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Bulkowski's Ugly Pattern Performance Study

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As of 12/06/2019
  Indus: 28,015 +337.27 +1.2%  
  Trans: 10,709 +133.66 +1.3%  
  Utils: 855 -1.82 -0.2%  
  Nasdaq: 8,657 +86.13 +1.0%  
  S&P 500: 3,146 +28.48 +0.9%  
YTD
 +20.1%  
 +16.8%  
 +19.9%  
 +30.5%  
 +25.5%  
  Targets    Overview: 11/29/2019  
  Up arrow28,600 or 27,600 by 12/15/2019
  Up arrow11,300 or 10,500 by 12/15/2019
  Up arrow875 or 830 by 12/15/2019
  Up arrow8,900 or 8,400 by 12/15/2019
  Up arrow3,250 or 3,075 by 12/15/2019
As of 12/06/2019
  Indus: 28,015 +337.27 +1.2%  
  Trans: 10,709 +133.66 +1.3%  
  Utils: 855 -1.82 -0.2%  
  Nasdaq: 8,657 +86.13 +1.0%  
  S&P 500: 3,146 +28.48 +0.9%  
YTD
 +20.1%  
 +16.8%  
 +19.9%  
 +30.5%  
 +25.5%  
  Targets    Overview: 11/29/2019  
  Up arrow28,600 or 27,600 by 12/15/2019
  Up arrow11,300 or 10,500 by 12/15/2019
  Up arrow875 or 830 by 12/15/2019
  Up arrow8,900 or 8,400 by 12/15/2019
  Up arrow3,250 or 3,075 by 12/15/2019

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.

Do perfectly shaped chart patterns perform better or worse than ugly ones? In a test of two chart pattern types, the uglier patterns outperformed the well-shaped ones.

Ugly Pattern Performance: Detailed Results

I looked at double bottoms and double tops to determine whether ugly (uneven) tops or bottoms performed better than those with even peaks or valleys. Here's what I found.

Peak to peak price difference =>0-1%1-2%2-3%3-4%4-5%
Double tops15.5% (276)17.3% (320)19.3% (57)21.5% (21)29.9% (17)
Double bottoms31.5% (304)32.0% (378)33.6% (277)33.3% (232)42.8% (73)

Numbers in parentheses are samples used in the test and the percentages are the average move post breakout. Double bottoms have the most samples. When the valleys are within 0 to 1% in price from each other, the rise averages 31.5%. When the valleys are 4 to 5% apart in price, the rise averages 42.8%. Thus, the uglier the chart pattern, the better the performance.

Ugly Pattern Performance: Definitions

I measured the rise or fall from the breakout price to the ultimate high or low. A breakout occurs when price climbs above the highest high between the double bottoms, or below the lowest low between the double tops. The ultimate high is the highest high before price tumbles at least 20%. The ultimate low is the lowest low before price rises at least 20%. In the test, I used 1,275 stocks covering 7/1991 to 3/2006. Not all stocks covered the entire period and only qualifying double tops and bottoms were used. I found 2,239 double top or bottom patterns, but not all of them had usable data (the ultimate high or low wasn't found yet because price hadn't reversed).

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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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. Never trim your moustache before applying Chapstick.