Technical Analysis from A to Z Accumulation Distribution

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As mentioned, the accumulation/distribution is usually between +1 and -1. A number that is close to +1 is usually an indication of strong buying pressure while a low negative number is usually an indication of buying pressure. The idea behind the accumulation and distribution is a relatively easy one. In most cases when the price of an asset is rising, many traders and investors tend to buy. It then reaches a stage where they start exiting, which is known as distribution.

This indicator takes market volume and organizes it into wave charts, clearly highlighting inflection points and regions of supply/demand. Try tuning this for your instrument by adjusting the “Trend Detection Length”. If you like an oscillator-kind-of display, enable “ShowDistributionBelowZero” option…. Take the time to do some test runs, add each indicator into the mix, and measure the effectiveness. When you are confident enough about your strategy, employ it in the live market. Monitoring the overall money flow — The A/D line gives us an idea of the market’s overall money flow over a given period.

The accumulation/distribution indicator (A/D) is a cumulative indicator that evaluates whether a stock is being dispersed or accumulated using volume and price. This metric looks for differences between the volume flow and the stock price. If the A/D indicator is rising over a given period, then buying pressure may be mounting, which signals a potential upward breakout. As mentioned earlier, a rising A/D line indicates the market is in an accumulation phase.

If the A/D indicator is falling over a given period, then selling pressure dominates the market, which could signal a potential downward breakdown. As mentioned earlier, the accumulation/distribution line gives us insight into the traded asset’s supply and demand. The aim is to read the line’s direction and determine the buying or selling pressure behind the underlying trend. We hotforex logo measure the A/D line in relation to the price trend and then either confirms or contradicts it. Moreover, this aspect makes the A/D indicator an excellent tool for reinforcing the underlying trend or spotting potential reversals. The Accumulation/Distribution Indicator is a volume-measurement tool that assesses the cumulative inflow and outflow of money of a given security.

accumulation distribution indicator

There are other tools that are categorized as volumes indicators. These are essential because they help to identify whether trends are supported by most traders. For a given period, if the A/D indicator is falling, then distribution may be higher and is a sign of the future downward breakout. For a given period, if the A/D indicator is rising, then accumulation may be higher and is a sign of the future upward breakout.

Accumulation/Distribution Indicator – How to Use the A/D Indicator

For example, to change a Plot containing EMA to EMA, first click on EMA, change the Period to 100, and click an ‘Apply…’ button to save. Click ‘Customize Chart Studies’ to open or close the Charts customization panel. And to display side-by-side charts for Apple and Facebook enter AAPL,FB. Enter one or more Symbol Ids separated by commas and click ‘Get Chart’ to display the charts. This is an example of the Accumulation Distribution Line in a Nasdaq 100 exchange-traded fund chart.

accumulation distribution indicator

Futures and futures options trading involves substantial risk and is not suitable for all investors. Please read theRisk Disclosure Statementprior to trading futures products. The Accumulation Distribution Index is calculated as a cumulative total of each day’s reading. The prices are in a downtrend, but are very volatile, confirmed by the moderate slope in the AD line. The uptrend line is broken by the AD line and buy entry is closed and a sell entry is initiated on the next day. The sell entry gets extra confirmation from the falling window & a stop loss to be placed just above the falling window.

Absolute Price Oscillator

Also, one of the main uses of the indicator is to monitor for divergences. Divergences can last a long time and are poor the misbehavior of markets summary timing signals. When divergence appears between the indicator and price, it doesn’t mean a reversal is imminent.

  • If the close is exactly between the high and low prices, nothing is added to the cumulative total.
  • The Accumulation Distribution Line only looks at the level of the close relative to the high-low range for a given period .
  • Click ‘Customize Chart Studies’ to open or close the chart customization panel.
  • Supporting documentation for any claims, comparison, statistics, or other technical data will be supplied upon request.
  • Prior to trading options, you should carefully read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options.

Volume is the total amount of security or asset that has been traded over time, usually in a single day. Supporting documentation for any claims, comparison, statistics, or other technical data will be supplied upon request. TD Ameritrade does not make recommendations or determine the suitability of any security, strategy or course of action for you through your use of our trading tools. Any investment decision you make in your self-directed account is solely your responsibility.

The table below shows the Money Flow Multipliers, Money Flow Volume and Accumulation Distribution Line for Research-in-Motion . Notice how the multiplier is between .50 and 1 when the close is strong and between -.50 and -1 when the close is weak. The A/D indicator is cumulative, meaning one period’s value is added or subtracted from the last. Note the similarity of this formula to that of the stochastic; this is basically a stochastic multiplied by volume. This means that if the security closes near its high, the volume multiplier will have a greater effect than if the security closes nearer to its low.

What is the Accumulation/Distribution Indicator (A/D)?

The same concepts apply when the price closes in the lower portion of the period’s price range. Both volume and where the price closes within the period’s range determine how much the A/D will decline. If the Accumulation/Distribution indicator is moving up the buyers are driving the price move and the security is being accumulated. A decreasing A/D value implies that the sellers are driving the market and the security is being distributed.

accumulation distribution indicator

Moreover, prices and indications can diverge from one another occasionally. For instance, stock gaps are down by 10% on extremely high volumes. Although the price fluctuates all day and closes in the upper part of its daily range, it is still down 18% from the previous close. Bullish and bearish divergences are easily spotted using A/D. A bullish divergence is created when the price falls to new lows, but the accumulation/distribution line does not confirm these lows and moves higher.

This makes it at least two steps removed from the actual price of the underlying security. Moreover, the Money Flow Multiplier does not take into account price changes from period to period. As such, it cannot be expected to always affirm price action or successfully predict price reversals with divergences. Sometimes there is a disconnect between prices and the indicator.

The accumulation area is a stock market charting zone analyzed by investors that can indicate a good time to buy. A strongly rising A/D line confirms a strongly rising price. Similarly, if the price is falling and the A/D is also falling, then there is still plenty of distribution and prices are likely to continue to decline. Note the most recent period’s close, high, and low to calculate. A lower high is when the price of a cryptocurrency closes at a high but lower than the previous day. The accumulation/distribution line will begin to move in the opposite direction of the price, indicating a possible reversal.

The number of shares traded is relative to the rise and fall of its stock price. The A/D indicator, like other volume indicators, predicts the direction of the volume flow. It helps determine future stock price movements and hence provides an edge.

The upward trend will likely continue when the stock price and the indicator both experience higher peaks and higher troughs. Use the money flow volume as the first value in the first calculation. Divergences between the Accumulation/Distribution and the security’s price imply a change is imminent.

When “Baseline Chart” option is disabled, it looks similar to regular volume. Kiril Nikolaev studied Business with a major in Finance at York University, and worked as a financial analyst at BMO Nesbitt Burns. Kiril has been writing financial and investment-related content for over 5 years and has been featured many financial websites. Kiril is a CFA charterholder with over 10 years of investing experience. Sometimes, the A/D indicator simply doesn’t work — No one indicator provides accurate predictions 100% of the time.

Between 74%-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. It is important to incorporate volume into price analysis, and the Accumulation Distribution Line is one of many indicators to do just this. Increasing and decreasing prices are not confirmed and warn of future trouble when the volume is decreasing. Increasing and decreasing prices are confirmed by the increasing volume.


When the price of the asset goes up, more and more buyers want to enter the market. As such, the accumulation level should be growing with the rising price. Conversely, when the price is going down, sellers want to offload their shares, and the distribution level will inevitably reflect these changes.

Accumulation/Distribution Indicator (A/D)

The divergence between the indicator and price does not necessarily predict an impending reversal. The price may not reverse at all, or it may take a very long time. Hence, a stock will see a significant A/D rise when it closes close to the period’s high and has substantial volume. Contributed significantly to U.S. market trading volume statistics. HFTs view volume as a crucial indicator for assessing the significance of market changes.

The value that is used as both a period of the range calculation and an offset to collect the past value of the range. The descriptions, formulas, and parameters shown below apply to both Interactive and Technical Charts, unless noted. Please note that some of the parameters may be slightly different between the two versions of charts. The bullish divergence correctly predicted the subsequent rally. See Indicator Panel for directions on how to set up an indicator. Go long when there is a bullishdivergence between Williams Accumulation Distribution and price.

The bearish divergence from Low #1 to Low #2 confirmed the later bearish divergence of High #3 to High #4. This bearish divergence warned that the second move to make a higher high in price lacked conviction. Therefore, when a day is an accumulation day, the day’s equiti review volume is added to the previous day’s Accumulation Distribution Line. This is the ADL and OBV of Microsoft from 28th November 2013 to 28th November 2014 generated by this spreadsheet. The ADL and OBV rise in tandem with the price, confirming a strong trend.

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