Here’s How To Trade Cup And Handle Patterns

Here’s How To Trade Cup And Handle Patterns


Then it’s followed by a retracement back down, creating a cup-like bottom, or a rounded bottom. The pattern is recommended for use on timeframes from H4 or higher. As we mentioned above, cup and handle is a long-term pattern, its formation can take up to several months, which, can be considered to be a disadvantage. So, we can say that cup and handle pattern lags behind its colleagues — such trend continuation patterns as flag or triangle. This way, the buy order will only execute if the price breaks above the upper resistance level. This will avoid jumping into a cup and handle pattern too early by entering a false breakout.

How can you tell a stock breakout?

One of the strongest signs of an impending successful breakout is a narrowing trend into the level. We can see in the chart above that upward buying pressure is mounting against the resistance level. Demand is beginning to outweigh supply as bulls tighten the range between the most recent low and resistance.

A few months ago, we pointed out that gold had formed a bullish pattern over the previous year, known as the cup and handle. Scarcely a month after we published our article, gold had broken out of a multi-year resistance line to land in the $1400 range. While these technical formations do not always guarantee upside price movements, they have been shown to be quite accurate much of the time in various markets, including stocks.

The 6 Characteristics Of A Proper Cup And Handle Formation:

I have found the best cups form over the period of about a month but no more than two. If your going to use it for swing trading, you need to know what your target is so you can get out for maximum profits. Silver demand has outstripped silver supply for quite some time, according to reports from The Silver Institute. The stock then pulls back for several weeks or longer, but retains at least half of the prior uptrend’s gains.

There are several technical conditions that must be met before our algorithm will recognize a valid pivot. Firstly we want the stock to have attained a strong relative strength when compared to all other stocks, so we require an RS of 70 on a scale from 1-99. We also want the pivot to be approaching the left cup level, so we require the pivot price to be at least 60% of the left cup. Thirdly, there must have been sufficient time for a shakeout of holders during stage 2, and sufficient time for institutions to notice and take an interest in the stock during stage 3. This is essential if the stock is to be projected to new highs after the breakout.


Buying pressure occurs when the majority of traders are buying, indicating the majority think the market price will increase. The cup and handle pattern is a common method you can use to analyse the trend of assets. You can use it to analyse stocks, currencies, bonds, commodities, and index funds among others. The next way to trade the pattern is to wait for a break and retest.

The trendlines create a barrier, and once the price breaks through these, it is usually followed by a very sharp movement in price. Once the price breaks through either the support or resistance lines, this creates the buy or sell signal. Summing up, gold is stealing the spotlight, trying to break above the $1,800 barrier and the November 2011 high, but it’s unlikely to be able to confirm this move. Support and Resistance lines are often confused with trend lines but they are horizontal lines under the lows and above the highs respectively. They indicate where a previous rally met resistance and where a previous decline met support. The Cup and Handle pattern gives a long entry signal, i.e., a buy, when the price breaks above the resistance formed at the top of the cup.

Benefits Of Using A Stock Picking Service

A cup and handle is considered a bullish signal extending an uptrend, and it is used to spot opportunities to go long. Nature is fundamentally the same, and so the driving forces of price action can be visually represented through the same repeatable Futures exchange patterns in the stock market. 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.

Therefore, it is extremely important to place stop losses to protect an investment placed on the handle’s downtrend. Set the stop loss just below the lowest point on the handle, but no lower than half the depth of the cup since the handle should remain above this level. Ideally, the stop loss should be within the upper third of the cup since strong handles will not drop below this point. Another method for identifying the profit target is to plot a Fibonacci extension. Plot the extension from the base of the cup to the start of the handle, then to the handle’s low. One hundred percent of the extension is considered a conservative price target for cup and handle pattern breakouts, while 162 percent is considered an aggressive price target.

Cup and handle patterns are found on all timeframes, from intraday charts up to weekly and monthly charts. To identify the cup and handle pattern, start by following the price movements on a chart. The pattern starts to form when there is a sharp downward price movement over a short time.

Day Trading Encyclopedia

On the chart above, I’ve drawn three arcs to represent cups. And it’s a good example of a cup and handle pattern failure. The bounce out of the handle was very small before continuing downward.

While the price is expected to rise, that doesn’t mean it will. The price could rise a little and then fall, it could move sideways, or it could fall right after entry. Charles is a nationally recognized capital markets specialist and educator with over 30 years of experience developing in-depth training programs for burgeoning financial professionals.

Is a cup and handle bullish?

William O’Neil’s Cup with Handle is a bullish continuation pattern that marks a consolidation period followed by a breakout. There are two parts to the pattern: the cup and the handle. The cup forms after an advance and looks like a bowl or rounding bottom.

Prices then break the uptrend established by the right side of the cup, thus creating the handle. Prices reverse in a “V” formation rising until the high established by the right side of the cup. The cup and handle is a very distinctive pattern that can appear on any financial chart. The standard interpretation of the cup and handle is that it is bullish consolidation/continuation.

Crypto Trading Abcs: Cup And Handle Chart Pattern Full Guide

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cup chart pattern

So we add $10 to the handle and we get a profit target of $55. Any longer and I wouldn’t take the signal anymore because it means the stock is losing momentum. So, if you want to know where silver will trade, follow the general direction of the gold price until silver decides it wants to break out on its own.

For traders who want to add a little more certainty to their trade, they should wait for the price to close above the upper trendline of the handle. William O’Neil initially recognized this popular stock chart pattern in 1988. You can think of it as pushing down on a loaded spring, to build up more pressure just before the release. A dull market consists of low trading volumes and tight daily trading ranges.

What is a proper buy point?

Defining The Buy Point

A buy point is a price level at which a stock is most likely to begin a significant advance. It also points to an area of the chart that offers the least amount of resistance to price progress.

As a rule, such a correction takes the form of a flag pattern. The pattern resembles a cup of coffee or tea, which, for sure, is present near the keyboard of each trader. Prices reverse in a “V” formation rising until trading strategy the high established by the right side of the cup. A price target to the downside could be between 20%-50% but they can go lower and of course they can also rise back in price into the inverted handle and fail.

Other experts pay attention to breaking the trend line of the so-called “handle” element of the pattern. The cup is represented as an arc-shaped figure, which really resembles a cavity or reservoir. And the so-called handle represents a slightly downward (or sideways-looking movement) consolidation period. Much of silver is in the hands of traders on COMEX to support the futures market.

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 saucer, also called “rounding bottom”, refers to a technical charting pattern that signals a potential reversal in a security’s price.
  • The saucer pattern can be very powerful if it is at the bottom of a chart after a long descent and if it is accompanied by a substantial volume increase during the breakout.
  • Let’s get into the cup and handle pattern as defined by William O’Neil.
  • Support and Resistance lines are often confused with trend lines but they are horizontal lines under the lows and above the highs respectively.

This drop, or “handle” is meant to signal a buying opportunity to go long on a security. When this part of the price formation is over, the security may reverse course and reach new highs. Typically, cup and handle patterns fall between seven weeks to over a year. A profit target is determined by measuring the distance between the bottom of the cup and the pattern’s breakout level and extending that distance upward from the breakout. 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. Stop-loss orders may be placed either below the handle or below the cup depending on the trader’s risk tolerance and market volatility.

cup chart pattern

At this point more positive fundamental news is released and the stock price rallies. With selling pressures satiated and the flow of fundamental news decidedly bullish volume increases dramatically and the stock works toward a fresh new high. The next session Wall Street analysts make positive comments and the stock surges to a new high on dramatically increased volume.

We recommend that you combine it with other tools like Fibonacci and indicators like moving averages. Also, the right side of the cup should always come nearer to the previous high point. Finally, the handle should move lower to about half of the top of the handle. This is the H4 chart of the AUD/USD Forex pair for Sep 3-21, 2016. The image shows a bullish Cup with Handle chart figure with the blue lines on the chart.

There isn’t a stock scanner setting you can use to find a cup and handle pattern, but the pattern is easy to recognize visually. If you set your stock scanner to meet your other trading needs, then you can flip through the results until you find a chart that looks like a cup and handle. For example, a day trader may scan for stocks with a high average true range , and a swing trader might search for stocks that have performed well in recent weeks. An ascending triangle is a chart pattern used in technical analysis created by a horizontal and rising trendline.

Author: Rich Dvorak

Categories: Forex Education

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