What is Rate Of Change Indicator | How to Use this Indicator

Rate Of Change Indicator
The Rate Of Change (ROC) is a momentum-based technical indicator that measures the percentage change in price from one period to another. By doing this, the ROC offers insights into the speed of a security’s price movement.

What it is and what it shows
The ROC is calculated by taking the difference between the current price and the price a certain number of periods ago, divided by the price a certain number of periods ago. The result is multiplied by 100 to provide a percentage.


  • ROC = [(Current Price – Price n periods ago) / (Price n periods ago)] * 100

For example, if the current price of a stock is $110 and its price 10 days ago was $100, the ROC would be:
ROC = [(110 – 100) / 100] * 100 = 10%

This indicates that the stock’s price has increased by 10% over the 10-day period.

How to trade it

  1. Zero Line Crossovers:
  2. Buy when the ROC crosses above the zero line, indicating potential upward momentum.Sell or go short when the ROC crosses below the zero line, indicating potential downward momentum.Example: If an asset’s ROC moves from -2% to 3%, crossing the zero line, it can be taken as a bullish signal.

  3. Divergences:
  4. Bullish divergence: When the asset’s price makes lower lows, but the ROC makes higher lows.Bearish divergence: When the asset’s price makes higher highs, but the ROC makes lower highs.Example: If an asset’s price forms a new low, but the ROC forms a higher low, it suggests weakening downward momentum.

  5. Overbought/Oversold:
  6. While the ROC doesn’t have fixed levels for overbought or oversold conditions, traders can establish these based on historical observations of where the ROC typically reverses.Example: If the ROC reaches a level it hasn’t reached in a long time, it might indicate an extreme and a potential price reversal.

Limitations Of The ROC

  1. Volatility: ROC can be very volatile, especially with volatile assets, leading to potential false signals.
  2. No Trend Insights: ROC focuses on momentum and doesn’t offer insights into the direction of the longer-term trend.
  3. Subjectivity: The absence of standardized overbought/oversold levels can make interpretation subjective.
An example of the ROC
In Conclusion The Rate Of Change indicator offers a clear perspective on the momentum of an asset by measuring the speed of its price movement as a percentage. When used in conjunction with other technical tools and a proper risk management strategy, the ROC can be a valuable addition to a trader’s toolkit. However, it’s vital to be aware of its limitations and ensure that trading decisions are based on a holistic analysis rather than relying solely on one indicator.

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