Common chart pattern
A bull flag is a continuation pattern that occurs as a brief pause in the trend following a strong price move higher. The bull flag chart pattern looks like a downward sloping channel/rectangle denoted by two parallel trendlines against the preceding trend.
During this period of consolidation, volume should dry up through its formation and resolve to push higher on the breakout. The actual price formation of the bull flag resembles that of a flag on a pole hence its namesake.
Head and Shoulders
First, we'll look at the formation of the head and shoulders pattern and then the inverse head and shoulders pattern.
Formation of the pattern (seen at market tops):
Left shoulder: Price rise followed by a price peak, followed by a decline.
Head: Price rise again forming a higher peak.
Right shoulder: A decline occurs once again, followed by a rise to form the right peak, which is lower than the head.
Formations are rarely perfect, which means there may be some noise between the respective shoulders and head.
Inverse Head and Shoulders
The ascending triangle is a bullish ‘continuation’ chart pattern that signifies a breakout is likely where the triangle lines converge. To draw this pattern, you need to place a horizontal line (the resistance line) on the resistance points and draw an ascending line (the uptrend line) along the support points.
Unlike ascending triangles, the descending triangle represents a bearish market downtrend. The support line is horizontal, and the resistance line is descending, signifying the possibility of a downward breakout.
For symmetrical triangles, two trend lines start to meet which signifies a breakout in either direction. The support line is drawn with an upward trend, and the resistance line is drawn with a downward trend. Even though the breakout can happen in either direction, it often follows the general trend of the market.
A wedge represents a tightening price movement between the support and resistance lines, this can be either a rising wedge or a falling wedge. Unlike the triangle, the wedge doesn’t have a horizontal trend line and is characterised by either two upward trend lines or two downward trend lines. For a downward wedge, it is thought that the price will break through the resistance and for an upward wedge, the price is hypothesised to break through the support. This means the wedge is a reversal pattern as the breakout is opposite to the general trend.
A double bottom looks similar to the letter W and indicates when the price has made two unsuccessful attempts at breaking through the support level. It is a reversal chart pattern as it highlights a trend reversal. After unsuccessfully breaking through the support twice, the market price shifts towards an uptrend.
Opposite to a double bottom, a double top looks much like the letter M. The trend enters a reversal phase after failing to break through the resistance level twice. The trend then follows back to the support threshold and starts a downward trend breaking through the support line. Read more about trading with double top and bottom patterns.
Cup and handle
The cup and handle is a well-known continuation stock chart pattern that signals a bullish market trend. It is the same as the above rounding bottom, but features a handle after the rounding bottom. The handle resembles a flag or pennant, and once completed, you can see the market breakout in a bullish upwards trend.