What is the Difference Between MACD and the PPO

MACD and the Percent Price Oscillator (PPO) are momentum oscillators that measure the difference between two moving averages. MACD(12,26,9) is the absolute difference between the 12-day and 26-day exponential moving averages. PPO(12,26,9) takes MACD one step further by showing the percentage difference between these two moving averages. The PPO is the difference of the two EMAs divided by the 26-day EMA. A 9-day EMA is applied to MACD and the PPO to act as a signal line.

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The difference between MACD and the PPO can be seen on the Dow chart. Notice that MACD values are influenced by the price of the underlying security. The higher the prices are, the larger the MACD values, both positive and negative. MACD for the Dow fluctuated between +150 and -200. Basically, the PPO values are the MACD values divided by the 26-day EMA. The PPO fluctuated between +1.1% and -1.6%. You can read more on MACD and the PPO in our ChartSchool.
Arthur Hill
About the author: , CMT, is a Senior Technical Analyst at He has written articles for numerous financial publications including Barrons and Stocks & Commodities magazine. Focusing predominantly on US equities and ETFs, his systematic approach of identifying trend, finding signals within the trend, and setting key price levels has made him an esteemed technician. In addition to his CMT designation, Arthur holds an MBA from the Cass Business School at City University in London. Learn More
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