As of 09/29/2022
  Indus: 29,226 -458.13 -1.5%  
  Trans: 12,258 -199.22 -1.6%  
  Utils: 906 -38.84 -4.1%  
  Nasdaq: 10,738 -314.13 -2.8%  
  S&P 500: 3,640 -78.57 -2.1%  
YTD
-19.6%  
-25.6%  
-7.6%  
-31.4%  
-23.6%  
  Targets    Overview: 09/15/2022  
  Up arrow32,000 or 29,200 by 10/15/2022
  Up arrow13,800 or 11,800 by 10/15/2022
  Up arrow990 or 900 by 10/15/2022
  Up arrow11,975 or 10,700 by 10/15/2022
  Up arrow3,800 or 3,500 by 10/15/2022
CPI (updated daily): Arrows on 9/13/22
As of 09/29/2022
  Indus: 29,226 -458.13 -1.5%  
  Trans: 12,258 -199.22 -1.6%  
  Utils: 906 -38.84 -4.1%  
  Nasdaq: 10,738 -314.13 -2.8%  
  S&P 500: 3,640 -78.57 -2.1%  
YTD
-19.6%  
-25.6%  
-7.6%  
-31.4%  
-23.6%  
  Targets    Overview: 09/15/2022  
  Up arrow32,000 or 29,200 by 10/15/2022
  Up arrow13,800 or 11,800 by 10/15/2022
  Up arrow990 or 900 by 10/15/2022
  Up arrow11,975 or 10,700 by 10/15/2022
  Up arrow3,800 or 3,500 by 10/15/2022
CPI (updated daily): Arrows on 9/13/22

Bulkowski on Rectangle Tops

Statistics updated on 8/26/2020.

For more information on this pattern, read Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns Second EditionEncyclopedia of Chart Patterns 2nd Edition book., pictured on the right, pages 579 to 594.

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

$ $ $

Rectangle tops (or horizontal channels), so called because price enters the pattern from the bottom (creating a top). Upward breakouts are exceptional performers, but downward breakouts perform terribly.

 

Score your pattern
for performance

Rectangle top chart pattern

Rectangle Top Chart Pattern

Rectangle Tops: Important Bull Market Results

Overall performance rank for up/down breakouts (1 is best): 4 out of 39/32 out of 36
Break even failure rate for up/down breakouts: 15%/34%
Average rise/decline: 51%/13%
Throwback/pullback rate: 66%/64%
Percentage meeting price target for up/down breakouts: 78%/54%

The above numbers are based on more than 1,000 perfect trades. See the glossary for definitions.

Rectangle Top: Identification Guidelines

CharacteristicDiscussion
Price trendUpward leading to the chart pattern.
ShapePrices have flat tops and flat bottoms, crossing the pattern from side to side following two parallel trendlines.
TrendlinesTwo near horizontal trendlines bound price action.
TouchesPrice should touch one trendline at least three times and twice on the other trendline, using distinct peaks and valleys, but be flexible.
Volume trendTrends downward 70% of the time.
BreakoutUpward 63% of the time.

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Rectangle Top: Trading Tips

Trading TacticExplanation Rectangle top measure rule
The Measure Rule
Measure ruleCompute the height between the two trendlines (A and B in the measure rule figure to the right) and then multiply it by the above 'percentage meeting price target.' Add it to the price of the top trendline (B, upward breakouts) or subtract it from the bottom trendline (A, downward breakouts) to get a target price (C).
Wait for breakoutSince the breakout can be in any direction, wait for price to close outside the trendline before taking a position.
Intrapattern tradeIf the rectangle is tall enough, buy at the bottom trendline and sell at the top one, then reverse the trade.
HeightTall patterns perform better than short ones.
Yearly lowRectangles, regardless of the breakout direction, perform best when the breakout is within a third of the yearly low.
Partial rise/declineA partial rise predicts a downward breakout 75% of the time; a partial decline correctly predicts an upward breakout 79% of the time.
ThrowbacksThrowbacks hurt post breakout performance.

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Rectangle Top: Example

Rectangle top chart pattern example

The above figure shows an example of a long rectangle top chart pattern. Price bounces between two parallel trendlines for what seems like forever, but it creates a strong move upward when price finally pierces the top trendline.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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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.
Legal notices: "As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases." Paid links).

My novels:  Bedroom to Boardroom book Remember Me book Bumper's Story book Head's Law book
My stock market books:  Chart Patterns: After the Buy Getting Started in Chart Patterns 2nd edition book Trading Basics book Fundamental Analysis and Position Trading book Swing and Day Trading book Encyclopedia of chart patterns book Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns 3rd Edition book Trading classic chart patterns book

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