Developed by Marc Chaikin, Chaikin Money Flow measures the amount of Money Flow Volume over a specific period. Money Flow Volume forms the basis for the Accumulation Distribution Line. Instead of a cumulative total of Money Flow Volume, Chaikin Money Flow simply sums Money Flow Volume for a specific look-back period, typically 20 or 21 days. The resulting indicator fluctuates above/below the zero line just like an oscillator. Chartists weigh the balance of buying or selling pressure with the absolute level of Chaikin Money Flow. Chartists can also look for crosses above or below the zero line to identify changes on money flow. Chaikin Money Flow Interpretation and forex signals Chaikin Money Flow (CMF) is an oscillator that fluctuates between -1 and +1. Rarely, if ever, will the indicator reach these extremes. It would take 20 consecutive closes on the high (low) for 20-day Chaikin Money Flow to reach +1 (-1). Typically, this oscillator fluctuates between -0.50 and +0.50 with zero as the centerline. Chaikin Money Flow measures buying and selling pressure for a given period of time. A move into positive territory indicates buying pressure, while a move into negative territory indicates selling pressure. Chartists can use the absolute value of Chaikin Money Flow to confirm or question the price action of the underlying. Positive CMF would confirm an uptrend, but negative CMF would call into question the strength behind an uptrend. The reverse holds true for downtrends.
Buying/Selling forex signals Chaikin Money Flow can be used to define a general buying or selling bias simply with positive or negative values. The indicator oscillates above/below the zero line. Generally, buying pressure is stronger when the indicator is positive and selling pressure is stronger when the indicator is negative. While this zero line cross seems simple enough, the reality is much choppier. Chaikin Money Flow sometimes only briefly crosses the zero line with a move that turns the indicator barely positive or negative. There is no follow through and this zero line cross ends up becoming a whipsaw (bad signal). Chartists can filter these signals with buffers by setting the bullish threshold a little above zero (+0.05) and the bearish threshold a little below zero (-0.05). These thresholds will not entirely eliminate bad signals, but can help reduce whipsaws and filter out forex signals . The chart above shows Freeport McMoran (FCX) with 20-day Chaikin Money Flow in the indicator window. There were at least 10 crosses of the zero line between February and December 2010. Adding a small buffer greatly reduced the number of bullish and bearish signals. A move above +0.05 was considered bullish, while a move below -0.05 was considered bearish. There were only three signals. While these signals will come a little later, it may be worth it to reduce whipsaw. The chart for Harley Davidson (HOG) shows a few good signals and a whipsaw with the May bounce. CMF moved above +0.05 for a few days, but this move failed to hold and the indicator broke back below -0.05 in early June. Whipsaws are going to happen, especially during volatile periods or when the trend flattens. CMF turned bullish in July and stayed bullish the rest of the year. Notice that HOG formed a falling wedge that retraced just over 62% in August, when CMF was still in bull mode. This pullback offered a second chance to partake in the CMF forex signals . Chaikin Money Flow is not suited for all securities. The chart above shows P.F. Chang (PFCB) with some 18 crosses above +0.05 or below -0.05. Basing CMF signals on these crosses resulted in one whipsaw after another. It is important to analyze the basic price trend and the characteristics of an indicator with a particular security. PFCB exhibits some trend, but price action within this trend is choppy and money flow cannot maintain a positive or negative bias. It would be better to find a different indicator for this stocks. forex signals Conclusions Chaikin Money Flow is an oscillator that measures buying and selling forex signals over a set period of time. At its most basic, money flow favors the bulls when CMF is positive and the bears when negative. Chartists looking for quicker money flow shifts can look for bullish and bearish divergences. Be careful though. Selling pressure still has the edge in negative territory, even when there is a bullish divergence. This bullish divergence simply shows less selling pressure. It takes a move into positive territory to indicate actual buying pressure. As a money flow oscillator, CMF can be used in conjunction with pure price oscillators, such as MACD or RSI. As with all indicators, Chaikin Money Flow should not be used as a stand-alone indicator. Marc Chaikin also developed the Accumulation Distribution Line and the Chaikin Oscillator.
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