What Is A Good SMA/EMA/MA For Day Trading Stocks?

by OTC Financial | Last Updated: 2 years ago
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Day traders are responsible for providing liquidity to the market, and they often trade stocks that have a high frequency of trading.

A common analytic used by day traders is the moving average.

For example, the 10-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) is calculated by taking the average of the last 10 days of price and then assigning that number to all future days.

Some day traders prefer to use an exponential moving average because it assigns more weight to recent prices than it does to prices further back in history.

To trade stocks successfully, traders need to understand the difference between the most commonly used moving averages.

A Simple Moving Average (SMA) is a mathematical method of calculating the average of a set of numbers by adding them together and then dividing by that number of total numbers.

An Exponential Moving Average (EMA) is similar to an SMA in that it calculates the average of past prices, but it gives greater weight to more recent prices.

Technical Tools For Day Trading Stocks:

  • Simple Moving Average (SMA)
    • A Simple Moving Average (SMA) is a mathematical calculation that helps you to identify the trend of a security
  • Exponential Moving Average (EMA)
    •  The Exponential Moving Average (EMA) is a type of moving average that gives more weight to the latest prices. The EMA is a short term indicator that is used to identify trends
  • Moving Averages (MA)
    • Moving Averages are a type of trend-following indicator in which the prices over a specified period are summed, and then divided by the number of data points in that time frame

Through This Article, We Will Touch On The Subject Of The Following Topics:

  • The difference that exists between SMA/EMA/MA features
  • You will discover the pros and cons of SMA/EMA/MA
  • Learn how to identify which of the technical stock analytical tools would work best for your individual needs
  • A review of the various functionalities of SMA/EMA/MA that you can apply to your daily trading strategies

What Is A Simple Moving Average (SMA)?

A Simple Moving Average (SMA) is the average price over the specified duration.

The average is named “moving” since it’s plotted on the chart bar-by-bar; hence, in the end, it forms a line that moves along the chart as the average value fluctuates.

What Is An Exponential Moving Average (EMA)?

On the other hand, Exponential Moving Average (EMA) is a methodological or procedural chart indicator that functions to track an investment’s price (for instance, the price of a stock or commodity) over the duration.

Ideally, EMA is a weighted moving average (WMA) that gives more weighting or significance to the latest price data.

What Is A Moving Average (MA)?

The moving average (MA) is then a stock indicator that is used mainly by stock traders in technical analysis.

This technical analysis tool smoothes out price data by creating a constantly updated average price.

In MA trading, the stock traders take each day’s price and sum them together, dividing that number by their time frame.

Which One Is Better Sma Vs. Ema Vs. Ma?

It is not easy to decide which one is better when it comes to the three stocks’ analytical tools.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. A Simple Moving Average (SMA) may be more beneficial for one user, depending on their priorities.

On the other hand, a second user may find the Exponential Moving Average more suitable.

As a general guide, if the price is above a Simple, Exponential, or Moving Average, the trend is up.

If the price is below one of the Moving Averages, the trend direction and stock price movement are downwards.

What Is The Difference Between EMA And SMA?

Ideally, Exponential Moving Average (EMA) is similar to Simple Moving Average (SMA), measuring drift course over the duration of time.

However, while a Simple Moving Average (SMA) calculates an average of price data, Exponential Moving Average (EMA) functions to apply more weight to more current data.

This is the main difference between EMA and SMA.

What Is The Difference Between SMA And MA?

SMA is a calculation that takes the arithmetic average of a given set of prices of the specified number of days in the past.

For instance, over the previous 25, 40, 150, or 300 days.

The significant difference between SMA and MA is the sensitivity that each shows to changes in the data used in its calculation.

To be a little more precise, EMA offers a higher weighting to recent prices, whereas MA assigns equal weight to all values.

On the other hand, MA refers to a stock indicator commonly used in technical analysis.

What Is The Relationship Between EMA And MA?

Based on findings, Exponential Moving Average (EMA) may be considered as a type of moving average (MA) to some extent.

EMA is a moving average that places more significant weight and significance on the most recent data points.

This is precisely the relationship that exists between EMA and MA.

Is SMA Or EMA Better For Day Trading?

The debate over which is better for day traders between SMA and EMA doesn’t seem to end any time soon.

Investors and Day traders alike always miss out when deciding on one over the other.

Each moving average has its pros and cons, as seen in the article sections below.

The moving averages can be used with great success in different scenarios.

The EMA focuses on the most recent price data, hence why most active day traders prefer it over SMA.

EMA is, therefore, better for day trading.

Pros And Cons

Simple Moving Average (SMA) – Pros And Cons


  • Removes the majority of fakeouts by displaying a smooth graphic.
  • Helps to identify trend direction
  • Helps to identify overbought and oversold conditions
  • Determines trend strength for buy and sell signals accordingly
  • Identifies momentum
  • Can be used to identify a trend change
  • A Simple Moving Average (SMA) can help you to identify a security’s support and resistance levels
  • Fast and responsive
  • It helps you identify critical areas of price congestion


  • Slow-moving average that may lead to a lag in buying or selling signals


  • Responds more quickly to price changes than SMA does
  • Permits more sensitive assessments
  • It’s fast-moving and effective at displaying recent price movements for traders to see
  • It makes it easier to spot trends
  • It helps you identify trend strength
  • It helps you identify price reversals
  • Allows for more accurate prediction of price trends
  • Reduces the noise of price movements


  • EMA is more vulnerable to false signals
  • False alarms are more likely to occur due to fakeouts and erroneous signals.

Which Is More Accurate, EMA Or SMA?

Exponential Moving Average (EMA) is comparable to Simple Moving Average (SMA), determining and gauging tendency course of a duration of time.

Conversely, whereas SMA computes average price data, EMA applies more weight to current data. Hence, EMA is more accurate.


In conclusion, many factors go into the best strategy for day trading stocks.

It is necessary to determine which trading strategy is best for your experience level.

You can trade stocks optimally with a combination of a Simple Moving Average (SMA), Exponential Moving Average (EMA), and Moving Average (MA).

Moving averages are suitable for stock traders to enhance their trading strategy.

There is also a difference between SMA, EMA, and MA.

While a Simple Moving Average (SMA) calculates an average of price data, Exponential Moving Average (EMA) functions to apply more weight to more current data.

EMA also offers a higher weighting to recent prices, whereas MA assigns equal weight to all values.

Using moving averages tells you the trend direction of securities. Moving averages also specifically assist technical traders in generating trading signals.

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