how to read the macd

MACD (moving average convergence/divergence) is a technical indicator of momentum that uses moving averages to determine a trend’s strength. The MACD is a variation of a traditional moving average crossover signal. A cross of the MACD’s zero line is the same signal as a chart with two exponential moving averages. The MACD is useful because when the MACD is above zero, the underlying security is in an uptrend. The MACD uses three exponential moving averages (a short term, a long term, and the average difference between the short and long term) to show price momentum.

But the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) indicator can help put you on the right side of critical changes in a stock’s price. As the crossover strategy is lagging by nature, it is based on waiting for a movement to occur before opening a position. The main issue faced by the MACD in weaker market trends, is that by the time a signal is generated, the price may be reaching a reversal point. It is worth noting that strategies which utilize price action for confirmation of a signal are often seen as more reliable. The MACD line and signal line can be utilised in much the same manner as a stochastic oscillator, with the crossover between the two lines providing buy and sell signals. As with most crossover strategies, a buy signal comes when the shorter-term, more reactive line – in this case the MACD line – crosses above the slower line – the signal line.

What role does the MACD-Histogram play in analyzing price action?

So, it is highly recommended to use a technical indicator in addition to MACD to cross verify whether the represented signal actually is an authentic trading signal. We have not covered using multiple indicators to build a MACD strategy as the sole purpose of the article is to just understand what MACD is and how it can be implemented using python. The RSI aims to indicate whether a market is considered to be overbought or oversold in relation to recent price levels.

how to read the macd

The MACD is considered the faster line because the points plotted move more than the signal line, which is regarded as the slower line. It’s important to treat day trading stocks, options, futures, and swing trading like you would with getting a professional degree, a new trade, or starting any new career. Yes, we work hard every day to teach day trading, swing trading, options futures, scalping, and all that fun trading stuff. But we also like to teach you what’s beneath the Foundation of the stock market.

SUCCESS RATE?! Debunk “Too Good To Be True” Chart Patterns with TradeDots

It is not uncommon for investors to use the MACD’s histogram the same way that they may use the MACD itself. Positive or negative crossovers, divergences, and rapid rises or falls can be identified on the histogram as well. Some experience is needed before deciding which is best in any given situation, because there are timing differences between signals on the MACD and its histogram.

When considering which stocks to buy or sell, you should use the approach that you’re most comfortable with. The letter “T” represents when the top or peak of the moving average convergence divergence histogram occurs. In contrast, the letter “B” shows when the bottom of the MACD histogram occurs. Furthermore, false positive divergences often occur when the price of an asset moves sideways in a consolidation, such as in a range or triangle pattern following a trend. Again, double-check the ADX to determine whether a trend is in place and also look at what price is doing before acting. The MACD lines, however, do not have concrete overbought/oversold levels like the RSI and other oscillator studies.

Crossover Strategy

The yellow line, which is sometimes called the slow or signal line, is the EMA of the MACD fast line. The moving average convergence divergence (MACD) indicator can identify opportunities across financial markets. Learning how to implement the tool is crucial to a trader’s success, so we’ve looked at three common MACD strategies.

They might say something like, “This is the next Microsoft.” It’s not. But if they say it enough and everything else lines up right, the stock might make a brief run. Some traders wait for the MACD line to also break above the zero line as confirmation of momentum shift. You can see an example of this (labeled zero line confirmation) on the CANB chart above. The third part of the MACD indicator is the divergence line or zero line (depending on which convoluted definition you pay attention to). The reason the MACD is considered a momentum oscillator is because it oscillates around the zero line.


To address this issue, traders needed to come up with a new approach. A 9-day EMA of the MACD was displayed on top of the MACD line. Note the green lines showing when these two indicators moved in sync and the near-perfect cross shown at the right-hand side of the chart. After the divergence, the price reversed strongly to the downside and the MACD fell below the 0-line for the first time. This started the new down-trending period with the MACD staying below 0 all the way. At point #1, the price traded in a narrow range while the MACD lines hovered closely around the 0-line and constantly crossed each other.

how to read the macd

The MACD-Histogram crosses the zero line as MACD crosses below its signal line. The indicator is negative when MACD is below its signal line. Negative values how to read the macd increase as MACD diverges further from its signal line (to the downside). Conversely, negative values decrease as MACD converges on its signal line.

When that occurs, the MACD line is getting closer to the MACD signal line. If you rely on only one thing to determine what to buy and when to buy … good luck. Let’s take a look at each and then we’ll look at how they interact and what it might mean for trading. Like anything else you do, test your thesis by paper trading in your StocksToTrade account before you use it live. This brief guide to the MACD indicator only scratches the surface. You should consider joining the Trading Challenge if you’re serious about trading.

USD/CHF continues to advance as the USD remains resilient – FXStreet

USD/CHF continues to advance as the USD remains resilient.

Posted: Thu, 07 Sep 2023 20:59:53 GMT [source]

One of the drawbacks of this strategy, though, is that it tends to produce fewer signals. That’s because the readings it produces are extreme due to the fact that they are focused on spurts in volume and prices. By averaging up their short, the trader eventually earns a handsome profit, as the price makes a sustained reversal after the final point of divergence. We have a basic stock trading course, swing trading course, 2 day trading courses, 2 options courses, 2 candlesticks courses, and broker courses to help you get started. We put all of the tools available to traders to the test and give you first-hand experience in stock trading you won’t find elsewhere.

Crossovers are very useful when conforming to the current trend. If the MACD line crosses the signal line from below during a downward correction when the stock is in a long period of an uptrend, it confirms a strong bullish signal. The chart indicates that, in August 2022, the 12-day EMA line crossed the 26-day EMA line from below. Positive momentum was seen in Apple’s stock price thereafter. In April 2022, the 12-day EMA line crossed the 26-day EMA line from above. This strategy can be turned into a scan where charting software permits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *