How To Trade with the Indicator MACD

The MACD indicator is a technical analysis tool that can be used to predict future price movements of an asset. What does MACD stand for? The MACD stands for Moving Average Convergence Divergence. This blog post will cover how to use the MACD indicator in trading, and what it means when the MACD crosses over or under the signal line.

How To Trade with the Indicator MACD
How To Trade with the Indicator MACD

trigger line

MACD, which means moving average convergence divergence, is an essential trading indicator for real-time traders. It is effective in predicting and identifying potential turns and changes in trends in the financial markets and stock prices. 

Essentially average convergence divergence, MACD line indicators base their averaging predictions and identifications on three-time signals. These signals are based on historical costings. As the name implies, the MACD is a combination of four series, including the signs and "average" series and the "divergence" series. The (MACD) indicator is a critical determinant of the state of different financial trade markets. These include opportunities and trends that could determine a positive or negative result for the trader. 

Therefore, as a real-time trader in the financial market, it is essential to understand this indicator, the risks involved, how it works, and how it is implemented for the best results. 

MACD Indicator: What it is and Why?

The MACD line is a widely used indicator that identifies many moving averages. MACD is a commonly used technical indicator. It can be used as trading signals for stocks and other assets and identify trading opportunities and trade risks for a specific asset type.

The MACD line converts two trends-following indicators, moving averages, into momentum oscillators by excluding long move averages and short moves. MACD is a commonly used technical indicator. It can be used as trading signals for stocks and other assets and identify trading opportunities and trade risks for a specific asset type.

The MACD line, therefore, combines trend-flow and momentum as well as signal line. It moves between its zero line and its moving average line. 

Trading platforms can find cross-line crossover and centerlines and divergence for signals with the MACD.

Is MACD a good indicator?

The MACD is considered one of the top indicators of strength and predictive ability. It, therefore, ranks among the best forecasting indicators available today. As a trader, understanding and fully utilizing the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) is essential. Not only can it help you improve your trading strategies to the optimum, but it can also better your overall trading experience.

MACD is especially effective in interpreting three different types of signals. These include signal line, divergence, and zero line. With MACD, you can accurately predict the trends and predict powerful movements.

How does MACD work?

It uses three parts: two moving averages and a MACD histogram. Two lines in a day EMA indicator (Exponential moving averages) can appear as simple moving averages. In the example below, the faster EMA is colored blue and the slower EMA is colored orange. The slower main lines are MACDA, and the faster lines are signals. If these moving averages combine, they can be considered ''converging''.

how does the macd work?

If the average moves away, they will be divided up. The histograms indicate the differences between the two lines and the margin carries significant risk. The indicator is used when the MACD line crosses below the zero line to confirm the trend. The MACD histogram can be seen in the example above as the green and red bars.

Why is the MACD Essential in trading?

two moving average linesUnderstanding and effectively using the moving average convergence divergence MACD histogram starts with knowing how it works with the three signals it interprets. Core factors to consider when using the MACD are the crossing, turning, and the direction of the intersection. Here is what it means...

Crossing point

This refers to the locus of the MACD with the zero mark. A bullish signal occurs when it crosses above zero. On the other hand, when bears are taking over the market, the locus of MACD is below the zero mark.

crossing point


 Here is another essential factor that determines the results of the MACD. To deduce a bear signal, the MACD turns must first be above zero and then take a turn for a decline from that position.

above zero cross

However, when the MACD line is below the zero mark and turns upward, the signal is bullish. When a MACD shows a turn upward from the zero mark, such a move means a favorable result. This means that prices are likely to rise, influencing better trading decisions and strategies.

The direction of the Cross locus

The direction of the cross locus, either above the zero mark or below the zero mark, indicates the signal's strength. The further away from the zero mark, the stronger the signal and vice versa. This can be seen in the example below with the distance the EMAs are from the zero line. This direction also effectively determines if a signal is bullish or bearish. If the MACD line crosses from above to below the indicator, such a direction indicates a bearish signal and vice versa.

strong push above zero line

The critical point to trading is understanding and reading of signals of a trading indicator to know what is going on in the trade market. When it comes to actual-time trading, trading skills are essential to avoid a loss in the trade market, especially in forex trading. This is the reason why traders take trade lines and signs very importantly. In trading, the signals determine the success of a trade.

The points help know when to buy and where to sell; This explains why an indicator like the MACD is critical to trading. With the proper understanding of the MACD line indicator, you can tell when it is best to buy and sell in the trade market.

Now let's get into how to use the MACD indicator in trading.

How do traders use moving average convergence divergence (MACD)?

leveraged trading

The MACD indicator can determine trends, their directions, and their results. While it does not seem like the most accessible indicator software to understand, it is highly essential for real-time. Trading with MACD histogram is best when done based on positional trading to determine when to buy and sell signals. 

When is it Best to Use MACD?

It's not a good time of the day for a MACD — the choice depends entirely upon your preferences and your trading plans. For some, using MACD indicators may not always be appropriate due to the technical approach in analysis. When using MACD line indicator, however, the best time to employ this indicator depends on which strategy you are using above. If we choose the lag tactic, it's essential to watch the MACD very closely to receive the signals as quickly as possible.

Is a high MACD good?

High MACD values to traders are essential as they help make some decisive decisions during the trading process. It is also a positive MACD value and is created when the long-term average is below the short-term average. Its typical use is to help traders confirm if a signal line is picking up an upward momentum and consistently increasing.

Traders check this make decisions on placing short-term trades depending on the results of the signal based on price movements. The opposite goes for a low or negative MACD value since it depicts the increasing strength of downward momentum.

So technically, both work in the trader's favor to help make better decisions and get better results. However, moving against it can be detrimental to the trades you take, especially if not done carefully. 

How to Use the MACD indicator to Buy or Sell

MACD forms effectively predict trends in the trade market, including favorable and non-favorable trends. One way or the other, these trends can determine your profit or loss. The MACD is a trend-following momentum indicator that prevents a loss and maximizes profit as a trader in the real-time trade market, you need to know when to buy or sell with the help of the MACD.

The speed and direction of crossovers determine the state of the market. It could indicate either an overbought or oversold market.

Since the direction determines the bullish or bearish movement and the distance from the zero line also determines the strength or weakness of prices, these factors greatly influence trading decisions. In this light, you can decide when to buy and sell from the determining factors made available by the MACD.

What is a good MACD Buy and Sell signal?

Traders who use the MACD to perform their technical analysis tend to get better signals than those who don't. The reason is that the MACD indicator helps them analyze the market in detail to get adept trading positions.

How is this done?

A good buy signal can be called or generated when the MACD takes a bullish crossover from below the signal line. The movement is identified to increase in momentum if the initial point goes farther below the line. 

How do you know when to buy or sell MACD?

The MACD momentum indicator helps you make better decisions by giving you positions to buy and sell with your analysis. This means that you get to know intervals to purchase and deal with the MACD indicator. Identifying the best time to buy or sell is not as complicated as it seems; you need to take note of four essential tips. MACD helps generate different signal types at its basic level, but here are the categories based on buy and sell decisions.

Buy decisions: The MACD line must have crossed the nine-day or zero signal line with upward momentum to confirm when to buy. It signifies a bullish trend and an excellent position to go long when taking a trade.

Sell Decision: The MACD line must have crossed the nine-day or zero signal line with Downward momentum to confirm when to Sell. It signifies a bearish trend and an excellent position to go Short when taking a trade.

how do you buy and sell moving average convergence divergence

The signal gets stronger if both the nine-day and zero signal lines take the same direction regardless of which one. 

Pros and cons of the MACD Indicator

The Moving average convergence divergence indicator (MACD) gives you some excellent benefits to help place trades accurately and efficiently. However, it also has mild setbacks that you need to watch out for, especially as a beginner. 


The MACD indicator serves as an excellent guide to help you narrow down your technical analysis to get the best results. You get to match your research to the indicator and get entry and exit points when trading.


It will sometimes generate false signals that might juggle you out of the position you have entered. The reason is that the market has some minute crossovers between bullish and bearish trends. Therefore, you still need to perform your analysis straightforwardly using this indicator as a guide.

What indicator is best with MACD?

Indicators are created based on the standard methods of performing technical analysis, but they come with one difference. The significant difference is that indicators are automated to help you get next to the perfect study. Despite being created to help you get an accurate trading analysis, MACD can also be paired with other indicators.

Its compatibility is restricted to indicators alone and different types of technical analysis that you might implement. You can see it as a good option when checking for reversals and other details before or during your research.

However, the best indicator you can use is the MACD histogram, which is also termed the most valuable part of this indicator. Its appearance gives detailed representations helping you differentiate between the signal lines and the MACD lines during your technical analysis.

It shows a significant increase in size when the trend moves with solid momentum and reduces weak speed. Its movement also helps you predict the direction of a trade based on the expected crossover that will likely occur.

Can Other Indicators Be Used with MACD?

commodities futures trading commission

In trading, you can use indicators to complement other indicators for better, more accurate predictions. Traders who use MACD Indicators can also use a chart known as "candlestick" to complete it. This chart can be dated back to the early 18th century where Japanese rice merchants used it as a price chart. It was used to indicate the high or low prices of a security. It can also show the open and closing prices of the said item.

With the technology of the candlesticks, many trading strategies were born from its charts. Prevalently, a candlestick chart notifies a trader of a potential reversal in the market and can be used to complement the divergence on MACD. One of which is;

  • The evening star for relapse after an uptrend and 
  • The morning star for a turnaround after a downtrend.

Asides from these candle patterns, other common types also signal changes in the market. These include Doji and engulfing candles (bullish and bearish)

A divergence could be noticed with the signals from MACD, which coincides with the period a candlestick pattern occurs, showing a reversal. In such a situation, the trader has accurate predictions with complementary signals that point toward a change in trend or turning in the market.

How to read a MACD indicator

Reading the MACD indicator is not very tasking and takes just one of two methods to get an accurate reading. The ways you can use to read this indicator is to check if the market is:

  • Oversold or overbought
  • Downtrending or uptrending

These two ways of reading the MACD might seem quite similar, but they are somewhat different when used.

Downtrend or uptrend

Unlike many other indicators, MACD is not limited to the range of +1 to -1 but instead has a zero signal line going through the center. It helps followers of the mean reversion and trend system to read the market's direction.

For instance, the price movement above the Zero signal line is read as an uptrend, and traders will tend to buy here. On the other hand, a bearish crossover below the same line will be read as a downtrend, making traders sell at this point. 

Overbought and oversold

Every market shows highs and lows on charts, and MACD happens to oscillate between the peaks of an overbought pair and the lows of an oversold one. The occurrence can be observed in every diagram that implements the MACD signals, giving traders Trading ideas.

overbought and oversold stocks

It helps them identify or predict the intervals where lows and highs can occur. The extra details you get from reading the market using this method help you calculate your positions effectively. You now know the additions you need for temporary jobs and reductions for long positions to get the best results.

Three signals MACD indicator can interpret

Signal line: The signal line is the most prevalent of all signals that the MACD processes. This same signal line is also known as a lagging indicator. This means that the signal line acts as a strong sign for another indicator, i.e., the EMA of the moving average convergence divergence.

A crossover is a product of the movement along the signal line either above or below. This movement also determines how long the crossover will last.

Zero line (crossover): This type of signal is just like the signal line depicted by the moving average convergence divergence is also called the centreline determinant. The movement along the zero line determines if the move is bearish or bullish.


When the moving average convergence divergence indicator crosses over the zero line, it becomes either positive or negative depending on which side it is traveling from and which side it is crossing. It works like plotting a graph with the zero mark as the center baseline.

If it crosses beneath the centerline, it is considered negative and vice versa.

two moving averages

 Divergence: This type of signal is precious to real-time traders, mainly because it relates to price movement in the opposite direction. However, the limitation to the use of MACD demands that it not be used as a stand-alone signal.

When using MACD specifically for divergent signals, it is most advisable to use a suitable indicator to complement it.

Even when used with a complementary indicator, its signals should be interpreted with caution to avoid a case of reading a false positive, which is familiar with this signal.

Another limitation to the MACD divergence is that it sometimes misses some signals. In one way or the other, it could miss out on reversals that take place. This limitation ultimately means that you can get false predictions and miss out on genuine ones.

MACD divergence is of two types; bearish and bullish divergence. While bearish divergences is associated with uptrends, a bullish divergence occurs during strong uptrends.

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