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A moving average formula calculates the average price of an asset over a specific period. It helps smooth out price fluctuations and identify the support, resistance, momentum and ideal entry and exit points that can give insights to traders. 

In this handy guide, learn the tips for integrating moving average formulas into your trading strategy. Once you have mastered the moving average indicator, it will eventually lead you to smarter and data-driven decisions. 

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Why do moving average formulas matter?

Moving average formulas are fundamental for traders and technical analysts seeking to penetrate the complexities of various financial markets. Here is a list of why these formulas matter a lot in trading. 

1. Filtering market noise

Stock and other financial securities prices exhibit constant fluctuations, creating a chaotic environment. The moving average formula is valuable in filtering out day-to-day noise and volatility. This enables traders to discern meaningful trends amidst the turbulence of the market.

2. Displaying the bigger picture

Identifying the overarching trend in asset prices is challenging amid the ups and downs of daily trading. The moving average formula is pivotal in calculating the average price over a designated period. This process illuminates the broader picture, allowing traders to distinguish between short-term market noise and significant trend movements.

3. Smoothing short-term fluctuations

Short-term price fluctuations can obscure the true direction of the market. The moving average formula addresses this challenge by smoothing out these short-term oscillations. Taking an average over time provides a more transparent representation of the underlying trend, making it easier to determine the market’s overall trajectory.

4. Identifying support and resistance levels

The moving average formula is instrumental in pinpointing key support and resistance levels. These levels act as barriers where stock prices may encounter challenges in moving either upward or downward. Traders use these insights to make informed decisions about potential entry or exit points in the market.

5. Recognizing emerging trends

Crossing the moving average benchmark is a significant signal for traders. When an asset price surpasses the moving average, it may indicate the emergence of a new trend. This ability to recognise trend changes promptly enhances traders’ agility, allowing them to adapt their strategies in response to evolving market conditions.

A moving average formula empowers traders with a tool to cut through the complexities of day-to-day price movements. It provides a lens through which they can identify trends, distinguish noise from meaningful market movements, and make well-informed decisions based on a more comprehensive understanding of market dynamics.

See what this article has to say: What Is A Trading Indicator And How It Helps You As a Trader


Simple moving average formula 

The simple moving average (SMA) is the easiest moving average formula to calculate. It simply computes the average closing price over a set period. To find the SMA, add the closing prices for the period you’re analysing and divide by the number of data points you added.

The SMA is a lagging indicator that relies on past price data. The longer the period of the SMA, the more it will lag behind current prices. Short-term simple moving averages (10-25 days) identify short-term trends and support/resistance, while longer-term SMAs (50 or 200 days) reveal long-term trends.

One essential tip for effectively using the Simple Moving Average (SMA) indicator is to combine multiple SMAs with different periods. This strategy can provide a more comprehensive view of market trends.

For instance, pairing a short-term SMA (e.g., ten days) with a longer-term SMA (e.g., 50 days) allows you to identify both short-term fluctuations and long-term trends. When the short-term SMA crosses above the long-term SMA, it may signal the beginning of an upward trend and vice versa for a downward trend. This crossover technique enhances the indicator’s reliability and helps filter out false signals.

Read this article for more insights: Shorting Explained


Weighted moving average formula


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The Weighted Moving Average (WMA) is a Simple Moving Average (SMA) variation that assigns different weights to each data point within the selected period. Unlike the SMA, where each data point holds equal significance, the WMA gives more weight to specific periods, allowing for a more responsive and dynamic indicator. The weighted approach is designed to place greater importance on recent data, making the WMA more sensitive to changes in the underlying trend.

3 tips when using the weighted moving average (WMA) formula:

  1. Use WMAs of different timeframes together to identify momentum shifts. Plot a short-term WMA (e.g. 13 days) and longer-term WMA (e.g. 60 days) on the chart. When the near-term WMA crosses above or below the longer WMA ahead of it, this signals a potential change in momentum.
  2. Increase the weighting period to smooth out volatility. During choppy or ranging markets, try increasing the number of days in your WMA. For example, use a 100-day or 200-day WMA to filter out false moves and only capture the predominant trend.
  3. Use WMAs to confirm simple moving average signals. Since WMAs react faster, the crossover of a 5-day WMA above a 10-day SMA can provide an early entry point before the slower SMA confirms the uptrend. The WMA offers greater sensitivity to emerging momentum shifts.


Exponential moving average formula

The exponential moving average gives greater weight and importance to the most recent price data. It applies an exponential decay factor that causes the weighting to drop sharply as each period ages. This allows the EMA to react faster to price changes than the simple moving average.

Tips for using EMA:

  1. Use shorter EMAs (10-20 periods) to identify near-term trends and momentum shifts. The fast reaction makes it well-suited for short-term trading.
  2. Plot multiple EMAs of different lengths (e.g. 50-day and 200-day) to generate crossover buy and sell signals.
  3. Combine EMA crossovers with other indicators like volume and chart patterns for confirmation before trading. Crossovers alone generate many false signals.
  4. Be wary of sudden whipsaws. Due to sensitivity to recent prices, the EMA can whip back and forth during choppy, sideways markets. Use longer EMAs or other filters to avoid acting on false signals.


Dual moving average crossover 

Another typical formula uses two moving averages of different timeframes to generate crossover buy and sell signals. This approach lets you trade in the direction of the dominant trend.

Opt for the best-suited moving averages as a standard practice


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A common pairing is the 50-day and 200-day moving averages. When the faster 50-day moving average line crosses above the slower 200-day line, it signals an uptrend. As long as the 50-day line remains above the 200-day, it confirms ongoing upward momentum.

Traders will look to buy when the 50-day line crosses above the 200-day, indicating the start of an uptrend. The 200-day line then acts as support on any pullbacks. When the 50-day drops below the 200-day, a downtrend is underway as the shorter moving average line loses upside momentum. This crossover triggers a sell signal for traders using this strategy. The 200-day line then acts as resistance.

Using two moving averages of different lengths allows you to gauge the direction of the major trend. Entering long when the short-term strengthens relative to the long-term line and exits when it weakens.


Moving average convergence divergence (MACD)

The MACD indicator takes dual moving averages a step further. The MACD is calculated by taking two exponential moving averages of 12 and 26 days and subtracting the longer EMA from the shorter EMA. This measures changes in momentum.

MACD helps confirm trend changes identified by EMA crossovers and acts as a momentum gauge. As a lagging indicator, the MACD works best when combined with other technical analysis techniques.

3 tips for using MACD:

  1. Look for bullish crossover signals when the MACD line crosses above the signal line, indicating that the upside momentum is accelerating.
  2. Watch for bearish crossovers when the MACD crosses below the signal line, signalling downside momentum is strengthening.
  3. For best results, combine MACD signals with other technical analyses like support/resistance levels, candlestick patterns, and volume indicators for confirmation.


In a nutshell,

Moving average formulas like the SMA, EMA, WMA, Dual moving average, and MACD are essential for analysing trends and generating trading signals. However, these indicators have limitations. Price crossovers and reversals can occur frequently during periods of market volatility. 

Traders should combine moving average formulas with confirmations from leading indicators and price action analysis to avoid acting on false signals. No single indicator can precisely predict future moves. Using moving averages as part of a robust, multi-factor trading strategy allows you to make reliable data-backed decisions.


Apply moving average formulas in your trading strategy

Now that you understand the moving average formulas and essential tips you need to consider, it’s time to put them into action in your trading strategy. provides a robust trading platform featuring insight-driven indicator tools to apply these strategies.

With, you can plot various moving averages on the price chart across multiple assets, including forex, indices, commodities, stocks, cryptocurrencies, etc. Everything you need is already on one platform!

Discover the benefits of trading with The time to improve your strategy is now!


When considering “CFDs” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.”

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