trading range

If the cup and handle form after a downtrend, it could signal a reversal of the trend. To improve the odds of the pattern resulting in an actual reversal, look for the downside price waves to get smaller heading into the cup and handle. The smaller down waves heading into the cup and handle provide evidence that selling is tapering off, which improves the odds of an upside move if the price breaks above the handle. Traditionally, the cup has a pause, or stabilizing period, at the bottom of the cup, where the price moves sideways or forms a rounded bottom. It shows the price found a support level and couldn’t drop below it. It helps improve the odds of the price moving higher after the breakout.

handle forms

The pattern forms during as a result of consolidation a bullish movement and indicates a continuation of that bullish trend after its completion. The image above displays the standard cup and handle pattern. To trade this formation correctly, a trader should place a stop buy order slightly above the upper trendline that makes up the handle.

However, sometimes, the market closes much higher and you get a poor cup and handle pattern target entry point. This results in a wide stop loss and a smaller position size on your trade. However, when the handle is of proper proportions to the side of the cup, a breakout that goes higher than the handle is an indication of a rise in price.

You could wait for the scams to break above the handle to signal that the uptrend is continuing. A cup and handle pattern can fail in any market where it forms. Below are visual examples of failed cup and handle chart patterns on the price charts of various markets. The pullback after the completion of the cup forms the handle. The downward trend in the handle should not typically breach the 1/3 mark of the cup’s advance.

Most stocks that make a new swing low, don’t make massive leaps right after. Know the proper amount of stock to buy—for the risk of the trade, your risk tolerance, and relative to your account capital—before placing a trade. I then flip through the charts of the stocks on the list. I write down stocks that appear, at a glance, to fit the strategy parameters or will soon. This is a quick process, meaning I only spend a few seconds or less looking at each stock.

Live Trading with DTTW™ on YouTube

You can watch the video on the pre-breakout as I believe it’ll answer your question. I’ve just come across your work – since last week’s online trading summit – and it’s outstanding. If you’re entering on the 4-hour timeframe, then a factor of 6 would be, 4 multiply by 6, which gives you 24 hours, and that’s the daily timeframe. If you’re long, you want to exit your trades before the swing high or Resistance. If it doesn’t, then chances are it’s in a range or about to reverse lower. For a trend to continue higher, it MUST make higher highs and lows.

For additional confirmation, look for the bottom of the cup to align with a longer-term support level, such as a rising ​trendline or moving average. In addition to the price levels, some traders also look at trade volume in the asset before entering a trade after a cup and handle pattern. Higher volume indicated that more investors are buying that asset, and higher demand could lead to higher prices in the near future. You’ve identified a cup and handle pattern, but before you jump into the trade, you must wait for a handle to form completely. The handle often takes the form of a sideways or descending channel or a triangle pattern.


The shallower and more rounded the cup, the better the pattern. It’s palpable that sentiment has changed across social media, and it makes sense that a bear market… The next way to trade the pattern is to wait for a break and retest.

How To Trade A Cup And Handles Pattern Failure

Chart patterns, like a triangle, rectangle, head and shoulders, or—in this case—a cup and handle are a visual way to trade. The cup and handle pattern, also sometimes known as the cup with handle pattern was first identified by stockbroker William O’Neil in 1988. If a cup and handle forms and it is confirmed, the price should see a sharp increase in the short- to medium-term. If the pattern fails, this bull run would not be observed.

handle’s trading range

The handle forms as a subsequent, smaller upward movement at the top of the cup . The handle is a trading range that develops as a slight downward drift on the right-hand side of the cup. When you look at the handle with the price advance that forms the right side of the cup, it looks like a flag or pennant.

How to trade the cup and handle

Let’s walk through a few examples to illustrate the trading strategy. Per the risk-reward ratio for a trader, profit targets determine the reward aspect. The cup and handle pattern target generally requires adding the height of the cup to the breakout point in the handle. Depending on whether the trader wants to make conservative or aggressive targets, they can lower or increase the height to decide the exit position.

  • The trade volume should decrease along with the price during the cup and should increase rapidly near the end of the handle when the price begins to rise.
  • For example, if the distance between the bottom of the cup and handle breakout level is 20 points, a profit target is placed 20 points above the pattern’s handle.
  • The price reached an all-time high of $1920 on September 2011.

But the main alternative to this type of analysis is fundamental analysis. It focuses on how the company is doing financially and operationally and can complement the insights of technical analysis. Thirdly, the price of the asset will then recover to approximately its original value. This creates a “U” shape on the trading chart, the “cup” after which this pattern is named. The buy point occurs when the stock breaks out or moves upward through the old point of resistance .

O’Neil found that stocks that formed this pattern tended to outperform the market over the ensuing 12-month period. The cup and handle pattern is one of the oldest chart patterns you will find in technical analysis. In my experience, it’s also one of the more reliable chart patterns, as it takes quite some time for the formation to setup. In this article, I will cover 3 strategies for trading cup and handle patterns that you will not find anywhere else on the web. It signifies a bearish continuation pattern with a downward breakout in the price movement.

Is The Cup and Handle A Bullish Pattern?

We also offer a chart scanner with pattern recognition software that works automatically to detect and highlight trends for your ease of trading. A Cup and Handle is a chart pattern where the price movement of an asset resembles a “cup” followed by a downward trending price pattern. If the trend is up and the cup and handle form in the middle of that trend, the buy signal has the added benefit of the overall trend. In this case, look for a strong trend heading into the cup and handle.

If the handle dives too deep and erases most of the gains of the cup, you should avoid trading the pattern. A breakout trader looks for levels that a security hasn’t been able to move beyond, and waits for it to move beyond those levels, as it could keep moving in that direction. As you can see from the above example, the cup is really a rounding of price action near a series of lows. One of the key characteristics is volume will be heavy on the left, light in the middle and pick up again on the right side of the cup.

When considering which stocks to buy or sell, you should use the approach that you’re most comfortable with. After the high forms on the right side of the cup, there is a pullback that forms the handle. The handle is the consolidation before breakout and can retrace up to 1/3 of the cup’s advance, but usually not more.

Strategy #3 – Buy on the Cross of the Cloud

Often the asset’s price will remain at its low point for weeks or even months before recovering its value. The cup and handle pattern occurs when the price of an asset trends downward, followed by a stabilizing period. Prices then rise to an approximately equal size to the prior decline. It creates a U-shape or the “cup” in the “cup and handle.” The price then moves sideways or drifts downward within a small price range, forming the handle. The target with the cup and handle pattern is the height of the cup added to the breakout point of the handle. Generally, these patterns are bullish signals extending an uptrend.

This is a bearish pattern and it looks different to the traditional cup and handle. Alternatively, wait for the price to close above the resistance trend line, connecting two highs of the cup, and enter a buy trade. For this trade, a profit target will be determined by measuring the vertical distance between the bottom of the cup and the resistance trend line, connecting two highs of the cup. Your Stop Loss needs to be set right under this resistance trend line. There is a risk of missing the trade if the price continues to advance and does not pull back.

We can’t conclude on the profitability of the cup and handle strategy based on the CANSLIM method. You must know the risks and be willing to accept them to invest in the securities markets. Do not risk capital you cannot afford to lose completely.

What is Harmonic Pattern and How Does it Help in Trading? Harmonic patterns are one of the most efficient and effective trading patterns. Sign up for Market Minutes to receive powerful market analysis, top trade ideas, & helpful blog updates.


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