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Anchored Accumulation/Distribution

Accumulation/Distribution (A/D) is a popular indicator used by traders to gauge buying and selling pressure in the market. However, the standard A/D indicator has limitations in capturing specific periods or events that impact market dynamics. To address this, an enhancement known as Anchored Accumulation/Distribution has emerged. By anchoring the indicator, traders can gain deeper insights into market sentiment and make more informed trading decisions.

In this article, we explore the Anchored A/D, including what it is, how it works, and the advantages and limitations of using it in your trading strategy.

What Is Accumulation/Distribution?

Before we delve into the concept of Anchored Accumulation/Distribution, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the standard A/D indicator. The A/D indicator is a technical analysis tool used by traders to assess the buying and selling pressure in a particular financial instrument. It combines both volume and price data to provide insights into the flow of money into or out of a security.

The A/D indicator is based on the concept that volume should confirm price trends. If the volume increases during upward price movements, it suggests that buying pressure is strong, indicating accumulation. Conversely, if the volume rises during downward price movements, it suggests selling pressure is dominant, indicating distribution.

The A/D indicator calculates a cumulative value that takes into account the relationship between price and volume over a given period. It is often displayed as a line chart or histogram, with upward movement indicating accumulation and downward movement indicating distribution.

Traders use the A/D indicator to identify potential trend reversals, confirm the strength of a current trend, and generate trading signals. For example, if the A/D line is moving upward while prices are declining, it may suggest an impending price reversal to the upside. On the other hand, if the A/D line is declining while prices are rising, it may indicate a potential bearish reversal.

What Is Anchored Accumulation/Distribution?

Anchored A/D is an enhanced version of the standard A/D indicator that offers traders the ability to anchor from a specific point in time or technical level, providing a more targeted assessment of buying and selling pressure during significant periods or at critical price levels of interest.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the anchoring options available in TrendSpider:

  1. Specific candle: This option allows traders to manually select a specific candle as an anchor point. By anchoring the A/D indicator to a chosen candle, traders can assess buying and selling pressure from that specific point in time.
  2. Highest volume: Anchoring to the most recent candle with the highest volume allows traders to focus on periods of significant trading activity. This can help identify the impact of high-volume sessions on the A/D relationship and provide insights into market sentiment during those specific periods.
  3. Highest high: Anchoring to the most recent highest high of a given time frame allows traders to analyze the A/D indicator in relation to price levels that have historically shown strong resistance. This anchoring option helps identify potential shifts in buying and selling pressure around key resistance levels.
  4. Lowest low: Anchoring to the most recent lowest low of a given time frame enables traders to assess the A/D indicator in relation to price levels that have acted as strong support. By anchoring to the lowest low, traders can identify potential shifts in buying and selling pressure around crucial support levels.
  5. Blue Raindrop: Blue Raindrops represent periods of indecision and potential trend changes. Anchoring to the Blue Raindrop allows traders assess the A/D indicator’s behavior after the formation of the Blue Raindrop for potential trading opportunities.
  6. Recent gap: Anchoring to a recent gap in price provides insights into the A/D relationship around significant price discontinuities. Traders can analyze the A/D indicator after the gap to evaluate buying and selling pressure during these periods of rapid price movement.
  7. Day to date, week to date, month to date, quarter to date, year to date: Anchoring to the beginning of the trading day, week, month, quarter, or year helps traders understand the evolving buying and selling pressure during that time frame.

Each of these anchoring options provides traders with a different perspective on the A/D indicator, allowing for a more targeted analysis of buying and selling pressure in relation to specific time frames or around technical levels of interest.

Anchored Accumulation Distribution

Cumulative vs. Rolling Indicator

The A/D indicator is typically considered a cumulative indicator because it accumulates volume and price data over a given period. However, with the ability to anchor A/D in TrendSpider, it can be transformed into a rolling indicator that resets the data at the beginning of each new period, such as when a new Blue Raindrop or gap appears or for each new day, week, month, quarter, or year. To do this, check the “Continuous?” box in TrendSpider. Note that anchoring at the most recent highest high, lowest low, and highest volume happens once and will not “roll” or reset.

By anchoring A/D in this manner, the indicator recalculates and starts fresh at the beginning of each designated period. This rolling feature allows for a more dynamic analysis that captures the buying and selling pressure within specific time frames or around key events. It provides a clearer picture of the current market conditions and helps identify shifts in market sentiment as each new period unfolds.

Pros and Cons of Anchored Accumulation/Distribution

Here are some potential pros and cons of using the Anchored A/D:


  1. Precision: Anchored A/D provides a more precise analysis by allowing traders to focus on specific time frames or price levels of interest. This targeted approach enhances the accuracy of assessing buying and selling pressure during critical periods.
  2. Event-specific analysis: Anchoring A/D to specific events, such as earnings announcements or significant news releases, enables traders to evaluate the impact of these events on market dynamics. It helps identify buying or selling pressure surrounding important market catalysts.
  3. Enhanced trend identification: By anchoring A/D to relevant points, traders can better identify and analyze trends within specific periods. This enables them to capture trend characteristics, such as trend strength, duration, and potential trend reversals, with greater accuracy.
  4. Potential for unique insights: Anchoring A/D to unconventional points or levels, such as specific technical patterns or unique market events, may provide traders with distinctive insights and a competitive edge. It allows for exploration of less conventional analysis angles and the potential discovery of market patterns others might overlook.


  1. Subjectivity in anchoring: The selection of anchor points relies on trader discretion. Different traders may choose different points, potentially leading to variations in analysis and interpretations.
  2. Over-reliance on specific events or levels: Anchoring A/D to specific events or levels may result in a narrow focus and a limited perspective on overall market dynamics. It is important to consider broader market factors in conjunction with Anchored A/D analysis.
  3. Potential for excessive fine-tuning: Anchoring A/D to very specific points or levels may lead to excessive fine-tuning of the analysis, potentially increasing the risk of overfitting or cherry-picking data to support preconceived biases.

It is crucial for traders to be mindful of these pros and cons while utilizing Anchored Accumulation/Distribution. Careful consideration, validation through other technical analysis tools, and integrating broader market analysis are essential to effectively leverage the benefits of Anchored A/D in trading decisions.

Example scanners and strategies that use Anchored Accumulation/Distribution

Anchored A/D can be used in both Scanning the market and Testing Strategies. To see how exactly it can be used in these ways, we provide the following samples. The scanner searches the market for stocks using this indicator, and the strategy tests buying and selling rules built around this indicator.

"WTD & MTD Accumulation/Distribution Bullish Scan" scanner by TrendSpider
“WTD & MTD Accumulation/Distribution Bullish Scan” scanner by TrendSpider
"Anchored Accumulation Distribution Long Strategy #weektodate" strategy by TrendSpider
“Anchored Accumulation Distribution Long Strategy #weektodate” strategy by TrendSpider

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Anchored Accumulation/Distribution enhances the traditional A/D indicator by allowing traders to focus their analysis on specific time frames or technical levels. This precision can provide valuable insights, improve decision-making, and enhance trading performance.

However, traders should exercise discretion in anchor point selection and complement Anchored A/D analysis with broader market analysis for a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics. Overall, Anchored A/D is a valuable tool for traders seeking a targeted and adaptable approach to analyzing buying and selling pressure.


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