How To Use a Moving Average to Buy Stocks

The EMA will stop you out first because a sharp reversal in a parabolic stock will not have the lengthy bottoming formation as depicted in the last chart example. However, understanding how to properly use this technical indicator has positioned me to make consistent profits. Technical indicators and systems lead to more indicators to try and crack simple trading the ever-elusive stock market. The point is, I felt that using the averages as a predictive tool would further increase the accuracy of my signals. This way I could jump into a trade before the breakout or exit a winner right before it fell off the cliff. You can offset the number of periods higher to give the stock a little more wiggle room.

If set to TRUE then the system will enter a stop based on a certain number of ATR from the entry point. If an ATR stop is not used, then the entry risk is essentially infinite. This will cause the R-Multiples relatively meaningless since all gains will be less than the infinite risk of entering without any stop. Sign up for Chuck Hughes Newsletter and stay up to date on all Chuck’s strategies.Interested in Chuck’s hand-picked trades? It depends on how early or late you wanna be, and how many false signals you’re willing to work with. Join the QSAlpha research platform that helps fill your strategy research pipeline, diversifies your portfolio and improves your risk-adjusted returns for increased profitability.

A popular trading strategy involves 4-period, 9-period and 18-period moving averages which helps to ascertain which direction the market is trending. We’ll focus on SMAs because they tend to indicate clearer signals and we’ll use it to determine entry and exit signals, as well as support and resistance levels. What is the best back tested trading strategies with moving averages? What is the best specific moving average signal for capturing stock market trends? The two crossover signals that do well the majority of time for charts in uptrends are the 10-day / 50-day and the 5-day / 20-day exponential moving average crossover.

Moving Average Crossovers

Select two simple moving averages to apply to the chart (ex. 10 and 20). Not surprisingly, the simple moving average is a popular technical indicator. The number of days is subjective, but using a period of less than 3-days is preferable.

To use moving average crossovers, add a couple of moving averages on your chart and wait for them to cross each other. When they cross over each other, you can interpret pepperstone review the crossover as a signal of a trend changing and find a good entry point from there. While you can use moving averages on their own, they are not foolproof indicators.

In this example, you would have bought once the red line closed above the blue which would have given you an entry point slightly above $13.80. Moving averages by themselves can give you a great roadmap for trading the markets. Whenever you go short, and the stock does little to recover and the volatility dries up, you are usually in a good spot. Notice how SGOC continued lower throughout the day; unable to put up a fight. In the example below, SGOC had a solid gap of approximately 40%. You buy on the original breakout at $144 and sell on the close at $144.60.

moving average crossover strategy

We will use a simple moving average strategy that should at least beat the S&P 500 or a buy and hold strategy to claim that it works as it beats the market. This reversal intention gradually forms a Head and Shoulders chart pattern, supported by a bearish SMA crossover. At the time when the price was creating the second shoulder, we saw a bearish bounce from the blue 20-period SMA. The volume weighted moving average works in a similar way to the EMA.

There are several moving average types based on the way they actually average the price action periods. As a general guideline, the longer the moving average period, the smoother the moving average line will tend to be. The reason for this is that a single price fluctuation gives a higher deviation on a shorter number of periods, and is less pronounced as the number of periods increases. Notice how the price constantly fluctuates above and below the moving average line. This creates different signals, which we will discuss later in the article.

How to Use Moving Average Crossovers to Enter Trades

Buy at support levels if you get an entry signal as long as MA 50 is above MA 200. Both SMA and EMA are averages of a particular amount of data over a predetermined period axitrader review of time. While Simple Moving Averages aren’t weighted towards any particular point in time, Exponential Moving Averages put greater emphasis on more recent data.

Significant means the ones with the most data, for example, 100 MA or 200 MA, which are rarely touched. However, it’s hard to tell which one is the best, because technical analysis has no right or wrong. There are many tools, and trading is possible with every tool available. The only way to know which one is best for you is by testing and making paper trades. If your system works, and consistently makes good results, your system is valid.

Which is better intraday or swing trading?

The main difference between swing and day trading is the time frame. Day traders work with a short and limited time frame whereas the swing traders work with a much longer time frame. If the trader is patient enough, swing trading is better, otherwise, day trading is better.

By adding an additional layer, the strategy becomes more robust, but also less frequent. In reality, reading an exponential, smoothed, or simple moving average is pretty simple stuff. Basically, they reflect a periodic average price and the prevailing trend defines price action. However, when we incorporate multiple moving average values, things get a bit more complex.

For example, when price retraces lower during a rally, the EMA will start turning down immediately and it can signal a change in the direction way too early. The SMA moves much slower and it can keep you in trades longer when there are short-lived price movements and erratic behavior. But, of course, this also means that the SMA gets you in trades later than the EMA.

Simple Moving Average Trading Strategies Recap

The Moving Average indicator might be the most important, and most used indicator in any field of trading. My favorites are the 50% and 38.2% (some platforms show 61.8%) Fibonacci retracement levels. The strongest lines are at 0%, 38.2%, 50%, 61.8%, and 100% of the length of the price move. The more techniques that confluence, the higher the probability trade setup you have.

moving average crossover strategy

Although we call it an SMA crossover strategy, the general idea is that the three moving averages line up in a bullish or bearish direction. Above we see how a relatively slow moving average (50-period) begins as a support. In the meantime, the moving average turns into a resistance and pushes the price action even lower. An opposite breakout appears at , followed by the end of the trend. The 20-day may be of analytical benefit to a shorter-term trader since it follows the price more closely and therefore produces less lag than the longer-term moving average. A five-day simple moving average adds up the five most recent daily closing prices and divides the figure by five to create a new average each day.

Will you Take Every Trade?

I felt that I had addressed my shortcomings and displacing the averages was going to take me to the elite level. The next move up is one that makes every 18-year-old kid believe they have a future in day trading – simply fire and forget. By the time you get the trade signal, you could be showing up to the party late. Thankfully the second signal produced a massive short trade from 10,500 down to 8,465. The 10-period SMA is the blue line, and the purple is the 20-period.

moving average crossover strategy

Focus on observing how the stock interacts with the simple moving average, as this is often a head fake tool for algorithms and more sophisticated traders. Are you able to guess which line is the exponential moving average? You can tell because even though the SMA and EMA are set to 10, the red line hugs the price action a little tighter as it makes its way up. It’s around late summer at this point, and I was ready to roll out my new system of using three simple moving averages. If the stock closed below the simple moving average and I was long, I thought I should look to get out.

Displaced Moving Averages

Aggressive traders may enter the position if they see a strong crossover of the 4-period and the 9-period SMAs in anticipation of both crossing the 18-period SMA. We suggest ensuring that all moving averages are running in the direction of the break and that you keep a close eye on momentum. If momentum starts to dwindle early it can be an indication of a weak trend. A buy/sell signal is given when the 4-period SMA crosses over the 9-period SMA AND they both then cross over the 18-period SMA. Generally, the sharper the push from all moving averages the stronger the buy/sell signal is unless it is following a substantial move higher or lower.

This is not surprising given the behaviour of AAPL over the period, which was on a slight downward trend, followed by a significant upsurge beginning in 1998. The lookback period of the moving average signals is rather large and this impacted the profit of the final trade, which otherwise may have made the strategy profitable. In the example for 3Com , a 20/60 EMA crossover system was used to generate buy and sell signals.

So, even though moving averages lose their validity during ranges, the Bollinger Bands are a great tool that still allows you to analyze price effectively. The Bollinger Bands are a technical indicator based on moving averages. In the middle of the Bollinger Bands, you find the 20 periods moving average and the outer Bands measure price volatility. Trade 10X sell signal when trend is up and you are at a support level. Following10X Trading System buy and sell signals, you get entry signals with a good risk reward ratio. Trading financial instruments on margin involves a high level of risk which may not be suitable for all investors.

Traders perform moving average displacements to read the price action in a better. At the top of the trend, we see an opposite MA crossover , followed by a price hesitation and a second bearish MA cross. If the price interacts with a moving average from above, the MA can act as a support. If the price approaches the moving average from below, then we can have a resistance test. We introduce people to the world of currency trading, and provide educational content to help them learn how to become profitable traders. We’re also a community of traders that support each other on our daily trading journey.


Traders use moving average indicators to get different trading signals on the chart. They use these signals to set entry and exit points for their trades. Sometimes, moving averages can simply support the trading strategy with an extra layer of confirmation. Here are the most common signals that you will get from a moving average. There will be many times where the 9 EMA will crossover the 21 period moving average which will turn the short term trend against the longer term trend.

The goal of a stop is to attempt to protect you in case of a sharp spike in the wrong direction. In many cases,the 4-period and 8-period SMAs will cross over the 18-period SMA before a stop is triggered, which should be an indicator to cut your losses. In any case, a big warning sign is when the 4-period and 9-period SMA cross back over the 18-period SMA, especially if the trade isn’t working out as planned. It may be a good time to get out to prevent possible further losses. By using Chuck Hughes’ EMA crossover strategies, traders can count on dependable strategic investments instead of trades based upon emotion.

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