Golden Cross vs Death Cross: What’s the Difference?


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  1. In the first green circle, we have the moment when the price switches above the 50-period TEMA.
  2. You should not treat any opinion expressed in this material as a specific inducement to make any investment or follow any strategy, but only as an expression of opinion.
  3. This line is the EMA of the MACD itself (a 9-day one to be precise) and it will be useful in generating buy/sell signals (therefore it is often called the signal line).
  4. Traders use MACD to identify changes in the direction or strength of a stock’s price trend.

When the short-term moving average (typically the 50-day average) crosses the long-term moving average (commonly the 200-day average) from below, it indicates a bullish signal. This means you can expect the market to potentially move upwards, providing a favorable entry point for a long position. Moving average convergence/divergence (MACD, or MAC-D) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between two exponential moving averages (EMAs) of a security’s price.

Cryptocurrency traders can capitalize on the MACD Golden Cross by combining it with indicators tailored for crypto markets. For example, the Relative Vigor Index or the Awesome Oscillator can be effective when trading cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Keep in mind that cryptocurrencies can be extremely volatile, so ensure you set appropriate stop-loss levels to protect your investments. Traders who focus on the forex market can also take advantage of the MACD Golden Cross strategy. In this case, concentrate on timeframes relevant to currency trading, such as the 1-hour and 4-hour charts.

As such, when a volume spike accompanies a crossover signal, many traders will be more confident that the signal is valid. Furthermore, the market can be difficult to navigate around these crosses, so many investors will slowly enter a position, adding to it once the momentum starts to pick up. The trading strategy then calls for possibly hanging onto the position until the moving averages cross again, in what is known as a death cross. That being said, it is worth noting that waiting for when the death cross occurs can lead to giving back quite a bit of the potential gains. Conversely, a similar downside moving average crossover constitutes the death cross and is understood to signal a decisive downturn in a market. The death cross occurs when the short-term average trends down and crosses the long-term average, basically going in the opposite direction of the golden cross.

When a stock, future, or currency pair is moving strongly in a direction, the MACD histogram will increase in height. A potential buy signal is generated when the MACD (blue line) crosses above the MACD Signal Line (red line). This is seen on the Nasdaq 100 exchange traded fund (QQQQ) chart below with the two purple lines. Published four books by publishers McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, Marketplace Books and Bloomberg Press. The 50-period MA crosses up through the 200-period MA $171 as the relative strength index (RSI) oscillator bounces up to the 70-band.

How to trade the golden cross and the death cross

Another downside of the MACD Golden Cross is its nature as a lagging indicator. This means that it relies on historical price data, which may not necessarily be a reliable predictor of future price movements. As a result, you might experience difficulties establishing the precise market timing for your trades. Combining the MACD Golden Cross with other leading indicators such as the RSI or Stochastic Oscillator can help improve accuracy in predicting the right timing for entering or exiting a trade.

When the MACD crosses the signal line from under it and goes over, a buy signal is generated. Conversely, when the MACD crosses the signal line from above and goes under it, this generates a sell signal, and is often known as the “death cross”. We know bitmex review that a moving average measures the average price of an asset for the duration that it plots. In this sense, when a short-term MA is below a long-term MA, it means that the short-term price action is bearish compared to the long-term price action.

Trading Strategies with the MACD Golden Cross

A golden cross signals a bull market and a death cross signals a bear market. Both of these are determined by the confirmation of a long-term trend from the occurrence of a short-term moving average crossing over a major long-term moving average. Both crosses help traders in making investment decisions, particularly knowing when to enter and exit a trade. For swing traders, opt for a longer timeframe like the daily or 4-hour chart. This will help you identify broader trends and market direction, giving you a clearer picture of when to enter and exit a trade.

What is a golden cross?

With practice and discipline, the Golden Cross pattern can become a valuable trading tool used in your arsenal to navigate the financial markets successfully. While this isn’t the only tool you should have, it is worth noting that the golden cross strategy is one that is widely followed, and therefore it is one that you have to be aware of. A golden cross occurs when a faster-moving average crosses a slower moving average. However, the key point is the moving averages which constitute the cross, and the direction in which they cross. Prices gradually increased over time, creating an upward trend in the moving 50-day average.

Chapter 8: Using MACD to Forecast Major Trend Changes

Either crossover is considered more significant when accompanied by high trading volume. Notice that the price range of the candlesticks made a significant jump when the downward trend bottomed out and turned into an uptrend. Something likely occurred that changed investor and trader market sentiments at this time. Over time, the MACD indicator has evolved to include more information for traders.

How much does trading cost?

When using the MACD Golden Cross strategy for day trading, focus on shorter timeframes. This is important because it increases trade frequency, allowing you to capitalize on more opportunities during the trading day. To maximize your trading potential, combine the MACD with additional technical indicators such as RSI or stochastic oscillators. In technical analysis, both the MACD and Golden Cross are valuable tools for determining market direction and trend strength. They can be used in conjunction, as the MACD might signal a shift in trend, and the Golden Cross serves as a confirmation for the bullish trend. If we have already computed the MACD and plotted it on the smaller chart, what is the use for the additional red line on that chart?

The last strategy we will cover combines the double bottom chart formation with the golden cross. One method you can use is to wait for a stock that has had a long sustainable downtrend and then look for a stock that is ready to make a move higher. If you don’t want to wait for the 50sma to break the 200sma on a death cross, you could have taken gains on the trend line break. Once the 50-period SMA crosses the 200-period SMA to the upside, we have a golden cross. With your newly created Macd Trading Crossover formula, let us see it in action.

Notice how the MACD stock indicator stayed above the zero line during the entire rally from the low 6000 range all the way above 11,600. If you want to learn more about the MACD stock indicator formula, check out the early part of this blog post [1] from Rayner over at The result is a great long buy entry in a trade that maintains a risk-to-reward ratio of 6 to 1.

However, this time we demonstrate the strength of the signal and the potential run a stock can make after a golden cross materializes. While financial analysts are skeptical about the golden cross being the start of a bull market, there is data to support the belief that it could be a good indicator. Schaeffer’s Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White found that there were gains in the stock market after a golden cross. That is, with high trading volumes and higher trading prices, the golden cross is possibly a sign that the stock market, and individual stocks, are poised for recovery. The first stage requires that a downtrend eventually bottoms out as buyers overpower sellers. In the second stage, the shorter moving average crosses over the larger moving average to trigger a breakout and confirms a downward trend reversal.

Golden crosses, alongside death crosses, are popular indicators watched by market participants and gains traction with news headlines as well. This is largely attributed to the fact that this indicator is easy to follow, even though it may occur less frequently as an indication to take action as compared to other technical indicators. Commonly used moving averages are the 50-day moving average (DMA) and the 200-DMA for the short- and long-term moving averages respectively. Golden crosses and death crosses are used in trading and are a form of technical analysis.

From here, either another leg of the uptrend forms as the 50-period MA rises again or the 50-period MA turns and crosses the 200-period MA down, forming a breakdown. The golden cross was in the news after the stock market bottomed in March 2020 and rallied higher into the reopening of the pandemic in 2021. Simply wait for the security to test the 20-period moving average and then wait for a cross of the trigger line above the MACD.