Technical Analysis Using Excel

Simple Moving Average (SMA) chart in Excel

Technical Analysis is used by traders and investors to help identify patterns and trends in historical financial prices. This analysis is often used to produce trading signals or to backtest a trading strategy.

Excel should be a great tool for technical analysis, however traders and investors often struggle with three problems:

  • Getting historical price and volume data into Excel.
  • Writing formulas for indicator calculations.
  • Updating their spreadsheet when new price data is available.

These problems are all solved by using the Excel Technical Analysis Toolkit which has just been released as a new feature of the Excel Price Feed Add-in.

The Toolkit provides a library of new easy-to-use Excel Technical Analysis formulas, so there is no longer a need for complicated Excel formulas or obscure and hard-to-maintain VBA.

Getting historical price and volume data into Excel

Usually, this is achieved by either copying/pasting data from a website/datafeed or downloading a file of prices. With Excel Price Feed you can use one of the many historical data formulas to easily pull prices into your spreadsheet.

For example, to pull daily historical close prices into Excel for the S&P500 Index, you can use this formula:


Where 200 is the number of days we need, DESC means display the data in DESCending order, so more recent day first, and 1 means show column headings:

S&P500 historical close prices in Excel

Now that we have the historical price data in Excel, we can now perform some Technical Analysis.

Excel Formulas for Technical Analysis

Suppose we want to look at how Bollinger Bands perform for the S&P500 year-to-date using a 20-period lookback with 2 standard deviations.

Without Excel Price Feed, this is how to calculate Bollinger Bands using standard Excel formulas (note that this shows only one third of the steps required):

As you can see there are a lot of steps and formulas. The equivalent Bollinger Band formula using Excel Price Feed is:

EPF.TA.BollingerBands(prices, dates, lookbackPeriod, standardDeviations)

The first two parameters are simply the close price and date columns of the historical data, and the other two parameters are the number of periods in the lookback and the number of standard deviations.

This is what it looks like in Excel:

Bollinger Bands Excel formula output

Now that the data is in Excel we can easily add an Excel chart to visualize how the bands move with price, and from this we can start to identify support and resistance and potential trend changes:

SPY Bollinger Bands visualized using an Excel chart

Updating the spreadsheet when new price data is available

To produce this data we have used two formulas, one for the historical data and one for the technical analysis. When we want to update the data in our spreadsheet, we simply refresh the spreadsheet. This will result in the latest daily close prices being downloaded and the Bollinger Bands being recalculated.

No more copying and pasting data or formulas.

Excel Price Feed has a built in Refresh button as well as automatic refresh functions:

Excel Price Feed Refresh options.

To find out more about Excel Price Feed head over to the website and try it free for 10 days:

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