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5 min read 

The Detrended Price Oscillator is a technical analysis tool designed to remove trend from price and make it easier to identify cycles. Unlike Stochastic and MACD, the DPO is not a momentum indicator. It is used to identify high and low points within the cycle as well as to estimate its length. Read the full article to learn how to apply it in trading!

What is the DPO?

As can be seen from the name of the indicator itself, the DPO is used to remove the influence of a long-term trend from the current prices. But why would a trader want to do so? Aren’t you supposed to follow the trend? Turns out, sometimes it is easier to estimate the longevity of a trend and forecast an upcoming reversal when trend-related price movements are completely removed from the graph.

The price chart and the DBO have corresponding highs and lows

What you get in the end is a curve, quite similar in its shape to the actual price chart. The most noticeable difference between the two is lack of a major trend on the DPO. In order to use the indicator correctly it is important to understand that the Detrended Price Oscillator is based on the use of a moving average, offset several periods to the left. The indicator will compare past prices with a moving average.

How to set up?

Setting up the Detrended Price Oscillator is easy. In order to do so:

  1. Click on the ‘Indicators’ button in the left-hand bottom corner of the screen,
  2. Choose ‘DPO’ from the list of available options,
  3. Without changing the default setting hit the ‘Apply’ button.

The indicator is ready to use!

How to use in trading?

As mentioned earlier, the Detrended Price Oscillator measures the difference between a past price and a moving average. The horizontal line corresponds to the displaced moving average. Hence, the DPO is positive when the price is above the average and negative when below it.

The indicator is especially useful when trading on shorter time frames. Not being interested in long-term trading, you might want to exclude lasting trends from your estimations and only consider shorter fluctuations. For such a purpose there is no better tool than the DPO. If it is your case, take a brief look at the DPO before opening the deal and you will know to what extent the prevailing trend is responsible for the price change.

The DPO can also be used to estimate average cycle length. For example, when trading a CFD on a particular stock, you might want to know the amount of time it takes for the price to appreciate and then decline. Financial markets have a tendency to repeat themselves. Periods of growth will, therefore, intermingle with downward trends. Using the DPO you can be prepared to an upcoming trend reversal. Calculate the distance between the neighboring highs/lows to estimate the average cycle length. Consider using it later when the ongoing cycle is about to end.

The indicator is best used as a supportive tool and can be paired with a trend following indicator (MA, Alligator), MACD or ATR.

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NOTE: This article is not an investment advice. Any references to historical price movements or levels is informational and based on external analysis and we do not warranty that any such movements or levels are likely to reoccur in the future

GENERAL RISK WARNING

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.
76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.
You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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