Any content / information published by WaveUP or by another user connected or not connected to WaveUP, does not constitute a solicitation to purchase or an invitation to trade; therefore, WaveUP is relieved of any liability arising from any use of such content and / or information for purposes other than training purposes.

Published content and information should not be construed as providing advice relating to any finance, investment or taxation. All information published is impersonal and not tailored to the investment needs of a specific person.

In no event WaveUP is responsible for any loss or damage to you, or anyone else, incurred as a result of trading or investing activities that you, or anyone else, have undertaken on the basis of any information or material received through WaveUP, its affiliates, employees and agents or through published information.

We also warn you that any graphs or technical studies published in the WaveUP channels may include investment opinions exclusively based on the Technical Analysis of Financial Markets; therefore, the user is advised not to make any investment decisions without first carrying out personal research.

The user is solely responsible for deciding whether an investment, strategy or any other product is suitable and appropriate for their needs based on their goals and personal and financial situation. No content and / or any type of information can be considered as a substitute for financial / investment advice.

Before making any trading decisions, users are advised to consult a financial advisor.


Trend, strength and direction

ADX: Average Directional Movement

The Average Directional Movement, commonly referred to as ADX, is an indicator developed by J. Welles Wilder, an American mechanical engineer known for his technical analysis works and father of some of the most used indicators in automatic trading software (such as example ATR, RSI and Parabolic SAR).

It is an indicator that is used to determine the intensity of the trend and is able to identify whether the financial instrument observed is in a directional or lateral phase.

ADX, however, does not show us whether the direction of the trend is up or down, but will only confirm its intensity.

How does the ADX appear graphically?

The ADX is presented as a single line, which moves on an abscissa indicating the time and an ordinate marked on a scale from 0 to 100 representing the strength of the trend in absolute value. The ADX line applied to the financial instrument studied indicates whether we are in a trend (trending range) or non-trend (trading range) situation; in the case of ascertained strength, ADX does not show us whether the direction of the trend is up or down, but will only confirm its intensity.

How the ADX works?

We have already said that the Average Directional Movement line does not indicate the direction of the trend, but only its strength.

The standard set-up of this indicator is set over a period of 14 trading sessions. Based on this set-up, considering the absolute value of the trend strength on a scale from 0 to 100 on the ordinate line, it is possible to establish three distinct situations.

  • A value from 0 to 25 of the ADX indicates little strength and a non-trending situation in which it would be preferable not to trade. The market is moving laterally.
  • A value above 25 of the ADX instead indicates that a new trend is being created and that the current trend could further strengthen over time.
  • A value above 40 of the ADX shows a consolidation of the trend that has clearly decided its direction. (Tab. 1)

ADX value

Strength of the trend


Absence or very weak tendency


Start of the trend


Strong Trend

We pay attention to the very high values of ADX because when it starts to reverse direction, it is likely that the primary trend will change.

DMI: Directional Moving Index, +DI and -DI

Having clarified the operation of the ADX, the trader, to operate, will rarely use it without other filters because this alone does not provide signals on the direction of the trend. The Positive Directional Indicator and Negative Directional Indicator commonly known as + DI and –DI come into play. The interaction between these two indicators, which are very simple to use, show us the directionality of the current trend.

To interpret the directionality of the trend, the ADX is then integrated with these other two indicators (+ DI and -DI) whose movements we will study, giving life to the Directional Moving Index (DMI).

+ DI and -DI, in setup, are configured as two lines, the first in green and the second in orange which interact with each other.

In conclusion, the DMI indicator is composed of three lines: that of the ADX which shows the trend or non-trend situation with relative intensity of the latter and those of +DI and -DI which interacting with each other indicate the directionality of the current trend.

The intersection of the two lines + DI and -DI provides a signal that shows the operator a buying or selling area. In particular, if the + DI line intersects upwards, from the bottom upwards, the -DI line, there is a buy signal, on the contrary, if the -DI line intersects downwards, from top to bottom the line + DI you have a sell signal.

It is also important to consider how extreme are the levels achieved by these two indicators. Often, in fact, when they reach important values, we are faced with a possible trend inversion or a slowdown in the trend itself.

Let’s see a practical example

The chart used is of the PLUG POWER title. The green lines identify the moment when + DI crosses upward -DI. It is noted how, when the green indicator line (+ DI) is above the orange one (-DI), a buy signal is generated and consequently the relative movement of the stock is up. Conversely, when the orange line of the indicator (-DI) crosses the green line (+ DI) from the bottom upwards, it generates a SELL signal.

It is important to note that the ADX line (in the graph represented in red) remains constantly above level 20, exceeding level 40 in some phases, confirming the great strength of the trend. The value 20 has a key importance for the beginning of the directionality of the movement, thus giving greater strength to the BUY (or SELL) signal that has just occurred.

When the ADX is at the level of the value 20 or below, we can see how all the lines flatten creating a TRADING RANGE, that is, a lateral movement.