When trading, it can be helpful to gauge the strength of a trend, *regardless* of its direction.

And when it comes to evaluating the strength of a trend, the **Average Directional Index** is a popular technical indicator for this purpose.

The **Average Directional Index**, or ADX for short, is another example of an oscillator.

ADX fluctuates from **0 to 100**, with reading **below 20** indicating a weak trend and readings **above 50** signaling a strong trend.

The ADX calculation can be complicated, but in a nutshell, the stronger the trend, the higher ADX goes

When the ADX is low, it highlights periods when the price is usually going sideways or trading in a range.

When the ADX has risen above 50, this indicates that the price has picked up momentum in one direction.

Unlike Stochastic, ADX does NOT determine whether the trend is bullish or bearish. Rather, it merely **measures the strength of the current trend**.

Because of that, ** ADX is typically used to identify whether the market is ranging or starting a new trend ** .

ADX is considered a “non-directional” indicator. It is based on comparing the highs and lows of bars and does not use the close of the bar.

** The stronger the trend, the larger the reading regardless of whether it is an uptrend or downtrend. **

When you’re using the ADX indicator, keep an eye on the 20 and 40 as key levels.

here’s a little cheat sheet to help you interpret ADX values.

ADX Value | Indication |
---|---|

Rising | Strengthening trend |

Falling | Weakening trend |

Below 20 | Weak trend |

Between 20 and 40 | Strong trend |

Above 40 | Extreme trend |

Take a look at these neat charts we’ve pulled up:

In this first example, ADX lingered **below 20** from late September until early December.

As you can see from the chart, EUR/CHF was stuck inside a range during that time.

Beginning in January though, ADX started to **climb above 50** , signaling that a strong trend could be waiting in the wings.

And would you look at that! EUR/CHF broke below the bottom of the range and went on a strong downtrend. Ooh, that’d be around 400 pips in the bag.

Book it, baby!

Now, let’s look at this next example:

Just like in our first example, ADX hovered **below 20** for quite a while. At that time, EUR/CHF was also ranging.

Soon enough, ADX rose above 50 and EUR/CHF broke above the top of its range.

Tada!

A strong uptrend took place. That’d be 300 pips, signed, sealed, and delivered!

Looks simple enough, right?

If there’s one problem with using ADX, it’s that it doesn’t exactly tell you whether it’s a buy or a sell.

What it does tell you is whether it’d be okay to jump in an ongoing trend or not.

Once ADX starts dropping below 50 again, it could mean that the uptrend or downtrend is starting to weaken and that it might be a good time to lock in profits.

One way to trade using ADX is to wait for breakouts first before deciding to go long or short.

ADX can be used as confirmation whether the pair could possibly continue in its current trend or not.

Another way is to combine ADX with another indicator, particularly one that identifies whether the pair is headed downwards or upwards.

ADX can also be used to determine when one should close a trade early.

For instance, when ADX starts to slide below 50, it indicates that the current trend is losing steam.

From then on, the pair could possibly move sideways, so you might want to lock in those pips before that happens.

As the saying goes, “The trend is your friend.”

Until it stabs you in the back.

Oh wait.

I mean…” Until it *reverses*.”

(Got caught up in memories for a moment there.)

The next time you think a trend is changing and you need to decide whether to stick to this “friend” or cut ties, consider trying the ADX to confirm the trend’s strength.

Lesson 6: What is a Japanese Candlestick? Lesson 7 :Japanese Candlestick Anatomy Lesson 8:Basic Japanese Candlestick Patterns Lesson 9: Single Candlestick Patterns Lesson 10: Dual Candlestick Patterns Lesson 11: Triple Candlestick Patterns Lesson 12:Japanese Candlestick Cheat Sheet Lesson 13: Candlesticks with Support and Resistance Lesson 14: Common Mistakes That New Traders Make With Japanese Candlesticks Lesson 15: Summary: Japanese Candlesticks

Lesson 16 : Fibonacci Trading Lesson 17: How to Use Fibonacci Retracements Lesson 18: Fibonacci Retracements are NOT Foolproof Lesson 19: How to Use Fibonacci Retracement with Support and Resistance Lesson 20: How to Use Fibonacci Retracement with Trend Lines Lesson 21: How to Use Fibonacci Retracement with Japanese Candlesticks Lesson 22: How to Use Fibonacci Extensions to Know When to Take Profit Lesson 23: How to Use Fibonacci to Place Your Stop so You Lose Less Money Lesson 24: Summary: Fibonacci Trading

Lesson 25: What Are Moving Averages? Lesson 26: Simple Moving Average (SMA) Explained Lesson 27: Exponential Moving Average (EMA) Explained Lesson 28: Simple vs. Exponential Moving Averages Lesson 29: How to Use Moving Averages to Find the Trend Lesson 30: How to Use Moving Average Crossovers to Enter Trades Lesson 31: How to Use Moving Averages as Dynamic Support and Resistance Levels Lesson 32: How to Use Moving Average Envelopes Lesson 33: How to Analyze Trends With Moving Average Ribbons Lesson 34: How to Trend Trade with Guppy Multiple Moving Average (GMMA) Lesson 35: Summary: Using Moving Averages

Lesson 36: How to Use Bollinger Bands Lesson 38: How to Use the MACD Indicator Lesson 37: How to Use Keltner Channels Lesson 39: How to Use Parabolic SAR Lesson 40: How to Use the Stochastic Indicator Lesson 41: How to Use RSI (Relative Strength Index) Lesson 42: How to Use Williams %R (Williams Percent Range) Lesson 43: How to Use ADX (Average Directional Index) Lesson 44: Ichimoku Kinko Hyo Lesson 45: Trading with Multiple Chart Indicators Lesson 46: What is the Best Technical Indicator in Forex? Lesson 47: Summary: Popular Chart Indicators