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Using Parabolic SAR w/ ADX

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Trying to add another indicator to the arsenal. SARS seems pretty easy and straightforward to follow. Trys to tell you were a good buy and sell point is for a given stock. Best if used in conjunction with the ADX. ADX is the measure of the strength of the stock: either bullish or bearish strength. Figured I'd share my learning with everyone else. Here is stockcharts definitions. much better than mine.

Parabolic SAR


Introduction
Developed by Welles Wilder, creator of RSI and DMI, the Parabolic SAR sets trailing price stops for long or short positions. Also referred to as the stop-and-reversal indicator (SAR stands for "stop and reversal"), Parabolic SAR is more popular for setting stops than for establishing direction or trend. Wilder recommended establishing the trend first, and then trading with Parabolic SAR in the direction of the trend. If the trend is up, buy when the indicator moves below the price. If the trend is down, sell when the indicator moves above the price.

Calculation
The formula is quite complex and beyond the scope of this definition, but interpretation is relatively straightforward. The dotted lines below the price establish the trailing stop for a long position and the lines above establish the trailing stop for a short position. At the beginning of the move, the Parabolic SAR will provide a greater cushion between the price and the trailing stop. As the move gets underway, the distance between the price and the indicator will shrink, thus making for a tighter stop-loss as the price moves in a favorable direction.

There are two variables: the step and the maximum step. The higher the step is set, the more sensitive the indicator will be to price changes. If the step is set too high, the indicator will fluctuate above and below the price too often, making interpretation difficult. The maximum step controls the adjustment of the SAR as the price moves. The lower the maximum step is set, the further the trailing stop will be from the price. Wilder recommends setting the step at .02 and the maximum step at .20.

Example
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The chart for Microsoft shows how the Parabolic SAR can catch most trends and allow the trader to profit from the buy/sell signals. The default settings that Wilder recommends diminishes distracting fluctuations, but does not make the indicator immune to whipsaws (black arrow). A proper interpretation of this indicator would suggest that a trader should close long positions when the price falls below the SAR (red arrow) and close short positions when the price rises above the SAR (green arrow).

The Parabolic SAR works best during strong trending periods, which Wilder himself estimates occur roughly 30% of the time. Therefore, the user may first want to determine if the market is trending by using other indicators such as Wilder's ADX line

Average Directional Index (ADX)


Introduction


J. Welles Wilder developed the Average Directional Index (ADX) in order to evaluate the strength of the current trend, be it up or down. It's important to determine whether the market is trending or trading (moving sideways), because certain indicators give more useful results depending on the market doing one or the other.

ADX is an oscillator that fluctuates between 0 and 100. Even though the scale is from 0 to 100, readings above 60 are relatively rare. Low readings, below 20, indicate a weak trend and high readings, above 40, indicate a strong trend. The indicator does not grade the trend as bullish or bearish, but merely assesses the strength of the current trend. A reading above 40 can indicate a strong downtrend as well as a strong uptrend.

ADX can also be used to identify potential changes in a market from trending to non-trending. When ADX begins to strengthen from below 20 and/or moves above 20, it is a sign that the trading range is ending and a trend could be developing.

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When ADX begins to weaken from above 40 and/or moves below 40, it is a sign that the current trend is losing strength and a trading range could develop.
post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 
Positive/Negative Directional Indicators
ADX is derived from two other indicators, also developed by Wilder, called the Positive Directional Indicator (sometimes written +DI) and the Negative Directional Indicator (-DI).

When the ADX Indicator is selected, SharpCharts plots the Positive Directional Indicator (+DI), Negative Directional Indicator (-DI) and Average Directional Index (ADX). With the Red, White and Green color scheme on SharpCharts, ADX is the thick black line with less fluctuation, +DI is green and -DI is red. +DI measures the force of the up moves and -DI measures the force of the down moves over a set period. The default setting is 14 periods, but users are encouraged to modify these settings according to their personal preferences.

In its most basic form, buy and sell signals can be generated by +DI/-DI crosses. A buy signal occurs when +DI moves above -DI and a sell signal when -DI moves above the +DI. Be careful, though; when a security is in a trading range, this system may produce many whipsaws. As with most technical indicators, +DI/-DI crosses should be used in conjunction with other aspects of technical analysis.

ADX combines +DI with -DI and then smooths the data with a moving average to provide a measurement of trend strength. Because it uses both +DI and -DI, ADX does not offer any indication of trend direction, just strength. Generally, readings above 40 indicate a strong trend and readings below 20 a weak trend. To catch a trend in its early stages, you might look for stocks with ADX that advances above 20. Conversely, an ADX decline from above 40 might signal that the current trend is weakening and a trading range may develop.

Here are a few that are close to what we are looking for here. If anyone has any suggestions on using this technique I'd like to hear it. Lets see how these charts develop. I'll update them on Friday.

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post #3 of 3
hi, im new to the market, reading all i can before i step on the trading floor.
this seem interesting, what else do you have in your arsenal ?
thanks
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