Most Popular Day Trading Indicators

Day trading indicators are important tools every trader needs to help them make a trading decision. When you’re day trading, you have to be able to make split second decisions. Those decisions can be the difference between profit and loss. Moving average lines such as the 9 ema, 20 ema, 50 sma, and 200 sma are helpful support and resistance indicators. VWAP shows the equilibrium level of price action intraday. Level 2 and time and sales shows order flow and where the buyers and sellers are stacking up. These are just a few. While indicators are lagging and not foolproof, they can be of help. Watch our video on the most popular day trading indicators.

What Are the Best Indicators for Day Trading?

  • Here are some of the best indicators for day trading:
  • Candlesticks are the best trading indicator.
  • Stock volume is important for liquidity.
  • Moving average lines: good for support and resistance levels.
  • VWAP: important intraday indicator.
  • Level 2: shows the different bid/ask levels.
  • Time and sales: shows the order flow.
  • RSI: shows overbought and oversold levels.
  • Bollinger bands: visual overbought and oversold levels.
  • Previous close: another popular support and resistance level.
  • Flowtrade is probably one of the most unknown, but best software indicators out there right now.

Technical indicators can help slow down the noise of price movement. However, too many day trading technical indicators can make your charts messy and hard to read.

It’s all about finding a few that work without loading down your charts. Read our post on how to read stock charts for beginners if you’re new or need a refresher. Charts are the bread and butter of trading.

Basics of Day Trading Indicators

Day Trading Indicators
$SNAP daily chart volume highlighted. Note big reversals or breakouts were accompanied by high volume.

The stock market is a tug of war between buyers and sellers. As a day trader, you’re buying and selling stocks within seconds or longer. Depending on your strategy, you’re apart of that fight as a buyer or seller.

Day trading indicators aren’t bad or good. You’ll hear people swear by them and people who hate them. They are there as a tool and nothing more.

One thing indicators are good for is signaling reversals or giving help with buy and sell signals. Technical indicators are used to predict future trends. It’s important to remember that they’re not a crystal ball.

Above all, they’re tools. When used properly, they give confirmation as well as a guide. Of course you can’t have indicators by themselves. You also need candlesticks.

Candlesticks are the foundation of technical trading. It’s when candlesticks are coupled with technical indicators that the bigger picture is painted. It’s important to know what bullish candlesticks, bearish candlesticks and doji candlesticks mean and look like.


MACD also known as the Moving Average Convergence Divergence can be used as an indicator. This is a momentum indicator that follows the trend. It functions as a tool for buy and sell signals.

MACD crossovers are a popular day trading strategy. When the MACD falls below the signal line it’s seen as bearish. Conversely, when it crosses above the signal line it’s bullish,

In other words, when the MACD crossover is bearish, if you’re long, then it is a signal you might want to sell. The opposite is also true. A bullish MACD crossover is a buy signal.

Moving Average Lines

Moving average lines are also day trading indicators. In fact, moving averages are really popular trading indicators. They smooth out price movement from all the fluctuations.

You have simple moving averages and exponential moving averages. The simple moving average formula forms over a defined period of time. Whereas, the exponential moving averages give more importance to recent price changes.

Moving average crossovers are also strong buy and sell signals. You’ll notice that price tends to stick close to moving average lines, especially when the stock market or certain stocks are trading sideways.

Moving averages also push price up or down depending on the trend they’re in. When price moves away from the moving average lines, they always gravitate back to them.

Moving average lines provide equilibrium to stocks as well as provide support and resistance. The VWAP trading strategy is also a popular strategy among day traders.

Day Trading Indicators

Day Trading Indicators Include Relative Strength Index (RSI)

The RSI or Relative Strength Index is an indicator that tells you when a stock is overbought or oversold. An over extended stock will correct itself.

Another thing to remember is that when a stock trades in an oversold or overbought range, it’s also confirmation of the strength of the current trend.

It’s a popular momentum indicator because it compares gains and losses over a specified period of time. Hence, the confirmation of a trend’s strength.

Which Time Frame is Best For Day Trading?

  • Here are some of the best time frames for day trading:
  • 1 Minute: best for entries and quick scalps.
  • 5 Minute: good for slower intraday setups.
  • 1 Hr: good for longer intraday setups.
  • Daily: key for breakouts.

Bollinger Bands Are Day Trading Indicators

Bollinger bands are another form of day trading indicators. There is an upper and lower band that form above and below candlesticks. The more volatile the stock, the wider the bands get.

On the other hand, the less volatile the closer the bands come together. When the bands squeeze, traders see it as a signal for  future volatility. Volatility is the the bread and butter of day trading.

Without volatility, price wouldn’t move much. We teach day trading live each day within our trading service.


Patterns are a huge part of stock trading. When patterns are coupled with day trading indicators it gives traders a clear picture of an upcoming move. Patterns do break down all the time so, of course, it isn’t a crystal ball.

When day trading indicators are bullish and the patterns are bullish, you have the confidence to go long in a trade. The opposite is also true. If you see tweezer top patterns and the indicators are going bearish, you know to get out of a trade or take the short side.

Patterns and indicators when used properly give you a great chance to be a successful trader.

Which Technical Indicator is the Most Accurate When Trading?

Which technical indicator is the most accurate when trading? Candlestick patterns are the most reliable trading indicator. Most trading indicators like moving average lines, rsi, and macd are lagging indicators, while price action is a real-time indicator.

Bottom Line on Day Trading Indicators

Day trading indicators are tools to be used for confirmation. Some traders like them and some don’t. There’s no right or wrong on what indicators you do or don’t like. Technical indicators don’t produce profits. It’s you as a trader, taking the time to learn, study and practice.

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