Open Interest Inflows & Outflows: Decoding Market Sentiment

In the dynamic world of trading, understanding market sentiment is crucial for making informed decisions. One powerful tool that traders and analysts employ is the Open Interest Inflows & Outflows indicator. This indicator offers valuable insights into the overall count of active contracts associated with a specific financial instrument, helping to decode the underlying market sentiment.

What is Open Interest?

Open Interest (OI) represents the total number of active contracts, including both long and short positions, for a particular financial instrument at any given time. This key indicator provides a glimpse into market activity and sentiment, serving as a valuable tool for traders and analysts.

An increase in open interest generally signifies that new money is flowing into the market, suggesting increased activity and the potential for a trending market. Conversely, a decrease in open interest indicates that traders are closing their positions, implying a diminished interest in that particular contract.

Decoding Open Interest Flow Sentiment

The Open Interest Inflows & Outflows indicator focuses on assessing the correlation between the initiation of new positions (inflows) and the closure of existing positions (outflows) for a specific instrument. This relationship is captured by the Open Interest Flow Sentiment, which provides valuable insights into market dynamics.

Positive values for Open Interest Flow Sentiment suggest a prevalence of inflows, indicating that more traders are entering new positions. Negative values, on the other hand, signify a prevalence of outflows, implying that traders are closing their existing positions.

The magnitude of the deviation from zero reflects the extent of dominance, either in inflows or outflows. A larger positive value indicates a stronger dominance of inflows, while a larger negative value suggests a stronger dominance of outflows.

Interpreting Price Sentiment

In addition to Open Interest Flow Sentiment, the indicator also includes a Price Sentiment component, which estimates the relationship between the strength of bulls (buyers) and bears (sellers) on an instrument. Positive values for Price Sentiment indicate higher bull power, suggesting that buyers are exerting more influence on price movements. Conversely, negative values signify higher bear power, implying that sellers are more dominant in the market.

The Price Sentiment component provides valuable insights into the prevailing market sentiment and can be used in conjunction with the Open Interest Flow Sentiment to gain a more comprehensive understanding of market dynamics.

Another key feature of the Open Interest Inflows & Outflows indicator is the correlation component. This feature analyzes the relationship between trading volume and changes in Open Interest. If volume increases in tandem with rising Open Interest, it supports the validity of the price trend.

However, if there is a divergence between price movement, volume, and Open Interest, it may signal potential reversals in market sentiment. This correlation analysis helps traders and analysts validate the strength and sustainability of market trends, enabling them to make more informed trading decisions.

The Elder-Ray Concept

The Open Interest Inflows & Outflows indicator is based on Dr. Alexander Elder’s acclaimed Elder-Ray concept, a powerful tool for evaluating the strength of both bulls and bears by delving beneath the surface of the markets. This concept uncovers data that may not be immediately apparent from a superficial glance at prices.

The indicator comprises two components: Bull Power and Bear Power. The high price of any candle signifies the maximum power of buyers, while the low price represents the maximum power of sellers. Elder employs the 13-period Exponential Moving Average (EMA) to depict the average consensus of price value. Bull Power assesses whether buyers can drive prices above this average consensus of value, while Bear Power evaluates whether sellers can push prices below this average.

Here are the formulas for Bull Power and Bear Power:

bull_power = high - ema(close, 13)
bear_power = low - ema(close, 13)

This concept is utilized to calculate Open Interest Flow Sentiment and Price Sentiment, providing traders with valuable insights into market dynamics and potential shifts in sentiment and momentum.

Customization and Settings

The Open Interest Inflows & Outflows indicator offers a range of customization options and settings to cater to individual trading preferences and strategies. Here are some of the key settings:

  1. OI Sentiment Correlation: This setting allows traders to toggle the visibility of Open Interest correlation with various sources, enabling them to analyze the relationship between Open Interest and other market factors.
  2. Money Flow Estimates: This setting toggles the visibility of Money Flow Estimates calculated for the last bar, providing additional insights into market activity and liquidity.
  3. OI Flow Sentiment: Traders can toggle the visibility of Open Interest Flow Sentiment and customize its color settings to suit their preferences.
  4. Price Sentiment: Similar to OI Flow Sentiment, traders can toggle the visibility of Price Sentiment and customize its color settings.
  5. Correlation Colors: This setting allows traders to customize the color scheme for the Correlation Area, making it easier to identify patterns and trends.

By leveraging these customization options, traders can tailor the Open Interest Inflows & Outflows indicator to their specific needs and trading styles, enhancing their ability to decode market sentiment and make informed trading decisions.


In the ever-changing landscape of financial markets, the Open Interest Inflows & Outflows indicator stands out as a powerful tool for decoding market sentiment. By analyzing the interplay between Open Interest Flow Sentiment, Price Sentiment, and correlation with trading volume, traders and analysts can gain valuable insights into market dynamics, trend validation, and potential reversals.

Combining the insights from this indicator with technical analysis, fundamental research, and risk management strategies, traders can develop a more comprehensive understanding of market conditions and make more informed trading decisions.

Whether you are a seasoned trader or just starting your journey, incorporating the Open Interest Inflows & Outflows indicator into your analysis can provide a significant advantage in navigating the complexities of the financial markets.

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