Moving Average Formula Calculator Examples with Excel Template

what is moving average

Conversely, downward momentum is confirmed with a bearish crossover, which occurs when a short-term moving average crosses below a longer-term moving average. Traders sometimes utilize moving average ribbons, which plot a series of moving averages (both SMAs and EMAs can be used) onto a price chart to create a ribbon-like indicator. They offer a straightforward way of visualizing the dynamic relationship between trends in the short, intermediate, and long-term. Additionally, the EMA has less lag and a higher sensitivity to recent price changes.

A 200-day moving average will have a much greater degree of lag than a 20-day MA because it contains prices for the past 200 days. 50-day and 200-day moving average figures are widely followed by investors and traders and are considered to be important trading signals. By calculating the moving average, the impacts of random, short-term fluctuations on the price of a stock over a specified time frame are mitigated. Moving averages can be tailored to any time frame, depending on the trader’s preferences and strategy.

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A short-term uptrend might find support near the 20-day simple moving average, also used in Bollinger Bands. A long-term uptrend might find support near the 200-day simple moving average, the most popular long-term moving average. The 200-day moving average may offer support or resistance because it’s widely used.

When prices are trending higher, the moving average will adjust by also moving higher to reflect the increasing prices. This could be interpreted as a bullish signal, where traders may prefer buying opportunities. The two averages are similar because they what is moving average are interpreted in the same manner and are both commonly used by technical traders to smooth out price fluctuations. As with most technical analysis tools, moving averages should not be used alone, but in conjunction with other complementary tools.

What is the Best Way to Use Moving Averages?

Because moving averages represent an average closing price over a selected period of time, the moving average allows traders to identify the overall trend of the market in a simple way. A 10-day moving average will hug prices quite closely and turn shortly after prices turn. Short-term moving averages are like speedboats—nimble and quick to change. In contrast, a 100-day moving average contains lots of past data that slows it down. Longer-term moving averages are like ocean tankers—lethargic and slow to change. It takes a larger and longer price movement for a 100-day moving average to change course vs. a 10-day moving average.

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