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Moving Average: What Are Them and How to Use In Stocks

Moving averages are one of the most important and commonly used tools for technical traders, they are SUPER popular too. A moving average is simply a calculation of the average price of a security over a specific period of time.

The most popular type of moving average is the simple moving average, which gives equal weight to each price point within the calculation period. As its name suggests, a moving average is constantly updated as new data points are added.

Moving averages on candlestick chart

What are Moving Averages?

A moving average (MA) is a lagging indicator that smooths out price fluctuations by taking the average of a security’s closing prices over a given period of time. The most common type of MA is the Simple Moving Average (SMA), which is calculated by taking the sum of all the past prices and then dividing that total by the number of periods. It’s important you know how they work in order to use them properly, so, you should be studying the MA like studying www.kingjohnnie.info while having fun.

MAs are used to identify trend directions, spot potential reversals, and measure support and resistance levels. And the most common periods used by traders and analysts are 50-day, 100-day, and 200-day moving averages.

Types of Moving Averages

There are 4 types of moving averages used in stocks and of course other financial instruments, which we will be discussing right now.

Simple Moving Average (SMA)

The Simple Moving Average (SMA) is one of the most commonly used technical indicators in stock analysis. It smooths out price fluctuations by calculating the average price of a security over a given period of time.

While it can be applied to any time frame, the most popular use is identifying possible support and resistance levels. When used in conjunction with other indicators, the SMA can provide a trader with valuable information that can help inform buy and sell decisions.

Exponential Moving Average (EMA) 

You probably have heard the abbreviate acronyms of Exponential Moving Average, and you must be wondering “what is EMA?”

The EMA is a technical indicator that helps investors to identify potential changes in a security’s price trend. The EMA is similar to the simple moving average, but it gives more weight to recent prices and therefore reacts more quickly to recent changes in price. As such, the EMA can be used to generate buy and sell signals, indicating when security has reached overbought or oversold conditions.

The result is smoothed out, removing much of the day-to-day volatility from the security’s price and providing an indication of its overall direction.

Weighted Moving Average (WMA)

The weighted moving average (WMA) is a mathematical formula used to calculate an average over a period of time. The WMA takes into account the most recent data points more heavily than earlier data points, in order to give a more accurate representation of the current trend. It is commonly used in the stock market analysis as well as forecasting financial trends.

Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD)

MACD is a technical indicator that can be used to identify the trend of a security, as well as potential reversals. It is composed of two exponential moving averages (EMAs), typically the 12-day and 26-day EMAs, which are then plotted together. The MACD line is the difference between these two EMAs. When the MACD line crosses above or below the signal line, it signals a buy or sells.

Can be used to identify whether a security is overbought or oversold. When this difference becomes too large, it signals that a security may be reaching an extreme and is due to reverse course.

Pros and Cons of Moving Averages

As you can imagine, even with the popular use of the moving averages it has some obvious pros and cons.


  • There are a number of different types of moving averages, but all share the same goal – to smooth out price fluctuations and help traders get a clearer picture of the underlying trend.
  • Can be used to identify potential support and resistance levels.


  • Some argue that it lags behind the current price action
  • Can be prone to a ton of false signals
  • A big drawback for some is that the data some MA use to compute might be old

Recommended Read: The Best Price Action Patterns In Day Trading


The moving average is one of the simplest and most popular technical indicators used in stock analysis. It is a trend-following indicator that smooths out price fluctuations to identify the general direction of the market or security. If you’re a beginner you’ll probably find yourself using it a lot, that’s why I decided to write the types and what is MA.

You learned, how the different types work and what is a MA. It can be used to identify opportunities to buy or sell stocks, depending on whether the security is trending upwards or downwards. In this blog post, we covered how to calculate a moving average, how to interpret it, and how to use it in your stock trading strategy.