Determining Trend Strength: Average Directional Index ..

Average Directional Index

This does not mean his indicators cannot be used with stocks, however. Some stocks have price characteristics similar to commodities, which tend to be more volatile with short and strong trends. Stocks with low volatility may not generate signals based on Wilder’s parameters. Chartists will likely need to adjust the indicator settings or the signal parameters according to the characteristics of the security. ADX stands for Average Directional Movement Index and can be used to help measure the overall strength of a trend. The ADX indicator is an average of expanding price range values. The ADX is a component of the Directional Movement System developed by Welles Wilder.

Breakouts frequently happen in the markets, and they can offer a big opportunity for traders. Although breakouts can easily be spotted, it can be very difficult to determine whether a breakout is valid or not. There are far too many fake breakouts that can literally leave traders trapped in a bad trade position. That is, when the price breaks out with an ADX reading of above 25, it implies that momentum in the new direction can be sustained. But a breakout with an ADX reading of below 25 is potentially unsustainable.

Trading with the ADX indicator

The ADX is an oscillator which moves between defined extremes of zero and 100. A reading Average Directional Index below 20 indicates a weak current trend, while a reading over 40 suggests strength.

Even though the scale is from 0 to 100, readings above 60 are relatively rare. Low readings, below 20, indicate a weak trend and high readings, above 40, indicate a strong trend. When the line has a negative slope, the trend is weakening and a trend following system should generally be avoided. The range of results in these three studies exemplify the challenge of determining a definitive success rate for day traders. At a minimum, these studies indicate at least 50% of aspiring day traders will not be profitable. This reiterates that consistently making money trading stocks is not easy.

ADX vs the Aroon Indicator

Be sure to understand all risks involved with each strategy, including commission costs, before attempting to place any trade. The ADX calculation can be complicated, but in a nutshell, it plots the average of the difference between +DI and -DI. The stronger the trend—bull or bear—the higher the ADX goes.

Average Directional Index

DMI(-) is the negative Directional Movement Index value of the period being calculated. EMAi is the Exponential Moving Average value of the period being calculated. As a result, values in the range from 0 through 100 are obtained for each period. While it might be nice to know what the hottest trends in fashion and music are, what if there was a way to figure out which investments are trending up and which ones are on the way down? That’s where the ADX—also known as the Average Directional Index—comes in. For investors who prefer this type of hand-on approach, a SoFi Invest® brokerage account offers active investing. For others, who may prefer a more hands-off approach, SoFi Invest offers automated investing accounts — an automatically managed portfolio based on their risk tolerance and goals.


Day Trading is a high risk activity and can result in the loss of your entire investment. As with most other technical analysis tools, the average directional index, too, comes with its own set of unique advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand where this trend indicator excels and where it fails to get the most out of its use. Being aware of a rising trend momentum gives traders confidence to keep the position instead of exiting before the trend has ended.

Like any technical analysis tool, the ADX should be combined with price analysis and potentially other indicators to help filter signals and manage risk. The Average Directional Index is a lagging indicator, meaning that a trend must have already established itself before the ADX can generate its signal. It’s often said that the best profits come with the strongest trends. The ADX helps traders to avoid range conditions and find out the strongest trends to ride. An indicator used in technical analysis as an objective value for the strength of trend. ADX is non-directional so it will quantify a trend’s strength regardless of whether it is up or down. ADX is usually plotted in a chart window along with two lines known as the DMI .

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