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Cup with Handle

 

The formation occurs after a trend change, where a series of rising peaks and troughs is followed by a reversal of the price trend.  A downtrend of lower peaks and lower troughs form the left side of the cup, rounds out and later begins a new rising trend so that a cup is formed.  The cup is in the shape of a "U".  The handle is a drop in prices after the right side of the lip of the cup has been reached.  The handle can have a variety of shapes and can consist of double handles and high handles.  As long as the price does not fall back through the 200 day moving average in forming the handle, the expectation for the pattern is for prices to rise after completion of the handle.
he cup and handle formation is uncommon and forms over various time spans.  The resulting market activity should never be taken for granted as there is much variety in the psychological settings, economic trends and fundamentals that produce price action on the market.  Volume is usually light in forming the right side of the cup.  Selling pressure is typically present as those investors who bought into the security as the left side peak occurred, sell into the rising trend of the right side of the cup and this often leads to the formation of the handle.  When the enthusiasm of selling during the formation of the handle translates into price, there is evidence for the success or failure of the resulting trend after the handle is fully formed
Light selling during the handle formation leads to a greater potential for higher prices after the cup and handle formation is complete.  If prices fall below the 200 day moving average during the formation of the handle then subsequent upside handle breakout is suspect.  A breakout from the handle formation is usually accompanied by rising volume and is a positive sign for a continuation of the trend in the direction of the breakout.

 

A chart of P-com Inc and a study of the cup and handle formation.

 

 

To the right technical studies are examined in more detail to provide a sense of conformational evidence for traders of the critical day.  Click on any of the terms to take a closer look at a technical discussion on that topic.  All formations, patterns, indicators and technical tools fail at various times and so should only be used to build a body of evidence in forming a trading decision rather than being solely relied upon.  There are a number of valuable studies that lead to intuitive understandings about price and volume but a strong compliment to technical analysis is an understanding of the trends and changes in the fundamentals and economic activity that ultimately lead valuation levels in the markets.

 Walk through a critical day

The graphs show a price plot of the Dow Jones Industrials from Sept 28/00 to early November.  The First graph ends on November 3/00, two days before an upcoming critical day on November 7/00.  Our members looking at the market are expecting a trend reversal to occur due to the high rate of success in our research.  Ideally a member will be using their own skills to judge the supply and demand changes, using technical and fundamental indications to confirm suspicions of a reversal, and trade accordingly.

On the second graph we see that the price action on November 6 was a bullish day, reversing the short trend so that the short trend leading into the critical day is now up.  A critical day is an expectation of a reversal of the short trend that immediately precedes the critical day.  In the case of the November 7 signal, given to members 3 days before, is an indication that the upward moving trend, recognized at the close of November 6 is expected to reverse direction. 

On the third graph we can see that November 7 was a low volatility after a large gain on November 6 of about 160 points for the Dow Jones Industrials.  The subsequent move over the three days following the November 7 signal saw the Dow Jones Industrials fall 376 points.  The next day, November 13, the Dow Jones Industrials lost an additional 83 points with intra-day low a full 609 point loss since the open on the critical day.

Most recent signals

A closer view of the most recent signals.  You can see the short trend immediately prior to a successful critical day, reverses coming away from the critical day.  Often a failed critical day will indicate a stronger bias in the market for continuation of the trend that was in place prior to the critical day.  A failed signal can therefore provide as much information and opportunity as a successful one.  Take a look at tech studies to develop a sense of trend reversals and use