Stocks & Commodities V. 29:4 (38-45): Identifying Cup Formations Early by Giorgos Siligardos

Stocks & Commodities V. 29:4 (38-45): Identifying Cup Formations Early by Giorgos Siligardos
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Identifying Cup Formations Early by Giorgos Siligardos

Here’s a simple mechanical recognition method for identifying possible emerging cup formations.

my article “Identifying The Cup (With Or Without The Handle),” which appeared in the February 2006 Stocks & Commodities, I introduced a simple mechanical algorithmic method for identifying cup formations (also known as rounding bottoms) in their late phase. The core part of the algorithm was based on the idea of using a virtual grid on the chart. Since then, I have been asked by technical analysts to provide an algorithm for identifying possible cup formations in their early phase. This time I will show you how you can easily use the grid technique for spotting possible cup formations during their development.


In Figure 1 you can see a typical cup formation. I will not elaborate on the technical details of the cup formation (see “Related reading”). I will say that the identification method I introduced in my previous article on the subject was able to spot cup formations in their late phase (to the right after point C in Figure 1). The goal of the algorithm I will describe is to identify the development of such a formation before or near point C. “But are you sure a cup is being formed at point C?” you might ask. No, we are not. We can’t be sure that a specific formation is going to take place. However, if the price is about to form a cup, it has to form a half-cup before integrating the formation in its entirety. You might want to be informed that the price shows such intentions.


Since we seek early identification of a possible cup (and particularly for the bottom phase of a possible cup), we essentially seek a pattern I will refer to as a “semi-cup.” The typical semi-cup formation is like a completed cup cut in half. This formation has a distinct advantage over an integrated cup: The price is relatively low and there is room for a prosperous upward movement (even when the overall long-term trend is bearish). In addition, most of the time, it is easy to set a profit objective (price target) and a stop-loss level when trading the formation.

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