MACD Guide

The MACD is the Moving Average Convergence Divergence indicator. It is calculated based on two moving averages and is represented by a separate chart. (As with any panes in SlopeCharts, you can change their size by dragging the line dividing the panes, and you can rearrange the panes by holding down the Ctrl key and dragging the panes into the arrangement you want). Here is an example MACD chart, expanded vertically for clarity:

0117-macd

The MACD line is shown above in red. The slower-moving “signal” line is shown in green. The histogram, derived from these two lines, is shown in blue. Many traders using MACD look for instances of crossovers – – that is, instances in which the histogram crosses from beneath the 0-line to above it (indicating the financial instrument is gaining strength and momentum) or crosses from above the 0-line to below it (suggesting loss of strength). The histogram is a “shorthand” way of viewing what is going on with the moving averages with respect to divergence or convergence.

The default settings are adequate for most traders, but you using the dialog box, you can change (1) how many days are used for the exponential moving averages (2) how many days are used for the signal line (3) the colors that are used for the three elements of the chart.

1117-macddialog

The chart below shows a stock chart with the MACD beneath. This particular stock has a clean series of generally-uptrending cycles, which is well-reflected in the MACD and its crossovers.

0117-macdaapl

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