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Moving Average Slope Indicator

Moving Average Indicator is the most popular technical indicator, it provides useful information, but often it’s not sufficient.

To programming an automated trading system, many times, you need to calculate the slope of the moving average.

SLOPE Moving Average Formula

Calculating the slope is very simple, you have to compare the last Moving Average value with the precedent:

This is the classic formula, but we don’t’ like it. Comparing just two candles is too short. There are too many changes in the slope direction and therefore, too many false signals.

We prefer to compare more candles. As you can see, the noise decreasing.

If you use a short moving average (less than 50-periods), to avoid the noise, you have to increase the number of bars used for the calculation.

Moving Average Slope false signals

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BackTest of the Strategy

We created a simple strategy to backtest this indicator. The strategy works well when the market trending strong. We backtested this strategy using a 20 MA period with EURUSD Daily from 2000 to 2010, and it works. The automated trading system buys when the slope became green and sell when the slope became red, without stoploss and position sizing.

MA slope backtest EURUSD 2010 - 2019 w results

After 2010 the strategy doesn’t work because EURUSD and the other currencies lost volatility and strength. With a weak trend, there are too many false signals.

This backtest is only for statistical research, to understand if the strategy is connected with the market.

Moving Average Slope with ADX filter

We know that when the trend is flat, the indicator starts to change directions with random movements.

We need to filter the trend intensity and try to stop the indicator when the trend is flat.

false signals when the trend is flat
Average Directional Index Indicator with four levels for TradeStation and MultiCharts

The best indicator to examine the strength of the trend is the Average Directional Index ADX. When ADX is high, the trend is strong; it doesn’t matter if it goes up or down.

When our ADX is under 20, the trend is weak, and the Moving Average Slope can provide false signals.

Naturally, with ADX filter the results of the backtest on EURUSD 2009/2019 improve.

The strategy with EurUsd is very weak and certainly cannot be used, but it's not losing.

MA slope backtest EURUSD 2010 - 2019 with ADX filter
Two moving average slope

Two moving average slope indicator

Another trick to limit false signals, we can add another Slope Moving Average. So we have, for example, a 20-periods Slope MA with a 40-periods Slope MA system.

When both indicators have the same direction, the signal is stronger. To chart this, we could use a histogram.

We can use this indicator to create many entry signals. But remember that Moving Average is a lagging indicator and is good only for trend confirmation.

Using Moving Average Slope to filter the trend

We could use this indicator in many trading system strategies to filter the direction. A lot of traders use moving average to filter the trend. It’s important to understand there is no trend in the small period. If we need to filter the trend, we need to use at least at 40-period Moving Average.

this indicator is useful when you have many charts open and want to see the trend at a glance

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