Although many of you will find this lesson in one of the most basic concepts of market behavior "old hat", it never hurts to review. One of the first things a new trader is told (I hesitate to say learns as many never do) is to buy a breakout above resistance and sell a fall through support.
Resistance is the level which holds a market down, while support is an area which props up a market much like a ceiling and a floor. The key is to identify the critical levels. There are a number of methods to determine support and resistance: trendlines, moving averages, retracements, Gann angles, etc. However, simple observation can be an effective means of locating the important areas. A quick glance at the October cotton chart reveals the most basic levels of support and resistance (broken lines).
A previous high often provides resistance, while an earlier low tends to offer support. Support or resistance levels are not necessarily flat. For example, trendlines reveal areas of rising support or falling resistance. Also, when broken, uptrend lines offer a new level of rising resistance, while the opposite is true for downtrend lines. In fact, virtually any broken area of support will become resistance and vice versa. After breaking a level of support (or resistance), the market commonly comes back to test that level before resuming the downmove (upmove). This may be the single most effective method of locating low-risk entry points for trading purposes. This lesson may seem like wasted space to the experienced. However, it is amazing how often traders simply forget (or ignore) the power of basic support and resistance levels. This concept can be very profitable, but it may be just too "easy".