Five Chart Patterns Every Trader Should Be Able To Recognize (Part 3)

04/09/2008 12:00 am EST



Wedges are often considered a difficult pattern to recognize, and or are often confused with triangles. The distinction between wedges and triangles is actually quite clear to the trained eye. The key to spotting the difference is found in the slant or the angle of the support or resistance line. When observing triangles notice that ascending triangles show a flat or even resistance line, conversely descending triangles show a flat or even support line. Symmetrical triangles, as their name suggests, are neither slanted downwards or upwards. Wedges on the other hand, are represented by support and resistance lines that both slant in the same direction, be it up or down.

There are two types of wedges; rising wedges and falling wedges.

Falling wedges are considered bullish pattern formations. When found in a downward trend the falling wedge suggests a reversal of that trend. When found in an upward trend the falling wedge suggests a continuation of the upward trend. The falling wedge is formed by a series of lower highs and lower lows. Notice that both the support and resistance levels of the wedge are slanted downwards, setting the wedge aside from what might be mistaken as a triangle pattern formation. Prices within the falling wedge will continue to tighten until the resistance line is finally penetrated and the breakout upwards begins. Timing a falling wedge is much like timing a triangle formation; one can generally assume that after two to three candlesticks have pushed through the resistance line it is then time to consider hoping on the bandwagon with the rest of the buyers.

Rising wedges, just the opposite of falling wedges, are considered bearish pattern formations and are represented by a series of continued higher highs and higher lows which are narrowing or consolidating. The rising wedge suggests to the trained eye that though the buyers are reaching new highs, these highs are progressively tighter and tighter. These progressively tighter highs indicate that the upward trend is losing steam. Thus, a rising wedge found in an upwards trend would suggest a trend reversal and a rising wedge found in a downwards trend would suggest a short rally from the buyers, but ultimately a continuation of the downwards trend.

Pattern #4 tomorrow.

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