Mastering 3/10 Oscillator: Enhance Trading Precision

Mastering the 3/10 Oscillator can greatly improve your trading. This indicator provides insights into market momentum shifts and shows the strength of trends. It displays fast and slow lines that respond to market conditions, with trend confirmation indicated when these lines move in the same direction. Additionally, the oscillator is capable of confirming trends and pinpointing overbought and oversold conditions. An effective aid in swing analysis, it signals potential trades and trend continuations, while also alerting traders to extreme moves that may indicate exhaustion moves.

Main Points

  • Understand the 3/10 oscillator setup for insights into momentum changes and identifying potential pullbacks.
  • Learn to interpret the fast and slow indicator lines to confirm trends and signal potential trend changes.
  • Develop trading strategies using the 3/10 oscillator, considering price action and market structures for potential trades.
  • Apply the 3/10 oscillator practically to identify overbought and oversold conditions and provide clear entry/exit signals.
  • Optimize trading precision by incorporating the oscillator into automated systems and using advanced techniques like divergence trading.


Interpreting 3/10 Indicator Lines

The 3/10 oscillator setup leverages two lines: a fast line that indicates changes in momentum, and a slow line, that displays the intermediate trend.

  1. Line Differentiation: The 3/10 oscillator displays two lines, the fast and slow. The fast line, calculated on a smaller period, responds quickly to price changes, whereas the slow line, calculated on a larger period, reacts more gradually. This differentiation helps in identifying the prevailing trend and its strength.
  2. Trend Confirmation: When both lines move in the same direction, it confirms the ongoing trend. A rising fast line above the slow line confirms an upward trend, while a falling fast line below the slow line confirms a downward trend.
  3. Averaging Effect & Trend Change Detection: The averaging effect smooths out the line movements, reducing market noise and making trend changes more detectable. When the fast line crosses the slow line, it often signals a potential trend change.

3/10 oscillator momentum

Notice that when the price on the left makes an extreme move to the upside, the fast line of the 3/10 oscillator also makes a strong move to the upside.

On the right, the price starts on a gradual decline and then shoots to the point where the price turns.  The fast line pulls away from the slow signal line showing there is momentum into that low.

POINT:  When I see a momentum move, especially into a turn, I am on alert for a potential pullback and continuation move.  If it is after an extended trend move, I am less enthusiastic about a continuation move at the next pullback.


What Do The 3/10 Indicator Lines Mean?

The color-coded line is the difference between the 3 and 10 simple moving averages.  It’s good at helping form an objective outlook on the momentum

The thin black line averages the difference of a period of 16.  Many use that as a trend-determination tool.  The solid horizontal line is the zero line and that can be used as a change of trend if the slow line crosses it.

Like any indicator, the 3/10 oscillator is only as good as the person using it.  Understanding it is not a trading signal generator is the first step in the proper usage.


3-10 Oscillator Strategy – First Cross Method

The most popular way to use this indicator in a strategy is to put you on alert for a potential continuation of the trend.  Again, you can’t trade it in a bubble and you must find locations on the chart where a trade would make sense.

Raschke calls it the first cross and it has the slow line crossing the zero line, the fast line crossing the slow line, and hooking back up.

Sounds mechanical enough but blindly trading that can get you in a world of trouble.


A.  The slow line crosses to the downside of the zero line which indicates the intermediate trend is down.  At this point, you’d want to be looking for pullbacks.

B.  The fast line crosses over the slow line, over the zero line, and hooks back down signifying momentum resuming to the downside.  The question is:  did price rally to a structured area?  I didn’t see one on this chart.

However, I mentioned that we don’t trade inside of a bubble.

There are plays inside of the range as well as setups that occurred on a lower time frame (in this case the daily chart).  It was a forming structure (a consolidation) that formed after a momentum move to the downside.  The endpoint of the fast line swings down before “B” while cut-off shows an extreme move on the indicator.

Price action itself shows the momentum push to the downside as well as we had three red bars with a larger range than preceding bars.  You’d be looking for a short and there are quite a few ways beyond the scope of this article that can help you find the entry.

C.  Interesting action on the indicator as the fast crosses the slow (which recently crossed the zero line) yet the slow does not exceed the zero line.  In this case, we have price-butting heads with a support level while the momentum turns to the downside.  Breakout pullback on a lower time frame?  It happened.

D.  Slow line crossed to the upside which indicates an uptrend.  Mechanically it does but price action does not demonstrate a structure uptrend.  Price pulls back to a former support area that has been resistance, doesn’t get much bullish action to the upside, and rolls over.

E.  Another tricky one but remember, an indicator is part of the puzzle.  It’s a complex pullback into the structure at “B”.  Not drawn but a trend line channel has price contained within and turning at the supply line of the trend line.


Swing Analysis With 3/10

Using the fast line only, we are going to compare swings and get a heads-up on the potential next trade.  I don’t personally use this very much to locate trades but I do have a trader friend who uses it to scalp.

market swing analysis

A.  Price made a lower low than the previous low on price and on the fast line of the 3/10.  When this occurs, is there a potential area to sell when the price rallies?  In this case, we had a persistent resistance area to watch.  Price breaks above and gives us a perfect failure test entry (top red line) to the downside.

B.  On that failure test, the price made a higher high than the previous high both in price and on the fast line.  This tells us to look for an opportunity to buy the next pullback.  For those who are experienced in market symmetry, we have a price retrace in a measured move virtually perfect in price.  The green line represents the area to look for a long trade.

Both the short and long were anticipated in advance simply by comparing the swings of the 3/10 oscillator.

They were perfect examples and you should be aware that there is a multitude of nuances that can only be understood by using and testing this modified MACD.

The swings that are set up may only advance a short distance which makes your risk management very important.  The short trade above didn’t travel far but in context, it was going against the overall trend of the market.

Another very important point is that the extreme moves of the fast line may also indicate an exhaustion move.  An exhaustion thrust in an uptrend would have you extremely cautious about buying the first pullback and the opposite is true with a downside move.

Understand How Indicators Work

It’s very important, in my opinion, to have an understanding of price,  structure, and nuances such as exhaustion moves especially when relying on indicators for most of your trading decisions.

Indicators such as the 3/10 oscillator using the modified MACD can be a huge aid in drawing your eyes to market behavior you may miss but in the end, the action of price will tell a story.  A perfect example is an extension of the fast line showing large momentum but that can also be seen in the price itself.

Dig into indicators such as the 3/10 and compare the state of the indicator with price behavior.  That will go a long way in increasing your trading knowledge firsthand.


The 3/10 Oscillator provides invaluable market insights to enhance trading precision. Its use in identifying overbought and oversold conditions, trend continuations, and clear trade signals makes it a potent tool in any trading arsenal.

Advanced techniques and optimization strategies further augment its effectiveness. Therefore, mastering the 3/10 Oscillator not only increases trading accuracy but also greatly boosts success rates, making it a great tool for traders to consider.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Specific Limitations of the 3/10 Oscillator in Comparison to Other Technical Indicators?

The 3/10 oscillator, while useful, has limitations like potential oscillator misinterpretations and dependency on user understanding. Compared to other technical indicators, its effectiveness in choppy market conditions and as a standalone signal generator is limited.

How Can the 3/10 Oscillator Be Adapted for Use in Different Types of Markets Such as Forex or Commodities?

The 3/10 oscillator’s customization allows adaptability for different markets, including forex and commodities. Such flexibility enhances precision in identifying overbought or oversold conditions, trend confirmations, and clear entry or exit signals across various time frames.

Are There Any Specific Risk Management Strategies That Can Be Incorporated While Using the 3/10 Oscillator?

Incorporating risk management strategies with the 3/10 oscillator involves cautious signal interpretation and oscillator optimization. Effective strategies include setting stop-loss orders, diversifying investments, and routinely evaluating performance to mitigate potential losses.

How Does the 3/10 Oscillator Perform in Volatile Markets Compared to Stable Market Conditions?

The 3/10 oscillator’s performance varies based on market volatility. In stable conditions, oscillator interpretation is more straightforward, while in volatile markets, oscillator optimization requires a higher level of expertise for accurate trend prediction.

Can the 3/10 Oscillator Be Combined With Other Technical Indicators for More Comprehensive Analysis, if So, Which Ones and How?

Yes, the 3/10 oscillator can be coupled with indicators such as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) or Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) for oscillator divergence/convergence analysis, enhancing overall market trend comprehension and trading precision.

Author: CoachShane
Shane his trading journey in 2005, became a Netpicks customer in 2008 needing structure in his trading approach. His focus is on the technical side of trading filtering in a macro overview and credits a handful of traders that have heavily influenced his relaxed approach to trading. Shane started day trading Forex but has since transitioned to a swing/position focus in most markets including commodities and futures. This has allowed less time in front of the computer without an adverse affect on returns.