Tops And Bottoms by Alexander Sabodin
How do you know if the market has formed a top or a bottom? Here we look at the double-top and double-bottom patterns that occur frequently in the markets.
When head & shoulders, double-top/bottom, and triple-top/bottom patterns are discussed, youíll find that they are referred to as trend reversal patterns. A triple top or bottom is rarer but is really just a version of the head & shoulders pattern. The main difference between the two is that all three peaks (or three troughs) of a triple top or bottom are located at almost the same level. In the event there are two peaks (or troughs), itís referred to as a double top (or double bottom), respectively.
Often, youíll find technical analysts having differing opinions about the type of price pattern thatís formed. Some may say itís a head & shoulders pattern, while others may call it a triple top. This argument is academic, because at the core, both price models are virtually the same.
A famous satirist remarked that a woman once asked him why chicken bouillon cubes are called cubes, when they are really parallelepipeds. That sounds funny, doesnít it? When it comes to price patterns, the situation is quite similar. As technical analysts, our challenge lies in understanding the core of the price models and the way we can profit from them, regardless of what the price model is called.
THE DOUBLE TOP
I will consider the features of these models using the double top as an example, since this reversal model occurs most frequently. Please refer to the weekly chart of the Eur/Usd in Figure 1. In an ascending trend, what happens is that price establishes a new maximum (point A). This is usually accompanied by an increase in trading volume. Then there is usually an intermediate fall (point B) with declining volume. So far, everything has gone as you would expect in a typical rising trend.