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Ichimoku Cloud

Trend and Signals

Price, the Conversion Line and the Base Line are used to identify faster, and more frequent, signals. It is important to remember that bullish signals are reinforced when prices are above the cloud and the cloud is green. Bearish signals are reinforced when prices are below the cloud and the cloud is red. In other words, bullish signals are preferred when the bigger trend is up (prices above green cloud), while bearish signals are preferred when the bigger trend is down (prices are below red cloud). This is the essence of trading in the direction of the bigger trend. Signals that are counter to the existing trend are deemed weaker. Short-term bullish signals within a long-term downtrend and short-term bearish signals within a long-term uptrend are less robust.

Conversion-Base Line Signals

Chart 4 shows Kimberly Clark (KMB) producing two bullish signals within an uptrend. First, the trend was up because the stock was trading above the Cloud and the Cloud was green. The Conversion Line dipped below the Base Line for a few days in late June to enable the setup. A bullish crossover signal was triggered when the Conversion Line moved back above the Base Line in July. The second signal occurred as the stock moved towards Cloud support. The Conversion Line moved below the Base Line in September to enable the setup. Another bullish crossover signal was triggered when the Conversion Line moved back above the Base Line in October. Sometimes it is hard to determine exact Conversion Line and Base Line levels on the price chart. For reference, these numbers are displayed in the upper left hand corner of each Sharpchart. As of the January 8 close, the Conversion Line was 62.62 (blue) and the Base Line was 63.71 (red).

Chart 6 - Ichimoku Cloud

Chart 5 shows AT&T (T) producing a bearish signal within a downtrend. First, the trend was down as the stock was trading below the Cloud and the Cloud was red. After a sideways bounce in August, the Conversion Line moved above the Base Line to enable the setup. This did not last long as the Conversion Line moved back below the Base Line to trigger a bearish signal on September 15th.

Chart 5 - Ichimoku Cloud

Price-Base Line Signals

Chart 6 shows Disney producing two bullish signals within an uptrend. With the stock trading above the green cloud, prices moved below the Base Line (red) to enable the setup. This move represented a short-term oversold situation within a bigger uptrend. The pullback ended when prices moved back above the Base Line to trigger the bullish signal.

Chart 6 - Ichimoku Cloud

Chart 7 shows DR Horton (DHI) producing two bearish signals within a downtrend. With the stock trading below the red cloud, prices bounced above the Base Line (red) to enable the setup. This move created a short-term overbought situation within a bigger downtrend. The bounce ended when prices moved back below the Base Line to trigger the bearish signal.

Chart 7 - Ichimoku Cloud

Signal Summary

This article features four bullish and four bearish signals derived from the Ichimoku Cloud plots. The trend-following signals focus on the Cloud, while the momentum signals focus on the Turning and Base Lines. In general, movements above or below the cloud define the overall trend. Within that trend, the Cloud changes color as the trend ebbs and flows. Once the trend is identified, the Conversion Line and Base Line act similar to MACD for signal generation. And finally, simple price movements above or below the Base Line can be used to generate signals.

Bullish Signals:

  • Price moves above Cloud (trend)
  • Cloud turns from red to green (ebb-flow within trend)
  • Price Moves above the Base Line (momentum)
  • Conversion Line moves above Base Line (momentum)

Bearish Signals:

  • Price moves below Cloud (trend)
  • Cloud turns from green to red (ebb-flow within trend)
  • Price Moves below Base Line (momentum)
  • Conversion Line moves below Base Line (momentum)