Bull flags and bear flags are among the many hottest chart patterns and particularly trend-following merchants ought to examine these widespread pattern continuation patterns fastidiously to enhance their chart understanding.
Bull flags point out a possible pattern continuation of an uptrend, offering an entry level for lengthy trades, whereas bear flags might foreshadow a downward pattern continuation, signaling a promoting alternative. This text delves into the main points of those patterns, explores their formation, and supplies sensible buying and selling methods.
Bull Flag Defined
A bull flag varieties throughout an uptrend, after an impulsive pattern wave (the pole), when the worth consolidates in a slim, downward-sloping vary, resembling a flag on a pole. Sometimes, merchants use trendlines to outline the vary habits in a bull flag.
The screenshot under reveals the perfect bull flag situation. The flag sample means that the upward pattern might proceed when the worth breaks above the flag trendline and begins making greater highs as soon as once more.
There are, in fact, many various methods one might commerce a bull flag and we’re going to discover some variations later on this article.
Bull Flag Chart Instance
Step one in terms of discovering bull flags is ensuring that the instrument is in a trending market surroundings. The robust impulsive pattern wave within the screenshot under confirms that the instrument is certainly total in a trending market.
Many merchants make the error of chasing the worth as a bullish pattern retains pushing greater throughout the impulsive wave. Such a buying and selling method normally would not carry out as nicely due to a excessive chance of a pullback.
Bull flag buying and selling might supply a extra favorable method as a result of merchants are ready for a worth correction and, due to this fact, can enter their lengthy trades at a cheaper price, offering a greater reward:threat ratio.
After the breakout from the primary flag, the pattern continued greater with a second impulsive pattern wave. Elliot wave merchants might acknowledge this trending habits as a result of it resembles the interaction between impulsive and corrective pattern waves.
As the brand new impulsive pattern wave loses momentum, the worth, as soon as once more, goes over right into a bull flag throughout the corrective wave.
Utilizing trendlines can usually be extra subjective as a result of trendlines will be drawn in many various methods. Though we’re going to discover different bull flag buying and selling methods later on this article, I wish to introduce a extra goal buying and selling method at this level.
By trying on the worth habits inside a flag sample, we are able to usually draw help and resistance zones to clarify the worth motion higher. As a substitute of simply buying and selling the trendline breakout, some merchants might discover it useful to include horizontal help and resistance ideas into their flag buying and selling methods.
Within the screenshot under we see a transparent horizontal help and resistance degree that would have been used as a second entry set off. On this case, merchants select to attend for the worth to interrupt above the horizontal resistance earlier than getting into a protracted commerce. Usually, additionally, you will see the widespread break and retest sample at this level when the worth transitions from the corrective section into the next impulsive pattern wave.
Bear flags work the identical and so they happen throughout a downtrend, functioning as a pattern continuation sample to the draw back. Right here, the worth consolidates in a slim, upward-sloping vary, once more forming a flag on a pole, however this time it signifies the opportunity of the downward pattern continuation. When the worth breaks under the flag, it is usually seen as a promoting sign by merchants, anticipating additional decline.
Each patterns are characterised by a powerful preliminary pattern (the pole), adopted by a consolidating counter transfer (the flag), and a possible breakout within the route of the preliminary pattern.
Technique 1 – Shifting Common Pullback
Now, we’re going to discover some bull and bear flag buying and selling methods, utilizing completely different buying and selling ideas and instruments to enhance our decision-making. Buying and selling bull flags by themselves, with out extra confluence alerts, is often not really helpful. As with all chart patterns, it’s normally greatest to commerce chart pattern-based methods in an entire buying and selling system with extra guidelines and ideas.
For a easy begin, including a shifting common (the 50 SMA in our instance) can assist to establish bull flag pullbacks objectively. Within the instance under, the 50 SMA held completely as help throughout the bull flag formation.
It isn’t essential that the shifting common holds exactly and even when the worth breaks the shifting common to the draw back, it may well nonetheless be a legitimate bull flag. The shifting common simply supplies an goal approach of figuring out pullbacks and helps to tell apart between impulsive and corrective buying and selling phases.
Technique 2 – Multi Timeframe
With this technique, we’re going to use the bear flag inside a multi-timeframe context.
The screenshot under reveals a bear flag on the 1H timeframe. As a substitute of merely buying and selling the breakout via the trendline, we are able to search for extra buying and selling alerts that will enhance the commerce high quality.
First, we are able to see that the worth has reached a earlier Truthful Worth Hole (FVG) which is a great cash idea. The concept is that like standard help and resistance, worth usually will get rejected from FVGs. This is usually a nice extra buying and selling sign as a result of the bear flag is occurring at a chart location from which a rejection downward might have a better likelihood.
After we go to the 15-minute decrease time-frame, we are able to discover extra confluence commerce alerts: first, the worth has damaged a swing low, now making decrease lows which is a powerful pattern shift sign. Second, the worth has additionally damaged the 15-minute 50-SMA to the draw back, signaling a momentum pattern change.
On the lookout for commerce entry alerts on the decrease timeframe usually additionally supplies a significantly better reward:threat ratio. And by including extra confluence components, false alerts can usually be prevented.
After the bear flag breakout, the bearish pattern continued with a powerful impulsive bearish wave. The tipping level was the exit from the flag sample.
Technique 3 – Advanced Shifting Averages
With this technique, we’re utilizing FVGs as our first commerce filter and we solely take into account bull flags if they’ve moved into an FVG; this will even make your commerce scanning simpler and goal. Within the instance under, that is the case.
Within the picture under, the ten EMA, 30 EMA, and 50 EMA have been added to the chart. Throughout a pullback, the worth dips under all three shifting averages, signaling a big market drop. Coming into a protracted place at this level could be too early as the worth is exhibiting a bearish momentum construction.
After the breakout from the bull flag, the shifting averages have additionally been damaged to the upside and the short-term 10 EMA (purple) is again above the longer-term shifting averages. When the short-term shifting common crosses bullish, it may well usually foreshadow a pattern continuation.
Throughout the next bullish pattern continuation, the short-term 10 EMA (purple) stayed above the long-term shifting averages, confirming the bullish trending section.
Technique 4 – Break and Retest
Within the instance under, the bull flag sample is forming after breaking above a earlier resistance degree in a long-term uptrend. The bull flag is retesting the earlier resistance as help and although the worth is falling under the help degree, it doesn’t negate the standard of the bull flag sample. Value is a dynamic idea and you don’t at all times count on the worth to react to chart drawings exactly; the general concept of the setup and the context issues greater than the precision.
After the primary retest bull flag was damaged, the impulsive pattern wave continued the uptrend earlier than getting into a brand new, short-term bull flag. And as soon as the brand new bull flag was damaged, the worth superior greater once more.
The bull flag is a flexible trend-following chart sample that can be utilized together with quite a lot of different buying and selling alerts to construct a strong buying and selling technique. Understanding the context during which the bull flag happens is a vital issue in terms of studying trending markets and discovering one of the best pullback alternatives.