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Ventura Wealth Clients
2 min Read

Technical analysis is a treasure trove of indicators for gauging market direction and momentum. Among these, the Awesome Oscillator (AO) stands out for its simplicity and effectiveness. This blog post unveils the secrets of the AO, empowering you to leverage its insights in your trading strategies.

What is the Awesome Oscillator?

Developed by Bill Williams, the Awesome Oscillator is a momentum indicator that measures the difference between two simple moving averages (SMAs) to depict market strength or weakness. Unlike traditional oscillators that fluctuate above and below a centerline, the AO displays values as a histogram above or below zero.

How is the AO calculated?

The AO is calculated by subtracting the value of a 5-period SMA from a 34-period SMA. Here's the breakdown:

  • 5-Period SMA: This reflects the short-term price movement, highlighting immediate market sentiment.
  • 34-Period SMA: This represents the longer-term price trend, providing context to the short-term fluctuations.

The difference between these two SMAs is plotted on the histogram, with positive values appearing above the zero line and negative values below.

Interpreting the AO's signals

The AO's position and direction provide valuable insights for traders:

  • Rising AO: Values climbing above the zero line indicate increasing buying pressure, suggesting a potential uptrend.
  • Falling AO: Values dipping below the zero line suggest selling pressure, potentially foreshadowing a downtrend.
  • Zero Line Crossovers: Crossing above the zero line from below can be a bullish signal while crossing below from above can be a bearish signal. However, these crossovers alone shouldn't be considered definitive confirmation of a trend change.

Additional considerations for the Awesome Oscillator

While the AO is a valuable tool, it's essential to remember some key points:

  • Confirmation is Key: The AO's signals are most reliable when confirmed by other technical indicators like price patterns or volume analysis.
  • Overbought/Oversold Zones: The AO doesn't have predefined overbought or oversold zones. However, extreme values on the histogram can indicate potential short-term reversals.
  • False Signals: Like any indicator, the AO can generate false signals. Combining it with other indicators and understanding the market context can help mitigate this risk.

Awesome oscillator trading strategies

The AO can be used in various ways to enhance your options trading strategy:

  • Identifying Trend Direction: The AO's overall direction can help confirm or gauge the strength of an existing trend.
  • Spotting Potential Reversals: Divergence between the AO and price action (where the price and AO move in opposite directions) can indicate an impending trend reversal.
  • Timing Entries and Exits: The AO's signals can be used as supplementary confirmation for entry and exit points identified through other technical analysis tools.


The Awesome Oscillator, with its straightforward calculation and clear visualisation, empowers traders of all experience levels to gauge market momentum. Remember, the AO is most effective when used in conjunction with other technical indicators and sound risk management practices. By incorporating the AO into your trading toolbox, you can gain valuable insights into market sentiment and make informed trading decisions.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Please consult with a qualified financial advisor before making any investment decisions.