Investor's wiki

Advance/Decline (A/D) Line

Advance/Decline (A/D) Line

What Is the Advance/Decline (A/D) Line?

The advance/decline line (or A/D line) is a technical indicator that plots the difference between the number of advancing and declining stocks consistently. The indicator is cumulative, with a positive number being added to the prior number, or on the other hand in the event that the number is negative it is subtracted from the prior number.

The A/D line is used to show market sentiment, as it lets traders know whether there are more stocks rising or falling. It is used to affirm price trends in major indexes, and can also warn of reversals when divergence happens.

The Formula for Advance/Decline (A/D) Line Is:

A/D=Net Advances+{PA, if PA value exists0, if no PA valuewhere:Net Advances=Difference between number of dailyascending and declining stocksPA=Previous AdvancesPrevious Advances=Prior indicator reading\begin &\text{A/D} = \text + \begin \text{PA, if PA value exists} \ \text{0, if no PA value} \ \end \ &\textbf \ &\text = \text \ &\text \ &\text = \text \ &\text = \text \ \end

The most effective method to Calculate the A/D Line

  1. Subtract the number of stocks that finished lower on the day from the number of stocks that finished higher on the day. This will give you the Net Advances.
  2. Assuming this is whenever calculating the average, the Net Advances first will be the primary value used for the indicator.
  3. On the next day, calculate the Net Advances for that day. Add to the total from the prior day if positive or subtract if negative.
  4. Repeat stages one and three daily.

What Does the A/D Line Tell You?

The A/D line is used to affirm the strength of a current trend and its likelihood of switching. The indicator shows in the event that the majority of stocks are participating in the direction of the market.

Assuming the indexes are moving up yet the A/D line is inclining downwards, called bearish divergence, it's an indication that the markets are losing their breadth and may be about to reverse direction. On the off chance that the incline of the A/D line is up and the market is trending upward, then, at that point, the market is said to be healthy.

On the other hand, in the event that the indexes are continuing to move lower and the A/D line has turned upwards, called bullish divergence, it could be an indication that the venders are losing their conviction. If the A/D line and the markets are both trending lower together, there is a greater chance that declining prices will proceed.

Difference Between the A/D Line and Arms Index (TRIN)

The A/D line is typically used as a more extended term indicator, showing the number of stocks that are rising and falling over the long run. The Arms Index (TRIN), then again, is typically a more limited term indicator that measures the ratio of advancing stocks to the ratio of advancing volume. Because the calculations and the time span they center around are different, both these indicators tell traders different snippets of information.

Limitations of Using the A/D Line

The A/D line will not always provide accurate readings in regards to NASDAQ stocks. This is because the NASDAQ regularly records small speculative companies, many of which eventually fail or get delisted. While the stocks get delisted on the exchange, they remain in the prior calculated values of the A/D line. This then, at that point, affects future calculations which are added to the cumulative prior value. Because of this, the A/D line will in some cases fall for extended periods of time, even while NASDAQ-related indexes are rising.

Another thing to know about is that a few indexes are market capitalization weighted. This means that the greater the company the more impact they have on the index's movement. The A/D line gives equal weight to all stocks. In this manner, it is a better gauge of the average small to mid-cap stock, and not the less in number large or mega-cap stocks.


  • On the off chance that major indexes are declining and the A/D line is rising, less stocks are declining after some time, and that means the index may be near the end of its decline.
  • When major indexes are rallying, a rising A/D line affirms the uptrend showing strong participation.
  • The advance/decline (A/D) line is a breadth indicator used to show the number of stocks that are participating in a stock market rally or decline.
  • Assuming major indexes are rallying and the A/D line is falling, it shows that less stocks are participating in the rally which means the index could be nearing the end of its rally.
  • At the point when major indexes are declining, a falling advance/decline line affirms the downtrend.