Technical Analysis from A to Z

by Steven B. Achelis

WILLIAM'S ACCUMULATION/DISTRIBUTION

Overview

Accumulation is a term used to describe a market controlled by buyers;whereas distribution is defined by a market controlled by sellers.

Interpretation

Williams recommends trading this indicator based on divergences:

  • Distribution of the security is indicated when the security is making a new high and the A/D indicator is failing to make a new high. Sell.
     
  • Accumulation of the security is indicated when the security is making a new low and the A/D indicator is failing to make a new low. Buy.

Example

The following chart shows Proctor and Gamble and the Williams' Accumulation/Distribution indicator.

A bearish divergence occurred when the prices were making a new high (point "A2") and the A/D indicator was failing to make a new high (point "A1"). This was the time to sell.

Calculation

To calculate Williams' Accumulation/Distribution indicator, first determine the True Range High ("TRH") and True Range Low ("TRL").

Today's accumulation/distribution is then determined by comparing today's closing price to yesterday's closing price.

If today's close is greater than yesterday's close:

If today's close is less than yesterday's close:

If today's close is equal to yesterday's close:

The Williams' Accumulation/Distribution indicator is a cummulative total of these daily values.


This online edition of Technical Analysis from A to Z is reproduced here with permission from the author and publisher.

Contents