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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 Horn Bottoms

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Market
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 07/25/2014
16,961 -123.23 -0.7%
8,428 -38.45 -0.5%
557 -4.06 -0.7%
4,450 -22.55 -0.5%
1,978 -9.64 -0.5%
YTD
2.3%
13.9%
13.4%
6.5%
7.0%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 07/15/2014
17,300 or 16,500 by 08/01/2014
8,700 or 8,150 by 08/15/2014
575 or 535 by 08/01/2014
4,500 or 4,250 by 08/01/2014
2,050 or 1,900 by 08/01/2014
Mutt Winners: None YTD

Written by and copyright © 2005-2013 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved.

For more information on this pattern, read Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns, Second Edition, pictured on the right, pages 115 to 131. That chapter gives a complete review of the chart pattern, including tour, identification guidelines, focus on failures, performance statistics, trading tactics, and sample trade. Below is just a sliver of the information contained in the book.

Horn bottoms are H-shaped chart patterns that appear on all time scales, but the weekly charts show better performance over those appearing on the dailies. Performance is best in a bear market. Discovered by Thomas Bulkowski in 1998.

Horn bottom chart pattern
Horn Bottom Chart Pattern

 

Important Bull Market Results for Horn Bottoms

Overall performance rank (1 is best): 14 out of 23
Break even failure rate: 9%
Average rise: 35%
Throwback rate: 29%
Percentage meeting price target: 76%

The above numbers are based on hundreds of perfect trades. See the glossary for definitions.

Horn Bottom Identification Guidelines

CharacteristicDiscussion
Weekly chartUse the weekly chart to locate horns.
Price trendDownward leading to the pattern.
ShapeLooks like an inverted steer's horn, two parallel price spikes separated by a week.
SpikesThe spikes should be longer than most in the past year. They should plummet below the surrounding price landscape, including the middle week.
ConfirmationThe pattern confirms as valid when price closes above the highest price in the 3-week pattern.

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Horn Bottom Trading Tips

Trading TacticExplanation
Measure ruleSee the Measure Rule figure to the right. Compute the height from the highest price (point A) to lowest price (B) in the 3-week pattern then multiply it by the above “percentage meeting price target.” Add the result to the highest high in the pattern (A) to get a target (C).
UptrendsSome horns appear near the end of uptrends, so watch for a trend change.
DowntrendsHorns will usually not mark the end of a downtrend, but they will be close, say within a buck or so.
HeightTall horns perform better than short ones.
VolumeHorns with heavy breakout volume tend to do well. Horns with volume heavier on the left spike and light on the right tend to outperform. The Spike Volume figure to the right shows an example of heavy left spike volume.
Inside weekWhen the right horn is inside the trading range of the left horn (an inside week), the horn tends to outperform. The Inside Week figure to the right shows an example of this. Spike AB is taller and completely covers spike CD.
Price DifferenceHorns with a large price difference between the spike valleys tend to outperform. Using the Inside Week figure to the right, that means the price difference between bottoms B and D.
ThrowbacksThrowbacks hurt performance.
ConfirmationWait for price to close above the highest price in the pattern before taking a position.
Horn bottom chart pattern measure rule
The Measure Rule

Horn bottom chart pattern left spike volume

Spike Volume

Horn bottom chart pattern as an inside week

Inside Week

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Horn Bottom Example

Horn bottom chart pattern example

The above figure shows two examples of horn bottoms on the weekly scale. Each pair of red Hs represents one horn bottom. Price confirms the pattern when it closes above the highest peak in the 3-week pattern. I show this as a red line. Buy the following week.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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See Also

Copyright © 2005-2013 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Upgrade definition: take out old bugs, put in new ones.