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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 Breakout Day Volume

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Industrials (^DJI):
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As of 01/13/2017
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Breakout Day Volume: Summary

Breakout day volume, when compared to the 30-day average, helps predict performance after the breakout. This article discusses the performance of chart patterns after heavy and light volume breakouts.

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My book, Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns Second EditionEncyclopedia of Chart Patterns 2nd Edition book. pictured on the left, takes an in-depth look at 63 chart and event patterns, including performance statistics.

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Heavy volume
Light volume
No volume preference

Heavy Breakout Day Volume

Heavy breakout day volume

Heavy breakout day volume is characterized by a volume spike that towers above the preceding month's worth of volume (see the figure to the right). Most times you can visually spot what the average volume will look like and compare it to the breakout day volume. Breakout day volume that is above average is heavy volume.

Here are the chart patterns in which price performs better, post breakout, when breakout day volume is above the 30-day average.

Chart Patterns in a bull market
Big W, down breakouts
Broadening formations, right-angled and ascending, up and down breakouts
Broadening formations, right-angled and descending, down breakouts
Broadening wedges, ascending,up and down breakouts
Broadening wedges, descending,up and down breakouts
Bump-and-run reversal bottoms
Diamond bottoms, down breakouts
Double bottoms, Adam & Adam
Double bottoms, Eve & Eve
Double tops, Adam & Adam
Double tops, Eve & Eve
Head-and-shoulders bottoms, complex
Head-and-shoulders tops
Head-and-shoulders tops, complex
Horn bottoms
Pennants, up and down breakouts
Pipe bottoms
Rectangle bottoms, up and down breakouts
Rectangle tops, up breakouts
Rounding bottoms
Rounding tops
Scallops, ascending, up and down breakouts
Scallops, ascending and inverted
Scallops, descending, up and down breakouts
Triangles, ascending, up breakouts
Triangles, descending, up and down breakouts
Triangles, symmetrical, up and down breakouts
Wedges, falling, up and down breakouts
Wedges, rising, up breakouts
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Light Breakout Day Volume

Light breakout day volume

Light breakout day volume (reference the figure to the right) is volume that remains below the average volume over the prior month, and it occurs on the day price breaks out of a chart pattern. Look to the left on the volume chart and compare the average volume with the volume level on the chart pattern breakout day. Light breakout day volume will appear as a short spike below the surrounding volume spikes and below the average volume level.

Here are the chart patterns that perform better, post breakout, after breakout day volume that is below the 30-day average.

Chart Patterns in a bull market
Big W, up breakouts
Broadening bottoms, up breakouts
Broadening formations, right-angled and descending, up breakouts
Broadening tops, up breakouts
Cup with handle
Cup with handle, inverted
Diamond bottoms, up breakouts
Diamond tops, down breakouts
Double bottoms, Adam & Eve
Double bottoms, Eve & Adam
Double tops, Adam & Eve
Double tops, Eve & Adam
Flags, up breakouts
Flags, high and tight
Head-and-shoulders bottoms
Pipe tops
Three falling peaks
Three rising valleys
Triangles, ascending, down breakouts
Triple bottoms
Triple tops
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Breakout Day Volume: No Volume Preference

The following patterns show no performance improvement when sorted by heavy or light breakout day volume.

Chart Patterns in a bull market
Broadening bottoms, down breakouts
Broadening tops, down breakouts
Bump-and-run reversal tops
Diamond tops, up breakouts
Flags, down breakouts
Horn tops
Rectangle tops, down breakouts
Scallops, descending and inverted
Wedges, rising, down breakouts

-- Thomas Bulkowski

See Also

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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. A billion here, a billion there, and soon you're talking real money.