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How to Trade Moving Averages: The Death Cross?

Traders seeking to navigate the unpredictable world of the stock market often rely on chart patterns and technical indicators. Two of these significant concepts are the Death Cross and margin trading. This article will explore how to interpret the Death Cross and harness the power of margin trading.

The Anatomy of a Death Cross

A Death Cross is an ominous-sounding chart pattern that signals a potential market downturn. It occurs when a security's short-term moving average crosses below its long-term counterpart. Typically, traders use the 50-day and 200-day moving averages to spot this pattern. The Death Cross is essentially the inverse of a Golden Cross, where the short-term moving average crosses above the long-term one, indicating a possible bull market.

Historically, the Death Cross has been a reliable predictor of severe bear markets, like those of 1929 and 2008. However, it's crucial to remember that it's not a definitive prediction tool. Numerous variables impact the market, and sometimes a Death Cross can be followed by recovery rather than a prolonged bear market.

Deciphering the Accuracy of Death Crosses

The Death Cross's predictive power strengthens when both short- and long-term moving averages trend downwards. If one line is falling while the other is rising, there's less cause for concern. Empirical studies suggest that Death Crosses signal prolonged declines once a market has lost 20 percent of its value.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean long-term ruin for securities. In fact, Death Crosses can sometimes present opportunities to buy on the dip, which means purchasing a stock after its price decline. Thus, traders often see a Death Cross more as a warning bell for a bull market slowdown than an absolute death knell.

Capitalizing on Margin Trading

Margin trading allows investors to buy more shares than they could typically afford by borrowing money from their broker. It can potentially amplify profits, but it also comes with a significant risk: should the investment turn south, losses will be magnified, and the investor will still owe the borrowed amount.

Prudent investors use margin trading to hedge their bets and diversify their portfolios, not to gamble on high-risk, high-reward stocks. It's crucial to have a solid understanding of both the rewards and risks of margin trading before diving in.

Harnessing AI for Trading Decisions

Technical indicators like Moving Averages offer valuable insights into future price trends, but their effectiveness can vary across different securities. Advanced AI tools, like Tickeron’s A.I.dvisor, help traders analyze these signals, providing valuable trade ideas, and assisting in making rational, emotionless, and effective trading decisions.

While the Death Cross and margin trading are both critical concepts in finance, they're not standalone strategies. They should be part of a diversified toolkit that includes fundamental analysis, risk management, and a robust understanding of market dynamics. By correctly interpreting signals like the Death Cross and judiciously using tools like margin trading, traders can enhance their profitability while mitigating potential losses.


The Death Cross is the inverse of a Golden Cross: a chart pattern occurring when a security’s short-term moving average crosses underneath its long-term counterpart, typically followed by an increase in trading volume. A death cross, which like a golden cross most commonly uses long-term 50-day and 200-day moving averages to detect the pattern, usually signifies an incoming bear market to traders.

Click here to view the current news with the use of Moving Averages

The Variability of Death Crosses

The death cross accurately predicted 1929 and 2008’s devastating bear markets, and savvy investors will use them as a sign to lock in long-term gains in advance of a downturn. But death crosses do not always signal impending doom – 2018 alone saw stocks, indexes and assets like Facebook, gold, Alphabet, Netflix, crude oil, the S&P 500, and more form the pattern, with variable results. Facebook, for example, recovered from April’s death cross without issue (though it eventually experienced an extended bear market after a second death cross in September).

When are Death Crosses Most Accurate?

Death crosses are most accurate when short- and long-term moving averages are trending downwards – there is less cause for concern if one line is falling while the other is rising. Research indicates that death crosses signal lasting declines once a market has lost 20 percent of its value.

Like most investment tools, there is no hard and fast rule that a death cross guarantees long-term demise for equities. In fact, George Pearkes of Bespoke Investment Group told Barron’s that the S&P 500’s 12 death crosses since 1928 exhibiting downwards short- and long-term moving averages have resulted in a 3.1 percent median decline the month after the cross before rebounding with a 9.8 percent median gain over the next six months. Death crosses can even present opportunities to buy on the dip (or purchase a stock after a price decline). A death cross best serves as an alarm of a slowdown, not a death knell, for a bull market.

Traders use technical indicators like Moving Averages to make predictions about future prices, to verify how well a specific indicator works for a particular security and to calculate the odds of success under similar market conditions. While no single indicator works well for all securities, Tickeron’s A.I.dvisor can provide trade ideas to traders, help analyze signals to execute advantageous trades, and assist investors with making rational, emotionless, and effective trading decisions.

How to Trade Moving Averages: The Golden Cross

Disclaimers and Limitations

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