UK Accounting Glossary
A technical indicator is a series of values derived (i.e. using a mathematical formula) from historical data of an asset (e.g. price, volume). A common use of a technical indicator is to try to predict future price movements using prior price data. Some examples of a technical indicator are the simple moving average (SMA), the relative strength index (RSI), and the exponential moving average (EMA). The data from one technical indicator can be combined with another’s to form a third technical indicator such as the moving average convergence/divergence (MACD) which might compare SMAs from a short time period to a longer one. The data from a technical indicator can confirm price trends, show an imminent price reversal, identity entry points for a trade and clean “noise” from a price chart. Technical indicators are primarily used by chartists as opposed to fundamental traders that prefer to trade based on criteria such as P/E ratios rather than a technical indicator.
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This glossary post was last updated: 5th February 2020.