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Related Tutorial On Technical Analysis
Most Volatile Share Rate of Change (ROC) Beta Stocks Chaikin Money Flow (CMF)
Average Directional Index (ADX) Accumulation Distribution Index (ADI) On Balance Volume (OBV) Bollinger Band
MACD Volume Pivot Point Moving Average basics

Tutorial on Average Directional Index (ADX)

Trading with ADX: Most profitable and least risky strategy is to trade with the Trend. The stronger the trend the better the reward is. Finding the trend, measuring its strength is possible with Average Directional Index (ADX), an indicator developed by Welles Wilder. It may be worth mentioning here that of Welder contribution to technical analysis was also in developing RSI, ATR and Parabolic SAR.

ADX indicator is used to find whether Stock is in trend and also finds the strength of the trend. It, however, does not indicate about the direction of the trend. It provides similar value for both uptrending and down-trending stocks. Stock direction is provided by additional lines that supplement with ADX. We will cover them later.

Though complex in calculating its value, its usage is very simple. Its value oscillates between 0 and 100. Wilder suggested that if ADX is above 25 then stock is trending and as the trend gets stronger, ADX moves up. A value above 40 is considered a very Strong uptrend. A value below 20 is considered as no trend or sideways market.O wing to its vast acceptance, most of technical Analysis software does the calculation including TopStockResearch.

Trading Strategies with ADX and Interpretation

ADX Value Trend Strength Comments Stock Screener at TSR
0-20 Non Trending Sideways market or a phase of Accumulation/Distribution Yes
20-25 Trending for less Volatile Stocks Some Analysts use value above 20 as Trending. Works for lesser volatile stocks Yes
25-40 Strong Trend This indicates very strong trend. Traders should take advantage of it. Yes
40-60 Very Strong Trend Rare but they do occur Yes
60-100 Extremely Strong Trend Very rare. Such trends are not sustainable and traders should be ready for trend reversal Yes

Although it was developed for commodities, it can be used for stocks also. Since Commodities are more volatile, ADX would yield better results with more volatile stocks. For less volatile stocks, ADX value of above 20 could be considered as trending stocks. Standard period for calculation of ADX is 14 days. Some traders prefer to adjust between 7 to 28 days to suit their needs.

Where ADX line is represented as Green Color and oscillates between 0 and 100. Along with ADX lines, you would see directional Index +DI (Plus Directional Index) and -DI (Minus Directional Index) lines.

ADX is normally represented as a small chart below price chart as

Average Directional Index ADX Chart

Trending Stocks : ADX works on absolute value. As long as the value is above 25, it is considered as uptrend. Some of the novice trader gets confused when the value falls. Even if ADX falls to above 25 from a higher value, it is considered as trending but it signifies that the trend is weakening and time to get alerted.

Example of Trading Strategies Used With ADX Shown In Axis Bank Chart

Average Directional Index ADX Chart By Axis Bank

Strong Trend: An increase in ADX value of above 25, means that trend is getting stronger and and provides better confidence to the trader.

Divergence: As mentioned earlier, divergence in ADX does not predict fall in price. As long as the value stays above 25, the trend is intact.

Change of Trend : ADX crossing below 25 signifies end of trend or movement in no trade zone.

Non-trending: ADX between 0 to 25 refers to a non trending zone.

Trade with Trailing Stop Loss: Since it indicates about the continuation trend only and not the ultimate target, it can best be traded with trailing stop loss or partial profit booking.

Directional Movement: While ADX provides information only about the strength of the trend, it is normally supplemented with Directional Index +DI and -DI. They indicates direction of the trend. Their interpretation is as follows:
1.When +DI is above -DI then trend is up trend.
2.When -DI is above +DI then trend is downwards.
3.+DI crossing over -DI signals bullish trend and vice versa.

Example of Directional Movement(+DI and -DI) Used With ADX Shown In SBIN Chart

Average Directional Index ADX Chart By State Bank Of India

1.ADX is based on Moving Averages. Therefore it is slow to react or in other words it is lagging indicator.
2.ADX may not provide signals for slow moving stocks.
3.Crossover of +DI and -DI some times can happen too frequently, thereby giving many false signals.
4.As with other indicators, use ADX when other indicators of your reliance are supporting them.

Example of Too Many Crossover of +DI and -DI as Shown In Boeing Co Chart

Average Directional Index ADX Chart By Boeing Co

Example of Too Many Crossover of +DI and -DI as Shown Axis Bank Chart

Average Directional Index ADX Chart By AXIS BANK

Our website also provides free Stock screening on Technical Indicators. It can be found at below link:

Average Directional Index (ADX) Screeners
ADX Trend Trending
ADX Trend +DI Above -DI

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We hope you will provide us with the same Love & Support as you did for TSR.