MACD Basic Trading Setup With 6 Detailed Examples

moving averages

It is also versatile, so you can tailor it to your own trading style. And by most accounts, the best MACD settings are the default settings. You may also want to experiment, as with any moving averages, consolidation plays when the 2 lines of the MACD converge. When this happens, price is usually in a range setting up a possible break out trade. That is why I explained at the beginning of this article that MACD is a great indicator for new traders, because they really don’t know what the best time is to get in the markets. They jump in as soon as they see a pattern that can be false or too weak.

The indicator’s sole purpose is to provide stop protection when in a trade. We’ve selected the S&P 500 E-mini contract because the security is less volatile and has consistent price moves. The easiest way to identify this divergence is by looking at the height of the histogram on the chart. Divergence may not lead to an immediate reversal, but if this pattern continues to repeat itself, a change is likely around the corner. As the price of Bitcoin continued lower, the MACD was making higher highs. Therefore, if your timing is slightly off, you could get stopped out of a trade right before price moves in the desired direction.

Again, the MACD stock indicator has no limits, so you need to apply a longer look-back period to gauge if the security is overbought or oversold. This divergence can lead to sharp rallies counter to the preceding trend. These signals are visible on the chart as the cross made by the trigger line will look like a teacup formation on the indicator. Since the MACD stock indicator has no upper or lower limit, traders do not often think of using the tool as an overbought/oversold indicator.

MACD Ultimate Guide + 5 Profitable Trading Strategies

The indicator with the provided settings is displayed on the screen. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74%-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This bearish divergence acted as an early warning sign of things to come with the E-mini S&P 500 futures contract.

The best way to learn how to apply a trading tool is through analyzing examples. The second type of Signal Line Crossover to examine is the Bearish Signal Line Crossover. Bearish Signal Line Crossovers occur when the MACD Line crosses below the Signal Line. The first type of Signal Line Crossover to examine is the Bullish Signal Line Crossover. Bullish Signal Line Crossovers occur when the MACD Line crosses above the Signal Line.

Indicators and strategies can be a bit daunting when first starting out as a trader. Yet, with the proper education and experience, they can be helpful tools to augment our trading. In summary, the study further illustrates the hypothesis of how, with enough analysis, you can use the MACD stock indicator for macro analysis of the market. Within the study, the authors go through painstaking detail of how they optimized the MACD stock indicator to better predict stock price trends. The first red circle highlights when the MACD has a bearish signal. The second red circle highlights the bearish signal generated by the AO.

The Volume Weighted Average Price indicator is based on price and volume, unlike the moving average price indicator, which only takes prices into account, not volume. It also can serve as a dynamic resistance and support for an underlying asset. Don’t forget the basic principle of trading – in an uptrend, we buy when the price has dropped; in a downtrend, we sell when the price has rallied. This is exactly what the MACD is pinpointing at – when the price is ready to be sold and/or bought. The Signal Line is just an EMA of the MACD Line for 9 periods.


These Best setting for macd analysis tools are used together by traders. Notice how the moving averages diverge away from each other in the above chart as the strength of the momentum increases. The MACD was designed to profit from this divergence by analyzing the difference between the two exponential moving averages. Specifically, the value for the long-term moving average is subtracted from the short-term average, and the result is plotted onto a chart.

Best MacD Settings for Swing Trading

The next chart shows Google with a bullish divergence in October-November 2008. First, notice that we are using closing prices to identify the divergence. The MACD’s moving averages are based on closing prices and we should consider closing prices in the security as well. Second, notice that there were clear reaction lows as both Google and its MACD line bounced in October and late November. Third, notice that the MACD formed a higher low as Google formed a lower low in November.

Traders use MACD to identify changes in the direction or strength of a stock’s price trend. MACD can seem complicated at first glance, because it relies on additional statistical concepts such as the exponential moving average . But fundamentally, MACD helps traders detect when the recent momentum in a stock’s price may signal a change in its underlying trend. This can help traders decide when to enter, add to, or exit a position.

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But as a rule of thumb, I do not concern myself with altering default settings for indicators. This can lead down a slippery slope of analysis paralysis. Learn everything you wanted to know about the stochastic oscillator and how to use it in trading.

Indication of Changes in Stock or Forex Trends

It is possible for there to be false signals, just like any other forecasting algorithm. It would be prudent to apply filters to the signal line crossovers. Analysts use different approaches to find the right results.

  • Crossovers of MACD lines should be noted, but confirmation should be sought from other technical signals, such as the RSI, or perhaps a few candlestick price charts.
  • The derivative oscillator is similar to a MACD histogram, except the calculation is based on the difference between an SMA and a double-smoothed RSI.
  • However, over time, they have shown effectiveness on other exchange instruments and timeframes, except for the smallest ones.
  • When the MACD line and signal line cross, it’s usually considered a trend reversal signals, especially when they happen away from the zero line.

This approach would have proven disastrous as Bitcoin kept grinding higher. As you can see from the revised AMZN chart below, the number of trade signals increased when we lower the moving average period from 12,26,9 to 6,20,10. The last component of the MACD is the histogram, which displays the difference between the two EMAs of the indicator . Thus, the histogram gives a positive value when the fast EMA crosses above the slow EMA and negative when the fast crosses below the slow. After you open the candlestick charts of the stock in which you want to trade, next set the time frame. To increase the sensitivity of the information, it is good to choose the 5 minute or 1-minute chart frame.

thoughts on “What are the Best and Correct MACD Settings For Day Trading”

The first number is for the periods and is used to calculate the faster-moving average. The tool is used to identify moving averages, indicating whether a new trend is bearish or bullish. The main goal of trading is to find a new trend, where one will find the most money and have a piece of the pie.

In a nutshell, the MACD combines a trend indicator and an oscillator into one neat package. In doing so, it offers a more holistic view of the market. However, for any trader who thought that the worst was over, the MACD offered an objective signal to start accumulating a long position. The first signal got the trader into a position that benefitted from the recovery after the 2008 crash. The signal did not come at the bottom of the crash, and that’s fine.

Simplest MACD Strategy

20 minutes later, the price of Twitter breaks the 50-period TEMA in a bearish direction and we close our long position. Trade signals are generated when the fast line crosses the MACD stock indicator and the security price breaks through the TEMA. In this strategy, we will combine the crossover of the MACD stock indicator with overbought/oversold signals produced by the money flow index . Next, we looked for levels above and below the zero line where the histogram would retreat in the opposite direction. This is where using the MACD trading strategy as an overbought/oversold indicator gets tricky. No doubt many traders would have thought Bitcoin was way overbought and would have potentially shorted every time the trigger line crossed below the MACD stock indicator.


When trading with the Moving Average Convergence Divergence indicator, first you should take into account the position of the columns relative to the zero line. If they are above 0, the trend is bullish, if below — bearish. The height of the bars is proportional to the distance between the curves, which opens up another opportunity for us to identify how overbought and oversold the zone is. In theEURUSD chart above, the blue circle marks the moment when the blue fast MACD crosses the signal line from the bottom up.

The 2 line cross can be a very powerful indication of trading potential in the market and is my preferred approach. MACD is a good indicators specially for those who suffer from entering and exiting too early. An excellent trader not only thinks about the heights of earnings however likewise contemplates the danger included. I extremely recommend that you trade this strategy in a demo account till you comprehend how it works. The zone above the zero line is called positive, and below it is negative.

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This throwback provided a second chance to sell or sell short. Your time to sell is before the trend reaches its absolute bottom. As contrasted with a carefully chosen entry point, the exit points require quick actions at the precise moment that your identified trend appears to be nearing its end.

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Some traders would attribute importance to the MACD line that crosses the 0 axes and the MACD line that crosses the signal line. The importance is also due to the disagreements between the different lines, the MACD line, and the stock price. The best MACD settings for the 30-minute chart are parameters 24, 52, and 18, and default settings parameters 12, 26, and 9. However, we recommend standard settings for 1-hour chart trading. It’s an oscillator, which means that the values move from one extreme to another.

Ideally, your MACD histogram should have 2 colors for positive and 2 colors for negative. You will not be able to use this signal if you have a single-colored histogram. In this example, you’ll see how this MACD trading signal enjoyed the support from a previous price gap. Hence, the examples in this section will not just show you entry points using the MACD. They will also distill broader lessons to help you apply the MACD indicator with more significant insights.

To that end, we reduce the number of https://forex-world.net/ signals provided with this strategy. You have likely heard of the popular golden cross as a predictor of major market changes. Well, when it comes to the MACD trading strategy we don’t need such a significant crossing to generate valid trade signals. The Klinger Oscillator is a technical indicator that combines prices movements with volume. The indicator uses divergence and crossovers to generate trade signals.

Gerald Appel’s Moving Average Convergence Divergence is a standard indicator that you’ll find in every technical analysis package. While there are many sophisticated MACD trading strategies, it’s best to start with a basic approach. If you are a fan of trading with moving averages and unfamiliar with the alligator indicator, get ready for a pleasant surprise. In this article, we are going to do a head-to-head comparison of the… Independent of these 5 strategies, our personal favorite is the bonus strategy, which combines the MACD trading strategy with the 20-period moving average. The price increases and in about 5 hours we get our first closing signal from the MACD stock indicator.

For example, if you choose a daily chart in which the MACD histogram grows in the positive zone, then on smaller timeframes, you should only open long positions. This approach will help reduce the percentage of positive false signals. Let’s try to identify long-term strong trends in the dailyEURUSD chart. Inside the blue area, there is positive growth of the MACD histogram.