V.16:12 (588-593): The MACD Profit Alert by Barbara Star, Ph.D.

V.16:12 (588-593): The MACD Profit Alert by Barbara Star, Ph.D.
Item# \V16\C12\098MACD.PDF
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Product Description

The moving average convergence/divergence (MACD) is a momentum indicator, and here, it's combined with pattern recognition to help you identify exit points for your system.

It takes more than a good entry strategy to trade profitably. Many traders have experienced the exhilaration of being in a winning trade. Some of those same traders have also known the disappointment of watch-ing their profit turn into a loss when prices change. Knowing when to take profits is part of good money management. The moving average convergence/ divergence (MACD) profit alert presented here is a pattern that helps traders make profit-taking exit decisions in both the stock and commodity markets.


Basically, the MACD is a momentum indicator that fluctuates above and below a zero line. Its developer, Gerald Appel, presented it as a trading method composed of two components. The first is a solid line that represents the difference between two exponentially smoothed moving averages, often referred to as the MACD line. The second component, the signal or trigger line, is a dotted line that is an exponentially smoothed moving average value of the solid line. (See sidebar “The MACD.”) The MACD trading method consists of buying when the solid line crosses above its signal line and either exiting and/or short selling when the solid line crosses below its signal line.

The original MACD method continues to be a favorite among traders, useful in ways beyond the initial technique. One alternative use is as a gauge of trend when both the solid and dotted lines remain above the zero line during uptrends or below the zero line during downtrends. Another is to identify divergences between the indicator and price prior to changes in trends.

I have found yet another use for the MACD, that of a profit-taking alert and exit function based on a pattern made by the relationship between the solid and dotted lines.

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