Don't Ignore This Chart

20 Day EMAs Are Huge Technical Weapons


Moving averages are lagging overlays by definition as we use historical data to determine their position on a price chart.  But many traders use moving averages as support during periods of trending prices.  Personally, my favorite is the 20 period EMA.  Obviously, it can't guarantee us support in an uptrend or resistance in a downtrend, but if you follow price action closely, you'll see that it does a nice job of helping to minimize risk.  Mitigating risk is paramount to a successful trader.  On the AAPL daily chart below, you'll see that the 20 day EMA provides us no help whatsoever during periods of price consolidation.  But recently AAPL broke down beneath its 20 day EMA on heavy volume and every attempt to clear that moving average hurdle has failed - so far.  I wouldn't consider AAPL as a long candidate until one of two things occurs.  Either AAPL clears its 20 day EMA resistance on heavy volume or a positive divergence prints on the MACD on its next new closing low.  For now, ride the downtrend.  Check it out:

The heavy volume confirmed the July breakdown and the red arrows show the serious resistance faced at the declining 20 day EMA.  Don't overlook the power of this key moving average as prices trend.

Happy trading!


Tom Bowley
About the author: co-founded Invested Central and served as the site's Chief Market Strategist for more than 10 years. His unique trading style combines both his fundamental and technical strategies to systematically manage risk while trading. A regular contributor to's bi-weekly ChartWatchers newsletter since 2006, Tom's role at StockCharts has expanded significantly since he joined the company as a full-time Senior Technical Analyst in March of 2015. Learn More
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