Stock / Share Market
by 5paisa Research Team Last Updated: 2023-05-15T14:07:24+05:30


The exponential moving average (EMA) is a weighted moving average that assesses the bullish and bearish trends in a securities over a specified time frame. The EMA can be used to predict the direction of future prices and is used in trading to identify whether a security's price is rising or falling.

Technical indicators called moving averages work to "smooth out" price swings to make it easier to distinguish between trends and routine market activity. Due to its versatility and ability to be used on many financial markets, including stocks, currencies, and commodities, the EMA is a well-liked technical indicator among traders. It is frequently used in conjunction with other technical analysis indicators and tools including Bollinger Bands, MACD, and Relative Strength Index.


What Is the Exponential moving average In Trading (EMA)?

An exponential moving average (EMA) is a moving average that measures the average price of a security and assigns more weight and meaning to the most recent data points. Compared to SMA, EMA responds more effectively to recent price changes and applies equal importance to all observations over the period.

The exponential moving average (EMA meaning) is a technical indicator that determines the direction in which the price of a security is moving based on past prices. Therefore, EMAs are lag indicators that don’t predict future prices but showcase the trend that the stock price is following.

It would be best if you considered the following factors while calculating EMA in the stock market:

  • You must use the same rules while interpreting SMA and EMA in trading.
  • EMA in trading is more price sensitive to price movements and can spot trends earlier than an SMA.
  • EMA in stock market also helps in analyzing more short-term changes
  • EMA helps determine the trend's direction and trade in that direction. If the EMA is rising, consider buying; if the EMA is falling, consider selling.
  • EMA rise supports price action, and a fall resists price action.
  • EMA does not mean it can accurately identify a trade down or up. It can assist when you want to trade in the general direction of a trend but with a lag at entry and exit points.


The Formula for Exponential moving average (EMA)

The exponential moving average formula is:

EMA = (K x (C - P)) + P


Calculating the EMA in the stock market

You can calculate EMA in trading using three steps:

Step 1 - Calculate the simple moving average (SMA). So, let’s say if you want to calculate the SMA for the last 10 days, you should sum up the last 10 closing prices of a security and divide the figure by 10

For examples - 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10/ 10 = 5.5

Step 2 – Calculate the weighting multiplier for the number of periods using the formula:

EMA(current) = ((Price(current) – EMA (prev)) x Multiplier) + EMA(prev)

Step 3 – Now, with both the values in hand – SMA and weighting multiplier, you can calculate the EMA using the formula:

(Closing price-EMA(previous day)) x multiplier + EMA(last day)

Here EMA uses the previous day's values and incorporates all the price data within its current value. The old prices have a low impact, while the latest prices have the maximum effect on moving averages.

EMA = (K x (C - P)) + P

C = Current Price

P = Previous periods EMA

K = Exponential smoothing constant (using the number of periods, K applies the relevant weight to the latest price).


What Does the EMA Tell You?

You can use EMA calculations for lengths like 10, 20, 100, and 200-day moving averages.

  • The 12 and 25-day EMAs are considered short-term averages and are used for calculating MACD - Moving Average Convergence Divergence and PPO - Percentage Price Oscillato (PPO).
  • The 50 and 200-day EMAs are considered long-term trend indicators.

Traders using the insightful EMA in trading analysis can estimate the benefits it provides, but if these signals are misused, they can also prove quite harmful. EMAs are lag indicators that confirm market movement or reveal its strength.

An EMA in stock market helps to mitigate the adverse effects of lag as it gives higher priority to the price action and is more responsive. This is a great way to arrive at a trade entry signal.

EMAs are highly effective in trending markets. EMA in stocks direction, along with the ratio of change from one area to the next, is highly valuable to the trader. EMA displays an upward trend in a strong market and vice versa in a downtrend market.

For example, a trader is investing in a bullish trend. With the help of EMA trends, if he says a reverse or stabilization in the bullish trend, it suggests that it is time for him to jump to another bullish investment.


The Difference Between EMA and SMA

EMA and SMA are used to measure trends and smooth out price swings in trade following similar principles. However, there are some differences between EMA and SMA, which are:

  • SMA is more about calculating the average price data for a particular trading period, whereas EMA gives more weightage to current data for the entire period.
  • Another difference is that it takes much more than ten days of data to calculate a reasonably accurate 10-day EMA.
  • EMA is slightly more sensitive to price changes because traders can identify a trend faster than the SMA. This makes EMA in stock market results more up-to-date and explains why they are preferred more than SMAs.

However, both are equally important. An EMA helps spot trends more quickly, but compared to SMAs, it also goes through more short-term swings than an SMA.


Limitations of the Ema in Stock Market

Many traders emphasize the new data, believing it reflects the current trend of stocks more accurately. However, many argue that overemphasizing recent data introduces a bias that leads to more false positives.

Another drawback is that the EMA relies solely on historical data, which generally does not reflect the future direction of asset prices.

  • Depending on the EMA, the stock may or may not rise in the future.
  • Although it shows the stock's current trend, it cannot predict the future trend of the stock with certainty.
  • The crossover strategy for entry often does not work and is more prone to unwanted fluctuations and signals.


Content Takeaways

EMAs are extremely popular among traders as this calculation technique gives more weightage to recent prices and lags behind other averages.

It is a commonly used stock trading tool that helps traders analyze a trade's entry and exit points. However, traders should use the EMA in stock market along with other trading tools.


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Frequently Asked Questions

The EMA in stocks focuses on recent trends, which means it tends to react to price changes more quickly than the SMA.


The 8 and 20-day EMAs are the best short-term calculations for day traders, while the 50 and 200-day EMAs are more suitable for long-term investors.


A 20 EMA or 10 EMA in stocks symbolizes the previously selected period, which means a 20 EMA is an average of the previous 20 days, a 30 EMA is for the last 30 days, and so on.


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