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How to Use the MACD Indicator

When the two MAs cross, the MACD line crosses below 0 as well. As I said above, the MACD is thus its own moving average crossover system in just one line. Some traders attribute special significance to the MACD line crossing the signal line, or the MACD line crossing the zero axis. Significance is also attributed to disagreements between the MACD line or the difference line and the stock price . The average series is also a derivative estimate, with an additional low-pass filter in tandem for further smoothing .

How to Use the MACD Indicator

After all, all of the data used in MACD is based on the historical price action of the stock. Since it is based on historical data, it must necessarily “lag” the price. However, some traders use MACD histograms to predict when a change in trend will occur. For these traders, this aspect of the MACD might be viewed as a leading indicator of future trend changes. Some traders will look for bullish divergences even when the long-term trend is negative because they can signal a change in the trend, although this technique is less reliable.

Is MACD a Leading Indicator, or a Lagging Indicator?

A MACD crossover of the signal line indicates that the direction of the acceleration is changing. The MACD line crossing zero suggests that the average velocity is changing direction.

How to Use the MACD Indicator

It looks like it’s going up and it’s going to operate here. Will be one of your absolute most important indicators to use. Let me change this around and make it more of a rectangle. It cannot fully indicate whether an asset is overbought or oversold. The content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and isn’t intended to constitute professional financial advice.

MACD Indicator Explained

A bearish divergence that appears during a long-term bearish trend is considered confirmation that the trend is likely to continue. MACD measures the relationship between two EMAs, while the RSI measures price change in relation to recent price highs and lows. These two indicators are often used together to provideanalystsa more complete technical picture of a market. MACD divergences are another great way to analyze price and find early trend-following trades. However, the MACD is an oscillator and during very strong trends, it won’t give very accurate information.

  • This is also why the MACD is not as effective in ranging environments.
  • Bullish or bearish divergences in the MACD-Histogram can alert chartists to an imminent signal line crossover in MACD.
  • When strong momentum for a forex pair develops, other indicators are likely to take precedence over RSI in your decision-making process.
  • MACD oscillating above the zero line reflects a strong up-trend.
  • Although it seems the indicator is complicated, it’s not true.
  • A bearish zero line crossover takes place when the MACD gets below 0 to turn negative.
  • With a MACD chart, you will usually see three numbers that are used for its settings.

Analysts use a variety of approaches to filter out false signals and confirm true ones. Gerald Appel referred to a “divergence” as the situation where the MACD line does not conform to the price movement, e.g. a price low is not accompanied by a low of the MACD. Traders may draw trendlines on the MACD chart to demonstrate peaks and troughs in MACD momentum. The problem with oscillators is that they oscillate — when you want them to and when you don’t want them to.


It takes a strong move in the underlying security to push momentum to an extreme. Even though the move may continue, momentum is likely to slow and this will usually produce a signal line crossover at the extremities. Volatility in the underlying security can also increase the number of crossovers. We can say that the MACD indicator is one of the oldest, most effective and straightforward indicators you can apply for trading. The most significant advantage is that it’s multifunctional. If you read our article carefully, you remember that there are four situations when the indicator gives signals. Compare this number to other technical indicators, and you’ll understand that it’s a lot.

MACD Indicator Explained With Formula, Examples, and Limitations – Investopedia

MACD Indicator Explained With Formula, Examples, and Limitations.

Posted: Sun, 26 Mar 2017 06:35:41 GMT [source]

MACD is a great tool for any trader, thanks to its simplicity and accuracy, as it puts together the momentum of the market and its trend into one indicator. As an all-in-one indicator, the MACD indicator https://www.bigshotrading.info/ allows for a less cluttered chart and provides a much better view of the price action. Always look out for other signals and never make your trading decisions while relying solely on the MACD signals.


This technical indicator is a tool that’s used to identify moving averages that are indicating a new trend, whether it’s bullish or bearish. As shown on the following chart, when the MACD falls below the signal line, it is a bearish signal that indicates that it may be time to sell. Conversely, when the MACD rises above the signal line, the indicator gives a bullish signal, which suggests that the price of the asset is likely to experience How to Use the MACD Indicator upward momentum. Some traders wait for a confirmed cross above the signal line before entering a position to reduce the chances of being “faked out” and entering a position too early. The relative strength indicator aims to signal whether a market is considered to beoverboughtoroversoldin relation to recent price levels. The RSI is an oscillator that calculates average price gains and losses over a given period of time.

How to Use the MACD Indicator

The divergence signal happens when the cryptocurrency price is moving in one direction, but the MACD indicator is moving in the opposite direction. The MACD divergence warns of an imminent trend reversal or a potential rally or decline in the cryptocurrency price. There is no such thing as a ‘best’ time to use the MACD indicator, this will be completely down to you, your personal preferences and trading plan. When using the zero cross strategy, it is crucial to understand where to exit the market, or place a stop. The market in the below example provides several trendline breaks, which would have signalled a good time to exit the trade. Alternatively, a trader could use a break below the previous swing low or above the prior swing high to exit the trade.

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