How to Use the MACD Indicator

The difference between the MACD line and a second signal line is then plotted as an easy-to-interpret histogram. MACD is an indicator that can help investors estimate trend direction, reversals, and momentum. MACD tracks the difference between a fast moving average and a slow moving average for a security’s price. Traders use this technical indicator to potentially identify trends, whether they are bullish or bearish. The most popular use of the moving average convergence divergence is when the MACD line crosses the signal line up or down.

How to Use the MACD Indicator

Traders rely on research and indicators to help identify trends as early as possible. When the range of the price gets small and tight, when there is low volatility in the market – there are high chances of explosive breakouts. To spot the MACD Histogram helps the trader to identify that explosive breakout trades about to occur. Just like other charting techniques, the longer time frames hold more weight than the shorter ones. A bullish cross on the 1D chart means substantially more than a bullish cross on the 1-minute chart. Useful as a stand-alone tool or in tandem with other technical indicators. While 12, 26, and 9 are the typical value settings used with the MACD, traders can opt for other values depending on their trading style and goals.


The first is the number of periods that are used to calculate the faster-moving average. This suggests confirmation should be sought How to Use the MACD Indicator by trend-following indicators, such as the Directional Movement Index system and its key component, the Average Directional Index .

How to Use the MACD Indicator

A good strategy may be to establish a trend and then to use only those MACD signals which are in line with this trend. The MACD has no bounds, but it has a zero mean, around which it tends to oscillate as the moving averages converge, intersect and diverge.

MACD indicator explained

Both MACD and RSI help to evaluate the momentum of the market and its overall direction, but they work with slightly different aspects. It may often allure traders with false signals of a trend reversal. Sophisticated traders create their own patterns, based on their individual experiences. For instance, another popular set of parameters for MACD is 5, 35, and 5-period EMA, which is combined with weekly or monthly time frames. However, the high level of volatility in the cryptocurrency market makes the process much riskier. Thus, for newbies, sticking to the default parameters is recommended .

Adaptive Two-Pole Super Smoother Entropy MACD is an Ehlers Two-Pole Super Smoother that is transformed into an MACD oscillator using entropy mathematics. From “Cycle Analytics for Traders Advanced Technical Trading Concepts” by John F. Ehlers A… When that occurs, the MACD line is getting closer to the MACD signal line. Download this free eBook for the top 25 most essential rules necessary to become a disciplined trader. Please read the following documents Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before trading options. All investing incurs risk, including but not limited to loss of principal. If you’ve dealt with unreliable trading technology in the past year, you’re not alone.