As of 07/19/2019
  Industrials: 27,154 -68.77 -0.3%  
  Transports: 10,604 +66.69 +0.6%  
  Utilities: 820 -11.25 -1.4%  
  Nasdaq: 8,146 -60.75 -0.7%  
  S&P 500: 2,977 -18.50 -0.6%  
YTD
 +16.4%  
 +15.6%  
 +15.0%  
 +22.8%  
 +18.7%  
  Tom's Targets    Overview: 07/12/2019  
  Down arrow26,500 or 28,000 by 08/01/2019
  Down arrow10,000 or 11,000 by 08/01/2019
  Up arrow850 or 800 by 08/01/2019
  Down arrow7,950 or 8,500 by 08/01/2019
  Down arrow2,900 or 3,075 by 08/01/2019
As of 07/19/2019
  Industrials: 27,154 -68.77 -0.3%  
  Transports: 10,604 +66.69 +0.6%  
  Utilities: 820 -11.25 -1.4%  
  Nasdaq: 8,146 -60.75 -0.7%  
  S&P 500: 2,977 -18.50 -0.6%  
YTD
 +16.4%  
 +15.6%  
 +15.0%  
 +22.8%  
 +18.7%  
  Tom's Targets    Overview: 07/12/2019  
  Down arrow26,500 or 28,000 by 08/01/2019
  Down arrow10,000 or 11,000 by 08/01/2019
  Up arrow850 or 800 by 08/01/2019
  Down arrow7,950 or 8,500 by 08/01/2019
  Down arrow2,900 or 3,075 by 08/01/2019

Bulkowski's Symmetrical Triangles

 

For more information on this pattern, read Encyclopedia of Chart PatternsEncyclopedia of Chart Patterns book., pictured on the right. The book has a chapter dedicated to symmetrical triangles.

If you click on the above link and then buy the book (or anything) while at Amazon.com, the referral will help support this site. Thanks.

-- Tom Bulkowski

$ $ $

Statistics updated on 4/24/2019.

Symmetrical triangles, sometimes called coils, are a popular chart pattern because they appear often and perform reasonably well in a bull market. This opinion is based not on the performance rank, which is mediocre, but on trading experience.

Score your pattern for
performance

Symmetrical triangle chart pattern

Symmetrical Triangle Chart Pattern

Symmetrical Triangles: Important Bull Market Results

Overall performance rank for up/down breakouts (1 is best): not ranked
Break even failure rate for up/down breakouts: 25%; 37%
Average rise/decline: 34%; 12%
Throwback/pullback rate: 62%; 65%
Percentage meeting price target for up/down breakouts: 58%; 36%

The above numbers are based on over a thousand perfect trades. See the glossary for definitions.

Symmetrical Triangles: Identification Guidelines

CharacteristicDiscussion
Price trendCan be any direction leading to the chart pattern.
ShapeTriangular. Prices move between two converging trendlines.
TrendlinesTwo trendlines bound prices; the bottom trendline slopes up and the top one slopes down.
CrossingPrice must cross the pattern from side to side, filling the triangle with price movement, not white space.
TouchesPrice must touch one trendline at least three times and the other trendline at least twice, forming distinct valleys and peaks.
VolumeTrends downward 86% of the time.
BreakoutUpward 60% of the time and 73% of the way to the triangle apex (upward breakout) and 74% of the way for downward breakouts.

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Symmetrical Triangles: Trading Tips

Trading TacticExplanation Symmetrical triangle measure rule
The Measure Rule
Measure ruleCompute the height from the highest peak (point A in The Measure Rule figure to the right) to the lowest valley in the pattern (B) then multiply it by the above 'percentage meeting price target.' Add it (upward breakouts) or subtract it (downward breakouts) from the breakout price. The breakout price is the point at which price pierces the trendline. The figure shows an upward breakout with target price C.
Breakout volumePatterns with heavy breakout volume (above the 30-day average) do better.
Yearly lowTriangles with breakouts within a third of the yearly low perform best (based on the median rise).
Trend startTriangles perform best post breakout when they appear at the start of trends.
Throwbacks and pullbacksThrowbacks and pullbacks hurt post breakout performance.

 

Expect the market to turn when it reaches the apex of the triangle. See Triangle Apex and Turning Points.

 

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More Symmetrical triangle chart pattern example

Symmetrical Triangles: Example

The figure to the right shows an example of a symmetrical triangle chart pattern.

The consolidation pattern of the symmetrical triangle forms as volume recedes. Then, price breaks out downward, but within a few days, price reverses and shoots out the top of the symmetrical triangle, busting the pattern and leading to a strong move upward.

Busted patterns (when the breakout is in one direction only to see price reverse and breakout in the opposite direction) often result in strong moves. However, symmetrical triangles have a tendency to double bust -- the final breakout direction is the same as the original one.

 

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Symmetrical Triangles: Other Examples

See Also

Support this site! Clicking any of the books (below) takes you to Amazon.com. If you buy ANYTHING while there, they pay for the referral.
Chart Patterns: After the Buy Getting Started in Chart Patterns, Second Edition Trading Basics Fundamental Analysis and Position Trading Swing and Day Trading Visual Guide to Chart Patterns Encyclopedia of Candlestick Charts Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns 2nd Edition Trading Classic Chart Patterns Bumper's Story Head's Law
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