily VWAP — both as a gauge of fair value on range-bound days, and as a support or resistance point on trending days.


Here’s a great example from a chart I pulled up the other day, where the gray line is 4-hour multiple timeframe VWAP, and the red/blue line is the 1-hour VWAP:

Four-hour and 1-hour intraday multiple timeframe VWAP for ThinkOrSwim
Four-hour and 1-hour intraday multiple timeframe VWAP for ThinkOrSwim. Gray = 4-hour, red/blue = 1-hour.

The arrows in the afternoon point out some extremely precise pivot lows that happened RIGHT AT the 4-hour multiple timeframe VWAP. The squiggles show some examples of the hourly VWAP acting as intraday support.

Anyway, I don’t know if I’m the only one that looks at these types of intraday VWAPs, but I find them incredibly useful for evaluating trade locations.

The Reason

Up until now, I had been using Sierra Chart to plot the intraday multiple timeframe VWAP because ThinkOrSwim had no ability to plot them. I have several VWAP indicators including the built-in indicator in TOS, and none of them had the ability to specify your own intraday reset period. So I decided to devote some time to developing my own so that I could get rid of the second platform and keep things a little more streamlined.

After some real struggles, I was finally able to solve the problem of resetting the VWAP at different custom periods. I also added in some features that I’d kind of wished my other indicators had, such as color-coding the VWAP line based on whether price is above or below the line (similar to the VWAP indicator available in TradeStation). And I also threw in the ability to plot standard deviation lines around VWAP as well so you can visually see how far extended price is getting away from “fair value”.

So anyway, I recently posted the thinkscript code for my multiple timeframe intraday VWAP for sale on my ThinkOrSwim Downloads shop in case anyone else is interested in this indicator. Like I said, I don’t think most people are even aware this kind of indicator exists and so it’s pretty uncharted territory, but I think from my experience there is some good edge to be exploited here. But anyway, I would love to hear from you in the comments whether or not you’ve heard of people using this before. And if you’re interested in the indicator itself, here’s the link:

$49.99 $39.99 Add to cart

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How to Install Indicators, Scans, and Columns in ThinkOrSwim

How to install indicators and downloads in the thinkorswim platform.

How to Install Indicators, Scans & Watchlist Columns in ThinkOrSwim

This video will show you exactly how to install indicators, scans, and custom watchlist quote columns in thinkorswim. There are actually 3-4 different ways to install thinkScript code, and this ThinkOrSwim tutorial walks you through 3 of them. The fourth way is to just click a “shared item” link and it will install automatically. I figured that one was easy enough to not need an explanation :-).

You can also view the tutorial video on YouTube.