As of 08/07/2024
Indus: 38,763 234.21 0.6%
Trans: 15,180 152.57 1.0%
Utils: 1,001 +5.47 +0.5%
Nasdaq: 16,196 171.04 1.0%
S&P 500: 5,200 40.53 0.8%

YTD
+2.8%
4.5%
+13.5%
+7.9%
+9.0%

41,500 or 40,000 by 08/15/2024
16,500 or 15,600 by 08/15/2024
1,025 or 935 by 08/15/2024
18,200 or 16,700 by 08/15/2024
5,750 or 5,300 by 08/15/2024

As of 08/07/2024
Indus: 38,763 234.21 0.6%
Trans: 15,180 152.57 1.0%
Utils: 1,001 +5.47 +0.5%
Nasdaq: 16,196 171.04 1.0%
S&P 500: 5,200 40.53 0.8%

YTD
+2.8%
4.5%
+13.5%
+7.9%
+9.0%
 
41,500 or 40,000 by 08/15/2024
16,500 or 15,600 by 08/15/2024
1,025 or 935 by 08/15/2024
18,200 or 16,700 by 08/15/2024
5,750 or 5,300 by 08/15/2024
 
Trading lessons added 6/21/24.
For more information on this pattern, read Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns, 3rd Edition. It has a chapter dedicated to descending triangles.
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At one time, I didn't have a favorite chart pattern because I considered them just buy or sell signals. However, I was starting to show affection for descending triangles with upward breakouts. I've made a lot of money trading this pattern, certainly more than from trading their ascending triangle brothers. However, updated performance numbers say performance has dropped substantially over the decades (almost in half since the 1990s).
Click descending triangle to read about the Elliott wave version.
The above numbers are based on more than 1,300 perfect trades. See the glossary for definitions.
Characteristic  Discussion 
Price trend  Can be any direction leading to the pattern. 
Shape  A price pattern bounded by two trendlines, the bottom one horizontal and the top sloping downward. 
Touches  Price should touch one trendline at least three times and the other trendline at least twice as distinct peaks or valleys. 
Crossing  This is important: Price must cross the pattern from trendline to trendline, nearly filling the available space. Avoid descending triangles with abundant white space. 
Volume  Recedes 78% of the time and gets quite low just before the breakout. 
Breakout  Can be in any direction but is upward 53% of the time. 
Confirmation  The pattern confirms as a valid one when price closes outside one of the trendlines. 
Consult the associated figure on the right.
Research shows that after the breakout, the market turns when it reaches the triangle apex.
Trading Tactic  Explanation 
The Measure Rule

Measure rule  Compute the height from the highest peak (A) to the horizontal trendline (B) and then multiply it by the above 'percentage meeting price target.' Add (upward breakouts) or subtract (downward breakouts) the difference to the breakout price (the point at which price crosses the trendline) to get a price target (C).  
Busted  Price sometimes breaks out in one direction and then reverses to bust out in a new direction. Trade the new direction for a powerful move.  
Breakout  The median distance to the breakout is 61% to 65% of the way to the triangle apex (where the trendlines join).  
Trend  Triangles that appear far up a rising price trend tend to flame out quicker. Look for triangles with upward breakouts near the start of an uptrend.  
Continuation  If price rises into the pattern it breaks out upward 63% of the time.  
Volume trend  If volume slopes upward, the median performance improves dramatically.  Score your pattern for performance 
Yearly low  Downward breakouts within a third of the yearly low do well. Upward breakouts do best either within a third of the yearly high or low (stay out of the middle third).  
Throwbacks and pullbacks  Throwbacks and pullbacks hurt performance. 
This descending triangle chart pattern obeys the identification guidelines set for the pattern. At point A, price peaks below the horizontal trendline but few chart patterns are perfect. At point B, price stages a breakout and that results in a swift upward move. Such a strong advance is unusual.
I present the information in slider format, so be sure to click the left or right arrows to view another slide.
I found descending triangles hard to trade. Those that I thought would work properly didn't, while others that I thought were destined to fail, worked. Go figure.
 Thomas Bulkowski
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