Online Trading Concepts

Moving Average Envelopes

Moving Average Envelopes consist of a moving average plus and minus a certain user defined percentage deviation. Moving Average Envelopes serve as an indicator of overbought or oversold conditions, visual representations of price trend, and an indicator of price breakouts. The inputs of the Moving Average Envelopes indicator is shared below:

  1. Moving Average: A simple moving average of both the highs and the lows. (generally 20-period, but varies among technical analysts; also, a person could use only the close when calculating the moving average, rather than two)
  2. Upper Band: The moving average of the highs plus a user defined percentage increase (usually between 1 & 10%).
  3. Lower Band: The moving average of the lows minus a user defined percentage (again, usually between 1 & 10%).

A chart of the Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQQ) shows a 20-day moving average with both a 1% and 2% percentage bands:

Moving Average Envelopes

Interpreting the Moving Average Envelopes

In the chart above of the QQQQ's, the price is not trending. During non-trending phases of markets, Moving Average Envelopes make great overbought and oversold indicators.

Price Breakout Indicator

When stock prices are done resting and consolidating, they breakout, in one direction or the other.

An illustration of an upward price breakout is shown above on the chart of the QQQQ's. On the right side, the QQQQ's gapped up above the 2% price band.

Price Trend Indicator

A new trend in price is usually indicated by a price breakout as outlined above with a continued price close above the upper band, for an upward price trend. A continued price close below the lower band would indicate a new downward price trend.

In the chart of the QQQQ's, after the price breakeout, the closing price continued to close above the upper band; this is a good example of how a price trend begins. Soon after, the price will fall back into the Moving Average Envelopes, but the Moving Average Envelopes will be heading in a positive direction - easily identifying the trend as up.

Moving Average Envelopes is a helpful technical analysis tool for identifying trends and trend breakouts and identifying overbought and oversold conditions. Other similar indicators such as Bollinger Bands (see: Bollinger Bands) and Keltner Channels (see: Keltner Channels) that adjust to volatility should be investigated as well.

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