Unlocking Market Insights: The Positive Volume Index Unveiled

In the dynamic world of finance, where information travels at the speed of light and markets fluctuate with every tick, investors and traders seek tools that can help them navigate the complexities of the stock market. One such tool that has gained prominence is the Positive Volume Index (PVI). In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of the Positive Volume Index, exploring its origins, methodology, and how it can be utilized to gain valuable insights into market trends.

Understanding the Positive Volume Index

Positive Volume Index

The Positive Volume Index is a technical analysis indicator designed to assess the strength of a prevailing trend in the stock market. Developed by Norman Fosback, a renowned financial analyst and author, the PVI is grounded in the principle that changes in trading volume can provide valuable information about the future direction of a stock’s price.

Key Highlights of Positive Volume Index (PVI)  

  1. Creation by Norman Fosback: Developed by financial analyst Norman Fosback for gauging stock price direction.
  2. Simple Calculation: Formula involves the current and previous day’s PVI values, along with closing prices.
  3. Uptrend Strength Indicator: Rising PVI indicates positive price movement with strong buying interest.
  4. Trend Confirmation: Used to confirm strength of existing trends by aligning PVI with price movements.
  5. Divergence Signals: Divergence between PVI and price signals potential trend reversals.
  6. Market Sentiment Insight: Reflects bullish sentiment with a rising PVI, indicating active investor participation.
  7. Versatile Trading Applications: Aids traders in trend confirmation, divergence detection, and sentiment analysis.
  8. Caution and Context: Most effective when used with other analysis tools; broader market context is crucial.
  9. Dynamic Financial Landscape: Adaptable to changing market conditions, providing relevant insights for investors.
  10. Holistic Decision-Making: Integration into a comprehensive decision-making process enhances its effectiveness.

Premise of the Positive Volume Index (PVI)

The Positive Volume Index (PVI) is rooted in the fundamental principle that trading volume can provide critical insights into the strength and sustainability of price trends in the financial markets. Developed by Norman Fosback, this indicator aims to harness the power of volume data to enhance the analytical toolkit available to investors and traders. The underlying premise behind the PVI revolves around several key concepts:

1. Volume as a Leading Indicator:

  • Fosback recognized that changes in trading volume often precede significant price movements.
  • Volume can act as a leading indicator, signaling the emergence of a new trend or the strengthening of an existing one.

2. Confirmation of Price Movements:

  • The PVI is designed to confirm the validity of price movements by examining the relationship between volume and price.
  • Price movements accompanied by high volume are considered more significant and likely to be sustained.

3. Market Participant Behavior:

  • Fosback believed that studying how market participants react to price changes through their trading volume activities could reveal valuable information about market sentiment.
  • For instance, a surge in buying volume during an uptrend signifies strong bullish sentiment.

4. Bullish and Bearish Trends:

  • The PVI specifically focuses on identifying and measuring the strength of bullish trends in the market.
  • It assumes that increasing prices with rising volume indicate a robust uptrend.

5. Quantifying Buying Interest:

  • The formula used to calculate the Positive Volume Index involves the relative change in closing prices and the previous day’s PVI.
  • This calculation quantifies the buying interest and reflects it in the trend of the PVI.

6. Trend Confirmation and Reversal Signals:

  • The PVI serves as a tool for confirming the strength of existing trends.
  • Divergence between PVI and price movements can signal potential reversals, offering traders insights into shifts in market sentiment.

7. Adaptability to Market Conditions:

  • The PVI’s adaptability to various market conditions is a key aspect of its premise.
  • It allows traders to assess not only the presence of a trend but also the conviction behind it, making it a dynamic tool in different market scenarios.

8. Holistic Analysis:

  • Fosback’s premise suggests that a holistic approach to market analysis, considering both price and volume dynamics, provides a more comprehensive understanding of market trends.

9. Combining Technical and Fundamental Analysis:

  • While PVI is a technical indicator, Fosback emphasized the importance of integrating it with fundamental analysis and a broader market context for more robust decision-making.


The calculation of the Positive Volume Index is relatively straightforward, involving two main components – the current PVI value and the previous day’s PVI value. The formula for calculating the PVI is as follows:


In this formula:

  • PVIt represents the PVI value for the current day.
  • PVIt−1 represents the PVI value for the previous day.
  • Closet is the closing price for the current day.
  • Closet−1 is the closing price for the previous day.


The Positive Volume Index is typically used to identify the strength of an uptrend in the market. When the PVI is on the rise, it indicates that there is positive price movement accompanied by higher-than-average trading volumes. This suggests that there is a significant buying interest in the market.

Investors and analysts often look for trends in the Positive Volume Index that align with the price trend of a particular security. A rising PVI, accompanied by increasing prices, signals a bullish trend. Conversely, a declining PVI during a rising market may indicate weakening buying interest.

Applications in Trading

1. Confirmation of Trends:

The Positive Volume Index can be a powerful tool for confirming the strength of an existing trend. Traders frequently validate uptrends by aligning PVI with price movements, ensuring robust support from substantial buying volume.

2. Divergence Signals:

Divergence between the Positive Volume Index and price movements can signal potential reversals in the market. For instance, if the stock price is making higher highs while the PVI is making lower highs, it may indicate that the uptrend is losing momentum, potentially foreshadowing a trend reversal.

3. Market Sentiment:

Analyzing the Positive Volume Index provides insights into market sentiment. A rising PVI reflects bullish sentiment, suggesting that investors are actively participating in the market and driving prices higher.


In conclusion, the Positive Volume Index is a valuable tool for traders and investors seeking to gain insights into market trends and make informed decisions. By analyzing the relationship between trading volumes and price movements, the PVI can help identify the strength of an existing trend, confirm market sentiment, and potentially signal trend reversals.

As with any technical indicator, it is crucial to use the Positive Volume Index in conjunction with other analysis tools and consider the broader market context for more accurate decision-making in the fast-paced world of finance.