This Moving Average Convergence-Divergence (MACD) stock scan allows investors to search for specific stocks that have recently had a signal line and/or centerline crossover, the two most widely followed MACD crossovers. The Moving Average Convergence-Divergence (MACD) indicator is one of the simplest and most effective momentum indicators around. The MACD turns two trend-following indicators, moving averages, into a momentum oscillator by subtracting the longer moving average from the shorter moving average. As a result, the MACD offers the best of both worlds: trend following and momentum. With this scan, investors will have the ability to combine both types of crossovers and see results immediately. Outside of the ability to combine searches by different types of MACD crossovers, investors will also have the ability to filter results by exchange, price and volume.
More information on MACD:
Developed by Gerald Appel in the late seventies, the Moving Average Convergence-Divergence (MACD) indicator is one of the simplest and most effective momentum indicators around. The MACD turns two trend-following indicators, moving averages, into a momentum oscillator by subtracting the longer moving average from the shorter moving average. As a result, the MACD offers the best of both worlds: trend following and momentum. The MACD fluctuates above and below the zero line as the moving averages converge, cross and diverge. Investors can look for signal line crossovers, centerline crossovers and divergences to generate specific signals. Because the MACD is unbounded, it’s not particularly useful for identifying overbought and oversold levels.
The MACD Line is the 12-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) less the 26-day EMA. Closing prices are used for these moving averages. A 9-day EMA of the MACD Line is plotted with the indicator to act as a signal line and identify turns. The MACD Histogram represents the difference between MACD and its 9-day EMA, the Signal line. The histogram is positive when the MACD Line is above its Signal line and negative when the MACD Line is below its Signal line.
The values of 12, 26 and 9 are the default setting used with the MACD, however other values can be substituted depending on an investor’s specific trading style and goals.
As its name implies, the MACD is all about the convergence and divergence of the two moving averages. Convergence occurs when the moving averages move towards each other. Divergence occurs when the moving averages move away from each other. The shorter moving average (12-day) is quicker and responsible for most MACD movements. The longer moving average (26-day) is slower and less reactive to price changes in the underlying stock.
The MACD Line oscillates above and below the zero line, which is also known as the centerline. These crossovers signal that the 12-day EMA has crossed the 26-day EMA. The direction, of course, depends on the direction of the moving average cross. Positive MACD indicates that the 12-day EMA is above the 26-day EMA. Positive values increase as the shorter EMA diverges further from the longer EMA. This means upside momentum is increasing. Negative MACD values indicates that the 12-day EMA is below the 26-day EMA. Negative values increase as the shorter EMA diverges further below the longer EMA. This means downside momentum is increasing.
Signal line crossovers are the most frequent MACD signals. The signal line is a 9-day EMA of the MACD Line. As a moving average of the indicator, it trails the MACD and makes it easier to spot MACD turns. A bullish crossover occurs when the MACD turns up and crosses above the signal line. A bearish crossover occurs when the MACD turns down and crosses below the signal line. Crossovers can last for a few days or a few weeks, it all depends on the strength of the stock price move.
Centerline crossovers are the next most common MACD signals. A bullish centerline crossover occurs when the MACD Line moves above the zero line to turn positive. This happens when the 12-day EMA of the underlying stock moves above the 26-day EMA. A bearish centerline crossover occurs when the MACD moves below the zero line to turn negative. This happens when the 12-day EMA moves below the 26-day EMA.
Centerline crossovers can last a few days or several months. It all depends on the strength of the trend. The MACD will remain positive as long as there is a sustained uptrend. The MACD will remain negative when there is a sustained downtrend.
Divergences form when the MACD diverges from the price action of the underlying stock. A bullish divergence forms when a stock records a lower low and the MACD forms a higher low. The lower low in the stock affirms the current downtrend, but the higher low in the MACD shows less downside momentum. Despite less downside momentum, downside momentum is still outpacing upside momentum as long as the MACD remains in negative territory. Slowing downside momentum can sometimes foreshadow a trend reversal or a sizable rally.
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