Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Advance/Decline Line (A/D)


The Advance/Decline Line (A/D) is a technical analysis tool in finance which represents the number of advancing stocks minus the number of declining stocks within a specific market index. It is used to measure market sentiment, as it provides a more comprehensive view of market trends than merely considering price movements. The A/D line trending upwards signals a bullish market, while a downward trend suggests a bearish market.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Advance/Decline Line (A/D)” is Advance: əd-ˈvans Decline: dɪ-ˈklaɪn Line: laɪn A/D: Eɪ – Diː

Key Takeaways

Sure, here’s that information in HTML.“`html

  1. Definition – The Advance/Decline Line (A/D) is a technical analysis tool that represents the accumulation of differences between the number of advancing and declining stocks in the market. It is used to determine the overall health of the market, as it can indicate whether a vast majority of stocks are participating in a given trend.
  2. Usage – Investors and traders often use the A/D line for identifying confirmations and divergences in market trends. If the A/D line moves in the same direction as the market, it is viewed as a confirmation of that trend. When the A/D line and the market move in opposite directions, it could indicate an upcoming reversal in the market trend.
  3. Calculation – The A/D line is calculated by subtracting the number of stocks that closed lower on a given day from the number of stocks that closed higher. This difference is then cumulatively added to the prior day’s A/D line value. This way, it isn’t just representing one day’s fluctuations but the aggregate of market sentiment over a certain period.

“`Please be aware that you need to use this code in an appropriate HTML editor or a web page’s HTML source code to render it correctly.


The Advance/Decline Line (A/D) is a crucial indicator in the field of business finance because it provides detailed insights into the breadth of the market. This vital tool emphasizes the number of advancing stocks versus the number of declining stocks, thus giving traders, analysts, and investors a broader perspective of the overall market sentiment beyond just focusing on dominant indices like the S&P 500 or Dow Jones. A rising A/D line signifies that more stocks are participating in the market’s advance, thereby indicating widespread bullish sentiment, while a falling line implies widespread bearish sentiment. Therefore, A/D Line helps in identifying market tops, bottoms, and potential trend reversals, making it an essential tool in strategic planning and risk management.


The Advance/Decline Line (A/D), also known as the breadth indicator, is a popular tool among traders, financial analysts and investors, which provides a deeper insight into the overall health of the market. It is broadly used to validate the strength of market trends, identify market reversals, and ascertain potential warning signs of a market downtrend or uptrend. The principal aim of this metric is to present a comprehensive view of market performance by measuring the net advances, which is the number of advancing stocks less the number of declining stocks.The A/D line is especially relevant in situations where there’s a discrepancy between what the main market indices are indicating and what the broader market is actually doing. For instance, an A/D line that is rising along with a rising index signals a bullish market. But if an A/D line is sloping downwards while the index is rising, it’s a potential bearish warning sign, suggesting the surge is driven only by a small group of stocks, and not the overall market. Thus, the A/D line provides a more holistic understanding of the market and aids in making strategic decisions.


1. Stock Market Scenario: One of the most common real-world examples would be in the stock market. Let’s say there are 3000 stocks being traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in a day. If 1500 of these stocks close at a price higher than their previous day’s closing price (advanced), 1000 close lower (declined), and 500 remain unchanged, the Advance/Decline Line would be calculated by subtracting the number of declines from advances, in this case, making the A/D Line 500. A rising A/D line suggests the market is healthy as more stocks are advancing than declining.2. Investment Decision Making: Consider an investment firm that tracks the A/D line as part of its strategy for making investment decisions. If the firm notices an upward trend in the A/D line over a prolonged period, signaling more stocks are advancing than declining, it might consider this a bullish market signal and make decisions to buy more stocks. Conversely, a downward trend might be taken as a bearish signal, prompting the firm to sell or hold off on buying more stocks.3. Evaluating Market Strength: Let’s say a financial analyst reviews the A/D line in conjunction with other indices like the S&P500 to evaluate cumulative market strength and determine if a market trend is broad-based and thus more dependable. If the market indices are rising and the A/D line is also rising, it indicates many stocks are participating in the upward rally – a signal that the market rise is broad-based and may continue. However, if the market indices are rising but the A/D line is falling (negative divergence), it shows fewer stocks are participating in the rally – a sign of weakening trend where the market rise may not last.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term Advance/Decline Line (A/D) mean?

What does a rising A/D line indicate?

What is the significance of a declining A/D line?

How is the Advance/Decline Line used in market prediction?

Can the A/D line mislead an investor?

How often is the A/D line calculated?

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More