Moving Average Convergence Divergence or MACD

MACD is Moving Average Convergence Divergence, and it is used in technical analysis of stock price for the trading indicator. It was created in late nineteen seventy’s (1970 s) by Gerald Appel. In a market of stock price, it is supposed to reveal different changes in the strength, direction, momentum, and duration of a trend.
What Is MACD?
MACD is a trend following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between the price of security between two moving averages. Moving Average Convergence / Divergence can be calculated by subtracting the 26-period Exponential Moving Average (EMA) from 12-period EMA. As a result, the calculation we get is the line of MACD.
Signal Line
This line is plotted on the top of MACD line, the nine days EMA of MACD. Its function is to generate for buy and sell signals. Traders can buy the security, according to an expert’s opinion, when MACD crosses above the signal line or can short the security when MACD is below the signal line. The indicators of Moving Average Convergence / Divergence can be taken in many ways. Most common methods of indicators are divergences, cross overs, and rapid rises or falls.
Takeaways of the Topic
• It is calculated by subtracting 26 periods EMA from 12 periods EMA.
• Its technical signals get triggered when it when it crosses below (to sell) or above (to buy) signal line.
• Signals of a market being oversold or overbought depend on the speed of cross overs.
• The strengthening and weakening in the price are understood by investors through MACD through different movements of rising and fall.

Moving Average Convergence Divergence Formula

MACD = 12 period EMA – 126 period EMA

EMA (Exponential Moving Average) laces greater weight and significance on the most recent data points, is a type of moving average. It can also be referred to as an exponentially weighted moving average. SMA simple moving average applies equal weight to all observations in the period in comparison to WMA which reacts more efficiently to the rising prices and signals.
MACD oscillator is one of the most popular technical indicators in trading strategies. It can be applied to daily, weekly or monthly price charts though it is not of use in the intraday trading system of prices. Most common signals of MACD are signal line cross overs. A 9 day EMA of MACD line is the signal line. As a moving average of indicator, it makes easier to spot MACD it also trails it (MACD). When MACD turns up and crosses over signal, it results in the occurrence of bullish cross over.
Trend direction, potential reversals, and momentum usually determine the MACD for traders. This helps their company to rise high and above the level in comparison to other companies or traders. It provides its own trade signals which are helpful for traders and confirms trades based on other strategies. MACD moves faster, and other lines move together, not like MACD. The signal line is an average of MACD line. That’s why it runs faster and is used universally by traders for their stock exchange money.
Divergence in Moving Average Convergence / Divergence
MACD does not confirm the movement of price results in the form of oscillator or momentum indicator. Relative strength index (RSI) and MACD makes a lower high than stock price. Stock price makes a new high while MACD and RSI make a lower high in comparison to it. Tradable reversal some times takes place after the divergence between price and indicator. To judge the end of a move or strong directional move traders use one of the factors with price divergence.

In this example we can see how MACD shows higher highs (bullish trend line) and price shows lower lows (bearish trend line).This is practice can lead to new bullish trend :
macd bullish divergence

In example below is opposite case – berish trend line for MACD and bullish for price (this can predict bearish future trend reversal):
macd bearish trend

Difference between MACD and RSI

Each is designed to measure a different thing, and it is a primary thing or task assigned to both the processes. To gauge the strength of stock price market MACD is primarily used for. While RSI is cannot do this and is not eligible for such a task. The divergence of two EMA’s can be measured by subtracting a twenty-six period EMA by a twelve period EMA. While RSI is the world’s popular trading indicator and is considered a member of the oscillating family for a very good reason. This makes it a very efficient process to know about any change in the prices around the globe. The rising trend, time entries, and many other things can be determined by RSI in general. It can go to the highest level of hundred (100) up to the lowest value zero (0). It is an effective way to oscillate between the prices and to get to know about them accurately and in time.
Working of RSI
Relative Strength Index was developed by J. Welles Wilder. It measures the speed and change of price movements, RSI is a momentum oscillator that works with high-quality results and in no time. It can generally fluctuate between zero (0) and a hundred (100). According to J. Welles Wilder and traditionally, it is considered oversold when it is below thirty (30) and is considered overbought when it is above seventy (70). It is generally and commonly used for indication of temporary over bough or oversold conditions in the market. The market is likely to retrace when it is overextended. To take advantage from indications get from RSI as a processing thing, an intraday Trading Strategy can be a device. Oversold means, an extended price moves to the downside and overbought means an extended price move to the upside. A reversal is possible when prices reach any of the extreme levels whether upper or lower. While RSI can be used to confirm the reversal if it is accurate or not. So, this helps to better understanding and accuracy of results in general.
The Use of MACD
MACD is an acronym for Moving Average Convergence / Divergence. To indicate a trend whether bullish or bearish, this specific tool is used for identification of moving averages. These averages help the traders to know about the stock exchange and the value of a thing in the market. MACD is helpful for both leading traders and those who are not renowned in this field. It is often displayed with the histogram for visual representation in the form of a chart. This chart helps to better understand the rising prices, as well as, about prices getting low. This works with quick efficiency and accuracy and is a reliable source to know about stock prices and exchanges. This histogram graphs the difference between the signal line and the Moving Average Convergence / Divergence. The histogram would be above the baseline of MACD if MACD will be above the signal line. This distribution is the same throughout the world. And on the other hand, the histogram will be below the baseline of MACD when MACD is indicating below the line of signal. This histogram is used by traders to identify the bullish or bearish momentum in prices at any moment of time.
Cross Overs
When confirming the moving trend, cross overs are considered to be the most reliable. MACD qualifies as a bullish confirmation when a signal line following a brief correction within a longer-term trend crosses from above. A bearish signal is indicated when in histogram MACD falls below the line of signals that it might be the time to sell things. And when the same signal rises above the line of signals, then it is a bullish signal. It suggests that the price of an asset is likely to experience upward momentum. Before entering the position to reduce the chances of being entering a position too early or being faked out, most traders wait for a confirmed cross above the signal line. Some traders can signal weakness in a trend because they will watch for long term bullish trends during bearish divergences. A trend is likely to go on for a while when it is confirmed or considered a long term bearish trend during divergence. A bearish divergence is formed when MACD forms a series of two rising highs on the price that relates with two falling highs on the price.
Traders buy the security when the level starts to fall consistently, and then the same traders sell theses on high rates when it gets higher, due to the passage of time and gets benefit out of it without any demand upon their energies.
According to some people, the signals of MACD Moving Average Convergence / Divergence are unreliable. Though it is cited in many books of finance and is considered as trendsetter and trend reversal or why a trend could reverse. Divergence looks absolutely astonishing, in hindsight. Many reversals are not preceded by divergence as is seen in the stock prices. At times, divergence does not result in any kind or sort of reversal at all. This allegation makes it suspicious in regard to its reliability. So, divergence is not the sole and reliable tool for trade and one must not only rely on this one single thing.


This divergence is considered most popular among other indicators in the development of your trading strategy to anticipate trend reversals. It can even signal about a possible reversal and not the actual one or we can say the false one. But, this does not make it any less of worth as its job is to provide you with best of the answer to your question and result required by you. Probability is its key, and any man-made device, process or machine can never be perfect, and thus, it is not a technical fault as such and a mistake on the part of the developer.