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Average Directional Movement (ADX)

The Average Directional Movement Index (ADX) is a momentum indicator developed by J. Welles Wilder and described in his book "New Concepts In Technical Trading Systems", written in 1978. The ADX is constructed from two other Wilders' indicators: the Positive Directional indicator (+DI) and the Negative Directional Indicator (-DI). The +DI and -DI indicators are commonly referred to as the Directional Movement Index. Combining the +/-DI and applying a Wilders() smoothing filter results in the final ADX value.

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Interpretation

The ADX's main purpose is to measure the strength of market trends on a 0-100 scale; the higher the ADX value the stronger the trend. It should be noted that while the direction of price is important to the ADX's calculation, the ADX itself is not a directional indicator. Values above 40 indicate very strong trending while values below 20 indicate non-trending or ranging market conditions.

Traders typically use the ADX as a filter along with other indicators to create a more concrete trading methodoly. Many traders view ADX turning up from below 20 as an early signal of a new emerging trend while, conversely, a declining ADX turning down from above 40 as deterioration of the current trend. Wilder suggests using the ADX as part of a system that includes the +DI and -DI indicators. (See the Directional Movement System indicator for additional details)

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