Adx Average Directional Index

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Negative directional movement is defined in a similar way. Directional movement is negative when the previous low minus the current low is both positive and greater in value, than the previous high minus the current high. When the +DMI is above the -DMI, prices are moving up and the ADX measures the strength of the uptrend. When the -DMI is above the +DMI, prices are moving down, and the ADX measures the strength of the downtrend.


For instance, it’s not uncommon to see that the 10-period ADX only outputs half the reading of the 5-period ADX. To demonstrate this, I’ve applied three ADX indicators to a chart. The ADX at the top uses has a length of 5, the middle a length of 10, and the one at the bottom a length of 20. In the image below, you see how a high ADX reading, coupled with oversold RSI readings, preceded a market reversal.


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This also indicates you may want to look for trades other than trend trades. The two indicators are the positive directional indicator that is known as +DI and the negative directional indicator that is known as -DI. While the ADX calculations are complex, the interpretation is straightforward, but successful implementation takes practice. Like any technical analysis tool, the ADX should be combined with price analysis and potentially other indicators to help filter signals and manage risk. ADX calculations are based on a moving average of a price range expansion over a specific time period to quantify trend strength. The default setting recommended by Wilder is 14 bars, although other timeframes can be implemented.

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ADX values range between 0 and 100, where high numbers imply a strong trend, and low numbers imply a weak trend. According to Wilder, the trend has strength when ADX is above 25; if ADX is below 20, the trend is weak. If the stock has moved above 7 times the ATR from the lows, the system generates buy signal and continues till the stock drops by 2 ATR. It is a good system in trending markets however in sideways consolidating markets, the system must be avoided.

What is ADX?

In the same book, the hottest tip on getting a web site listed quickly presented a couple of other trading indicators that still remain relevant to this day. The Average True Range indicator, and Parabolic SAR are two well-known examples. When we trade in the direction of a strong trend, it reduces risk and also increases our profit potential.

  • ADX can be used on any trading vehicle such as stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and futures.
  • It’s a good way to gain experience without exposing to a high risk of losing money rapidly.
  • But when it comes to long-term pricing patterns, you will likely recognize a clear market trend.

The value of your investment will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money. It can be used to help you evaluate the market or an investment’s strength. In this case, the negative divergence led to a trend reversal. When ADX is above 25 and falling, the trend is less strong. For the remainder of this article, ADX will be shown separately on the charts for educational purposes.

Welles realized that the DM lines are in constant motion and will provide signal after signal. At first glance, the ADX is a bit alarming with the up and down movements and unsmoothed nature of each line. StockEdge is a self-help Equity and Mutual Fund research tool. It empowers retail investors to identify investment opportunity with all the necessary data and analytics. The formula for the Directional Movement Index is +DI minus -DI, then divided by the sum of +DI and -DI .

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The signal is lagging – the current trend has already reversed. But it still confirms that this reversal isn’t a correction but a major bullish trend transitioning into a bearish one. If the +DI line is below -DI after crossing and continues to move downward, it signifies a beginning of a downtrend. If the +DI line is above -DI after crossing and continues to move upward, it signifies a beginning of an uptrend.

ADX Calculator and FormulaThe formula for calculating ADX may be hard to grasp at first, and is something you could skip if you only want to know how to use the indicator. Late 2017 going into 2018, a 15 reading on the ADX was almost a surefire sign Bitcoin was going to break either way. Then the new number was 10 before you could expect a move. Now as we begin to move into February, 10 is producing a choppy market.

Note that 20 is used instead of 25 to qualify ADX signals. The green dotted lines show the buy signals and the red dotted lines show the sell signals. Wilder’s initial stops were not incorporated in order to focus on the indicator signals. As the chart clearly shows, there are plenty of +DI and -DI crosses. As with most such systems, there will be whipsaws, great signals, and bad signals. The key, as always, is to incorporate other aspects of technical analysis.


I hunt pips each in the charts with price action technical analysis and indicators. My goal is to get as many pips as possible and help you understand how to use indicators and price action together successfully in your own trading. One of the best and easiest ways to increase your chances of making winning trades is to trade with the trend. The average directional movement index or ADX is an indicator that will not help you find a trend, but can show you how strong a trend is. Being aware of a rising trend momentum gives traders confidence to keep the position instead of exiting before the trend has ended. Similarly, a series of lower ADX peaks can signal the trader to keep an eye on price and ensure that their risk-management technique is in place.

Then, depending on the ADX level, we may decide to employ mean reversion or trend following strategies. For example, we might want to go long on a new breakout only if ADX is showing high readings, which signals that the trend is strong and healthy. Remember that we said the ADX Indicator tells us the strength of the trend and not the direction. To give a brief recap of the situation, so far we found out the positive directional indicator and the negative directional indicator. The next value is calculated by taking the previous smoothed value and subtract the average from it.

Since the value is 100, we will say that the ADX indicator is exhibiting a very strong trend. This can be also visually confirmed by the candlestick plot of the data shown above. We should note that the smoothed version is sort of similar to moving average, as it is used to smoothen out the fluctuations, if any, from the data. Just like life, which has its ups and downs, there will always be times when a stock is going down. Many day traders are dependent on finding where the strong momentum is so they can ride the trend during the intraday session. A lot of traders will use this to their advantage and in their trading strategies.

Learn how to trade forex in a fun and easy-to-understand format. From basic trading terms to trading jargon, you can find the explanation for a long list of trading terms here. Find new investing ideas and get up-to-the-minute market data. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate.

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The larger the difference between +DI and -DI, the higher the ADX peaks. The maximum divergence in the positive and negative direction and the index line being above 40-50% correspond to the overbought and oversold zones, respectively. The main index line started to decline but is still close to the 40% level.

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