Self Directed Investor Inc
SDI: "Empowering investors with ideas and education"
Symbol Lookup »  
Topics:ChinaETFsEarningsEconomyEnergyForexGoldIncomeLessonsIdeasTrading

  • Other news: News from PR Newswire
| More

How Useful is the 200 Day Moving Average?

Wed, Jun 3, 2:55 PM ET, by Kenneth C. Bateman

Anyone who follows the market closely knows that the 200 day moving average (200-dma) is a trend line that needs to be followed. Even investors who are strictly fundamental in nature often steal a glance at the 200-dma. The 200-dma is seen as both a significant point of resistance and a significant point of strength.

To demonstrate, consider this chart below of the S&P 500 index which encompasses the majority of the last bull market.The blue line, representing the 200-dma, proved to be a good point to add to long positions on weakness. The mainstream financial media is now suggesting that this rally has exceeded the 200-dma and provides further confirmation that we are in a bull market. This is not said explicitly, but is merely mentioned as another indicator of the obviousness of the bull market, and further proof the bear market has ended. In fact, this is a much different assertion that what the above chart indicates.



With this in mind, I want to look at prior instances of the stock market rallying to the 200-dma. Exactly how good of an indicator is the 200-dma in determining the end of bear markets, rather than actually proving to be a good time to be a seller of stock.

The chart below shows our current rally.



This is our current rally, up from the March lows of 666.79 on the S&P 500. Clearly we have had a great surge of strength in this current rally. But the real question that investors need to ask themselves is whether or not this presents an opportunity to buy or sell equity positions.

Our next example of the S&P 500 comes from 2008. If you remember, this was following Bear Stearns and the extraordinary actions of the Federal Reserve to aid the financial system. The general consensus was that the Fed had saved the day. The thinking was we would no longer be required to endure the prospect of a systemic collapse because the Federal Reserve made the discount window available to Investment Banks. The market had dropped, and rallied back to the 200-dma, a sign of strength. In retrospect, the S&P 500 touching the 200-dma proved to be the single best time to sell, not to buy. I have spared you from viewing how the rest of 2008 turned out.

Here is another chart of a bear market rally that touched the 200-dma several times, yet still finally resolved to the downside.



This chart comes from 2001, in the post-internet bubble, a time of decidely high valuations. The rally from the low in September of 2001, which was 944.75, to the high of 1176.97 in January 2002 was a gain of 24.5%. The S&P 500 broke the 200-dma, but was this a clarion call to buy? Absolutely not, it was a clarion call to sell, as the remainder of the chart demonstrates.

Below is a daily chart showing the entire 3-year period September 2000 to September 2003. There were several “touches” of the 200-dma, and almost all of them produced a good opportunity to exit equity positions in front of future weakness.



Of course, there is a magical time when the 200-dma presents an opportunity to buy stocks, as is shown in the above chart in April 2003. But given the success ratio of the 200-dma, it is foolhardy to assume that this alone is a premier metric to use to determine that “now is the time to get in.”

Even when it did finally break the 200-dma, there was still plenty of time to gain exposure to equities for the bull market between 2003-2007 – see the first chart.

So while others expound on the recent break of the 200-dma for the S&P 500, this is far from a call to action for investment. The 200-dma is only a tool to be used in conjuction with other forms of analysis, including analysis of the broader economy.


SDI Glossary: "the Fed" Definition
This Article's Word Cloud:   Even   Federal   Reserve   September   This   above   analysis   another   bear   below   break   bull   call   chart   clarion   comes   current   equity   finally   financial   from   further   gain   good   have   high   indicator   investors   line   market   opportunity   point   positions   presents   proved   rally   sell   several   significant   still   stock   strength   that   there   this   time   want   weakness   when   which

| More

1 Comment

 There are really 2 different usages of the 200-day MA. Treating them separately resolves some of the confusion and really makes it easier to determine what has worked and what doesn't.
Usage 1: Sentiment indicator: e.g. when price is somewhere above the 200 MA then look for signals to go long
Usage 2: Entry trigger: e.g. buy when the price crosses up through the moving averages.
I backtested both usages for 200 day MA (and others) over 14 yrs of data for 7147 stocks. Results showed that one way of using the 200 day moving average added value and other didn't. See www.backtestingblog.com for more info.

-- Jackie Ann Patterson
Thu, Jun 4, 3:00 PM ET

What Sector Rotation is Saying So Far in 2015
Mon, Apr 27, 12:31 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

As we transition from April into May, let’s examine what the Sector Rotation model suggests ...

April 24 Rally Rages Market Update and Stock Scan
Fri, Apr 24, 2:31 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

A cynic would ask “When does this rally end?” A trader… couldn’t care less. Buyers ...

Join Me TONIGHT for a Free Coaching Webinar!
Thu, Apr 23, 12:41 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

I wanted to invite you personally to join me live this Thursday evening for a ...

Trend Trading and Triangles for Euro and US Dollar
Thu, Apr 23, 12:21 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

2014 saw a huge trend persist in the currency markets, specifically with the US Dollar ...

Match Your Trading Style with the Market
Thu, Apr 23, 11:31 AM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

If you’re a developing trader, how would you describe your trading style? If you’re a ...

Join Me Live Thursday for a Free Coaching Webinar
Wed, Apr 22, 1:41 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

I wanted to invite you personally to join me live this Thursday evening for a ...

What We Can Learn from the Many Breakouts in AKAM
Wed, Apr 22, 12:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Not only is Akamai Technologies (AKAM) triggering another successful breakout trade right now, but we ...

April 21 Gap Trap Surprise Market Update and Stock Scan
Tue, Apr 21, 3:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

As we’ll see on the intraday chart, today’s session was a continuation of the sideways ...

Bounce Back Bullish Market Update and Scan for April 20
Mon, Apr 20, 1:51 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

And we’re back! Back to the highs of Friday’s activity that is – and should ...

Yes Indeed the Trading Range Continues: What You Need to Know
Fri, Apr 17, 12:41 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Given that the S&P 500 remains in a broader trading range pattern, today’s sharp downside ...

Quadruple Timeframing the Netflix NFLX Surge
Thu, Apr 16, 3:31 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Netflix (NFLX) broke powerfully higher overnight on earnings, continuing a multi-year uptrend and confirming the ...

April 16 Daily Stock Market Update and Scan
Thu, Apr 16, 2:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

This week has been “Divergence Week” where intraday reversals occurred on clear divergences. It was ...

Four Stocks Strongly Closing at their Highs Today
Wed, Apr 15, 6:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Each day I do a mid-day scan of strong and weak relative strength stocks, but ...

Tax Day Big Bullish Market Update and Stock Scan
Wed, Apr 15, 2:21 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

I hope you’re not shorting this bull-dominated market! Or at least haven’t shorted over the ...

Updating and Planning the Current SP500 Range Play
Wed, Apr 15, 12:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

As price continues to trade within a clearly defined range pattern, let’s update our S&P ...

Another Market Reversal Intraday Update Stock Scan April 14
Tue, Apr 14, 3:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

If you followed Market Internals yesterday, you had a clear roadmap to trade today’s session ...

Intraday Reversal Market Update and Stock Scan April 13
Mon, Apr 13, 1:51 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Buyers pushed the market above the breakout but failed as they encountered thin air at ...

Triple Timeframing the Breakout in China FXI
Thu, Apr 9, 2:41 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Blink and you missed this week’s surge breakout higher in previously stable FXI, a popular ...

April 9 Nothing At All Happening Range Market Update
Thu, Apr 9, 2:21 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Instead of “A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” there’s actually a whole lot of nothing ...

April 8 Fed Minutes Reaction Market Update with Stock Scan
Wed, Apr 8, 3:21 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

We’re seeing a Falling Range Day in the context of spiking volatility on a “Fed ...

April 7 Range Day Resistance Market Update and Stock Scan
Tue, Apr 7, 2:51 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Stocks are taking a breather after yesterday’s strong bullish trend day. Let’s dive inside action ...

Quick Color Commodity Charts to Start the Week
Tue, Apr 7, 11:41 AM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Yesterday we updated Gold, Oil, the S&P 500, and the US Dollar Index but let’s ...

Learning the Whale Trade from Doc Severson
Tue, Apr 7, 11:21 AM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

What’s a “Whale Trade” you ask? And what is the set-up and outcome? Doc Severson ...

Big Bullish Surge off Support Market Update and Scan April 6
Mon, Apr 6, 1:21 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Markets are rarely boring, that’s for sure. Stocks power-rallied off support this morning as a ...

Reversal Breakout Opportunity Brewing in Coffee and Crude Oil
Mon, Apr 6, 12:41 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Are we about to see a “Breakout Reversal” trading opportunity trigger for Coffee and Crude ...

Quick Charting Cross-Market Money Flow to Start the Week
Mon, Apr 6, 11:31 AM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Where’s money flowing across Stocks, Gold, Oil, and the Dollar as we start the new ...

Join Me Live in Las Vegas! Trader Bootcamp Invitation
Fri, Apr 3, 2:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Start planning your travel now! I’m excited to present live in Las Vegas May 11 ...

Bouncing Bull Market Update and Big Stock Scan April 2
Thu, Apr 2, 2:41 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

We all survived April Fool’s Day! Yesterday saw an intraday bottoming/reversal process and today we’re ...

Key Chart Level Planning for Dow SP500 NASDAQ and Russell April 1
Wed, Apr 1, 10:51 AM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

With a morning sell-off in motion, let’s take a moment to step back and note ...

Two SP500 Triangles and Updated Selloff Level Planning
Wed, Apr 1, 10:31 AM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

The stock market fell victim to sharp selling pressure overnight that continued into the morning ...

Big Bullish Breakout Market Update and Trending Stock Scan
Mon, Mar 30, 2:31 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

If Friday’s triangle range day session (see update) was boring, today’s expected breakout is thrilling ...

Wake Me Up When The Range Day Ends Market Update and Stock Scan March 27
Fri, Mar 27, 3:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Wait – was the market open today? So far nothing’s happened. I’m kidding but that’s ...

VSpike Reversal Intraday Market Update and Focused Stock Scan
Thu, Mar 26, 1:51 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

The selling pressure continued today yet a strong V-Spike Reversal off the 2,050 level may ...

Biogen BIIB Shoots the Moon then Falls to Key Support Pivot
Thu, Mar 26, 1:21 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

We saw an interesting price pattern in high-flying Biogen (BIIB) only to see a harsh ...

Selloff Market Update and Trending Stock Scan March 25
Wed, Mar 25, 2:31 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

We have a second sell-session in a row as the S&P 500 moves down from ...

Repeat Bullish Pattern in Twitter TWTR Calls for New Highs
Tue, Mar 24, 11:21 AM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Twitter (TWTR) is back in the news with a bullish breakout and a strong recent ...

March 24 International ETF Color Grid Shows Two Strong Countries
Tue, Mar 24, 11:11 AM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Which two country ETFs are breaking out to new highs in a continuing uptrend? And ...

Join Me Live for Monday Morning Market Panel Update
Sun, Mar 22, 9:41 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Join me live Monday Morning for real-time market commentary and strategy planning for the week ...

March 19 Retracement Market Update and Big Stock Scan
Thu, Mar 19, 2:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

After the Federal Reserve dropped the “patient” language but reminded us that recent economic conditions ...

Post Fed Money Flow and Dollar Flash Crash Update
Thu, Mar 19, 1:51 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Markets today retraced part of the sudden movement following yesterday’s Federal Reserve announcement. Let’s take ...

GoPro GPRO Reveals How to Trade Triangle Breakouts
Wed, Mar 18, 3:31 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

One of my favorite breakout trading patterns is the Triangle, and GoPro (GPRO) just gave ...

March 17 Quick Color Sector Strength Grid
Tue, Mar 17, 11:11 AM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

With the market near all-time highs again, which sectors are the strongest and which are ...

Big Rally Market Update and Trending Stock Scan March 16
Mon, Mar 16, 1:51 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Counting today, the last four trading sessions have reversed off clear divergences, and today’s session ...

Stocks Falling Market Update and Trending Stock Scan March 13
Fri, Mar 13, 1:51 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Divergences can be extremely important in planning and trading intraday market reversals. Momentum and – ...

March 12 Big Bull Market Update and Trending Stock Scan
Thu, Mar 12, 2:31 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

As was suggested in yesterday’s post, stocks stabilized off support with positive divergences and today ...

A Quick Update of Cross Market Money Flow Grid March 11
Wed, Mar 11, 4:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

There have been some big moves in the Cross-Market (Intermarket) Money Flow landscape recently. Let’s ...

March 11 Support and Market Update with New Stock Scan
Wed, Mar 11, 3:41 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

Today’s session continued the selling pressure of yesterday, but the bears were less relentless. Buyers ...

March 10 Selloff Update and Trending Stock Scan
Tue, Mar 10, 3:11 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

The selling pressure continued today on the support breakdown under 2,070’s pivot. What resulted – ...

Five Strong Stocks Holding Up Surprisingly Well During the Pullback
Tue, Mar 10, 10:21 AM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

During market pullbacks, it’s often helpful to step inside the market to see which stocks ...

Returning to a World Where Breadth Divergences Matter
Fri, Mar 6, 12:51 PM ET, by Corey Rosenbloom

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking “The market will go up forever!” when ...

  More articles:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 next »

ABOUT US »   ADVERTISE »   CONTACT US »   TERMS OF USE & PRIVACY POLICY »

How Useful is the 200 Day Moving Average? | Self Directed Investor | Copyright © 2008 - 2015, All Rights Reserved

Any ideas and opinions presented in Self Directed Investor content are for informational and educational purposes only, and do not reflect the opinions of BNK Invest, Inc. or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or partners. In no way should any content contained herein be interpreted to represent trading or investment advice. None of the information contained herein constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. All site visitors agree that under no circumstances will BNK Invest, Inc,. its subsidiaries, partners, officers, employees, affiliates, or agents be held liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained. Read Full Disclaimer.

SDI is associated with: ValueForum.com -- a subscription-based online social networking forum of serious individual investors. | MarketNewsVideo.com -- videos appearing on SDI are produced by Market News Video. | TickerTech.com -- stock quote content appearing on SDI is at least 20 minutes delayed and is powered by Ticker Technologies. | GoldStockStrategist.com -- Edited by Scott V. Nystrom, PhD, Gold Stock Strategist provides analysis on gold mining companies.