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The Darvas Box Pattern: Strategy & Indicator

In the unpredictable world of stock trading, successful investors often employ a myriad of strategies to maximize their returns. Among these, the Darvas Box pattern strategy has gained popularity, demonstrating effectiveness and simplicity. In this article, we will delve deep into the Darvas Box indicator and pattern, giving you a thorough understanding of the concept, its implementation, and the benefits of using this trading strategy.

Understanding the Darvas Box

The Darvas Box is an innovative trading method devised by Nicolas Darvas, a Hungarian dancer. This technique focuses on stock price movements, creating "boxes" or ranges within which a stock's price oscillates. When the stock price breaks out of this box, it often indicates a viable buying or selling opportunity.

Birth of the Darvas Box Indicator

The Darvas Box indicator, a key tool for traders, was conceived by Nicolas Darvas during his worldwide dance tours. Darvas tracked stock prices via telegraphic communications, identified boxes, and purchased a stock when it moved out of its defined box. By establishing a new box and adjusting his stop-loss order to the bottom of this new box, he was able to maximize profits and minimize losses.

Identifying a Darvas Box Pattern

The Darvas Box pattern resembles a rectangle on a price chart, signifying the range between the stock's support and resistance levels. These patterns are identified based on the trading range's highs and lows over a designated period. A breakout above the upper edge of the box signals a potential upward price trend, while a break below the lower edge may suggest a downward trajectory.


Key Steps to Identify a Darvas Box Pattern:

  1. Find the highest high (the top of the box).
  2. Identify the lowest low following this high (the bottom of the box).
  3. Observe for a breakout.

Calculating the Darvas Box

The Darvas Box calculation involves:

  1. Identifying the period high (box top).
  2. Tracking the lowest low after the period high (box bottom).

These two points form the Darvas Box. When the stock price rises past the top or falls below the bottom, it may signal an upward or downward trend, respectively.

Component Description
Box Top The highest price in the designated period
Box Bottom The lowest price following the box top in the designated period

Trading with the Darvas Box Indicator

Trading with the Darvas Box indicator involves identifying stocks hitting new highs and possessing strong fundamentals. Create a Darvas Box by marking the stock's high and low prices within which it fluctuates. Buy when the stock breaks the box's top and consider selling if it drops below the box.


For instance, if a stock trades between $10 (box bottom) and $15 (box top), you should wait for the stock price to exceed $15 before buying. Once a new box is established (say between $15 and $20), adjust the stop loss to the new box bottom ($15).

Strengths and Limitations of the Darvas Box

The Darvas Box method offers clear buy and sell signals, promoting objective decision-making and reducing emotional trading. However, it requires patience and discipline, possibly leading to missed opportunities in highly volatile markets with frequent price range shifts. That is why the combination with for example seasonal tendencies is important.


  1. Clear buying and selling signals.
  2. Reduces emotional trading.
  3. Encourages objective decision-making.


  1. Requires patience and discipline.
  2. Possible missed opportunities in volatile markets.


The Darvas Box, a time-tested trading technique, remains a valuable tool for modern stock trading. It requires patience and discipline, but its systematic approach and clear signals make it a worthy addition to any trader's strategy arsenal. Understanding the Darvas Box Indicator and Pattern can help you navigate the tumultuous waves of the stock market confidently.


Who is the creator of the Darvas Box?

The Darvas Box was created by Nicolas Darvas, a professional dancer who utilized this strategy to turn $10,000 into $2 million within 18 months.

How does the Darvas Box indicator function?

The Darvas Box indicator tracks stock price movements and identifies price oscillation ranges or ‘boxes’. A breakout from this box often signals a buying or selling opportunity.

When should I buy using the Darvas Box method?

According to Darvas’ strategy, you should buy when a stock’s price breaks above the top of the box.

Can the Darvas Box strategy be applied to all markets?

While the Darvas Box strategy can be used in many markets, it is most effective in less volatile markets. In highly volatile markets, price ranges may fluctuate frequently, leading to frequent box adjustments and increased transaction costs.

Can I short sell using the Darvas Box strategy?

Yes, the Darvas Box strategy can be applied to short selling. A fall below the lower edge of the box may indicate a potential downward price shift and a chance to short sell.

What is a significant limitation of the Darvas Box?

One major limitation is that it requires patience and discipline. The strategy may lead to missed opportunities in volatile markets where price ranges frequently fluctuate.

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