Trading is not just about price on the charts. It is also about the momentum of the price. One has to incorporate the momentum aspect in making trading decisions because price tells only half the story. The other half is told by the momentum. Inferior trade set ups can be avoided if momentum is also looked into.
Significance of Momentum Indicators
It is very easy to identify the major trend by naked eyes. But many times there are minor trends within the major trend. One has to study the charts carefully to see such trends. You can identify minor trends clearly if you use momentum indicators.
Let me explain the importance of momentum of the price. Say you are watching a car going past you. The driver in the car has decreased the speed of the car. You will not feel its decreased speed because you are not in the car. Unlike you, driver in the car will feel the decrease in speed. Price will show you where the car is going. Momentum indicators will give you the feel of the strength of the trend.
Better Trading Decisions with Momentum Indicators
Why is it important to know the momentum? As a trader you will typically be in a trade from few minutes to few days. You don’t want to be in a trade if the strength of the trend is waned. Ideally you should be in a trade when there is a strong momentum going with you. Momentum indicators will show you the momentum of the trend. Let me warn you before proceeding. Momentum indicators should never be used in isolation. Similarly price should not be viewed in isolation. You will trade profitably if you use either of them together. Commonly used momentum indicators are RSI, Stochastic, CCI and William’s %R. You can use momentum indicators differently and get better trading results.
The foremost type is to look for divergence. Divergence occur when the price and momentum move in opposite directions. This is a classic trading signal for a trend reversal. Trend takes few days to reverse. The price moves in a trending direction well after the momentum is feeble. Price moves up but the momentum indicator shows the downtrend. This implies that the reversal of a trend is round the corner. Then you should look to trade against the trend.
Look for Crossing of Two Signals
Crossover is another favourite play of many traders. In this method, two signals of a momentum indicator cross each other and generate a trading signal. In case of MACD, a buy trade can be initiated if MACD cuts the signal line from below and goes above it. Similarly if MACD line crosses the signal line from above and goes below it, sell signal is generated.
Take into Account Extreme Conditions
Momentum indicators can also be used with overbought and oversold levels. RSI and Stochastic are the two most important momentum indicators which depict these conditions. Such indicators are used to make better entries and exits.
Momentum indicators help you in identifying, confirming the trend and reversal of a trend. It should always be used with other technical analysis tools such as price action, volume etc. Good set ups are those which go in your direction quickly. If you understand how to use momentum indicators properly, you can make a lot of money without much stress.