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Chart Patterns: Head and Shoulders

Head and Shoulders Pattern

This is the reason for the popularity of the Head & Shoulders pattern due to its risk-reward objective. The pattern can be formed in any timeframe from a few minutes to a weekly and monthly chart. However, the higher the timeframe higher is the chance of success. The Target is measured vertically from the lowest trough to the Neckline. It is then projected upwards from the breakout above the neckline. Over the past six steps, I’ve shared tips for analyzing charts, checking trading volume, watching for catalysts, and more.

Head and Shoulders Pattern

Similarly in the case of an Inverted pattern which is exactly a mirror image of the original pattern but is formed after a prior downtrend and is usually a bullish reversal pattern. Head and Shoulders Pattern, as the name suggests the shape of a head along with two shoulders. This is a reversal pattern and can act both as a bullish and bearish reversal pattern depending upon the prior trend and type of this pattern. Once you observe a Head and Shoulders pattern starting to form, it should be observed only.

How to Trade the Head and Shoulders Pattern in 7 Steps

After the hitting support level, the market rallies, but the buying pressure is not enough to surpass the head. Instead, it forms a lower high, typically equal to the left shoulder. The reliability of the inverse head and shoulders pattern can vary based on several factors including the asset being traded, market conditions, and the timeframe used. The price declines again but not as low as the head, indicating waning selling pressure. The shallower low suggests that sellers are losing steam and buyers are starting to gain confidence.

  • They should also remember to never invest or trade with more money than they can afford to lose.
  • A good example of this is shown on the silver chart that is shown below.
  • A corrective reaction on low volume occurs to start formation of the right shoulder and then a sharp move up due to heavier volume again breaks though the neckline.
  • Pick up any book on technical analysis, and this pattern will most likely be one of the first you read about.
  • It is one of several top patterns that signal, with varying degrees of accuracy, that an upward trend is nearing its end.

That’s what we call the “head”, and that’s exactly the end of the uptrend. Moreover, the breakdown was also supported by high volume which further confirmed the weakness. Let’s take an example of a fictional stock – PIB, in real life trading. Check out TrendSpider’s Strategy Tester to experiment with hundreds of possible trading strategies without taking any risk. Should seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before making any investment,and investigate and fully understand any and all risks before investing. Let’s say the lowest point on our neckline is $52,000 and Bitcoin peaked twice above that price point – with two new highs.

Is this tool bullish or bearish?

It also allows indicating a reversal in a trend where the market makes a shift from bullish to bearish or vice-versa. This pattern is considered to be one of the more reliable patterns that predict a trend reversal. The volume of the market has a lot of value in the Head and Shoulders Pattern. Normally volume, of shares traded, increases with rising prices.

Head and Shoulders Pattern

Some of the popular continuation patterns are ascending and descending triangles, bullish and bearish flags, and bullish and bearish pennants, among others. The head of a person is usually at a higher level than the shoulders. A good example of how this forms is shown on the chart below. It is a method of trading where participants focus mostly on how an asset is trading. They ignore other concepts like technical indicators and fundamental analysis. Once you have identified this chart pattern in the stocks, you can trade accordingly as discussed above.

The complex head and shoulders pattern

Of course, when dealing with an inverse pattern, the opposite is true. Measure the vertical distance from the top of the head up to the neckline, giving you a rough idea of how far prices are likely to move up past the neckline. For example, in the case of a head and shoulders top pattern, let’s assume the distance between the top of the head and the neckline is $10. Then, when the neckline breaks, it is assumed the stock price will decrease at least another $10 below the neckline. An estimate, however, is often regarded as the generally trusted number.

Head and Shoulders Pattern

Noting down your entry and profit targets or any other variables that might affect the trade is advised, as it helps to plan. A large part of trading profitably is defining the potential risk and reward, as some trades don’t offer enough profitability to make it worth executing. However, as with any trading strategy, it should be noted that the head and shoulders pattern is not entirely foolproof. They should also remember to never invest or trade with more money than they can afford to lose.

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