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The Mass Index technical analysis indicator identifies price trend reversals by measuring the narrowing and widening of the range between the high and low prices of a stock on the stock market. As the range between the high low prices widens, the Mass Index increases and as the range narrows the Mass Index decreases.

Calculating:

  1. Calculate a 9-day exponential moving average of the difference between the high and low prices.

    a = ema(H - L, 9)

  2. Calculate another 9-day exponential moving average of the moving average from step 1.

    b = ema(a, 9)

  3. Divide the moving average calculated in step 1 by the moving average calculated in step 2.

    c = a / b

  4. Total the values in Step 3 for the number of periods in the Mass Index.

The trading rules applied to the mass index revolve around anticipating reversals of the current price trend, and typically involve waiting until the mass index reaches a certain value (the value is oftentimes determined through experimentation) and then drops to a lower threshold value (again usually determined through experimentation).

An n-period exponential moving average of prices can be used to determine whether the reversal indicates a buy or sell signal. When the reversal occurs, you should buy if the moving average is trending down and sell if it is trending up.

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