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Is MACD The Same As A Moving Average?

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You’re sitting at your computer, scrolling through some trading forums online. You come across a discussion about MACD and moving averages, and you realize you have no idea what the difference is between these two things.

That’s okay! These concepts can be confusing at first. But luckily, we’re here to help clear things up. Let’s break it down.

What Are The Four Types of Trading Indicators?

Trading indicators can be a helpful tool for investors looking to make trade decisions based on the interpretation of technical indicators.

There are four main types of trading indicators in use today: volume indicators, trend indicators, momentum indicators, and volatility indicators.

Momentum and trend indicators identify price direction with the help of past price movements, while volume indicators track the stock’s trading activity to highlight buying pressure or selling pressure.

Volatility indicators are useful in measuring the magnitude of an asset price movement, allowing the trader to adjust their strategy accordingly especially if markets are starting to lose volatility.

The MACD falls under the category of momentum indicator and is one of my favorite indicators to use.

What is MACD?

The MACD is a technical analysis indicator used by traders to measure momentum in Forex. It consists of two exponential moving averages (the 12-day EMA and 26-day EMA) that are plotted alongside a signal line (the 9-day EMA).


These three lines form the basis of the MACD as they are used to identify possible entry points into the market, as well as potential exit points from positions.

How Does The MACD Indicator Work?

The 12-day and 26-day EMAs are used to calculate the overall momentum trend direction, while the 9-day EMA acts as a signal line.

The MACD line is calculated by taking the difference between the 12 and 26 EMA readings. The signal line is a 9 period EMA of that MACD line calculation.

When the MACD line crosses the signal line, it signals a possible change in trend direction.

The zero line is also used to show a bullish or bearish condition in the instrument. The crossing of the zero line is the most common MACD signal that traders will find use in.

Signal Line Crossover

The 9-day EMA helps confirm this change in trend direction by providing additional confirmation by crossing the MACD line. This helps traders determine whether they should enter or exit a position based on their analysis of these three lines.


A bullish MACD crossover occurs when the MACD line crosses the signal line to the upside.

A bearish crossover is when MACD crossover is to the downside.

MACD Divergence

The MACD is also used to identify possible divergences. A divergence occurs when the price of an asset moves in one direction while the indicator moves in another, which can indicate a weakening trend and potential price reversal.


MACD Histogram

The MACD histogram is the difference between the MACD line and the signal line plotted as the histogram. It can be used to help traders identify potential reversal points in a market. Most traders don’t use the histogram preferring to just “eyeball” the difference between the lines.

Benefits Of Using The MACD

Using the MACD can be beneficial for traders because it helps them identify potential entry and exit points in their trading strategies. Additionally, this indicator can also be useful for identifying divergences between price action and momentum which can give traders clues about future market movements.

Finally, by using multiple time frames traders can get an even better understanding of the overall momentum in the currency pair being traded which can help inform decisions when looking for a trade using your trading strategy.

What is The Moving Average?

A moving average (MA) is an indicator that smooths out price action over a specified period. A simple moving average calculates its value based on closing prices over the given period. The MA helps traders identify trends and determine when to enter or exit trades.


For example, if the current price is above the MA, then it signifies that there may be an upward trend; conversely, if the price falls below the MA, then it signals that there might be a downward trend.

Moving averages can also be used to confirm other indicators such as MACD or RSI signals. As with any indicator, keep in mind that MAs should only be used alongside other forms of technical analysis for confirmation purposes.

Traders can also use the moving average to show upward momentum by how far the price has moved away from the average. The more space between the moving average, especially the 20 period EMA, and the candles, the more chance of seeing a slight pause or retract in price.

Pros & Cons of using either MACD or Moving Average

The main advantage of using both indicators together is that they provide different types of information about price movements – one measures momentum and the other measures trend strength – so they can complement each other well and help traders make more informed decisions about their trades.

However, since both indicators use smoothed-out data to generate their respective signals, traders must always keep in mind that lagging effects will occur due to delays in signal generation and interpretation errors due to false signals generated by these lags.

Additionally, when trading with either indicator alone without confirmation from other forms of technical analysis including price action, traders are at risk of missing out on potential trades or entering trades that have no edge.

Can You Make A Forex Strategy With MACD?

Making a forex strategy with the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator can be a great way to improve your trading performance.

The MACD is a reliable tool for seeing potential trends and reacting to them quickly – making it perfect for Forex day trading.

When using MACD, bear in mind that there are three components you may want to pay attention to:

  • The crossing of the MACD line and the signal line
  • Bullish and bearish divergence
  • Using the histogram to easily see momentum shifts.

All these elements provide valuable insights into when to enter or exit the market – which could make all the difference in how successful your strategy becomes.

Some traders might prefer relying on other indicators or even Technical Analysis over MACD, but whatever method you choose, having a sound Forex strategy will ultimately determine whether your trades are profitable or not.

5 Key Points About MACD

1. MACD stands for Moving Average Convergence Divergence.

2. MACD is a technical indicator that is used to measure the momentum of a Forex pair

3. MACD is calculated by subtracting the 26-day moving average from the 12-day moving average.

4. MACD is considered to be bullish when the MACD line is above the signal line, and bearish when the MACD line is below the signal line.

5. MACD can be used to generate buy and sell signals, as well as to identify overbought and oversold conditions.


The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) is a proven and reliable tool for traders looking to identify potential trends and take advantage of them. With its three components: MACD line & signal line crossover, bullish/bearish divergence, and histogram momentum shifts; it can help improve trading performance when used correctly.

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