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Directional Movement Index (DMI)


The Directional Movement Index (DMI) is a technical analysis tool that measures the strength of a trend in an asset’s price. It consists of three different lines: the Average Directional Index (ADX), Plus Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI). The DMI generates a buy or sell signal when the +DI crosses above or below the -DI respectively.


The phonetics for “Directional Movement Index (DMI)” is: “Dai-reck-shuh-nuhl Mouv-muhnt In-deks (Dee-em-eye)”

Key Takeaways

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  1. The Directional Movement Index (DMI) is a widely used technical indicator that can help traders assess the overall market trend, by identifying whether the market is moving in an upward or downward direction. DMI displays the result in a line that moves between a scale of 0 and 100, with higher values reflecting stronger trend strength.
  2. This indicator includes three main lines: DMI+, reflecting upward price direction; DMI-, reflecting downward price direction; and ADX, or Average Directional Index, which represents the overall strength of the trend regardless of its direction. An ADX value above 25 generally indicates a strong directional trend in the market.
  3. DMI is a useful tool in identifying the strength of the prevailing trend, determining possible trend reversals, and confirming entry & exit points in the market. It is often used in conjunction with other technical analysis tools to provide more reliable trading signals.



The Directional Movement Index (DMI) is a vital tool in technical analysis, used to determine the strength of a market trend. By analyzing the difference between the highs and lows of trading prices over a given period, DMI provides traders and investors with insights into both upward and downward trends, which is crucial in informing buy or sell decisions. The DMI comprises the Positive Directional Indicator (+DI) and Negative Directional Indicator (-DI); the interaction between these two lines can indicate potential points of market reversal. Consequently, the DMI’s importance lies in its ability to detect trend strength and direction, helping traders optimize their strategy in various market conditions.


The Directional Movement Index (DMI) is primarily used to identify the direction of an asset’s price movement, aiding traders in discerning whether an upward or downward trend is strong enough to warrant a market entry. One of its unique strengths is its ability to eliminate weak trends and false signals prevalent in volatile markets, thus allowing traders to accurately assess the strength of the trend and decide on the viability of taking a long-term or a short-term position. This predictive tool aids in identifying strengths of bullish or bearish trends, giving possible indications about future price movements.DMI becomes an integral part of trading strategies as it further comprises two components: the Positive Direction Indicator (+DI) and the Negative Direction Indicator (-DI). These indicators accentuate the presence of a bullish or a bearish trend respectively. By analyzing and comparing the +DI and -DI values, traders can gauge the predominant trend in the market- whether buyers are overpowering sellers or vice versa. Therefore, the DMI provides crucial inputs to traders in formulating their investment strategies and assists in timing their market entry and exit effectively.


1. Tesla Inc (TSLA): A trader may use the Directional Movement Index (DMI) to assess the strength of Tesla’s current price trend. Let’s assume that the DMI shows a high value on the positive directional indicator (+DI) and a decreasing value on the negative one (-DI). This could imply a strong upward trend indicating a good time for the trader to buy shares. Additionally, the Average Directional Index (ADX) might be rising, confirming the strength of the trend.2. Apple Inc (AAPL): Suppose Apple releases a new innovative product that creates a significant burst of interest in the market, causing their stock price to go on an upward trend. Using DMI, an investor might see a high +DI compared to its -DI and an ADX reading above 25, showing a strong positive trend. This could suggest that the investor should hold onto their stock or perhaps buy more.3. FX Trading – USD/JPY: In forex trading, the DMI can depict the strength of the currency trend. Suppose the +DI line surpasses the -DI line with the ADX moving above 25, indicating the U.S. dollar has a strong positive trend against the Yen. This could mean it’s a good time for forex traders to buy the USD/JPY pair assuming the trend will continue. Likewise, if the -DI line rises above the +DI line and ADX is above 25, it might be time to sell because it may signify a strong downward trend.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Directional Movement Index (DMI)?

The Directional Movement Index (DMI) is a momentum indicator developed by J. Welles Wilder which helps determine if a security is trending. It includes components such as the positive directional index (+DI), negative directional index (-DI), and the average directional index (ADX).

How is the DMI calculated?

The DMI is calculated by comparing the differences between the highest and lowest prices of consecutive periods. This is done to find out the positive (+DI) and negative (-DI) directional movement. The average directional index (ADX) is derived from these calculations, giving an oscillating value between 0-100.

How do I interpret the DMI?

The DMI is useful in identifying the direction of a trend and the strength of the trend. If the +DI line is above the -DI line, it indicates a bullish market, and vice versa for a bearish market. ADX values over 25 suggest a strong trend while values below 20 suggest a weak trend.

Can I use DMI for trading decisions?

Yes, DMI can be used for making trading decisions. Traders often see a buy signal when +DI moves above -DI and a sell signal when -DI moves above +DI. ADX values can further help determine if the market is trending or ranging.

Is DMI a standalone indicator?

Although the DMI can provide valuable insights, like most indicators, it’s generally best used in combination with other analysis techniques and indicators for more accurate trading strategies.

Can DMI be used for all types of securities?

Yes, DMI can be used for all types of securities that have high and low prices for each period, including stocks, commodities, mutual funds, or forex pairs.

Where can I find the DMI on my charting software?

The DMI is commonly found in the trend-following section or under the momentum indicators list in most charting software. The exact location might depend on the software being used.

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