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Ultimate Oscillator


The Ultimate Oscillator is a technical indicator used in financial market analysis, developed by Larry Williams in 1976. It is a momentum oscillator that utilizes multiple timeframes to measure buying or selling pressure, aiming to reduce false signals and improve the accuracy of potential trading signals. It ranges between 0 and 100, with values above 70 being considered overbought, and values below 30 being considered oversold.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Ultimate Oscillator” is:Ultimate: /ˈʌltɪmət/Oscillator: /ˈɒsɪleɪtər/

Key Takeaways

  1. The Ultimate Oscillator is a technical indicator invented by Larry Williams in the 1970s, which aims to capture momentum across multiple timeframes to reduce false signals.
  2. It combines short-term, intermediate, and long-term price action into a single oscillator by taking the weighted average of three separate time periods (usually 7, 14, and 28 periods).
  3. Traders use the Ultimate Oscillator primarily to identify overbought and oversold market conditions, as well as potential divergence patterns. Buy and sell signals are generated based on specific criteria, such as crossing above or below certain thresholds and price divergence.


The Ultimate Oscillator is a vital technical analysis indicator in business and finance for a few crucial reasons. Primarily, it combines short-term, medium-term, and long-term market price oscillations to produce a more comprehensive and accurate depiction of a security’s momentum. By integrating multiple timeframes, the Ultimate Oscillator mitigates the drawbacks associated with using a single timeframe, such as false signals and divergence issues. Moreover, it helps traders identify potential buying or selling opportunities and assess the strength of a trend, ultimately supporting better-informed investment decisions and risk management strategies.


The Ultimate Oscillator is a technical indicator employed by investors and traders to identify potential market trends and momentum shifts in the financial markets. Developed by Larry Williams in 1976, this powerful tool aims to overcome the limitations and pitfalls of using single-timeframe oscillators for making investment decisions. The main purpose of the Ultimate Oscillator is to provide a more accurate and comprehensive picture of market conditions, enabling market participants to make better-informed trading decisions based on a combination of short-term, medium-term, and long-term price data. By incorporating multiple timeframes, the Ultimate Oscillator mitigates the risk of false signals, allowing for a clearer interpretation of market momentum and potential reversals. With its unique methodology, the Ultimate Oscillator provides valuable insights into the price movements of various financial instruments, such as stocks, commodities, and currencies. It helps traders detect potential buying or selling opportunities by revealing areas of divergence – instances where the price of the financial instrument and the value of the oscillator are moving in opposite directions, often indicating a potential trend reversal. Additionally, the Ultimate Oscillator assists traders in identifying optimal entry and exit points, enhancing the effectiveness of their trading strategies and improving overall portfolio performance. By utilizing this technical indicator, market participants can gain an edge in the competitive world of finance, tapping into the wealth of information concealed within the intricacies of price data.


The Ultimate Oscillator is a technical analysis indicator used to evaluate the price momentum of an asset by considering different timeframes to minimize the impact of short-term fluctuations. Here are three real-world examples where this indicator was used: 1. Example 1 – Evaluating a Tech Stock: Suppose an investor is interested in buying shares of a particular technology company. To determine the right entry point, they analyze the stock’s momentum using the Ultimate Oscillator. By considering short-term (7 days), medium-term (14 days), and long-term (28 days) timeframes, the investor can evaluate a more accurate prediction of the stock’s momentum. If the indicator presents a bullish signal (the oscillator rises above 50), the investor may decide to buy the stock as they anticipate an increase in prices. 2. Example 2 – Day Trading in the Forex Market: A day trader uses the Ultimate Oscillator to decide when to enter and exit currency pair trades in the Foreign Exchange market. The trader monitors short-term (hourly), medium-term (4-hour), and long-term (daily) timeframes with the oscillator, looking for divergence between price trends and the oscillator. If they spot a bullish divergence (prices making lower lows, while the oscillator makes higher lows), they may initiate a long position, expecting an upward price movement. On the other hand, a bearish divergence (prices making higher highs, while the oscillator makes lower highs) could signal a short selling opportunity. 3. Example 3 – Swing Trading in the Commodities Market: A swing trader interested in the commodities market, such as crude oil futures, uses the Ultimate Oscillator as part of their trading strategy. By analyzing the oscillator over different timeframes, the trader can identify potential trend reversals or price breakouts. If the oscillator moves above 70, it might indicate an overbought condition, and the trader may decide to sell their position to lock in profits. Conversely, if the oscillator drops below 30, it might signify an oversold condition, presenting a buying opportunity for the trader.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Ultimate Oscillator?
The Ultimate Oscillator is a technical indicator developed by Larry Williams in 1976. It is designed to measure momentum in financial markets, specifically to help identify potential trend reversals and overbought or oversold conditions in stocks, commodities, or other financial instruments.
How is the Ultimate Oscillator calculated?
The Ultimate Oscillator combines short-term, medium-term, and long-term price movements to create an oscillator that minimizes issues such as false signals and divergence. It uses a weighted average of three different time periods, typically 7, 14 and 28 days, to calculate its value. The formula involves calculating Buying Pressure, True Range, and then normalizing the results in a 0-100 range.
How do I interpret the Ultimate Oscillator?
The Ultimate Oscillator produces a value between 0 and 100. A high value, generally above 70, indicates that the financial instrument is potentially overbought and could be due for a price decline. A low value, generally below 30, indicates that the instrument is potentially oversold and could be due for a price increase. Values between 30 and 70 typically represent neutral or balanced market conditions.
What is divergence in the context of the Ultimate Oscillator?
Divergence occurs when the price movement of a financial instrument and the Ultimate Oscillator readings move in opposite directions. When an instrument’s price reaches a new high and the Ultimate Oscillator fails to do the same, it is called bearish divergence, which can signal an impending downtrend. Conversely, when the price falls to a new low, but the oscillator does not, it is called bullish divergence, and could indicate an upcoming uptrend.
Can I use the Ultimate Oscillator as a standalone trading strategy?
While the Ultimate Oscillator may provide valuable insights into market conditions and potential trend reversals, relying solely on it as a standalone trading strategy is not advisable. It is best to combine it with additional technical analysis tools, chart patterns, and fundamental analysis to create a comprehensive trading strategy.
How do I implement the Ultimate Oscillator in my trading routine?
Most trading platforms and charting software include the Ultimate Oscillator as a standard technical indicator that can be added to the chart with a few clicks. Once added, monitor the oscillator’s signals and use them to support your trading decisions, in conjunction with your established trading system, risk management, and overall strategy.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

  • Investopedia –
  • StockCharts –
  • TradingView –
  • Fidelity Investments –

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