# MACD Indicator – Moving Average Convergence Divergence – Tutorial

The MACD indicator is one of the most common technical analysis tools in the trading world.

Shows the convergence or divergence of moving average convergence divergence (MACD).

The Macd is one of the best-known technical analysis tools, and many consider it a real trading system.

The construction of this indicator is quite simple.

The MACD is based on two moving averages among the most used indicators by financial analysts for their constructive and interpretative simplicity.

What makes the MACD such a valuable tool for technical analysis is that it includes two indicators in one.

Therefore, it can help to identify the trend and, at the same time, measure the quality of the momentum.

## What does the MACD Indicator tell you?

The indicator uses two moving averages of variable length to identify the trend’s direction and duration.

It then calculates the difference in values between the two moving averages (the MACD line) and an exponential moving average of the same moving averages (signal line).

Finally, it identifies the difference between the two lines as a histogram that oscillates above and below the zero lines.

We can easily customize the periods used to calculate the MACD indicator to suit any strategy, but most traders use the 12- and 26-period periods by default.

A positive value of the MACD indicator, which is created when the short-term moving average is above the longer-term moving average, is read as a bullish signal.

The 12-period EMA that exceeds the 26-period EMA suggests that the price is rising faster than in the past, so we are looking at a buying signal.

Conversely, a moving average in the medium term that moves below an exponential moving average in the longer term shows that the asset’s price is falling faster than in the past, suggesting that it might be a good time to sell.

### Trend Filter

Through the MACD, you can evaluate the momentum, along with the direction of the trend and its duration.

The MACD indicator can be used to identify the primary trend of an asset.

A positive MACD value can be used as a filter to inhibit short operation.

Conversely, a negative value of the MACD indicator suggests that the downward trend is getting stronger and that it may not be the right time for long trading.

It is also possible to use this indicator to identify the end of a trend (reversal of the market).

You can then speculate against the trend as soon as you have signs of a lack of momentum or possible exhaustion of the trend.

### What is the MACD signal line

The traditional buying and selling signal will be in case of a crossover between the averages.

You will have a rising signal when the MACD line crosses the signal line upwards. Conversely, there will be a downward indication when the MACD line crosses the signal line downward.

The faster the intersection, the more reliable the signal will be.

### Zero Line Crossover

It is less common than the intersection with the Signal line and will occur when the MACD line crosses the zero line upwards (long signal) or downwards (short signal).

- MACD signal line input into histogram:
- Below zero: pulse continuation signal down
- Above zero: signal for upward pulse continuation
- MACD signal line output in a histogram:
- Below zero, aggressive buying opportunity
- Above zero, aggressive sales opportunity

This trading system will produce many false signals.

One way to avoid many false signals is to consider bullish “crossings” only and only if the MACD is above zero.

If, on the other hand, the indicator is below the “0 lines”, then the setup shorts can be considered.

Another method is to take daily signals to set up intraday strategies: this will reduce market exposure times and minimize the number of stop losses.

### Divergence

The indicator may also be useful in identifying divergences in markets.

Divergence in a technical indicator shows a misalignment between the direction of market prices and the indicator’s value.

- The bullish divergence is identified when two consecutive minima are formed, and the most recent has reached a lower level than the previous one. Meanwhile, the MACD histogram must reach two minima, the most recent of which is higher than the previous minimum.
- The downward divergence occurs when two consecutive minima are formed, and the most recent is higher than the previous one. At the same time, the MACD histogram reaches two maxima, the most recent of which is lower than the previous one.

The divergence almost always occurs immediately after a sharp price movement.

This divergence will only give us the signal that the price could reverse, and it will then be necessary to wait for confirmation through a break in the trend line.

But there are some things that the MACD can’t do well.

You should never use the indicator to find overbought or oversold conditions.

Without a standardized formula, the MACD can assume any value, making it impossible to identify “excess thresholds accurately.”

## Method of MACD Indicator calculation

Before analyzing how the MACD indicator works, it is essential to consider the relationship between short-term moving averages and long-term moving averages.

The indicator is calculated by comparing the short-term moving average (12-day exponential moving average) and a longer-term moving average (12-day exponential moving average).

The indicator value will be zero whenever the two moving averages cross each other.

MACD line: exponential 12-period moving average minus exponential 26-period moving average.

Signal line: 9-period EMA of the MACD Line

MACD histogram: MACD line – signal line

### The MACD line

The MACD Line is the result of stealing a longer-term EMA with a shorter EMA.

The most commonly used values are the exponential moving average at 26 and the exponential moving average at 12 periods (shorter-term).

### Signal Line

The signal line is an exponential moving average (EMA) of the MACD line; the most common setting is the 9-period setting.

### The MACD histogram

The difference between the MACD line and the signal line is continuously different. The MACD histogram takes this difference and reports it in a histogram. The difference between the two lines oscillates around a line with a value of 0.

## Conclusions

The MACD technical indicator will work very well in trendy markets, while it will provide many false signals in a side market.

### Benefits:

The signals generated by the MACD indicator are easily interpretable and can be inserted into any automatic trading system.

- Identifies the performance of the underlying market and its different impulse and correction phases.
- Identifies market momentum
- Offers input signals
- It is a reaction indicator
- We can use it in Scalping, Day Trading, and Swing Trading.

### Disadvantages:

The main difficulty of using the MACD indicator is the timeliness of signals.

Unfortunately, it is a “lagging” indicator and will not identify with precise timing the reversal of the trend.

- Does not identify intervals
- It is advisable to combine analysis and signals of the

## MACD – TRADER JOHN TUTORIAL FOR BEGINNERS

Moving Average Convergence-Divergence (MACD) is the typical trend indicator following.

This fantastic indicator can follow extreme diligence in developing the management phases, both positive and negative, present on the market.

The MACD is the ratio of two exponential moving averages having different time amplitudes.

In its original version, developed by Gerald Appel, this indicator consists of two lines, called Differential Line and Signal Line respectively:

The first (Differential Line), usually displayed by a solid line. This line is calculated as the difference between the values assumed by an exponential 12-period moving average and the values generated by an exponential 26-period moving average.

The second (Signal Line), usually displayed by a dashed line, consists of an exponential moving average with nine periods. The second is calculated on the Differential Line data.

Its underlying assumption is that the distance between the fastest and slowest averages increases when the market is within a directional phase.

In congestion, however, the distance between the two averages is reduced.

### Use the MACD

Identify the primary trend followed by the market.

The trend is downward when the fastest average (the Differential Line) is below the slowest average (the Signal Line).

The trend is upward when the fastest average (the Differential Line) is above the slowest average (the Signal Line).

In particular, during the phases of the accentuated trend, the distance between the two lines tends to increase.

During a downward trend, the continuous line goes well below the dashed line.

During an upward trend, the continuous line goes well above the dashed line.

### Obtain typical market entry and exit signals:

When the Differential Line crosses the Signal Line from bottom to top, the MACD provides an upward signal.

When the Differential Line crosses the Signal Line from top to bottom, the MACD instead provides a downward signal.

### Identify possible divergences

You can check:

Positive divergences when, in the downward trend, the oscillator does not confirm the newly designed decreasing price minima.

#### Negative divergences

Negative divergences when the oscillator does not confirm the newly designed price peaks in the course of an upward trend.

The MACD can be plotted as a histogram to identify these differences, with the latter expressing the distance between the Differential and the Signal Line.

When the histogram is negative (below the 0 lines), the Differential Line is below the Signal line.

In a downward trend, the histogram, to confirm the rise in prices, must have decreasing values.

#### Positive Divergences

There will be a positive divergence when prices draw decreasing lows, associated with increasing histogram values.

When the histogram is positive (above the 0 lines), the Differential Line is above the Signal Line.

In an upward trend, the histogram, to confirm the rise in prices, must have increasing values.

There will be a negative divergence when prices draw increasing maxima, associated with decreasing histogram values.

From an operational point of view, it frequently happens that:

An upward trend reversal is “anticipated” by the histogrammed MACD, which draws a positive divergence from a still negative price trend.

Later the MACD turns long and confirms the positive trend.

The downward reversal of the trend is “anticipated” by the MACD in the form of a histogram, which draws a negative divergence from a still positive trend in prices.

Later the MACD turns short (the Differential Line crosses the Signal Line from top to bottom) and confirms the negative trend.

The same operating indications can be obtained by viewing the MACD with the Differential Line and Signal Line, both overlapping with the price trend.

In this way, it is possible to identify the primary trend followed by prices, the upward or downward signals provided by the MACD, and the presence of any divergences.

### Cyclical Trend

The MACD, therefore, also follows a cyclical trend. When the Signal Line crosses the Trigger Line from bottom to top, the indicator shows, for example, a strengthening of the upward pressure.

The buyers then took control of the market, and prices could begin to recover to a certain extent.

The return of the MACD above the 0 lines will confirm the presence of a stable upward trend, with the distance between the two averages tending to increase.

After a prolonged positive phase, buyer strength will inevitably decline, while downward pressure will increase.

At this stage, it is possible to identify possible negative divergences between price and indicator developments, a situation that very often anticipates the achievement of a short-term market top.

Prices cannot continue to rise, and a distribution phase can develop, within which sellers gradually take control of the market.

This phase ends very often with a downward breakout, with the market entering a negative trend.

### MACD Signal Line

The Signal Line crosses the Trigger Line from top to bottom with the MACD, which then registers an apparent strengthening of the downward pressure.

Sellers have taken control of the market, and prices may decline somewhat.

The return of the MACD above the 0 lines will confirm the presence of a stable upward trend, with the distance between the two averages tending to increase.

After a prolonged downturn, sellers’ strength will inevitably begin to shrink, while buyers’ power will increase.

At this stage, it is possible to identify possible negative divergences between price and indicator developments, a situation that very often anticipates the achievement of a short-term market top.

Prices cannot continue to rise, and a distribution phase can develop, within which sellers gradually take control of the market. This phase ends very often with an upward breakout, with the market entering a decisive phase.

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