How do you determine during the trading day whether volume is high or low, both in the markets as a whole and as to individual stocks? (April 23, 2001)

  One of the easiest ways if you are an Investor's Business Daily subscriber is to visit its website and get a quote on a stock. It will tell you what the volume is that session, what the average volume is, and whether volume is on track to top the previous session's volume. It gives you that percentage above or below. Volume is fluid; it can be up early and then dry up. Most volume occurs in the first hour and last hour. That is why we like stocks that breakout later in the session as we can get a much better read on the volume. If a stock is breaking out early, however, and we see volume surging higher (eSignal or your broker can give you that) and some block trades, that is an indication there is serious buying going on. As for the indexes we know what average volume is, and by midday we can pretty much get a fix on whether it is going to surpass that level or the previous session's volume. when you are taking positions you have to go on what you see at that point in time; if volume is climbing rapidly on the move higher or breakout, we often go with that move.

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