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How to Calculate MACD Moving Average Convergence Divergence in Excel

When the MACD histogram does not increase in height or begins to shrink, the market is slowing down and might be warning of a possible reversal. When that occurs, the MACD line is getting closer to the MACD signal line. When the 12-period EMA crosses below the 26-period EMA, the MACD line crosses below the Zero line. Actually, it is not that hard to use Python to validate his calculations.

MACD being a leading indicator needs to be plotted the same way. Inside the function, we are first calculating the fast and slow length EMAs using the ‘ewm’ function provided by Pandas and stored them into the ‘ema1’ and ‘ema2’ variables respectively. Next, we calculated the values of the MACD line by subtracting the slow length EMA from the fast length EMA and stored it into the ‘macd’ variable in the form of a Pandas dataframe. Then, we calculated the Histogram values by subtracting the MACD line’s values (‘macd’) from the Signal line’s values (‘signal’) and stored them into the ‘hist’ variable. A trader with a long position could look to exit the position at this point, however it could just be a temporary pullback. When the bearish crossover occurs, traders could look for the signal line to cross below the zero line, confirming the downward trend.

Analysts use the exponential moving average or EMAs to sensitise the oscillator to the latest price movements. The exact opposite is true when the Moving Average Convergence Divergence crosses down over the signal line. This is a bearish crossover and if the Oscillator continues to drop below the signal line, it’s a good indication that the bears are taking over. Depending on the steepness of the drop and the number of days the drop continues, many traders may prefer to sell before they lose a significant amount of value. This is also a great time for savvy traders to pick up undervalued securities that are potential gold once a bullish market returns. One way to simplify trading is through a trading plan that includes a reliable indicator such as the MACD.

calculate macd

While the name seems long and complicated, it is one of the least complicated indicators to actually calculate and put practically into application. The modus operandi observed is that once a client pays amount to them, huge profits are shown in his bluechip fund meaning account online inducing more investment. However, they stop responding when client demands return of amount invested and profit earned. MACD ExplainedIn the NIFTY Index chart above, the MACD indicators have been exhibited in the bottom panel.

What Are MACD Divergences?

When price continues rising to a new high level but the MACD does not follow suit – instead turning south. This divergence from price action is commonly interpreted as a sign of impending trend change. In fact, many traders use the MACD solely as a possible trend change indicator, always watching for such divergence from price action. As we mentioned earlier, 12-period and 26-period values are the generally used settings to calculate the MACD.

MACD is not just about determining an upward or downward trend. It also tells us about the strength of buy and sell signals. Chart 5 shows Disney with a bearish slant divergence in May 2008. Notice how MACD continued to a new high on 16-May, but the MACD-Histogram peaked on 8-May and formed a slant divergence. The advance in MACD was losing momentum and the indicator moved below its signal line to foreshadow a sharp decline in the stock.

Step 2: Calculate the MACD indicator with Pandas DataFrame

A buy signal is generated when a rising MACD crosses over the the signal line (i.e. when the histogram goes from negative to positive). A sell signal, however, is generated when a falling MACD crosses over the signal line (i.e. when the histogram goes from positive negative). Other nuances will be explored in the next article in this series.

calculate macd

The EWMA reacts a lot more significantly, to the latest price changes as compared to a slow-moving average, which equally weights all observations. Some traders only pay attention to acceleration – i.e., the signal line crossover (or what’s expressed by the MACD histogram). The crossover – often termed the “signal line crossover” – occurs when the MACD line crosses the signal line.

However, make sure to buy only when the bars get above the zero line, although the more aggressive traders don’t always wait for such confirmation and act on the first signal. The Moving Average Convergence Divergence oscillator was developed by Gerald Appel in the late 1970s. Over time, the indicator established itself as one of the simplest and most effective technical analysis tools. It’s simple because when it is used, all that traders have to look for is the convergence and divergence of the two EMAs. When they move away from each other, then it’s a divergence.

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Notice how SPY continued its series of higher highs and higher lows. Remember, upside momentum is stronger than downside momentum as long as the MACD is positive. The MACD may have been less positive as the advance extended, but it was still largely positive.

  • Crossovers are more reliable when they conform to the prevailing trend.
  • Just as any indicator, the MACD comes with some flaws and should ideally be used in parallel to other technical analysis methods.
  • If you’re waiting for six indicators to align perfectly, you’ll probably end up with a very messy and confusing chart.
  • When the MACD crosses above the EMA-9, this is considered a bullish signal.
  • A bearish centerline crossover occurs when the MACD moves below the zero line to turn negative.

Select your collection on the left, then add a new section on the right, and finally click MACD in the available indicators column in the middle. All contents on this site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Consult relevant financial professionals in your country of residence to get personalised advice before you make any trading or investing decisions.

Part of the reason why technical analysis can be a profitable way to trade is because other traders are following the same cues provided by these indicators. The next two components are the MACD line and the Signal line. The MACD line is the grey-colored line plot that shows the difference between the slow length EMA and the fast length EMA of Google’s stock prices. Similarly, https://1investing.in/ the blue-colored line plot is the Signal line that represents the EMA of the MACD line itself. Like we discussed before, the Signal line seems to be more of a smooth-cut version of the MACD line because it is calculated by averaging out the values of the MACD line itself. The MACD is frequently watched by analysts for signs of divergence from the movement of price.


When MACD forms a series of two falling highs that correspond with two rising highs on the price, a bearish divergence has been formed. A bearish divergence that appears during a long-term bearish trend is considered confirmation that the trend is likely to continue. One of the main problems with a moving average divergence is that it can often signal a possible reversal, but then no actual reversal happens—it produces a false positive.

By extension, it is designed as an early warning system for these signal line crossovers, which are the most frequent of MACD signals. Divergences in the MACD-Histogram can be used to filter signal line crossovers, which will reduce the number of signals. Even with a filter, the robustness of MACD-Histogram divergences is still an issue. Short and shallow divergences are much more frequent than long and large divergences. In other words, divergences that develop over a few days with shallow movements are generally less robust than divergences that develop over a few weeks with more pronounced movements.

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The MACD will remain positive as long as there is a sustained uptrend. The MACD will remain negative when there is a sustained downtrend. The next chart shows Pulte Homes with at least four centerline crosses in nine months. The resulting signals worked well because strong trends emerged with these centerline crossovers. Centerline crossovers are the next most common MACD signals. A bullish centerline crossover occurs when the MACD line moves above the zero line to turn positive.

Divergences might signal a trader to get out of a long or short position before profits erode. When a stock, future, or currency pair is moving strongly in a direction, the MACD histogram will increase in height. This occurs because the MACD is accelerating faster in the direction of the prevailing market trend. A potential buy signal is generated when the MACD crosses above the MACD Signal Line . We explore what the MACD indicator looks like on an example chart and how you can read it to gain trading insights. The first type of Zero Line Crossover to examine is the Bullish Zero Line Crossover.