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Glossary - U to Z


U.S. Treasury Bill

U.S. government short-term debt instrument with an original maturity of one year or less. Bills are sold at a discount from par with the interest earned being the difference between the face value received at maturity and the price paid.

U.S. Treasury Bond

Government-debt security with a coupon and original maturity of more than 10 years. Interest is paid semiannually.

U.S. Treasury Note

Government-debt security with a coupon and original maturity of one to 10 years.



Variable-Length Moving Average

A moving average where the number of periods selected for smoothing is based on a volatility measurement of price. Typically, the standard deviation of price is used to measure price volatility. The more volatile the price is, the shorter the number of period used is for smoothing.

Vertical Spread

Buying and selling calls or puts of the same expiration month but different strike prices.


A measure of a stock's tendency to move up and down in price, based on its daily price history over the latest 12 months.


Calculated for a specific period of time, it is the number of purchases or sales of a commodity futures contract made. Often used to refer to the total transactions for one trading day.




In Elliott wave theory, a sustained move by a market's price in one direction as determined by the reversal points that initiated and terminated it.

Wave Cycle

An impulse wave followed by a correction wave, the impulse wave being made up of five smaller, numbered waves of alternating direction designated 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, and the correction wave being composed of three smaller alternating waves designated a, b, and c.


A wedge is a short-term counter-cyclical price pattern the trading range for which is bounded by two converging trendlines drawn that slope in the opposite direction of the prevailing trend. Volume declines during the formation of the wedge and usually expands on the breakout.


A buy or sell signal from any technical indicator that is quickly invalidated.

Williams' %R

Overbought and oversold indicator that is used to determine market entry and exit points.




The measure of the annual return on an investment.

Yield Curve

The structure of the level of interest rates through various maturities.  Usually the shorter the maturity, the lower the interest rate.  Thus, 3-month Treasury bills usually yield less than 20-year government bonds.  The slope of the yield curve relates to the speed with which rates rise as the maturity increases.  In periods of tight money, short-term rates usually yield more than longer-term rates, and the curve is then called an inverse yield curve.


In a bull market, an Elliott three-wave pattern that subdivides into a 5-3-5 pattern with the top of wave B noticeably lower than the start of wave A.  In a bear market, this pattern will be inverted.






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