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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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Bulkowski's Descending Triangle

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Busted
Patterns
Candles Chart
Patterns
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Patterns
Small Patterns
Market
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 01/13/2017
19,886 -5.27 0.0%
9,202 57.87 0.6%
657 -0.99 -0.2%
5,574 26.63 0.5%
2,275 4.20 0.2%
YTD
0.6%
1.8%
-0.4%
3.5%
1.6%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 12/30/2016
19,250 or 20,250 by 01/15/2017
8,880 or 9,550 by 01/15/2017
625 or 690 by 01/15/2017
5,650 or 5,400 by 01/15/2017
2,350 or 2,240 by 01/15/2017
Indus strength: None YTD
Mutt Losers: None YTD
Mutt Winners: None YTD

Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information.

This page describes the descending triangle pattern of the Elliott wave principle, how price moves not in a straight line but in a series of rises and retracements.

 

The descending triangle in a bull market. The figure to the right shows what a descending triangle looks like in a bull market. The descending triangle is a region of horizontal price movement, a consolidation of a prior move, and it is composed of "threes." That means each of the A-B-C-D-E waves have three subwaves. I labeled the B subwaves with red numbers, 1, 2, and 3 as an example. Expect volume and volatility to recede as the pattern moves toward the breakout, but this is not a requirement.

In a descending triangle, the bottom of the triangle finds support at a horizontal trendline (the horizontal red line), and the top of the triangle slopes downward following another red trendline.

 

 

The descending triangle in a bear market. A descending triangle in a bear market is not an inverted picture of a bull market triangle. Rather, the chart to the right shows a descending triangle with the waves inverted while still obeying the flat bottom and down sloping top trendlines. The A-B-C-D-E waves subdivide into threes, forming a 3-3-3-3-3 configuration.

On rare occasions, a descending triangle can nest inside a descending triangle. You see this when the wave count exceeds the A-B-C-D-E format, forming a nine wave pattern. Also, Frost and Prechter say that when price reaches the apex of the triangle, expect the market to turn.

Descending Triangle Rules

The descending triangle has rules that govern its shape. They are listed here.

  • The waves bottom near the same price, following a horizontal trendline.
  • The tops of the waves generally follow a down-sloping trendline.
  • Five waves compose the descending triangle (A-B-C-D-E), unless extended.
  • Each of the A-B-C-D-E waves are composed of three subwaves, so it has a 3-3-3-3-3 configuration.
  • Volume and volatility tend to recede over the life of the pattern, but this is not a requirement.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. I didn't climb to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian!