Here’s 5 ways investors can use the MACD indicator to make better trades

The Moving Average Convergence Divergence, additionally known as the MACD, is a trend-following momentum indicator used extensively by merchants. Although the MACD is a lagging indicator, it can be very helpful in figuring out attainable pattern modifications.

f57c3fbb 692d 4a77 9a5f 7d2e58f5f882
BTC/USDT every day chart. Source: TradingView

The MACD oscillates above and under a zero line, also called the centerline. The shorter transferring common is subtracted from an extended transferring common to arrive at the worth of the MACD. A sign line, which is the exponential transferring common of the MACD completes the indicator.

The blue line is the MACD and the pink line is the sign line. When the blue line crosses above the pink line, it’s a sign to purchase and when the blue line falls under the pink line, it’s a set off to promote. A cross above the centerline can also be a purchase sign.

Let’s take a look at how to use the indicator for better entries and exits from quite a lot of positions. Afterward, we’ll examine how the MACD is analyzed throughout pullbacks and in an uptrend. Lastly, we’ll take a short have a look at the significance of divergences on the MACD.

Adapting the indicator to crypto market volatility

Compared to legacy markets, cryptocurrencies witness giant actions in a short while. Therefore, the entries and exits must be fast to seize a big a part of the transfer however with out too many whipsaw trades.

When a brand new uptrend begins, it usually stays in pressure for just a few weeks or months. However, each bull section has its share of corrections. Traders ought to goal to stick with the pattern and never get stopped out by each minor pullback alongside the approach.

The aim must be to enter the place early as the new uptrend begins and stay with the place till a pattern reversal is signaled. However, that’s simpler stated than completed. If the indicator offers too many alerts, there shall be a number of undesirable trades which is able to incur giant commissions and be emotionally draining.

On the different hand, if the time frames are chosen to give fewer alerts, a big a part of the pattern may very well be missed as the indicator shall be sluggish in figuring out reversals.

This drawback was addressed by MACD creator Gerald Appel in his ebook, Technical Analysis: Power Tools for energetic investors.

Appel highlights how two MACD indicators can be used throughout robust traits, with the extra delicate one getting used for entries and the much less delicate one getting used for exits.

Related: Unsure about buying the dip? This key trading indicator makes it easier

Are two MACDs better than one?

The default worth used for the MACD indicator by most charting software program is the 12- to 26-day mixture. However, for the subsequent examples, let’s use one MACD with the 19- to 39-day mixture which is much less delicate and shall be used for producing promote alerts. The second one shall be extra delicate, utilizing the 6- to 19-day MACD mixture which shall be used for purchase alerts.

76cea2da 770f 4a24 a783 6294d5b99357
BTC/USDT every day chart. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin (BTC) was buying and selling in a small vary in September 2020 and through that interval, each MACD indicators had been largely flat. In October, as the BTC/USDT pair began an uptrend, the MACD gave a purchase sign when the indicator crossed above the centerline in mid-October of 2020.

After getting into the commerce, watch how the MACD got here shut to the sign line on 4 events (marked as ellipses on the chart) on the delicate 6- to 19-day MACD mixture. This may have resulted in an early exit, leaving a big a part of the beneficial properties on the desk as the uptrend was solely getting began.

On the different hand, discover how the much less delicate 19- to 39-day mixture remained regular throughout the uptrend. This may have made it simpler for the dealer to keep in the commerce until the MACD dropped under the sign line on Nov. 26, 2020, triggering a promote sign.

9d7695a1 9c47 4bd0 aa69 4a1f4c9ada66
BNB/USDT every day chart. Source: TradingView

In one other instance, Binance Coin (BNB) crossed over the centerline on July 7, 2020, triggering a purchase sign. However, the delicate MACD rapidly turned down and dipped under the sign line on July 6, as the BNB/USDT pair entered a minor correction.

Comparatively, the much less delicate MACD remained above the sign line till Aug. 12, 2020, capturing a bigger portion of the pattern.

55680754 d42a 4502 a7a9 b8e42afc2a03
LTC/USDT every day chart. Source: TradingView

Traders who discover it tough to hold monitor of two MACD indicators can additionally use the default 12- to 26-day mixture. Litecoin’s (LTC) journey from about $75 to $413.49 generated 5 purchase and promote alerts. All the trades generated good entry (marked as ellipses) and exit (marked with arrows) alerts.

Related: 3 ways traders use moving averages to read market momentum

How the MACD can sign corrections

Traders can additionally use the MACD to purchase pullbacks. During corrections in an uptrend, the MACD drops to the sign line however as the worth resumes its uptrend the MACD rebounds off the sign line. This formation, which appears comparable to a hook, can give entry alternative.

df4de303 f345 4c42 bbaa b5e783c54d49
ADA/USDT every day chart. Source: (*5*)

In the instance above, Cardano (ADA) crossed over the centerline on Jan. 8, 2020, signaling a purchase. However, as the up-move stalled, the MACD dropped shut to the sign line on Jan. 26, 2020 however didn’t break under it. As the worth recovered, the MACD broke away from the sign line and resumed its transfer increased.

This gave a possibility to merchants who could have missed shopping for the cross above the centerline. The promote sign was generated on Feb. 16 simply as the ADA/USDT pair was beginning a deep correction.

MACD divergences can additionally sign a pattern change

4157514f eb85 4370 b79d 98af7fd8c6eb
BTC/USDT every day chart. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin’s worth continued to make increased highs between Feb. 21, 2021, and April 14 however the MACD indicator made decrease highs throughout the interval, forming a bearish divergence. This was an indication that the momentum was weakening.

Traders ought to grow to be cautious when a bearish divergence varieties and keep away from taking lengthy trades throughout such a interval. The lengthy bearish divergence on this case culminated with a large fall.

ef07010c 800d 4695 847d 7a38f3c341ae
LTC/USDT every day chart. Source: TradingView

Litecoin exhibits how the MACD fashioned a bullish divergence throughout a robust downtrend from July to December 2019. Traders who purchased the crossover above the centerline could have been whipsawed in September and once more in November.

This exhibits that merchants ought to anticipate the worth motion to present indicators of adjusting its pattern earlier than performing on the MACD divergences.

A number of essential takeaways

The MACD indicator captures the pattern and likewise can be used to gauge an asset’s momentum. Depending on the market situations and the asset being analyzed,  merchants could fluctuate the interval setting of the MACD. If a coin is a quick mover, a extra delicate MACD may very well be used. With sluggish movers, the default setting or a much less delicate MACD could also be used. Traders can additionally use a mix of a much less delicate and extra delicate MACD indicator for better outcomes.

However, there isn’t a good indicator that works all the time. Even with the above permutations and combos, trades will transfer reverse to expectations.

Traders ought to deploy cash administration rules to reduce losses rapidly and shield the paper beneficial properties when the commerce strikes as per the assumption.

The views and opinions expressed listed below are solely these of the creator and don’t essentially mirror the views of Every funding and buying and selling transfer entails danger, you need to conduct your individual analysis when making a choice.