Accumulation/Distribution Technical Indicator

Accumulation/Distribution Technical Indicator is determined by the changes in price and volume. The volume acts as a weighting coefficient at the change of price – the higher the coefficient (the volume) is, the greater the contribution of the price change (for this period of time) will be in the value of the indicator.

This indicator is a variant of the more commonly used indicator On Balance Volume. They are both used to confirm price changes using measuring the respective volume of sales.

When the Accumulation/Distribution indicator grows, it means accumulation (buying) of a particular security, as the overwhelming share of the sales volume is related to an upward trend of prices. When the indicator drops, it means distribution (selling) of the security, as most of the sales take place during the downward price movement.

The Formula for

Accumulation/Distribution Technical Indicator is:


CLOSE – the close price;
LOW – the minimum price of the bar;
HIGH – the maximum price of the bar;
N – the number of periods used in the calculation.
SUM (…, N) – the sum for N periods;
VOLUME – the volume.

A certain share of the daily volume is added to or subtracted from the current accumulated value of the indicator. The nearer the closing price to the maximum price of the day is, the higher the added share will be. The nearer the closing price to the minimum price of the day is, the greater the subtracted share will be. If the closing price is exactly in between the maximum and minimum of the day, the indicator value remains unchanged.

Divergences between the Accumulation/Distribution indicator and the price of the security indicate the upcoming change of prices. As a rule, in the case of such divergences, the price tendency moves in the direction in which the indicator moves. Thus, if the indicator is growing, and the price of the security is dropping, a turnaround of the price should be expected.