An indicator used in technical analysis to smooth price data and help confirm market trends. It reduces the effects of sharp, isolated price movements and shows the underlying trend more clearly. It is calculated by adding together closing prices for a particular period and then averaging them. As time passes, the oldest price is dropped and replaced by the latest one. The two most common types of moving averages are Simple Moving Average (SMA) and Exponential Moving Average (EMA). Moving averages are used as tools to create the Moving Average Convergence Divergence – MACD and Bollinger Bands.
Calculating Simple Moving Averages (SMA)
A simple moving average or SMA, Is a price line that smooth’s out a investments path to get an indication of the trend. For example, if a closing prices over the last five days are $37.00, $36.00, $34.00, $32.00. $31.00 then the SMA would be $34.00 derived from adding all the closing prices then dividing by five. This would create a five-day SMA that could be monitored for trends. The most common moving averages are 20, 50, and 200 days.
Calculating Exponential Moving Average (EMA)
An exponential moving average, EMA, is very similar to a simple moving average, but it places more weight on the more recent prices than on past one, making it more receptive to changes in the stocks price trend. This means it reacts more quickly to recent price changes than a simple moving average.
AIR METHODS CORP 50 Day EMA
Moving Average Crossover
The point at which two moving averages, one with a short interval and the other a longer one, intersect. Technical analysts interpret moving average crossovers as significant buy or sell signals.
Summary of Moving Averages
Technical analysis claims to be able to forecast future market movements solely through the study of past market price and volume data. It contrasts with market forecasts based on the analysis of the fundamental factors influencing supply and demand for shares, currencies or commodities, so-called fundamental analysis. Technical analysts, also known as technicians or chartists, try to identify price patterns and trends in financial markets and exploit them. They search for chart patterns such as head and shoulders or double top reversal patterns, study indicators such as moving averages and look for chart support and resistance levels. Major investment banks and brokerages normally employ technical as well as fundamental analysts. One of the major technical analysis tools used is the moving average.