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## Everything You Need to Know About Using MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence)

Moving averages identify trends when filtering price fluctuations. Under this idea, Gerald Appel, an analyst and portfolio manager from New York, developed a more advanced indicator. He called it Moving Average Convergence Divergence indicator MACD, which consists of not one but three exponential moving averages. It is seen in the graphs as two lines, whose intersections between them provide trading signals. One is called a MACD line and the other is called a signal line.

This oscillator has been involved in some controversy as to its classification. Mainly because there are analysts who classify it as a trend tracking indicator and others who consider it a follower of the cycle. We can be sure of the following: we are talking about the most effective oscillator after long-term cycles, hence the fact that it can be considered a follower of short- and medium-term trends.

#### Creating MACD

The MACD indicator originally consists of two lines: a solid line (called a MACD line) and a “strokes” line (called a signal line or signal). The MACD line develops from two exponential moving averages. It responds to price changes quite quickly. The signal line is developed from the MACD line, smoothed with another exponential moving average that responds to price changes in a slower way.

Buying and selling signals are given when the MACD line crosses above or below the signal line. The MACD indicator is included in most technical analysis software and is also on the DIF platform. Nowadays, no analyst needs to calculate it by hand as did its creator, Gerard Appel, because computers do this work faster and with greater precision. The MACD indicator is included in most technical analysis software.

Creation of the MACD:

1. Calculate an exponential 12-day moving average at closing prices.
2. Calculate an exponential moving average of 26 days of closing prices.
3. Subtract the 26-day MME from the 12-day MME and draw its difference, as a continuous line. This is the MACD line.
4. Calculate an exponential 9-day moving average of the MACD hotline and draw the result as a dashed line. This is the signal line.

Many operators try to optimize MACD by using other moving averages instead of the more commonly used MME for 12-26 and 9 days. Another option is to use MME 5-37 and 7 days. Some traders try to establish MACD links with market cycles. In the case of using cycles, the first MME should be one-quarter of the duration of the dominant cycle and the second MME should be half of the cycle. The third MME is a smoothing instrument, the length of which does not need to be connected to a cycle.

The intersections or intersections between the MACD and the signal lines identify changes in the market trend. Trading in the direction of crossing these lines means following the flow of the market. This system generates fewer operations and signal investments than an automatic system, based on an MMS.

• When the MACD indicator passes the signal line, it gives a buy sign. Enter long and place a stop loss below the last minimum.
• When the MACD indicator passes below the signal line, it gives a sell signal. Enter short and place a stop loss above the last maximum.

This type of oscillator has two uses. It helps to point out divergences. It also helps to identify short- and long-term variations, not only when the short average moves far above or below the larger average, but also by crossing the two.

#### MACD Histogram

The MACD histogram offers a deeper understanding of the balance of power between buyers and sellers than the original MACD. It shows not only who controls the market, buyers or sellers, but also whether they are strong or weak.

MACD histogram = MACD line – Signal line

The histogram of the MACD indicator shows the difference between the signal line and the MACD line. It graphically represents that difference as a histogram, a series of vertical bars.

When the MACD fast line is above the slow signal line, the MACD histogram is positive and is represented above the zero line. When the MACD fast line is below the slow signal line, the MACD histogram is negative and is represented below the zero line. When the two lines are touched, the MACD histogram is equal to zero.

Each time the distance between MACD and the signal lines increases, the MACD histogram expands. Each time the two lines join, the MACD histogram is shortened. The slope of the MACD histogram identifies the dominant market group. A growing MACD histogram shows that buyers are starting to strengthen. A decreasing MACD histogram shows that vendors are starting to strengthen.

The slope of the MACD histogram is more important than its position above or below the center line. The best-selling signals are when the MACD histogram is above zero but its address is bearish, showing that buyers are starting to sell out. The best buy signals occur when the MACD histogram is below the zero center line and its slope is bullish, showing that vendors are starting to tire.

However, there are systems that consider buying and selling signals at points where the MACD histogram cuts the zero line. In this case, the buy signal is given when the oscillator crosses from the bottom up, while the sell signal is given when the oscillator crosses the reference line from the top down.

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### Introduction

There are two approaches to address the market, even when trading in favour of the primary trend.

The first one is buying weakness and the second one is trading strength on a bullish trend, and the opposite on a downward trend. This one is the buy low sell high philosophy.  But there is a second way of doing business. The buy high and sell higher.

The first methodology is for smart guys. They see a piece of cheese, and they want to be the first mouse to catch it. But it may be just a trap, and they might become a victim of their audacity.

The second methodology means you are part of a crowd of mice that take the cheese after a bunch of pioneer rats took it, and was confirmed that it wasn’t a trap.

### Momentum

So what is Momentum and why is it different from other indicators?

Momentum is the change in price over an interval. This is a relation between the price change and the time it takes to achieve it. It measures the speed of change.

If we imagine a ball thrown out vertically,  its speed declines as it goes up until it stops and starts falling down. If we measure the amount of altitude traveled every second we could observe that the value decreases until it stops in mid-air.

The formula for momentum is:

Momentum = Price (0) – Price(n)

Where n is the price n bars earlier. Therefore, Momentum is an indicator of the speed of the price movement.

### Grasping Momentum

The most remarkable feature of Momentum is that it doesn’t show lag. A moving average turns down after the market peaks, Momentum turns instantly. Momentum just answers the question of how high or low the price moves compared to n periods ago

### Momentum as a leading indicator

A technical indicator that is an average of the price has to show a lag, the longer the period, the larger the lag. On MACD we could reduce it by subtracting another moving average,  but it still has some lag because one period is shorter than the other.

But Momentum is a subtraction of the price, so we get the speed, which leads the movement. That is, first comes speed before any movement is produced. Therefore, Momentum leads to price movement.

### Momentum as an Overbought and Oversold indicator

The distribution of price follows a bell-shaped curve (see the figure). We observe that the volume is centred around the mean of this bell curve, and the extremes are overbought and oversold areas. Near these extremes, the price stops and bounces back towards the mean. The Momentum indicator shows this phenomenon pointing to a sharp change in speed.

### Divergences

This indicator is especially indicated to divergences. When the price is making maximums and Momentum is slowing down, it is a sign that the trend is ending and a correction is due, although it can be a retracement or a simple sideways movement.

It is important to note that divergences are just warning flags we must pay attention to, not actual trading signals.

In the next article, we’ll analyze a simple Momentum system.

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## Generating Profitable Forex Signals Using The ‘Indicator-Price Action’ Combo Strategy

#### Introduction

Few strategies discussed previously focussed on chart patterns and indicators. Now let us a strategy that is based on two of the most powerful indicators in technical analysis. We already know how to trade using these indicators separately. But using any technical indicator in isolation will not generate a great amount of profit.

Therefore, it becomes necessary to combine at least two indicators and use them in conjunction to produce signals. In today’s article, we not only combine two indicators but also provide a price action edge to it that will make this one of the best strategies of all time. This particular strategy gives traders an insight into both volatility and momentum in the forex market.

The two indicators we will using are Bollinger Band (BB) and MACD. Using the two indicators together can assist traders in taking high probability trades as they gauge the direction and strength of the existing trend, along with volatility. Let us find out the specifications of the strategy and how we imbibe concepts of price action here.

#### Time Frame

The strategy is designed for trading on longer-term price charts such as the 4 hours and ‘Daily.’ This means the strategy is suitable for the swing to long-term traders.

#### Indicators

As mentioned earlier, we use Bollinger Band and MACD indicators in the strategy with their default settings.

#### Currency Pairs

We can apply this strategy to both major and minor currency pairs. However, pairs that are not volatile should be avoided.

#### Strategy Concept

In this strategy, we first identify the trend of the market and see if the price is moving in a channel or not. When looking for a ‘long’ setup, the price must move in a channel below the median line of the Bollinger band. The lesser time price spends above the median line of the Bollinger band better for the strategy.

The reason behind why we chose to have the price below the Bollinger band is to verify that the price is moving into an ‘oversold’ zone. When price moves into the zone of ‘overbought’ or ‘oversold,’ it means a reversal is nearing in the market. Similarly, in a ‘short’ setup, the price should initially move in an upward channel above the median line of the Bollinger band. This indicates that the price is approaching an ‘overbought’ area.

The MACD indicator shows when a true reversal is taking place in the market. The histogram tells about the momentum and strength of the reversal. Depending on the level of the bars, we ascertain the strength of the reversal. Not only is the strength of the reversal important, but also the ’highs’ and ‘lows’ it makes. Once price crosses previous highs and lows, we enter the market at an appropriate ‘test.’ Let us understand in detail about the execution of the strategy.

In order to execute the strategy, we have considered the 4-hour chart of the GBP/JPY pair, where we will be illustrating a ‘long’ trade. Here are steps to execute the strategy.

Step 1: Firstly, we have to identify the trend of the market. In a ‘long’ trade setup, we need to look for series of ‘lower lows’ and ‘lower highs’ below the median line of the Bollinger band, and in a ‘short’ trade setup, we need to look for series of ‘higher highs’ and ‘higher lows’ above the median line of Bollinger band. When this is confined in the channel, the trend becomes very clear, and reversal can easily be identified.

Step 2: We say that an upward reversal has taken place when we notice a bullish crossover in MACD along with a positive histogram. While in an uptrend, we say that a reversal has occurred when we notice a bearish crossover in MACD along with a negative histogram. Once reversal becomes eminent in the market, it is necessary to confirm that the reversal is ‘true,’ and thus, we could take a trade in the direction of the reversal.

The below image shows a downtrend reversal, as indicated by MACD.

Step 3: In this step, we should make sure that the price makes a ‘high’ that is above the previous ‘lower high,’ in an upward reversal. While in a downward reversal (reversal of an uptrend), the price should make a ‘low’ that is lower than the previous ‘higher low.’ When all these conditions are fulfilled, we can say that the reversal is real, and now we will look to trade the reversal.

We enter the market for a ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ when price ‘tests’ the median line of the Bollinger band after the reversal and stays above (‘buy’) or below (‘sell’).

Step 4: Finally, after entering the trade, we need to define appropriate levels of stop-loss and ‘take-profit’ for the trade. The rules of stop-loss are pretty simple, where it will be placed below the lowest point of the downtrend in a ‘long’ position and above the highest point of the uptrend in a ‘short’ position. ‘Take-profit’ will be set such that the risk-to-reward (RR) of the trade is at least 1:1.5. Once the price starts moving in our favor, we will put our stop-loss to break-even and extend our take-profit level.

#### Strategy Roundup

The combination of the Bollinger band and MACD is not suitable for novice traders. Since it involves complex rules and indicators, we need prior experience of using the indicators and charts before we can apply the strategy successfully. Traders should pay attention to every rule of the strategy to gain the maximum out of it. As there many rules and conditions, there is a tendency among traders to skip some rules, but it is not advisable.

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## 146. Measuring The Strength of a Breakout

#### Introduction

When you can see the momentum of the market slowing down, you can soon expect a reversal breakout in any underlying currency pair. Knowing this info will boost your confidence to pull the trigger, and to scale your positions without any hesitation.  Conversely, to trade the trend continuation breakout, knowing the strength of the breakout is also crucial.

In this course lesson, we will learn how to measure the breakout’s strength and take appropriate action according to the information which the market represents.

#### Using The MACD Indicator To Measure The Momentum

MACD is one of the most common momentum indicators in the Forex market. There are many different ways to use the MACD indicator, and in our case, we suggest you look at the histograms of the indicator to gauge the market strength. As the price moves, if the histograms get bigger, it is indicating that the market momentum is increasing. In this case, we can expect a breakout in the direction of the trend. Conversely, if the histogram gets smaller, it means the momentum is getting weaker, and we can soon expect a reversal in the currency pair.

The image below represents a buy trade in the EUR/GBP Forex pair.

Please observe the first arrow in the MACD histogram. The upsurge lines indicate the strong trend in this Forex pair. When the price action goes above the breakout line with the rising histogram bars, it is a sign of a strong breakout. After the breakout, we took a buy-entry, and the pair printed a brand new higher high.

#### Sell Example

The image below indicates a sell trade in the CHF/JPY Forex pair.

The image below represents the entry, exit, and stop-loss placements. The price action breaks below the significant level with the rising histogram lines. This shows the sellers are real, and they are ready to make a brand new lower low. After our entry, prices went down, making a brand new lower low. Therefore, when the breakout indicates strong strength, we must go for smaller stops and hunt significant returns.

#### Using The RSI Indicator To Measure Market’s Strenght

RSI stands for Relative Strength Index, and it is a popular indicator which oscillates between the 0 to 100 levels. When the indicator reaches the 70 levels, it means the market is overbought, and a reversal is expected. When it reaches the 30 levels, it means the market is oversold, and an upside reversal is expected.

In this article, we are not going to use the RSI indicator, like how it is typically used. Instead, we will use the RSI divergence to measure the strength of the trend. A divergence is when the price moves in one direction, and the indicator moves in another. Divergence shows that the indicator is not satisfied with the price action, so in this case, a reversal should be expected.

1. Find out the divergence in a downtrend.
2. Wait for the price action to break above the significant resistance level.
3. Wait for the hold above the breakout level to confirm the breakout.
5. Place the stop-loss below the breakout.
6. Go for brand new higher high.

The image below represents our entry, stop loss, and take profit in this Forex pair. As you can see, the trend was down, but on the other hand, the RSI indicator failed to make the higher high. This indicates that the buyers are strong, and after any breakout, we can confidently go long.

#### Sell Entry

1. Find out the divergence in an uptrend.
2. Wait for the price action to break below the significant support level.
3. Wait for the hold below the breakout level to confirm the breakout.
4. Hit sell.
5. Place the stop loss above the breakout.
6. Go for a brand new lower low.

The image below represents the selling trade in this Forex pair.

As you can see, when the price action and indicator gave the divergence, it means the indicator didn’t like the upward spiral anymore. Also, the buyers are exhausted, and we can expect a strong downward reversal. Soon after the breakout, we took short entry and exited our position when printing the brand new lower low.

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## Divergence Trading – MACD Regular Divergence Forex Strategy

#### Introduction

MACD regular divergence is a trading strategy that considers the relationship between Moving Average Convergence Divergence and the price.

MACD, a technical indicator, invented by Gerald Appel in 1979. It is very famous among professional and institutional traders; therefore, it can provide a reliable trading opportunity. On the other hand, divergence is a significant concept in trading that happens between the price and oscillator.

In most of the cases, oscillators like MACD or RSI move with the price. However, there is some condition where MACD does not follow the same direction of the price and creates divergence.

#### What is the MACD Divergence Strategy?

MACD is a Momentum based indicator that shows the correlation between two moving averages. Traders use this indicator in stocks, bonds, and forex trading as a trend continuation and reversal indicator. If you want to become a successful forex trader, MACD would be the best indicator to follow.

If you use a momentum-based strategy, MACD is the best available technical indicator for you. If you trade using the MACD divergence strategy, it will show you the proper entry and exit points.

There are several types of divergence, but in most cases, investors use the following types of divergences:

###### Hidden Divergence

It happens when the MACD histogram creates divergence with the price. It indicates a minor market reversal and significant trend continuation.

###### Regular Divergence

It happens when MACD EMA moves to the opposite direction of the price. Regular divergence from a significant support or resistance level indicates a potential market reversal.

In the example below, we can see a naked chart with a MACD indicator.

If you look at the image, you can see several lower lows, and higher highs in the price and MACD EMA also followed the same direction. However, there is some point where the price and MACD did not follow the same direction as indicated in the image below.

This is how divergence forms in the price. It indicates a potential market reversal if it happens from significant support or resistance levels.

#### Bullish MACD Regular Divergence Trading Strategy

Bullish MACD regular divergence happens when the price of a currency pair moves to the opposite direction of the MACD histogram from a significant support level. Therefore, bullish MACD divergence strategy is considered as the positive divergence signal.

#### Timeframe

In this trading strategy, there is no specification of the timeframe. However, this trading strategy works well in H1 and H4 timeframe.

#### Currency Pair

The MACD divergence trading strategy works well in most major and minor currency pairs, including EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDJPY, and AUDUSD.

#### Location of the Divergence

It is essential to identify the location of the price. In this bullish divergence trading strategy, the price should form the divergence in a critical support level. Any divergence from a random place rather than a vital level would not provide good profitability. Before moving to the entry point, we should find Negative Positive and Negative (NPN) MACD histogram to form.

`Entry`

After forming the divergence, we should wait for a bearish reversal candlestick to enter the trade. Make sure to enter the trade as soon as the candle closes.

`Stop Loss and Take Profit`

In the bullish divergence trading strategy, stop loss would be below the reversal candlestick candle with 10-15 pips buffer.

The first take profit level would be based on 1:1 risk: reward, where you should close 50% of the trade and move the stop loss at breakeven. Later on, the 2nd take profit level would be based on near term event level from where the market is expected to show some correction.

However, as part of the trade management, you can extend the take profit level based on the market momentum. If the price shows an impulsive bullish pressure near the resistance level, it may break the level by creating a new high. In that case, you can extend the take profit level if your trade management system allows.

#### Bearish MACD Regular Divergence Trading Strategy

Bearish MACD regular divergence happens when the price of a currency pair moves to the opposite direction of the MACD histogram from a prominent resistance level. It is also considered as a negative divergence signal.

#### Timeframe

Similar to the bullish divergence, this trading strategy works well in H1 and H4 timeframe. You can use this trading strategy in all timeframes, but the higher timeframe provides a reliable result. On the other hand, traders often find it challenging to observe the price in daily and weekly timeframes. Therefore, H1 and H4 are ideal for swing traders.

#### Currency Pair

The bearish MACD divergence trading strategy works well in most major and minor currency pairs, including EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDJPY, and AUDUSD.

#### Location of the Divergence

It is essential to identify the location of the price. In this bearish regular divergence trading strategy, the divergence should format a significant resistance level. Any divergence from a random place would not provide good profitability.

Before moving to the entry point, we should find Positive Negative Positive (PNP) MACD histogram to form.

`Entry`

After forming the divergence, we should wait for a bullish reversal candlestick to enter the trade. Make sure to enter the trade as soon as the candle closes.

`Stop Loss and Take Profit`

In the bullish divergence trading strategy, stop loss would be above the reversal candlestick candle with 10-15 pips buffer.

The first take profit level would be based on 1:1 risk: reward, where you should close 50% of the trade and move the stop loss at breakeven. Later on, the 2nd take profit level would be based on the near term event level.

#### Summary

Let’s summaries the MACD regular divergence trading strategy:

• Find the divergence based on NPN and PNP from a significant level.
• Enter the trade after a reversal candlestick formation.
• Stop-loss should be below or above the reversal candlestick with 10 to 15 pips buffer.
• The first take profit would be based on 1:1 risk: reward ratio, and the second take profit would be based on the price action on the next event level.

There are more ways to use divergence as a trading strategy. Besides the divergence formation, you should focus on how the price is approaching a critical level. Any weakness at a significant level would indicate the first impression of market reversal. Later on, the divergence would indicate the final try of the opposite party. Happy Trading!

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## Trading The Most Simple Yet Profitable ‘MACD Combo Strategy’!

#### Introduction

Theoretically, trend trading is easy. All we need to do is keep buying as long as we see the price rising and keep selling as long as we see the price breaking lower. In practice, it is far more difficult to do it. When looking for such opportunities, many questions arise in our minds, such as:

• What is the direction of the market?
• After spotting the trend, how long is the retracement going to last?
• When is the trend going to end?

The greatest fear for traders is getting into a trend too late. That is, when the trend is coming to an end. Despite these difficulties yet, trend trading is considered to be the least risky and most popular styles of trading. When a trend develops, it can last for hours, days, and even months, depending on the time-frame.

#### Time Frame

The MACD Combo strategy works well on the 1-hour time frame. After gaining enough experience on the 1-hour time frame, we can also try the strategy on lower time frames.

#### Indicators

In this strategy, we will be using the following indicators

1. 50 SMA
2. 100 SMA
3. MACD with default settings

#### Currency Pairs

This strategy applies only to major currency pairs. Some of the preferred pairs are EUR/USD, USD.JPY, GBP/USD, GBP/JPY, and few others. We need to make sure that whichever currency pair we are selecting, it should be fairly liquid.

#### Strategy Concept

The strategy we have developed answers all of the above questions. It also gives us clear entry and exit signals. This strategy is called the MACD combo. We use two forms of moving averages for the strategy: the 50 simple moving average (SMA) and the 100 SMA. The 50 and 100 input of SMA is suitable for trading on the 1-hour time frame chart. The input will change depending on the time-frame we choose to trade.

The 50 SMA provides a signal for entering a trade, while 100 SMA ensures that we are working in a clear trending market. The main idea of the strategy is that we buy or sell only when the prices cross the moving average in the direction of the trend. The basic concept of the strategy may appear similar to the “momo” strategy but is far more patient and uses longer-term moving averages on hourly charts to capture larger profits.

When this strategy is used on the daily (D) time frame wit the same indicator settings, it gives a larger risk to reward. Hence, this strategy is appropriate for long-term investors and swing traders.

In order to explain the strategy, we have considered the chart of GBP/USD, where we will be using the strategy on the 1-hour time frame. Here are the steps to execute the MACD combo strategy.

###### Step 1

The first step of the strategy is to determine the market direction. This means we need to establish the trend of the market. As this is a trend trading strategy, the market must trend in a single direction before we can apply it. In an uptrend, the price should adequately trade above the 50 SMA and 100 SMA for a long period of time. Similarly, for a downtrend, the price should trade below both the SMAs.

In the below image, we see that the market is in a strong uptrend. Hence, we will look for ‘buy’ opportunities.

###### Step 2

The next step is to wait for a price retracement or a ‘pullback’ to join the trend at this discounted price. We say that the pullback is valid if the price crosses the closest SMA and stays below that SMA at least for a period of4-5 candles. But we need to make sure that the price does not cross below the next SMA. If that happens, the trend gets invalidated, and it may signal a reversal of the trend.

The below image shows that the pullback has crossed the first SMA (50 Period) and has stayed there for more than 5 hours.

###### Step 3

In this step, we will use the MACD indicator to enter the market. In case of an uptrend, we enter the market for a ‘buy’ as soon as the MACD indicator turns positive. Similarly, in a downtrend, we enter the market for a ‘sell’ when the MACD indicator turns negative. A conservative trader may enter the market after it moves above the SMA.

We can see in the below image that we are going ‘long’ soon after the MACD shows up a green bar. This is an aggressive form of ‘entry’ which requires experience to be able to spot them.

###### Step 4

In this step, we determine the stop-loss and take-profit for the strategy. Stop-loss is placed below the swing ‘low’ in case of a ‘long’ trade and above the swing’ high’ in case of a ‘short’ trade. Since we are trading with the trend, we will take our profits at the new ‘higher high‘ or ‘lower low’ depending on the momentum of the market. This is the reason behind high risk to reward of trades done using this strategy.

In this case, the risk to reward of the trade is 1:2, which is above the normal range.

#### Strategy Roundup

Traders implementing the MACD combo strategy should make sure that they only apply the strategy on currency pairs that are typically trending. Also, it is smart to check the crossover’s strength below or above the first moving average. We can also make use of the ADX indicator to check the momentum of the pullback. It is important to check the momentum of the trend and the pullback when trend trading.

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The MACD RA is an expert advisor that is currently found on on the QUIVOfx website, there are a few expert advisors by this name, so to make sure you understand which one we are talking about, we have linked the expert advisor below. The current version on this expert advisor is v1.06 for the basic and advanced version and v1.07 for the pro version.

### Overview

The MACD expert advisor is designed to use moving average convergence and divergence in order to enter a trade. The expert advisor currently uses four different strategies.

Normal MACD: This will open up a trade once the signal line breaks through the MACD histogram and both are below (or above) the zero lines.

MACD Line Crosses Zero: Will open a buy position when the MACD line crosses the zero line from above.

Signal Line Crosses Zero: Will open a buy position if the signal line crosses the zero line from above

Super MACD: If the past three bars of the histogram are red and below zero, if a blue bar is opened then the EA will open up a trade (opposite for sells).

The expert advisor only works with MetaTrader 4 and is not compatible with any other trading platform, the different versions (basic, advanced, and pro) come with slightly different features.

The basic version comes with a money management system, the ability to trade on a new bar, and an inverse strategy.

The advanced version comes with everything tat the basic version does, as well as the ability to use a trailing stop, a break-even system, spread filters, an MA trend filter, and the ability to select how many trades per bar.

The Pro version comes with everything that the basic and advanced versions do as well as an exit strategy, the martingale strategy, candle trail, ATR trails, a day/time filter, the ability to reverse on opposite signals, and a trade direction feature.

### Service Cost

The basic version of this expert advisor is free, and so can be used as a demo to test out the functions, the advanced version currently costs CHF 29.90 while the pro version currently costs CHF 39.90, there isn’t a demo version of the advanced or pro versions available.

### Conclusion

There aren’t any written reviews available for this expert advisor, there is a rating system available, the expert advisor currently has an overall rating of 3.9/5 with 151 ratings, this isn’t a terrible score and shows that the expert advisor is certainly working for some users.

This Forex Indicator is currently available at: https://quivofx.com/expert-advisor/macd-ea

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## 105. Summary of Leading and Lagging Indicators

#### Introduction

In the previous lessons, we have understood what leading, and lagging indicators are. We also saw how these indicators could be further divided into other types. Here’s a summary of everything we’ve learned so far in this space.

Leading indicators are those who forecast prices in the market using historical prices. It indicates a signal for the continuation or reversal of a trend the event occurs. However, these indicators do not work with complete certainty. As they are making a prediction, it is more probability driven.

#### Lagging Indicators

Lagging indicators, as the name suggests, are lagging in nature. These indicators confirm the market trend using past prices. They are called the trend-following indicators as they give an indication once the trend has been established in the price charts. However, these confirmatory indicators are more reliable than the leading indicators as they give more accurate signals though they are late in doing so.

In the industry, there are three types of indicators that are widely used. They are

• Oscillators
• Trend-following indicators
• Momentum indicators

If we were to put them into the bag of leading or lagging indicators, Oscillators are leading, trend-following indicators and momentum indicators are lagging. Note that an indicator may not be under one of the types; they can be a combination of two or all three.

#### Oscillators

An oscillator is a leading indicator that moves within a predefined range. These are to our interest when it crosses above or below the specified bound. These areas determine the oversold and overbought conditions in the market. These indicators are very helpful in determining market reversal. Some of the most popular oscillators include MACD, ROC, RSI, CCI, etc. The usage and interpretation of oscillators have been discussed in detail in this article.

#### Trend-Following Indicators

Trend-following indicators are lagging indicators that are usually constructed with a variety of moving averages. Crossovers are the typical strategy used with these indicators. These indicators give a signal to buy or sell when the market has already begun its move. Hence, these indicators give us late entries but are more convincing than leading indicators. For example, Moving Averages and MACD are the most used trend-following indicators.

#### Momentum Indicators

As the name clearly indicates, these indicators show the speed or the rate of price change in the market. Since the momentum can be calculated after the price moves, it is considered a lagging indicator. These indicators indicate when there is a slowdown in the buyers or sellers. And with this, we can assume for a possible reversal. More about this can be found here.

#### Conclusion

This sums up the concept of leading and lagging indicators. Having an understanding of these indicators is necessary because it is risky if a lagging indicator is analyzed as a leading indicator and vice versa. Also, it is recommended to use these indicators in conjunction with each other for better results. In the upcoming course lessons, we will be discussing interesting topics related to Elliot Wave Theory.

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## 104. Understanding the Essence of the Momentum (Using MACD Indicator)

#### Introduction

Momentum indicators are those indicators that determine the rate of price changes in the market. These indicators are helpful in determining the change in the market trend. In this lesson, we shall be talking about the MACD indicator, which is one of the most extensively used momentum indicators.

#### Moving Average Convergence Divergence – MACD

Moving Average Convergence Divergence – MACD is a momentum indicator that primarily works on the relationship between two moving averages of an instrument’s price. Precisely, it takes Exponential Moving Average into consideration for its calculation.

A misconception in the industry is that MACD is a lagging indicator. There are a set of people considering it as a leading indicator, while some see it as a lagging indicator and use it as a confirmatory tool. Note that MACD is both leading as well as lagging indicators.

MACD is said to be a leading indicator when it is used to identify oversold and overbought conditions. It indicates the possibility of a reversal when the market is actually moving in the other direction. However, this form is not widely used. On the other hand, it is said to be a lagging indicator if it is used for crossovers. One will be aware of the market trend when there is a crossover on the indictor. But when this happens, the market would have already made its move.

Also, that’s not it. The real element of momentum is added by the histogram. This true aspect of MACD reveals the difference between the MACD line and the EMA. When the histogram is positive, i.e., above the zero-midpoint line but is declining towards the midline, then it indicates a weakening uptrend. On the contrary, if the histogram is below the zero-midpoint line, but is climbing towards it, then it signifies a slowing downtrend.

Apart from this, it is also used for identifying divergence in the market. That is, indicates when there is abnormal motion in the market, hence, indicating a possible change in direction.

#### What is the MACD indicator composed of?

The MACD is made up of two moving averages. One of them is referred to as the MACD line, which is derived by finding the difference between the 26-day EMA and the 12-day EMA. The other is the signal line, which is typically a 9-day EMA. And there is a zero-midpoint line where the histogram is placed.

#### MACD as a Momentum Indicator

To understand how momentum works in MACD, consider the example given below.

Firstly, the market is in a downtrend where the purple line represents the Support & Resistance level. In other terms, this line indicates a potential sell area. Below the price chart, the MACD indicator has plotted as well. Observing closely at the histogram at the marked arrow, it is seen that the histogram was falling towards the zero-midpoint line indicating the weakness of the buyers. Also, this situation happened in the area where the sellers are willing to hit the sell. In hindsight, the MACD gave the right signal solely from the histogram.

This hence concludes the lesson on momentum indicators. We hope you found this lesson very informative. If you have questions, leave us a comment below.

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## 102. Brief Introduction To Momentum Indicators

#### Introduction

Leading and lagging indicators are not the only categorizations of technical indicators. If we dig deeper, we can find more classifications and momentum indicators are one such classification in leading indicators. Before getting into momentum indicators, let’s first define the term momentum. Momentum, in general (physics), is the product of mass and velocity. The meaning of momentum is not different in trading too.

#### What are the Momentum Indicators?

Momentum indicators are a type of indicator that determines the velocity or the rate at which the price changes in security. Unlike moving averages, they don’t depict the direction of the market, only the rate of price change in any timeframe.

#### Calculating Momentum

The formula for the momentum indicators compares the most recent close price with the close price of a user-specified time frame. These indicators are displayed as a separate line and not on the price line or bar. Calculating momentum is simple. There are two variations to it but are quite similar. In both, momentum is obtained by the comparison between the latest closing price and a closing price ‘n’ periods from the past. The ‘n’ value must be set by the user.

```1) Momentum = Current close price – ‘n’ period close price

2) Momentum = (Current close price / ‘n’ period close price) x 100```

The first formula simply takes the difference between the closing prices while the second version calculates the rate of change in price and is expressed as a percentage.

When the market is moving upside or downside, the momentum indicator determines how strongly the move is happening. A positive number in the first version determines strength in the market towards the upside, while a negative number signifies bearish strength.

#### How are Momentum Indicators useful?

As mentioned, momentum indicators show/predict the strength of the movement in prices, regardless of the direction, be it up or down. Reversals are trades where one can make a massive killing with it. And momentum indicators help traders find spots where there is a possibility of the market to reverse. This is determined using a concept called divergence, which is discussed in the subsequent section.

Momentum indicators are specifically designed to show the relative strength of the buyers and sellers. If these indicators are combined with indicators that determine the direction of the market, it could turn out to be a complete strategy.

#### Concept of Divergence

Consider the chart of EUR/USD given below. The MACD indicator (momentum indicator) is plotted as well. From the price chart, the market was in a downtrend, but the divergence was moving upward. It means that the indicator has diverged from the price chart and is indicating that the sellers are losing strength.

In hindsight, the market reversed its direction and started to move upwards. Hence, the MACD predicted the reversal in the market. Moving forward, when the market laid its first higher low, the MACD too was inclined upwards, indicating that the buyers are strong, and the uptrend is real. And yet again, the MACD proved itself right.

This concludes the lesson on momentum indicators. In the coming lessons, let’s get more insights over this topic. Don’t forget to take the below quiz before you go.

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## Forex Course 3.0 – Complete Guide

Hello everyone,

Firstly, we want to thank you guys for following us throughout the course so well. We feel privileged that we are helping you guys in becoming better traders. Especially in Course 3.0, we have discussed some of the most crucial aspects of technical trading, which are essential for every aspiring technical trader to know. We have seen the quiz results for all the course articles that you guys have taken, and that gave us a gist of how well you’ll be following the topics discussed.

However, for the people who want to revisit a few topics, we would like to make their lives easier. So we are putting up a list of topics that we have discussed in this course. Also, this article will act as a quick revision guide for all the basics involved in Technical Analysis.

In this course, we have started by discussing the concept of Candlesticks and its fundamentals. Then we learned how to trade various candlestick patterns along with their importance. Introduction to Fibonacci trading has been done, and we also have paired the Fib levels with various indicators to generate accurate trading signals. We extended that discussion to Moving Averages and its types. Finally, we have learned the principles of indicator-based trading, where at least 10 of the most popular indicators have been discussed.

Below are the corresponding links for each of the topics that we have discussed in this course.

#### Candlestick Charts

Concept of CandlesticksIntroduction | Anatomy | Fundamentals

Trading Candlestick PatternsSingle Continuous | Single Reversal | Dual Continuous                                                   Dual Reversal | Triple Continuous | Triple Reversal

Deeper InsightCandlestick Patterns Cheat Sheet | Candlestick + S&R

#### Moving Averages

With this, we have ended our Course 3.0, and soon we will be starting our Course 4.0, where we will be discussing some of the advanced topics in Technical Trading. So stay tuned and watch this space for more interesting and informative content. Cheers!

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#### Introduction

In total, there are five major trading sessions in the Forex market, and we have already discussed the New York Breakout Strategy. In this article, let’s learn the best way to trade the Forex London session.   The London session is one of the biggest market movers because a lot of trading volume for instrument trading occurs in this session. The volume of the instrument essentially means the total amount of money that moves the market in any particular session.

Most of the financial centers and major banks start their day around the London session. These banks and institutions try to accommodate their clients in this session alone. This is one of the reasons why the price action is quite volatile and aggressive in this session. In other words, for retail traders, the London session is a prime window to make huge profits from the market. Because of the higher the volatility, the more the trading opportunities.

In this article, we will be sharing some of the proven techniques that can you can use to trade the London Session. The key to finding success while trading the London session is to be extremely disciplined. It is crucial to follow the rules of the strategy and do the required analysis before the London opening. If we miss our entries at the time of the London opening, we can’t expect a second chance to get back with the trend.

London session opens at 8 AM GMT. If you are not aware of the exact time when the London sessions open, you can make use of the Forex Time Zone Converter to accurately find the opening of this session in your local time.

#### London Session – Breakout Trading Strategy

We have backtested the strategies that have been mentioned below. The results revealed that most of the time, these strategies provide trading opportunities during the first three hours of the London session. Sometimes, the volatility picks up 30 minutes before the opening of the London suggest. But we always recommend you activate your trades only after the opening of the London session.

1. Find out any currency pair which is in a strong uptrend.
2. Price action must hold below the resistance line if the market is ranging before the opening of the London session.
3. Wait for the breakout to happen in the London session.
4. Let the price action hold above the breakout to confirm if the breakout is valid.
6. Place the stop-loss below the breakout line.
7. Take-profit can be placed at the next resistance area.

The same is the opposite in a down-trending market and when we are willing to go short.

Identifying The Currency Pair

The below AUD/CHF Forex pair represents an up-trending market.

Confirming The Breakout

We can see a breakout happening at the opening of the London session. This indicates that the big players are now ready to move the market. The price action held above the breakout line, indicating that the breakout is real. Going long at this point will be a good idea.

Entry, Stop-Loss & Take-Profit

In the below image, you can see that we have taken a buy position right after the breakout in the London session. The stop-loss is placed just below the recent low, and we chose the higher timeframe’s major resistance area to place our take-profit. A lot of traders believe that if they use this strategy to trade the London session, they must close their positions on the very same day. But that’s a wrong perception as we should be deciding that depending on the market conditions. It is logical to hold your positions until the price reaches our desired take-profit area.

#### London Breakout + MACD Indicator

In this strategy, we have used the MACD indicator to trade London breakouts. MACD is a celebrity indicator which is popular among most of the professional traders. MACD stands for Moving Average Convergence and Divergence. This indicator consists of two lines; the first one is the MACD line, and another one is known as the second line. MACD is a trend following indicator which is used to identify the overbought and oversold market conditions.

The strategy here is to wait for the breakout to happen right after the opening of the London session. At the time of breakout, check if the MACD indicator is at the oversold area. If yes, it is a clear indication for us to go long. If the MACD is above the zero lines, it is even a greater sign as it indicates that the ongoing trend is strong. Anticipating bullish moves from this point will be a good idea.

The below price chart represents the AUD/CAD Forex pair, and we can see the market is in an uptrend.

In the below image, it is clear that the MACD lines crossed over precisely when the breakout happened at the London opening. This is a clear indication for us to look out for buy opportunities in this currency pair.

We went long right after the breakout in the London session as it was confirmed by the MACD crossover.  We have placed the stop-loss just below the resistance line. We can set the stop-loss order according to our trading style. If you are a confirmation trader, wait for the things to be in your favor to make an entry and use a wider stop-loss. If you are an aggressive trader, the stops below the recent candle are good enough.

If you are a conservative trader, the stops we placed in the below example is good enough. We always suggest you close your positions at the next resistance area. You can follow that process for this strategy as well. Here in this example, we tried to be a bit creative and closed our positions when the MACD indicator gave us an opposite signal. When the MACD indicates that the market is in an overbought condition, it means that the buyers are exhausted now, and it’s time for us to go short. You can see the bearish moment in the market right after we have booked our entire profits.

#### Conclusion

Both of the strategies mentioned above are simple and easy to use to trade the London market. If you are a beginner, we suggest you practice them first on a demo account. London breakout often gives reasonable risk to reward trades, and most of the trade results can be seen within a few hours. Make sure to follow all the rules of the above strategies to have the edge over the market. All the very best.

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## 82. Using The MACD Indicator To Identify Potential Trading Signals

#### Introduction

The MACD indicator was developed by Gerald Appel in the late 1970s. It stands for Moving Average Convergence and Divergence. MACD is quite popular, and it can be considered as one of the safest and most effective momentum indicators in the market. As the name suggests, this indicator is all about the convergence and divergence of the two moving averages. When the moving average moves away from each other, the convergence occurs. Likewise, the divergence occurs when the moving average of the indicator moves towards each other.

MACD fluctuates above and below the zero lines, unlike the RSI indicator that we discussed yesterday. Also, since MACD is an unbound indicator, it is not useful to find out the overbought and oversold market conditions. Instead, traders can look for the signal line crossovers, centerline crossovers, and divergence to trade the market.

The image below represents the MACD indicator on the GBP/USD Forex chart.

#### Signal Line Crossovers

The signal line crossover is one of the most popular trading strategies designed around the MACD indicator. A bullish crossover occurs when the indicator prints a crossover below the zero-line.  Contrarily, A bearish crossover occurs when the MACD prints a crossover above the zero-line.

If you are trading the lower timeframe, these crossovers last for a few hours. But if you are trading the higher timeframe, these crossovers can last a few days or even weeks. In the below chart, we can see a buy and sell signal generated by using the MACD indicator. In simple words, crossover below the zero-line indicates a buying trade, and the crossover above the zero-line indicates a selling trade.

#### Trade The Zero Line By Following The Trend

When the MACD line goes above the zero-line, it means that the trend of the instrument is gaining strength. When this happens, any buying anticipation will be a good idea. Conversely, when the indicator goes below the zero-line, it indicates a strong downtrend, and going short in the market is a good idea at that point.

If we plan to go long, it is advisable to trade with the trend. In a buy trend, if the MACD line indicates a selling signal, try to ignore that signal and wait for the buy signal. The same applies to the sell-side as well. If we find any breakout or breakdown supporting the MACD signal, that increases the probability of our trade performing in our desired direction.

The below image represents a sell signal by using the MACD indicator. In a downtrend, when the price action broke the major resistance line, we can see a crossover on the MACD indicator below the zero-line. This clearly indicates the gained momentum by the sellers,, and going short from here will be a good idea. Make sure to book the profit when the MACD indicator gives the crossover to the buying side.

#### MACD Indicator + Double Moving Average

We have learned what Moving Averages are and how to use them on the price charts. In this strategy, we are pairing the MACD indicator with 9-period and 15-period moving averages to identify potential trading signals.

The strategy is to go long when the MACD gives a crossover below the zero-line and the moving averages crossover below the price action. Conversely, go short when the MACD indicator gives the crossover above the zero-line and the moving averages crossover above the price action. It is advisable to use this strategy in healthy market conditions, and the lower period averages work fine for intraday trading only.

As you can see in the below chart, the market was in an uptrend. Using this strategy, we have identified three buying opportunities. All of these three trading opportunities have gives us 70+ pip profit in just two days. As we know that the moving averages act as dynamic support and resistance to price action, it is safe to put the stops just below the moving average indicator and exit our position when any of the indicators give an opposite signal.

That’s about the MACD indicator and how to trade the Forex market using this indicator. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below. Stay tuned to learn about many more technical indicators in the upcoming sections.

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## 79. Is Indicator Based Trading For You or Not? (Pros & Cons)

### Introduction

In the previous course article, we have briefly discussed the basics of indicator-based trading. We have also understood the different types of indicators. Before considering how to trade using these indicators, let’s see if indicator based trading is for you or not. For that, we will be listing down some of the significant pros and cons involved in indicator-based trading. After going through this article, we will know why we should be using indicators to trade the markets and what we should be cautious about while using these indicators.

### Pros of using Technical Indicators

#### Simplification

As discussed in the previous course article, Indicators mainly present the existing price and volume data on the price charts. For novice traders who have less knowledge of reading this data, can take the help of indicators to understand the price charts in a more precise way. Also, indicators act as a great tool to identify market strength.

For instance, using the Moving Average indicator, the direction of the trend can be found. By using the stochastic indicator, overbought and oversold areas can be found. These cannot be easily identified by the novice traders if not for these indicators.

#### Swift Decision Making

Since you aren’t entirely aware of most of the indicators, we would like to give you an example of the indicators we have learned till now. If you remember trading Fibonacci levels, we have taken our entries right after the price bounces after touching the respective Fib levels. It is impossible to make such swift decisions in the absence of these indicators. Hence we can say that indicator based trading allows us to make quick decisions comparatively.

#### Confirmation Tool

Indicators act like an excellent confirmation tool for experienced traders as well. For example, a technical trader identifies a candlestick pattern and wants to take trades based on that pattern. To confirm if the signal provided by the pattern is accurate or not, he can take the help of any technical indicator like RSI or Stochastic. If the indicator supports the signal provided by the pattern, the trader can confidently make trades.

#### Combination Capability

Indicators can be combined to understand the market more clearly. For instance, Moving Averages can be combined with Fibonacci levels, and Stochastic can be combined with many other reliable indicators to generate accurate signals. If we wish to, we can even add an end number of indicators, but these additions should able to simplify the price chart rather than making it more complex.

### Cons of using Technical Indicators

#### Unawareness of the complete picture

Novice traders who get used to trading with these indicators can never get an entire background on what’s happening behind the charts. If they get used to this, they can never become a professional technical trader. Also, they won’t be able to identify if the signal generated by the indicator is accurate or not. Hence, it is always crucial to understand why the indicator is moving the way it is so that we can make better trading decisions.

#### Not for pure price action traders

Price action trading is also a part of technical trading. It is purely based on the price movements of the asset alone. So price action traders might find indicator based trading a bit redundant because they know why the price is moving the way it is moving. Hence we can say that indicators don’t add more value to pure price action traders.

#### Lag Issue

By now, we know that there are lagging indicators that portray what has already happened in the market. These indicators do add significant value to indicator based trading, but they can’t be completely used to take the trades.

### Final Word

These are some of the pros and cons involved in using indicators for trading the markets. So the answer to the question ‘If the Indicator based trading is for you or not?’ is yes. It is for you. But we have to be cautious and understand the entire picture instead of blindly following the indicators. In the upcoming articles, we will start learning how to take trades using various reliable indicators in the market. Cheers!

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## 78. Brief Introduction To Technical Indicators & Indicator Trading

### Introduction

In the past two sections of this course, we have discussed two of the most important tools in Technical Analysis – Fibonacci & Moving Averages. These two are discussed in an elaborated way because you might be using them in conjunction with many of the other reliable indicators in the market. They can be used standalone not just to take trades but also for different other purposes. For instance, Moving Averages can be used to identify the direction of the trend. Likewise, Fibonacci Levels can be used to test the reliability of any support and resistance level.

Since we have completed learning these crucial tools, it’s time for us to extend our learning to understand specific technical tools known as indicators and oscillators. There are many indicators and oscillators in the market. Some are reliable, and some are not. So in the next few course lessons, we will be discussing some of the most credible and reliable indicators. In this lesson, let’s first understand what an Indicator basically is and why it is important to use them in technical analysis.

### What is an Indicator?

An indicator is a tool that is used by technical traders and investors to understand the price charts and market conditions. The important purpose of any indicator is to interpret the existing data and accurately forecast the market direction. These indicators are built on various mathematical calculations by market experts.

These days, with the advent of technology, hundreds of indicators can easily be accessed. They are available on most of the charting platforms that we currently use, like MT4 & TradingView. Many of the reliable indicators we have today are a result of extensive research and back-testing. Any technical indicator considers a lot of important data like historical price and volume to predict the future price of an asset.

Indicators are an integral part of technical analysis, and the number of traders who just rely on indicators to take trades is pretty high. Typically, most of the indicators overlay on the price charts to predict the market trend. However, there are indicators that position themselves below the price chart to make users understand the overbought and oversold market conditions.

Oscillators are nothing but range-bound indicators. Which means, an oscillator can range from 0 to100 levels (0 being the floor and 100 being the roof). Essentially, if the price of an asset is at 0, it represents oversold conditions. Likewise, if the asset’s price is at 100, it represents overbought conditions.

### Two Types of Indicators

Indicators are classified into two different types – Leading Indicators & Lagging Indicators. As the names pretty much suggest, leading indicators are those that predict the future price direction of any given currency pair. Essentially, these indicators precede the price action and predict the price.

Leading Indicator Examples: RSI (Relative Strength Index), Stochastic Indicator, & Williams %R.

Contrarily, lagging indicators act more like a confirmation tool. They follow the price action and help traders to understand the complex price charts better. One of the best use cases of a lagging indicator could be while testing the trend. We can confirm the trend along with its strength using a lagging indicator.

Lagging Indicator Examples: MACD (Moving Average Convergence & Divergence) & Bollinger Bands.

That’s about a brief introduction to Indicators and Indicator trading. In the next lesson, let’s understand the pros and cons involved in Indicator trading. Once that is done, we can start learning some of the most reliable indicators and how to trade the markets using them. Cheers.

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## How To Trade Cryptocurrencies Using The MACD Indicator Part 2

### Trading cryptocurrencies using the MACD indicator – part 2/2

MACD Overbought and Oversold conditions
The MACD indicator is great for identifying possible changes in a trend and spotting trend reversals. However, it can also identify overbought market conditions or oversold market conditions.
The overbought and oversold market conditions are presented on the indicator when the MACD line and the signal line are separated too far away from each other as well as from the zero-line.

BTC/USD Weekly Chart example

As can be seen in the picture, the MACD line started to stray noticeably far away from the indicator’s signal line in December 2017. On top of that, both the MACD line and Signal were well above the zero-line at that time.
The combination of the two warned careful investors that the price surge was causing the market to become overextended and that a pullback was becoming extremely likely.

Zero-line explained

The so-called zero line marks the midpoint of the MACD oscillator, splitting the value range in half. When the 12-period exponential moving average crosses above the 26-period EMA, the MACD will cross above the zero-line, therefore presenting a buy signal. On the other hand, when the 12-period EMA crosses below the 26-period EMA, the MACD will go below the zero-line and will present a sell signal.

The histogram, which are the pink bars shown on the oscillator, quantifies the distance that is currently between the MACD line and the signal line. The histogram will print a bar above the zero-line when the MACD line is above the signal line. On the other hand, it will print a bar below when the MACD line is below the signal line. The bigger the size of the bar, the larger the gap between the two lines is.
When the histogram reaches its highest level, it will show the MACD line at its farthest point above the signal line. This situation implies that the rally is becoming overstretched, as shown in the chart.

Conclusion
The MACD oscillator is a great tool for traders that like following trends and spotting trend reversals. It comes in handy to both beginners and professionals alike.

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## How To Trade Cryptocurrencies Using The MACD Indicator Part 1

### Trading cryptocurrencies using the MACD indicator – part 1/2

While there are many technical indicators that can help with identifying changes in the strength, momentum, or the duration of a trend, none of them are simpler than the Moving Average Convergence Divergence, better known as MACD.

By definition, the MACD indicator turns two moving averages into a momentum oscillator. It does so by subtracting the longer period moving average from the shorter period moving average.
As the MACD indicator is a “lagging” or a “trend following” indicator, it actually trails pricing events that already took place in order to determine the strength of the current trend.
As with most indicators, though, you won’t make money just by understanding the indicator works, but rather by knowing how to use this indicator. However, it is still worth explaining what MACD is, so you have a better understanding of why it is such a widely used and loved indicator.

What is MACD

MACD is composed of three main components: the MACD line (which is the blue oscillator), the signal line (which is the orange oscillator), and the histogram.

MACD line is typically made up of the 12-period exponential moving average (EMA) minus the 26-period exponential moving average.
The signal line is typically the 9-period EMA of the MACD line.
The histogram represents the difference between the MACD line and the signal line.

How to interpret the MACD indicator
It might be hard to explain how MACD works, but it is actually one of the easiest indicators to interpret as everything is represented clearly and visually.

The MACD Cross

When the MACD line performs a cross above the signal line, it is interpreted by the traders as a bullish cross. On the other hand, when the MACD line crosses under, traders know that this is a bearish cross. These crosses indicate a shift in momentum, which can represent a buy or sell opportunity.

BTC/USD example

As seen in the picture, MACD crosses provide confirmation of a trend change. This is true, at least in the short term.

As an example, the MACD line crossed above the signal line on November 16, 2017, presenting a buy signal. The MACD line stayed above the signal line for over a month, which resulted in the price increasing more than 150% before the next bearish cross. The bear cross, which occurred on December 20, 2017, signaled a change of trend to bearish.

It’s recommended (and almost necessary) to use the MACD indicator in conjunction with some other indicators such as volume or RSI because MACD, just like any other indicator, is not 100% accurate and can give off false signals.
Check out part 2 of Trading cryptocurrencies using the MACD indicator to learn more about how this indicator shows overbought and oversold market conditions as well as about what zero-line represents.

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## How To Trade The ‘Three Black Crows’ Pattern Like A Professional Forex Trader

### Introduction

Three Black Crows is a bearish candlestick pattern that consists of three consecutive red candles. This is a visual pattern and can be identified easily on the price action charts. The Three Black Crows pattern essentially indicates a shift in control from bulls to bears. In the book known as ‘Candlestick Trading Technique,’ Steve Nison says that this pattern is one of the most useful ones for longer-term trades.

In an uptrend, this pattern consists of three consecutive bear candles that have large bodies of roughly the same size. The Three Crows pattern confirms the strength of the sellers.

Each candle should be open and close lower than the previous candle.

Each candle should mark a successive decline in price action and should not have long shadows or wicks. Using this trading pattern in conjunction with other technical indicators will enhance the probability of winning the trade.

### Trading Strategies With Three Black Crows Pattern

#### TBC Pattern + Bollinger Bands

In this strategy, we have paired the Three Black Crows pattern with the Bollinger Bands to identify accurate trading signals. The Bollinger Bands indicator is developed by the technical trader John Bollinger. It consists of a centerline and two bands above and below the price chart. The bands of the indicator contract and expand according to the different market conditions. In a volatile market, the bands of the indicator expand and in a dying market condition the bands’ contract.

Step 1 – First of all, find the Three Black Crows Pattern in an uptrend.

Step 2 – Take a sell-entry when the Three Black Crows pattern hit the upper band of the Bollinger Bands Indicator.

In the above chart of the NZD/USD forex chart, we can see that the pair was in an overall uptrend. Around the 4th of November, price action prints Three Black Crows, which is an initial clue to go short. Furthermore, price action also respects the Bollinger upper band, which is a sign to go short on this pair.

Step 3 – Stop-loss & Take Profit

Placing accurate Stop loss is one of the most critical aspects of successful trading. Some of the novice traders never use stop loss, and it is the biggest mistake they do. We always suggest the traders use the stop-loss order in every trade they take. If you have the fear that your trade might hit the stop loss, then use a deeper stop loss and expect only 1R trades. If you are an aggressive trader, then stop loss above the Bollinger bands is the safest idea.

The basic idea most of the traders have is to exit their positions when price action hits the lower band of the Bollinger band indicator. If you follow this strategy, there will be fewer chances of you making money. Because price action moves in cycles, and prices often hit the upper and lower bands. We suggest you always use the higher timeframe major support area for booking your profits. You can also close your position when the market prints the Three White Soldiers pattern, which is quite the opposite of the Three Black Crows pattern.

In the above example, we have closed our full position when the market reached a previous major support area. Most of the time, price action always reacts from a significant support area. In our case, when we closed our position (yellow dotted line), price action immediately changed its direction.

#### TBC Pattern + MACD Indicator

In this strategy, let’s learn how to trade the Three Black Crows pattern by combining it with the MACD indicator to identify reliable trading signals. MACD is a trend following indicator, and it stands for Moving Average Convergence and Divergence. This indicator consists of a histogram, moving averages, and a centerline. Traders use the MACD moving average crossovers to identify the trading signals. When the moving averages of the indicator go above the zero-line, it indicates a buy signal. Likewise, when it goes below the zero-line, it indicates the sell signal.

Step 1 – First of all, find the Three Black Crows Pattern in an uptrend.

Step 2 – The strategy is this – when market prints the Three Black Crows pattern, see if there is a crossover happening on the MACD indicator at the overbought area. If there is a crossover, it is a clear sign to go short in any underlying currency pair and vice-versa to go long.

In the image below, GBP/CAD was in an overall uptrend. When price action prints the Three Black Crows pattern, it indicates the ongoing trend reversal in the near future. Furthermore, when crossover happened on MACD, it’s a clear signal that the GBP/CAD is ready to start a downtrend afresh. After our entry, price held for a bit at the support area and dropped to print a brand new lower low.

Step 3 – Stop-loss & Take Profit

Put the stop loss above the first candle of the Three Black Crows pattern and close your whole position when price action reached a significant support area.

As you can see in the image below, we closed our full position at the major support area. Overall it was not a smooth ride, but our position didn’t go into loss even for a single time. Traders can also close their positions according to market situations, or according to their trading style.

### Bottom Line

Three Black Crows pattern is one of the most famous and popular trading patterns out there. This pattern can be used to identify the trend reversals in an upward market. Whenever you find a Three Black Crows pattern on the price chart, we suggest you sit up straight and understand if this pattern has the potential to reverse the market or not. It is always advisable to pair this pattern with other trading tools to confirm the indication. Traders can also use this pattern to enter or exit a trade. Some traders use this pattern with the combination of other trading tools in order to close their full position. The end goal is to use this pattern to identify trading opportunities and trend reversals more accurately. Cheers!

## Pairing The Hanging Man Candlestick Pattern With MACD Indicator

### Introduction

The Hanging Man is a visual candlestick pattern which is used by traders and chartists in all type of markets. The term ‘Hanging Man’ refers to the shape of the candlestick. Visually the hanging man looks like a ‘T,’ and it appears in an uptrend. The formation of this candlestick is an indication that the uptrend is losing its strength. Meaning, sellers started showing interest, and the current trend of an asset is going to get reversed. Anyone can easily predict from the name of this pattern that it is viewed as a bearish sign.

The Hanging Man candle composes of a small body and a long lower shadow with little or no upper shadow. The vital point to remember is that the hanging man pattern is a warning of the upcoming price change, so do not take it as a signal to go short. Also, trading solely based on one pattern is risky. To confirm the sign given by the Hanging Man pattern, traders must pair it with support resistance or any other trading indicator.

This pattern is not confirmed unless the price falls shortly after the Hanging Man. If the next candle closes above the high of the Hanging Man, this pattern is not valid. After the pattern, if the very next candlestick falls, then it’s a clear indication of the reversal. Now, if you see a Hanging Man candlestick and the above-discussed rules apply, you can go ahead and take the trade. But since it is crucial to have an extra confirmation, let’s pair this pattern with a technical indicator.

### Pairing the Hanging Man Pattern With MACD Indicator

In this strategy, we have paired the Hanging Man pattern with the MACD indicator so that we can filter out the low probability trades. MACD stands for Moving Average Convergence and Divergence, and it is one of the most popular indicators in the market. It is essentially an oscillator that is used for trading ranges, trend pullbacks, etc. Also, this indicator identifies the overbought and oversold market conditions. In this strategy, we are using the default setting of the MACD indicator to identify the trades.

`Step 1 – Confirm the uptrend first on your trading timeframe`

We can’t use the Hanging Man pattern to take the buy trades. Since it is a reversal pattern, it only signals the selling trades. So first of all, find out the uptrend in any currency pair. One more primary thing to remember when trading this pattern is this – After finding a clear uptrend, if you see the market printing the Hanging Man, then try not to trade that pair. Because, in a strong trend, it’s not easy for a single candle to change the direction of the entire trend. But if you find this pattern when the uptrend is a bit choppy, it has higher chances to perform. As we can see in the image below, the uptrend in USD/CHF was not strong enough.

`Step 2 - Find out the Hanging Man pattern on your trading timeframe`

Some traders use two or three timeframes to trade patterns. But that’s not the right way of pattern trading. If you are an intraday trader, use only lower timeframes to identify the pattern. So the next step here is to find out the Hanging Man in this chart. Also, apply the MACD indicator. For us to go short, the MACD indicator must be in the overbought area.

As you can see in the image below, the USD/CHF Forex pair prints a Hanging Man pattern. This is the first clue for us that the buyers aren’t able to push the market higher. Soon after the crossover happened on the MACD indicator, we can say that this forex pair is in the overbought condition. So now, two forces are aligned, and they are indicating us to go short. Within a few hours, the pair rolls over, and it prints brand new lower low.

`Step 3 – Entry, Take Profit & Stop Loss`

We go short as soon as we see the Hanging Man candlesticks and MACD indicator at the overbought area, we can go short. In this pair, buyers were quite weak, and this is an indication for us to place deeper targets. As we suggest in every strategy, often close your position at significant support/resistance area, or when the market starts to print the opposite pattern. In this pair, we closed our full trade at 0.9844. Overall it was 7R trade, and we made nearly 140+ pips.

Placing the stop loss depends on what kind of trader you are. Some advanced traders use their intuition to close their positions, while some use logical ways such as checking the power of the opposite party. In this trade, we know that the buyers are not strong enough, so there is no need to use the spacious stop loss.

### Difference Between Hanging Man and Hammer Patterns

The Hanging Man and Hammer both look the same terms of size and shape. Both of these patterns have long, lower shadows and small bodies. But the Hanging Man forms in an uptrend, and it is a bearish reversal pattern. Whereas the Hammer forms in a downtrend, and it is a bullish reversal pattern. These two patterns appear in both short and long term trends. Do not use these patterns alone to trade the market. Always use them in conjunction with some other reliable indicators or any other trading tool.

### Bottom Line

Most of the professional traders never see this pattern alone as a predictor of a potential trend reversal. Because there will be times when the price action continues to move upward even after the appearance of the Hanging Man. Hence technical indicator support is required to confirm the reversal of the trend. Make sure to stick to the rules of the pattern so that you can use it to your advantage. This pattern forms in all the timeframes, but we suggest you master it on a single timeframe first. Cheers!

Categories

Almost all forms of technical analysis involve the use of lagging indicators – or lagging analysis. There are very few indicators that use any type of leading analysis. That is because we don’t know what will happen. All we can do is interpret what kind of future behavior may occur based on past events – this is the basis of all psychology and significant portions of medicine: we can only predict future behavior by analyzing past behavior. Now, just because most of the tools and theories used in technical analysis are lagging in nature – it doesn’t mean that there is no method of leading analysis.

Divergences are one method of turning lagging analysis into leading analysis – it’s not 100% accurate, but divergences can detect anomalies and differences in normal price behavior. Divergences are useful in identifying when a significant trend may be ending or when a pullback may continue in the prior trend direction. Let’s review some of those now.

Divergences are easily one of the most complex components to learn in technical analysis. First, they are challenging to identify when you are starting. Second, it can be confusing trying to remember which divergence is which and if you compare highs or lows. It is essential to know those divergences themselves are not sufficient to decide whether or not to take a trade – they help confirm trades.

When we look for divergences, we are looking for discrepancies between the directions of highs and lows in price against another indicator/oscillator. The RSI is the oscillator used for this lesson. We are going to review the four main types of divergences:

1. Bullish Divergence
2. Bearish Divergence
3. Hidden Bullish Divergence
4. Hidden Bearish Divergence

### Bullish divergence

A bullish divergence occurs, generally, at the end of a downtrend. In all forms of bullish divergences, we compare swing lows in price and the oscillator. For a bullish divergence to happen, we should observe price making new lower lows and the oscillator making new higher lows. When bullish divergence occurs, prices will usually rally or consolidate.

### Bearish divergence

A bearish divergence is the inverse of a bullish divergence. A bearish divergence occurs near the end of an uptrend and gives a warning that the trend may change. In all forms of bearish divergence, we compare swing highs in price and the oscillator. For a bearish divergence to happen, we should observe price making new higher highs and the oscillator making new lower highs.

#### Hidden divergences

The last two divergences are known as hidden divergences. Hidden does not mean that it is difficult to see or hard to find – rather, it shows where a short term change in direction is actually a continuation move. Think of it as a pullback or a throwback in a larger uptrend or downtrend. Hidden divergences tell you of a probable continuation of a trend, not a broad trend change. If you combine these with common pullback and throwback patterns such as flags and pennants, then the identification and strength of a hidden divergence can yield extremely positive results.

### Hidden Bullish Divergence

A hidden bullish divergence can appear in uptrends and downtrends but is only valid if there is an existing uptrend. It’s easier to think of hidden bullish divergences as pullbacks or continuation patterns. For hidden bullish divergences, we should observe price making new higher lows and the oscillator making new lower lows. The expected price behavior is a continuation of higher prices.

### Hidden Bearish Divergence

Our final divergence is hidden bearish divergence. Just like hidden bullish divergence, hidden bearish divergence can appear in both uptrends and downtrends but is only valid in an existing downtrend. Hidden bearish divergence is identified when price makes lower highs, and the oscillator makes new higher highs. We should observe a resumption in the prior downtrend when hidden bearish divergence is identified.

### Key Points

##### Regular Bullish Divergence
• End of a downtrend.
• Often the second swing low.
• Price makes new Lower Lows, but the oscillator makes Higher Lows.
• Trend changes to the upside.
##### Regular Bearish Divergence
• End of an uptrend.
• Often the second swing high.
• Price makes Higher Highs, but the oscillator makes Lower Highs.
• Trend changes to the downside.
##### Hidden Bullish Divergence
• Valid only during an uptrend.
• Price makes Higher Lows, but the oscillator makes a Lower Low.
• The trend should continue to the upside.
##### Hidden Bearish Divergence
• Valid only during a downtrend.
• Price makes Lower Highs, but the oscillator makes Higher Highs.
• The trend should continue to the downside.

#### Final words

It may be confusing trying to remember which divergence is which and you’ll find yourself asking questions such as, “do I use highs on this divergence or lows?” It’s easier to think about measuring divergences like this:

All Bullish divergences are going to compare lows to lows – lows in price and lows in an oscillator.

All Bearish divergences are going to compare highs to highs – highs in price and highs in an oscillator.

Categories

## MACD – Moving Average Convergence Divergence

### The MACD

Fig 1- Chart with MACD. Click on it to enlarge

The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) is probably one of the most popular and well-known oscillator indicators in any market. It is one of our ‘modern’ indicators; created by Gerald Appel in the late 70s. It is essentially a two-part tool that traders can utilize.

1. Provides a quick look to see the direction and trend of your market using two lines/moving averages: the MACD line and a signal line.
2. It provides a divergence detection tool using a zero line and histogram.

#### The MACD line and the Signal Line

The first of these parts of the MACD is probably the one used most often, the MACD line and the signal line. General strategies related to the MACD is that you should consider taking a buy when the MACD line crosses above the signal line and sell when the MACD crosses below the signal line. Additionally, some strategies suggest more conservative entries based on when the MACD crosses the middle line (0-line).

#### The Histogram

The second part of the MACD, and perhaps the one that confuses many new traders, is the histogram with the 0-line. The histogram shows the difference between the MACD line and the signal line, basically, is showing the ‘gap’ between the two lines, as they grow and diverge away from one another, the histogram expands. However, the real strength of this is the ability to see divergences.

#### Pros and Cons

The downsides to the MACD indicator is that it is very notorious for causing whipsaws in traders. Whipsaws can be avoided by not using the MACD as your sole indicator of trade signals. The MACD is an excellent tool to help confirm your trades in a trending market, but it is not suitable for a ranging market. If you are a new trader, the MACD is a fantastic tool to help you train and learn about how indicators work. Spend some time watching markets live on smaller time frames and look at how the MACD works and moves with that market. You will notice things you like (i.e., identifying the trend and strength of that trend) and the things you don’t like (i.e., too many signals/crosses on short time frames).

#### A word of caution

I would caution against using the MACD in your trading. The MACD is an old indicator, and it is most useful as a tool for analysis on daily timeframes or weekly time frames. Because it is so well known and used so much by new traders, it is used against new traders. It is one of those indicators use to entice new traders into using – like bait. Just like moving averages, the MACD has several strategies that involve a crossover. A crossover strategy is simple to understand and easy to learn the strategy and so many new traders try to use this as one of their first strategies – but it doesn’t work. It may seem like it works, but it doesn’t. Again, the MACD is an indicator that is entirely lagging in nature. It is showing what has already happened, not what will happen. It’s most effective use will be a tool for detecting divergences – but even then, there are better indicators and oscillators out there for detecting divergences.

Categories

## The MACD Crossover Strategy

### Moving Average Convergence Divergence: MACD

Moving Average Convergence-Divergence, MACD, was developed in 1979 by Gerald Appel as a market-timing tool, and It’s an advanced derivation of moving averages.

MACD consists of two exponential moving averages (EMA’s) of different periods that are subtracted, forming what is called the fast line. There is a second, slow line, that’s a short-period moving average of the fast line.

### How to compute the standard MACD:

1. Compute the 12-period EMA of prices (usually the closing price)
2. Compute the 26-period EMA of prices
3. Subtract 2 from 1. That is the fast MACD line.
4. Compute the 9-period EMA of 3. That is the slow Signal line.

Almost any charting software allows the user to modify these periods and the kind of price (Open, High, Low, Close, or the average of all).

According to LeBeau and Lucas, on their classic book “Computer analysis of the Futures Market,” Gerald Appel had two setups: One for the entry side and another one for the closing side.

The entry side is 8-17-9, while the relatively slower closing side is12-26-9, that became the standard for commercial charting software.  This seems to indicate that Gerald Appel had a preference for getting in early in the trend and letting profits run.

My preference for intraday trading is 6-26-12, smoothing the signal line with a 12-period EMA. That reduces the indicator’s lag and having a faster signal that gets entries earlier, while a trailing stop keeps track of the trade at the exit side.

It’s not a good idea to optimize the MACD for a particular market, but, I think that a quicker formula is suitable for less than average volatility markets, and those with higher volatility require more extended period EMA’s. Pivot

### Interpretation:

Price represents the consensus of value at a particular moment. A moving average is an average consensus over a period of time. The long-period EMA on a MACD reflects the longer-term agreement, while the short period EMA represents a fresher consensus that is arising.

The subtraction of the moving averages that shapes the fast MACD line reveals shifts in the short-term opinion in comparison to the longer-term (older) view.

### Signal Crossovers

The usual MACD signal is a crossover between the fast MACD line and the signal line. When the fast MACD line rises above the slow signal line, it means a bull cycle has begun. If the fast MACD line crosses under the slow signal, a corrective period has started.

On Fig. 1, we show an example of a EUR/USD 1H chart. There we may observe that pink – unproductive- areas are usually crossovers going against the trend, which happens in reactive segments with ranging price movement. In spite of these failures, a MACD crossover is an efficient way to detect a trend change.

### Testing the MACD over 14-year historical data on  a 15-min chart of the EUR-USD

To test this system, we use two separate MACD modules. One for the long signals (MACD LE), and one for the short signals (MACD SE).

We will keep a constant 26-period MACD slow MA on both sides, and we will test the map space of the fast MA and the smoothing period to obtain the slow MACD signal.

Below, is shown on both, Long and short signals.

Based on the above figure, we see that the best performing combination is around 6,26,10 settings. Below we show its Equity Curve. That is the raw strategy, without stops nor targets.

It’s great to see this kind of curve with almost no modification because it shows this trading system is robust, and we know it will improve by merely adding a trailing stop. And we’ll get even more improvement if we add proper profit targets. Below, Both equity curves.

As we can see, there is a slight improvement in the results using targets. But it’s very small and might be a by-product of the optimization process rather than a real improvement.

I would recommend the use of this system just using a trailing stop, because, since this is a trend following system, it follows the well-tested advice “let profits run.” Thus, starting from now, we will present the system numbers using just trailing stops. As usual, we show the system with a constant one-lot trade.

The Total Trade Analysis table shows that the percent winners is at 34.23% and the Ratio Avg Win/ Avg Loss, which shows the reward-to-risk ratio is 2.17.

### Main metrics of MACD, on the EUR-USD:

After clicking the MACD on the menu window, another popup window with several tabs appears. In the Parameters tab, change Fast EMA to 6 and MACD SMA to 10. The Fast MACD line in this platform appears as a histogram, but it’s easy to spot MACD line crossing the fast line. See figure, below:

Categories

## Profitable Trading – Computerized Studies II: MACD

### Introduction

Moving Average Convergence-Divergence, MACD, was developed in 1979 by Gerald Appel as a market timing tool, and it’s an advanced derivation of moving averages.

MACD consists of two exponential moving averages (EMA’s) of different periods that are subtracted, forming what is called the fast line. There is a second, slow line, that’s a short-period moving average of the fast line.

### How to compute the standard MACD:

1. Compute the 12-period EMA of prices (usually the closing price).
2. Compute the 26-period EMA of prices.
3. Subtract 2. from 1. Its result is the fast MACD line.
4. Compute the 9-period EMA of 3. Its result is the slow Signal line.

Almost any charting software allows a user to modify these periods and the price type (Open, High, Low, Close, or an average of all four).

According to LeBeau and Lucas, on their classic book “Computer analysis of the Futures Market” Gerald Appel had two setups: One for the entry side and another one for the closing side.

The entry side is 8-17-9, while the relatively slower closing side is 12-26-9, which became the standard for commercial charting software.  That seems to indicate that Gerald Appel favored getting in early in the trend and, then, holding into winners a bit more and let profits run.

My preference for intraday trading is 12-26-6, smoothing the signal line with a 6-period EMA. That reduces the indicator’s lag, producing earlier entries, but keeping the short-term and long-term EMAs distance.

It’s not a good idea to optimize MACD for a particular market, but, I think that a quicker formula is suitable for less than average volatility markets, and those with higher volatility require more prolonged  EMA’s period.

### Interpretation:

Price represents the consensus of value at a particular moment. A moving average is an average consensus over a period of time. The long-period EMA on a MACD reflects the longer-term consensus, while the short one represents a fresher consensus that is emerging.

The subtraction of the moving averages that shapes the fast MACD line reveals shifts in the short-term opinion in comparison to the longer term (older) view.

### Signal Crossovers

The usual MACD signal is a crossover between the fast MACD line and the signal line. When the fast MACD line moves above the slow signal line, it means a bull cycle has begun. If the fast MACD line crosses under the slow signal, a corrective cycle has started.

We have to be cautious to trade naked MACD crossovers because during quiet periods MACD crossovers deliver numerous false signals that might drive us into a streak of consecutive losing trades.  But we have on hand several interpretations of this indicator that will help us get better use of it.

In Fig. 1 we present an example of a EUR/USD 1-hour chart. There, we may observe that pink – unproductive- areas are usually crossovers going against the trend, which take place in reactive trend segments with sideways price movement. In spite of those failed entries, MACD crossovers are an efficient way to spot trend changes.

### Overbought-Oversold indicator:

MACD can be used to spot when the market is overbought or oversold. As an example, on the EUR/USD, when MACD lines are above +0.0012 (using MT4) prices are close to overbought. Conversely, when MACD lines cross below -0.0012 the market may be close to a short-term low. Thus, under those two conditions, stops should be tightened and take partial profits.

Crossovers above/below those levels are worthwhile as entries. On the contrary, crossovers that happen in the band between zero and any of those levels are usually irrelevant, if occurring against the current trend. But MACD crossovers that go with the trend, confirmed by, for instance, a breakout on support or resistance, shall be considered.

A powerful signal happens when there’s a crossover against the previous trend that fails and then a crossover with the trend takes place (see fig 2, points E and F).

The overbought or oversold MACD levels shall be assessed for each market and condition, monitoring them from time to time, to get good results. The reason is that automatic MT4 level adjustment depends on the volatility and price levels; thus, the resulting MACD values might show shockingly different values.  For instance, watching today’s USD/JPY MACD study, the optimum levels for overbought and oversold levels are at about ± 0.2.  This issue seems annoying, but it’s not, as this is solved easily by observing the latest extreme conditions and checking the MACD level where they took place.

As an example, let’s observe Fig.2 MACD behavior on the USD/JPY. On A, the crossover to short the USD is close to the zero line, so it’s rejected. There we missed a profitable short. Then on B, we got a buy signal that is at oversold levels, so we take it. Then we reach C, but the crossover doesn’t happen in overbought levels. Therefore, we keep our position, and hold it up to D, closing it and reversing. This resulted in a 2X reward compared to an exit at C. Our short position wiggled but we hold it and price reached point E, and there we exit it since the MACD signal wiggled at oversold levels. At point F we observed an evident breakout with a MACD crossover that’s in the rejection band, but goes with the current trend, so we take it. Finally, at G we exit.

### MACD trend lines

A variation of the crossover signals is obtained using trend lines. By drawing lines parallel to the signal lines, we obtain early entry points, in advance of MACD crossovers. According to LeBeau and Lucas, MACD crossovers that are preceded by, or in sync with, a trend line crossover tend to be more relevant. I haven’t found any evidence of that on intraday charts, Nevertheless, since all indicators present unavoidable delays that hurt profits, I think worth studying the use of a trend line parallel to the MACD signal.

I think this method is an interesting addition, especially on sideways channels in conjunction with the concept of overbought-oversold MACD, and the complement of profit targets at congestion areas.

Fig 3 shows an example, taken from a very choppy sideways channel in the USD/JPY 1 hourly chart from 28-Sept-2017 until 10-Oct-2017. The green highlighted areas show the profitable trades and its magnitude. There’s only one pink shaded segment, which corresponds to a failed trade. That’s a huge feat! Just one loser out of 11 trades on a very choppy channel, that has been the first choppy area I’ve found. No cherry-picking at all.

Just to avoid after the fact selection, on this example we didn’t take any crossover outside overbought and oversold areas that went against the current trend. The only criticism of this exercise might be trade Nr. 1 that was profitable because we didn’t set any stop.

However, even if we accept that trade as a loser, the numbers are quite sound: One very profitable trade (4), four good trades (3,5,7, and 11), two average trades (6 and 9), two scratch trades (2 and 10) and two losing trades (1 and 8).

I find this method worthwhile for just the exits, as well, if the break of the line happens in overbought or oversold areas.

### MACD Histogram

MACD histogram displays the difference between the MACD line and the Signal line as a histogram: vertical bars whose lengths correspond to that difference. When a MACD crossover happens, this corresponds to a zero crossing of the MACDhist. Positive histogram values correspond to the MACD line above the signal line, and negative values below the signal line.

MACDhist = MACD line – Signal line

When the difference increases, meaning the trend has momentum, the corresponding lines are larger. Conversely, when it’s decreasing, bars get shorter, giving early warning of the potential weakness of the trend.

Thus, positive and negative peaks on the MACD histogram corresponds to the maximum momentum of the trend, and a retreat from the maximum values shows the shift in sentiment that sooner than later might stop the trend.

Consequently, it’s best to trade in sync with the slope of the MACD histogram, as it shows the dominant group: Bulls if raising bears if decreasing.

A corollary to this statement is: On an open trade if the MACD histogram decreases, tighten your stops. It doesn’t mean that the trend is going to reverse but it might, especially if prices are on a sideways channel.

#### New peaks and valleys:

When a new record peak on the MACD histogram is reached during an uptrend, it shows that the current trend is healthy and that prices are, likely, to continue moving up. A New record valley during a downtrend means that prices most likely will retest the recent low or keep moving down.

Dr. Elder has a helpful analogy to the MACD histogram: “MACD-Histogram works like headlights on a car—it gives you a glimpse of the road ahead. Not all the way home, mind you, but enough to drive safely at a reasonable speed.

### Divergences

According to several authors, divergences are among the most valuable signals in MACD, especially in sideways price channels.

A divergence happens when we spot a new high or low in the price, but it isn’t followed by the corresponding high or low on the MACD lines.

#### bullish divergence

This pattern happens, as might be obvious, at the end of a downward trend, and is a bottom indicator.

Please, note that the histogram has crossed the center line at point b. Point c may appear on the positive side, as in here, or at the negative side, but making a higher valley than at point a. For the pattern to be called divergence, the crossing of the zero line must happen. If it doesn’t happen, it’s not a bullish divergence.

The divergence in the MACD histogram is reinforced by a signal line divergence, as well. Such combined pattern is rare – the usual is just a histogram divergence with the MACD lines not following higher lows-, and it shows a higher likelihood that the coming trend would be strong.

#### Bearish divergence

A bearish divergence is a specular pattern to the bullish divergence, so it happens in uptrends. Price has reached a new high, roll back and then move up to a higher high, without a confirmation of a MACD histogram higher high. As in the previous case, the B point has to cross the zero line, in this case to the negative side.

Fig. 6 show a triple bearish divergence in which a middle top failed to continue going down. When the second big high at C isn’t able to make a new high on the MACD-Hist and neither does on the MACD signal, then a bearish divergence is confirmed.

According to Alexander Elder, “missing the right shoulder” divergences in which the second peak at c fails to cross the zero line, are rare, but producing strong downward moves.

## Conclusion

MACD is a versatile study that helps traders spot trend reversals early on, allowing them to trade with the trend.

The combination of MACD entries with sensible stops and targets, together with some market filter that forbids trading during congestion areas can make for a simple and robust trading system, that’s a bit more sophisticated than simple MA crossovers and with potentially better overall performance.

References:

The New Trading for a Living, Alexander Elder

Computer Analysis of the Futures Markets, Lucas and LeBeau