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Here’s How To Trade Cup And Handle Patterns

The first target of the pattern equals to the size of the bearish channel around the handle, applied downwards starting from the moment of the breakout. The second target equals to the size of the cup, applied downwards starting from the moment of the breakout. A cup and handle formation is considered significant when it follows an increasing price trend, ideally one that is only a few months old. The older the increase trend, the less likely it is that the cup and handle will be an accurate indicator. The trade volume should decrease along with the price during the cup and should increase rapidly near the end of the handle when the price begins to rise. When considering which stocks to buy or sell, you should use the approach that you’re most comfortable with.

This is measured by our Right Cup Quality indicator and is a component of our overall Chart Quality metric . Buyers at new resistance highs near the top were the last buyers of the chart as it failed to break out of the inverted cup pattern because of a lack of buyers at those prices. To figure out the profit target when trading a cup and handle pattern, compare the price at the bottom of the cup to the price at the start of the handle. Take that number, and add it to the price at which the handle breaks upward – that is the price at which it is wise to exit the position. Support and Resistance lines are often confused with trend lines but they are horizontal lines under the lows and above the highs respectively. They indicate where a previous rally met resistance and where a previous decline met support.

cup handle chart

A buy signal is triggered when prices surpass the high of the right side of the cup. As you see, the price reached the first target of the pattern prior to the entry, had you waited for the candle close to enter. Sometime afterwards, the price action reaches the second target on the chart. The cup pattern typically lasts for several weeks to six months or longer, but the duration of the handle is the most important feature.

After rallying 25%, the market corrected lower approximately 50% on increasing bearish volume. Then, the market rallied to come within 3% of the previous high. If the breakout is successful, then you can consider moving your stop loss to the breakeven level, locking in the trade without experiencing a loss.

Timespans Of An Average Cup And Handle Pattern

Eric ReedEric Reed is a freelance journalist who specializes in economics, policy and global issues, with substantial coverage of finance and personal finance. He has contributed to outlets including The Street, CNBC, Glassdoor and Consumer Reports. Eric’s work focuses on the human impact of abstract issues, emphasizing analytical journalism that helps readers more fully understand their world and their money. He has reported from more than a dozen countries, with datelines that include Sao Paolo, Brazil; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Athens, Greece. A former attorney, before becoming a journalist Eric worked in securities litigation and white collar criminal defense with a pro bono specialty in human trafficking issues.

Is a cup and handle bullish?

The cup and handle is considered a bullish signal, with the right-hand side of the pattern typically experiencing lower trading volume. The pattern’s formation may be as short as seven weeks or as long as 65 weeks.

The cup features a gentle pullback after a strong bullish movement and the right side of the cup reaches the same price level as the left side of the cup. The false breakout in the handle on August 13 occurs on low trading volume, demonstrating the importance of using trading volume as a method of confirming the breakout. Estimating the extent of the continuation movement by measuring the distance between the base of the cup and the breakout slightly underestimated Margin trading the movement. This Exxon Mobile chart below shows an inverted cup pattern from January through May as new highs failed to hold and price went lower after the peak. From June through mid-July an inverted handle formed inside the range of the inverted cup which looks like a vertical ascending price range channel. The breakdown of the lower vertical trend line support signaled a new swing down in price action from the middle of July through August.

Cup And Handle Definition

Also consider that the breakout may have started later in the day. A loose, choppy base shows the stock needs to go far for price discovery. If institutions are holding on to the stock, it won’t fall too far. An upward-sloping handle is flawed; it represents weak demand as new buyers move into the stock at a trickling pace. During the stock’s actual breakout, you want to see a new wave of buyers coming in at a torrid pace, not a trickling one. The next breakout attempt fails at the prior high, yielding a secondary pullback that holds near resistance, grinding out a smaller rounding bottom, which becomes the “handle.”

cup handle chart

The cup and handle pattern is a bullish continuation pattern triggered by consolidation after a strong upward trend. The pattern takes some time to develop, but is relatively straightforward to recognize and trade on once it forms. As with all chart patterns, trading volume and additional indicators should be used to confirm a breakout and continuation of the original bullish price movement.

This is followed by a period where the price remains relatively stable. Then, there is a rally that is more or less equal to the initial decline. These movements form a ‘u’ shape on the chart – this is known as the cup.

How To Trade The Cup And Handle

Commentary and opinions expressed are those of the author/speaker and not necessarily those of Mint Global. Mint Global does not guarantee the accuracy of, or endorse, the statements of any third party, including guest speakers or authors of commentary or news articles. All information regarding the likelihood of potential future investment outcomes are hypothetical. The cup and handle pattern is a very common pattern in technical analysis and a very bullish one. The entry point for a cup and handle pattern is to buy when the price moves above the handle formation.

cup handle chart

Then the price action begins to create the handle, which is a bearish channel type structure. The change in the move is so gradual that the price action creates a rounded bottom on the chart. The beginning of the price decrease and the end of the price increase are approximately on the same level. This rounded structure is the Cup portion within the pattern. Once the price has reached the top of the cup, it starts moving sideways or slightly downwards to form the handle. If the handle drops below the lower half of the cup, it is no longer a ‘cup and handle’ pattern.

Inverted cup and handle patterns can happen on both daily and weekly charts. Inverted cup and handle patterns are not good probability trades if the general market fails to go into a pullback or correction. The cup and handle pattern is a common method you can use to analyse the trend of assets. You can use it to analyse stocks, currencies, bonds, commodities, and index funds among others. Finally, you can use a buy-stop trade to take advantage of a bullish trend. This is a situation where you place a buy-stop order above the resistance.

Intraday Cup And Handle

As prices approach the old high, a failed breakout traps both recent buyers and buyers at the bottom of the base. Recent buyers see their small floating gain evaporate, and buyers at the bottom of the base fear a double top reversal. However, the total volume begins to decrease as the market is running out of sellers. The price trend is from sideways to slightly lower, and it carves the handle of the pattern. If the pattern is bearish, the signal should be a bearish break out of the handle.

What is rounding bottom pattern?

A rounding bottom is a chart pattern used in technical analysis and is identified by a series of price movements that graphically form the shape of a “U”. Rounding bottoms are found at the end of extended downward trends and signify a reversal in long-term price movements.

But in the context of a reversal, I’ll like the duration of the candles to be 80 candles or more. If you’re short, you want to exit your trades before swing low or Support. With this in mind, you can trail your stop loss on the previous swing low because if the market wants to continue higher, the previous swing low shouldn’t be “broken”. For a trend to continue higher, it MUST make higher highs and lows. And when the trading setup is “destroyed”, the reason to stay in the trade is no more. However, the market could do a False Breakout and you are long the highs.

China Stocks Flop As Regulatory Pressures Show Up In Earnings Reports

First, approximately one to three months before the “cup” pattern begins, a security will reach a new high in an uptrend. Second, the security will retrace, dropping no more than 50% of the previous high creating a rounding bottom. Third, the security will rebound to its previous high, but subsequently decline, forming the “handle” part of the formation. Finally, the security breaks out again, surpassing its highs that are equal to the depth of the cup’s low point.

Is head and shoulders bullish inverse?

The Inverse Head-And-Shoulder pattern is an example of a bullish reversal pattern. This means that the price action and trend that occurred before this pattern developing was bearish. The inverse head-and-shoulder pattern often shows up at the bottom of a move in the market.

This sows doubt among short-sellers, who become nervous about the failed trend to the downside. As a result, they close out their positions, which adds a little buying pressure to the market, popping the price a little. Both sets of buyers exit the market; as a result of this entrapment, these buyers are nervous and slowly sell out, creating the handle of the pattern. The two elements create a pattern, which resembles a cup with handle on the chart.

Recognizing Cup And Handle Patterns

With selling pressures satiated and the flow of fundamental news decidedly bullish volume increases dramatically and the stock works toward a fresh new high. The next session Wall Street analysts make positive comments and the stock surges to a new high on dramatically increased volume. Like most technical patterns, the cup with handle pattern is really little more than a variation of another technical pattern. The pattern begins after a well-liked stock rallies to a new high following a positive fundamental development. As the stock surges investors feel increasingly comfortable paying higher prices but there comes a point when the “story” of the stock fails to convert new believers. Slowly, the stock begins to drift lower as those seeking to lock-in profits outnumber those intrigued by the story.

However, if the broad market is in a bearish trend, then a bullish breakout is less likely to occur. When William O’Neil first identified the cup and handle pattern, the focus was on daily chart time frames. Now that charting software has made access to intraday charts easier, variations of this pattern have emerged such that it can be found within intraday chart time frames. After a big uptrend in price (#1), the market begins to correct lower (#2), shaping the first half of the cup.

  • The cup can be spread out from 1 to 6 months, occasionally longer.
  • The tables turn once again when the decline stalls high in the broad trading range, giving way to narrow sideways action.
  • Sometime afterwards, the price action reaches the second target on the chart.
  • Additionally, the handle needs to stay in the upper half of the cup and not drop into the lower half of the cup’s price range.

The pattern is confirmed when the market breaks above the highest price of the handle. If you look at the regular cup and handle pattern, there is a distinct ‘u’ shape and downward handle, which is followed by a bullish continuation. This means the inverted cup and handle is the opposite of the regular cup and handle. Instead of a ‘u’ shape, it forms an ‘n’ shape, with the handle bending slightly upwards on the chart. To identify the cup and handle pattern, start by following the price movements on a chart. The pattern starts to form when there is a sharp downward price movement over a short time.

What About An Inverted Cup And Handle Pattern?

In this case, traders may focus on stocks or indexes that saw strong percentage advances heading into the cup and handle pattern. A cup and handle is typically considered a bullish continuation pattern. Once a cup and handle pattern forms, in order to generate a cup and handle chart pattern bullish trade signal, the price must break above the top of the handle that has formed. As a general rule, cup and handle patterns are bullish price formations. Founder of the term, William O’Neil identified four primary stages of this technical trading pattern.

In the middle of the image you see a bullish Cup and Handle pattern, which is illustrated with the blue lines on the graph. The Cup and Handle pattern is a chart figure, which has a bullish potential. The pattern could appear after a price increase or a price decrease. Of course the pattern has its bearish equivalent, the Inverted Cup and Handle, which we will touch upon later as well. Leveraged trading in foreign currency or off-exchange products on margin carries significant risk and may not be suitable for all investors. We advise you to carefully consider whether trading is appropriate for you based on your personal circumstances.

We’ll be discussing the ins and outs of the indicator and to help you understand some of the limitations. The Cup with Handle confirmation comes when the price breaks out of the handle. The Cup with Handle pattern has its bearish equivalent, and is referred to as an Inverted Cup and Handle formation.

The price target following the breakout can be estimated by measuring the distance from the right top of the cup to the bottom of the cup and adding that number to the buy point. Once the cup regains its high there’s a modest pullback as investors consolidate rather than invest. To use the cup-and-handle pattern successfully, Forex Club investors must wait for the handle to form. In other words, trading off this pattern requires patience and a rational approach to the market – something that is a challengefor many investors. Once a stock has completed its recovery and begun to stabilize or turn down slightly, the pattern is almost complete.

Author: Jesse Pound

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