What is MACD?

What is MACD?
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What is MACD? How to use MACD?

The Moving Average Convergence and Divergence (MACD) stands as a revered tool in the realm of technical analysis, unveiling the intricate tapestry of trends within financial markets. Conceived by the hand of Gerald Appel in 1979, the MACD conjures insights through the fusion of three exponential moving averages (EMAs), poised as lagging beacons to discern the pulse of trends – whether they unfurl in continuation or pivot.

This ensemble of EMAs metamorphoses into a momentum oscillator when the swift moving average, drawn from a shorter temporal expanse, interlaces with the languorous moving average, derived from a more extended chronology. The maiden MACD Line emerges through the tapestry of closing prices across a 12-day and 26-day sojourn. Accompanying this, a secondary sentinel christened the Signal line takes shape, embodying the exponential average of the past 9 days of the MACD line.

The alchemical recipe woven into the EMA formula ushers the MACD and signal line into existence. It entails the multiplication of the closing price by a coefficient and subsequent addition to a smoothed EMA, derived from the previous day. As long as the inaugural EMA remains deciphered, this dance births succeeding EMAs.

The birth of the MACD-Histogram ensues to delineate the delta betwixt the MACD and signal line. As the MACD ascends above its 9-day EMA, the histogram dons a mantle of positivity, anointing a buy signal. In opposition, as the MACD descends beneath its 9-day EMA, the histogram drapes itself in negativity, heralding a sell signal. The progenitor of the MACD-Histogram, Thomas Aspray, bestowed this entity upon the world in 1986.

Harnessing the MACD Indicator

  1. The Crossing of Paths: The moment of ascendancy arrives when the MACD line orchestrates a crossing above the SIGNAL line. This heralds a Bullish overture, resonating a call to purchase.
  2. Antithetical Convergence: In a polar enactment, the MACD line descends beneath the signal line, unfurling a Bearish refrain, inviting the melody of selling.
  3. Crossing the Abyss: The momentous linearity that rests above the zero line resonates with a Bullish intonation. It befits the scenario when the stock’s price ascends.
  4. The Abyss Beckoning: In opposition, as the linearity descends beneath the zero line, it weaves a Bearish lament, befitting the descent of the stock’s price.

Diving into the Abyss of Divergence

The MACD unearths its mettle as a harbinger of divergence, where price and the MACD line embrace disparate trajectories. This allegorical dance, marked by divergence, often paints a prelude to shifts in market bearing or windows of profitable enterprise. Through the MACD’s discerning gaze, traders unearth these divergences, harnessing their essence to sculpt investment choices.

Example of Divergence in MACD

Example of MACD Divergence of Microsoft
Example-of-MACD-Divergence-of-Microsoft. Tradingview Chart

Upon venturing into the annals of April 4th, a portrait unfurls within the confines of Microsoft Corporation’s one-hour chart. Here, a narrative paints itself with intricate brushstrokes, illustrating the ascendance of price to loftier pinnacles. However, the MACD Line, akin to a refracted echo, traces a contrary path, etching a series of nadirs rather than summits – an overture heralding the advent of Bearish Divergence. Within this intricately woven tapestry, the momentum of price’s pirouette appears somewhat tempered, a whisper of frailty marring the stock’s vigor. This symphony of discrepancy ultimately ushers forth a symphony of decline, as the stock journeys towards its nadir. Traders, keenly attuned to this harmonic dissonance, may seize upon the chasmic duality, orchestrating trades in contraposition to the dominant trend.

A Communion with Complementary Indicators

Amidst the dynamic realm of trading, practitioners often intertwine the tendrils of MACD with fellow technical indicators – most notably the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and the Bollinger Bands. This partnership envisions a confluence of voices, harmonizing their whispers into a resounding chorus of validation. The MACD, a beacon of multifaceted advantages, augments its potency through this collective interplay, yet bears the emblem of an inescapable truth – it is not an oracle of infallibility. As the tapestry of trading unfurls, the MACD must tread hand in hand with other analytical tools. The cadence of market conditions and the echoing respite of news events must find their perch within the trader’s discernment, influencing the verve of trading decisions.


Within the vast sea of trading tools, the MACD emerges as a lighthouse, illuminating the trails of trends and the portals of trading potential. A testament to its prowess, the MACD deciphers the currents of momentum and the flux of potential trend reversals, deciphered through the prism of two moving averages embracing a stock’s price. However, solitude is insufficient within this voyage. The trader, armed with MACD, must also cast their gaze towards other stars in the firmament of analysis. Harmonizing the symphony of tools and embracing the whispers of external factors, traders pen their decisions with the ink of informed judgment.

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