# What Is The Simple Moving Average? And How Do Traders Interpret It

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It is calculated by adding up past data points and then dividing by the total number of data points. While the SMA is a very popular technical indicator, it does have one main weakness. Some traders and investors believe that it is flawed because every data point has the same weight. They argue that current data is more important than previous data and should therefore have a higher weight. As a result, some traders and investors prefer to use another form of moving average, known as the exponential moving average . The Simple Moving Average is calculated by summing the closing prices of the security for a period of time and then dividing this total by the number of time periods.

In the above example, the calculation of the moving average is based on the closing prices. Sometimes, moving averages are also calculated using other parameters such as high, low, and open. However, the closing prices are used mostly by the traders and investors as it reflects the price at which the market finally settles down.

## Related Terms

Sometimes called an arithmetic moving average, the SMA is basically the average stock price over time. As a trend develops, the moving average will slope in the direction of the trend, showing the trend direction and some indication of its strength based on the slope steepness. A moving average is a technical indicator that market analysts and investors may use to determine the direction of a trend. It sums up the data points of a financial security over a specific time period and divides the total by the number of data points to arrive at an average. It is called a “moving” average because it is continually recalculated based on the latest price data. A moving average will enable you to examine the levels of support and resistance, by analyzing the previous movement of an asset’s price.

- If the line is trending up, the security is strengthening, whereas a downward trend shows a weakening of that security.
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- The MACD crossing over and moving above the signal line indicates a bullish crossover, while the MACD crossing under and moving below the signal line a bearish crossover.
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A simple moving average is an arithmetic moving average calculated by adding recent prices and then dividing that figure by the number of time periods in the calculation average. For example, one could add the closing price of a security for a number of time periods and then divide this total by that same number of periods. Short-term averages respond quickly to changes in the price of the underlying security, while long-term averages are slower to react. There are other types of moving averages, including the exponential moving average and the weighted moving average .

## Understanding Simple Moving Average Sma

The period selected depends on the kind of movement one is concentrating on, such as short, intermediate, or long term. In any case moving average levels are interpreted as support in a rising market, or resistance in a falling market. Generally, SMA is calculated as the average closing stock price of the previous predetermined period. For example, the 20 days SMA is calculated as the sum of the closing prices in the previous 20 days, divided by 20. The SMA signal receives two values, either positive when the shorter-term SMA is above the Longer-term or negative when the shorter-term SMA is below the longer term. That tends to make the weighted moving average more accurate than the simple moving average, which puts equal weighting on all prices.

Of the hundreds of technical analysis studies and indicators available for traders, perhaps none is more widely used than the moving average. There are several types of moving averages, based on different calculations. Understanding which type works best—and when—is the key to effectively adding moving averages to your charting basics toolbox. SMA is one of the most important indicators in technical analysis and is usually the easiest moving average to construct. The reason technical analysts and day traders call it “moving” is because the stock price constantly changes, so the moving average changes accordingly.

## Smoothed Moving Average

While the two styles are very different, the simple moving average can be used to complement both. For example, a short-term trader that trades using technical analysis may be interested in finding out whether a security is trending up or down over a 10-day period. This trader could analyse the 10-day SMA to determine the trend. The simple moving average is a lagging indicator because it is based on past price data. While the SMA is a helpful technical analysis tool, it is best used along with other popular indicators such as trendlines and volume analysis.

Actually, I’m not full time trader so for this section, I will bring Charles Schwab’s explanation about SMA. SMA or Simple Moving Average is a straightforward calculation of a stock’s average price over a set number of days. Shorter period SMA are indicators of short term price trends, medium period SMA are considered as medium-term price trend, and longer period SMA are indicators of longer price trends. Latest prices that are above or below the moving average indicate buy or sell signals. The latest trades that are below the moving average suggest buying. Conversely, the latest prices above the average suggest selling.

The EMA places a heavy focus on recent prices, whereas the SMA assigns equal weighting to all values. Both EMAs and SMAs are generally interpreted in the same way, with both used by technically focused traders to smooth out price fluctuations. Traders look at the simple moving average to follow the price movement of a given stock, whether up or down. This indicator can also serve as support or resistance and is often used to identify when a trend might be emerging or when a trend might be ending. There are thousands of moving averages including the weighted, displaced, exponential, triple exponential, and simple moving average. However, the most used moving average types are exponential moving average and simple moving average .

An SMA is the average of the closing prices for the time period highlighted. The EMA needs to start somewhere, and the simple moving average is used as the previous period’s EMA. It is obtained by taking the sum of the security’s closing prices for the period in question and dividing the total by the number of periods. In financial markets, analysts and investors use the SMA indicator to determine buy and sell signals for securities.

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## Thoughts On simple Moving Average

An SMA can also be disproportionately influenced by old data dropping out or new data coming in. One characteristic of the SMA is that if the data has a periodic fluctuation, then applying Major World Indices an SMA of that period will eliminate that variation . In financial terms, moving-average levels can be interpreted as support in a falling market or resistance in a rising market.

## Types Of Moving Averages

Generally, traders will choose a time period that is suitable to their investment time frame. So a long-term trader will use a 200-day average or longer, while a swing trader will use much shorter time frames. For traders seeking short-term wins, an EMA is great because it’s more sensitive to more recent price movements, and it often covers a shorter time frame than simple moving averages. Traders attempting to capitalize on quick price movements can use an EMA effectively to identify opportunities before they pass by. The ability to create custom SMA time frames is also beneficial to traders. They can take several views of a currency pair’s performance over time as they predict future price movements that may occur.

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A longer moving average takes more data points to calculate the average, and hence it tends to stay away from the current market price. A simple way to calculate convergence and divergence is to subtract the Venture capital long-term moving average from the short-term average, then plot it as a line graph. If the line moves toward zero, then the moving averages are converging and when they cross over, the difference is zero.

On 29th, we would include 29th data and exclude 22nd data, on 30th, we would include 30th data point but eliminate 23rd data, so on. One reason for doing this is to make an even-order moving average symmetric. https://www.bigshotrading.info/ Access to real-time market data is conditioned on acceptance of the exchange agreements. Prior to trading options, you should carefully read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options.

EMA is similar to Simple Moving Average , measuring trend direction over a period of time. The calculation for EMA puts more emphasis on the recent data points. Because of this, EMA is considered a weighted average calculation. If you watch more detail, you will get that SMA10 will be start first. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74%-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.

## Simple Moving Average Strategy

Clients must consider all relevant risk factors, including their own personal financial situations, before trading. I simply start the calculations after enough days to take the average of the correct number of values). If you add the EMA to your arsenal of indicators, it’s unlikely to be the first tool you use to evaluate a new trading opportunity. But you may find value in this indicator as you use it to test a hypothesis about a trade or to corroborate or dispute the suggestions made by other indicators. Again, SMAs aren’t the most complicated or sophisticated technical indicator in the world, but they can still provide value as part of a trading strategy. The sheer nature of the EMA means that it turns faster than the SMA, and as such, its effectiveness is determined by the period the trader chooses.

If you don’t have time to read the entire article, you can always bookmark it for later. The majority of agricultural commodities are staple crops and animal products, including live stock. Many agricultural commodities trade on stock and derivatives markets. The seller of the contract agrees to sell and deliver a commodity at a set quantity, quality, and price at a given delivery date, while the buyer agrees to pay for this purchase. Commodity exchanges are formally recognized and regulated markeplaces where contracts are sold to traders. AnyChart Stock allows you to add SMA with desired period to any of your charts.

Author: Maggie Fitzgerald