Moving Average

Moving Average - MA

An indicator frequently used in technical analysis showing the average value of a security's price over a set period. Moving averages are generally used to measure momentum and define areas of possible support and resistance.

Moving averages are used to emphasize the direction of a trend and to smooth out price and volume fluctuations, or "noise", that can confuse interpretation. Typically, upward momentum is confirmed when a short-term average (e.g.15-day) crosses above a longer-term average (e.g. 50-day). Downward momentum is confirmed when a short-term average crosses below a long-term average.

Moving Average Chart

Moving Average Chart is a tool used by technical analysts to track the price movements of a security or commodity. It plots average daily settlement prices over a defined period of time, anywhere from a few days to a couple years. Usually, when a stock price moves below its 50-100 day moving average, things are not in your favor. The opposite is true for stocks that protrude their moving average.

Moving Average Convergence Divergence - MACD

MACD is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between two moving averages of prices. The MACD is calculated by subtracting the 26-day exponential moving average (EMA) from the 12-day EMA. A nine-day EMA of the MACD, called the "signal line", is then plotted on top of the MACD, functioning as a trigger for buy and sell signals.

There are three common methods used to interpret the MACD:

1. Crossovers - As shown in the chart above, when the MACD falls below the signal line, it is a bearish signal, which 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 upward momentum. Many traders wait for a confirmed cross above the signal line before entering into a position to avoid getting getting "faked out" or entering into a position too early, as shown by the first arrow.

2. Divergence - When the security price diverges from the MACD. It signals the end of the current trend.

3. Dramatic rise - When the MACD rises dramatically - that is, the shorter moving average pulls away from the longer-term moving average - it is a signal that the security is overbought and will soon return to normal levels.

Traders also watch for a move above or below the zero line because this signals the position of the short-term average relative to the long-term average. When the MACD is above zero, the short-term average is above the long-term average, which signals upward momentum. The opposite is true when the MACD is below zero. As you can see from the chart above, the zero line often acts as an area of support and resistance for the indicator.

Moving Average Ribbon

Moving Average Ribbon is a technique used in technical analysis to identify changing trends. It is created by placing a large number of moving averages onto the same chart. When all the averages are moving in the same direction, the trend is said to be strong. Reversals are confirmed when the averages crossover and head in the opposite direction.

The moving averages used in the diagram start with the 50-day moving average and increase by 10-day periods up to the final average of 200. (50, 60, 70, 80 ... 190, 200) Responsiveness to changing conditions is accounted for by changing the number of time periods used in the moving averages. The shorter the number of periods used to create the average, the more sensitive the ribbon is to slight price changes. For example, a series of 5, 15, 25, 35 and 45-day moving averages will be a better choice to find short-term reversals then 150, 160, 170, 180-day moving averages.

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