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Thomas Bulkowski’s successful investment activities allowed him to retire at age 36. He is an internationally known author and trader with 30+ years of stock market experience and widely regarded as a leading expert on chart patterns. He may be reached at

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Bearish Bat®

Class Elliott Wave Fundamentals Psychology Quiz Research Setups Software Tutorials More...
Candles Chart
Small Patterns
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 01/22/2019
24,404 -301.87 -1.2%
9,822 -189.84 -1.9%
708 1.16 0.2%
7,020 -136.87 -1.9%
2,633 -37.81 -1.4%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 01/14/2019
24,800 or 22,800 by 02/01/2019
10,100 or 8,850 by 02/01/2019
740 or 680 by 02/01/2019
6,600 or 7,300 by 02/01/2019
2,740 or 2,565 by 02/01/2019

Written by and copyright © 2005-2019 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. Some pattern names are the registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Initial release: 6/27/2018


This article describes my analysis of the bearish bat pattern as described by publicly available information and common sense rules to determine valid patterns. Additional rules may or may not improve performance. I tested the pattern using only the below identification guidelines.

The bearish bat often resembles a big W chart pattern except that the turns are located using Fibonacci ratios. It's a rare pattern, so don't expect to find it in your attic anytime soon. With so many complicated turns, you'll need better than 20/20 vision and a flashlight to find them, too.

The breakout direction is upward 72% of the time, so that suggests the pattern isn't bearish at all. However, that measure is misleading.

Because the pattern ends near the pattern's high, it's easy for price to close above the top of the pattern (compared to closing below the bottom of it). So expect an upward breakout.

Using another measure, I found that price peaks 69% at point D (the end of the pattern). Price drops from there, but not much. The average decline is 13% with 21% of patterns failing to drop more than 5% below point D. These numbers are different from the ones shown in Important Results. "Important Results" measure the drop below the bottom of the pattern, not below point D.

The bat pattern
Bearish Bat


Important Bull Market Results

Overall performance rank (1 is best): Not ranked
Break even failure rate: 31%
Average decline: 13%
Pullback rate: 66%
Percentage meeting price target: *33%

The above numbers are based on 139 perfect trades with downward breakouts. See the glossary for definitions.

* I used the height of the pattern to determine a target after a downward breakout.


Identification Guidelines

 Characteristic Discussion
Peaks/ValleysThe peaks and valleys in the pattern need not be consecutive. This is not a guideline, but an observation.
XABPrice climbs to peak at X, the first point in the pattern. It drops from there to valley A and rises to peak B. The BA/XA retrace should be either 38.2% or 50%.
ABCTurn ABC shows a BC/BA retrace of one of the following Fibonacci ratios: 38.2%, 50%, 61.8%, 70.7%, 78.6% or 88.6%.
BCDExtension DC/BC is one of the following Fibonacci ratios: 161.8%, 200%, 224% or 261.8%.
DAXRetrace DA/XA is 88.6%.

Because of the many ratios used, especially the 88.6% DA/XA retrace, the pattern is rare. I found 631 of them, but just 139 had downward breakouts.

You'll need a computer with software to find the pattern.

Find five peaks/valleys where the ratio of one leg to another is one of the Fibonacci numbers listed in the above table. However, I used a 3 percentage point window on the last ratio (88.6% becomes 85.6% to 91.6%) to keep the sample count high.

bat retraces
Bearish Bat Ratios


Trading Tips

I don't offer much trading help because I'm new to this pattern.

My tests show that the pattern breaks out upward 72% of the time. What does that mean? A close above the top of the pattern (above peak X) means an upward breakout.

Price may dip after point D, in fact it's likely that it does so (69% do), but the drop usually doesn't amount to much (10% median, 13% average). Twenty-one percent of chart patterns see price decline less than 5% below D.

You may have better luck with the pattern if overhead resistance matches or is near the XD peaks. Think of this as a ceiling which takes some pushing to break through.

I did not test or examine the pattern for this behavior. However, the following chart shows an example of this type of overhead resistance and a bat pattern.


An example bat pattern

The figure on the right shows an example of a bearish bat pattern that isn't bearish at all. As I mentioned, most bats breakout upward, at least the ones I tested. Your tests may vary.

Here are the high/low prices of the various turns

X: 67.46
A: 59.36
B: 62.49
C: 59.55
D: 66.36

Here are the ratios.

BA/XA = (62.49-59.36)/(67.46-59.36) or 38.6%
BC/BA = (62.49-59.55)/(62.49-59.36) or 93.9%. However the high-low range of C (60.21 to 59.55) encompasses the 88.6% retrace, so I allow this.
DC/BC = (66.36-59.55)/(62.49-59.55) or 231.6%. However, the high-low range of D (66.36 to 65.80) encompasses the 224% retrace, so it's allowed.
DA/XA = (66.36-59.36)/(67.46-59.36) or 86.4% which is within three percentage points of 88.6%, so it's allowed.

The day after D, the stock dropped to a low of 65.10 before resuming its upward move. As I write this, the stock has broken out upward and has peaked at 70.38, a gain of 4% so far.

I drew two horizontal red lines showing what I believe is an area of overhead resistance (between the lines). I would expect the stock to peak somewhere within that area.

Indeed, the peaks at X and to the left of it stop at or near the bottom red line. The stock has bumped up against overhead resistance of the top line at E and dropped along with the general market on the last day shown. The stock is down again today, too, so maybe the stock has reached its peak at E.

On the weekly chart, the stock is close to making new all-time highs, so there is no additional overhead resistance once it clears the January spike (the highest price on the chart).

-- Thomas Bulkowski


See Also

Bat is a registered trademark of Scott Carney.

Written by and copyright © 2005-2019 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. Some pattern names are the registered trademarks of their respective owners. How do you play religious roulette? You stand around in a circle and blaspheme until one of you gets struck by lightning.