Continuation Patterns: An Introduction

When a dealer seems on the value chart of a inventory, it may well seem like fully random actions. That is usually true and, but, inside these value actions are patterns. Chart patterns are geometric shapes discovered within the value information that may assist a dealer perceive the value motion, in addition to make predictions about the place the value is prone to go.

Merchants usually assume that an prevalence of a continuation sample signifies {that a} value development is prone to proceed, however skilled merchants settle for the concept that no sample is completely dependable for predictive functions. This text supplies an introduction to continuation patterns, explaining what these patterns are and tips on how to spot them.

Key Takeaways

  • Continuation patterns are a sign merchants search for to sign {that a} value development is prone to stay in play.
  • Merchants attempt to spot these patterns in the course of an present development, and so they’ll infer that the development will most probably resume as soon as the sample has accomplished.
  • All types of time frames might be scoured for continuation patterns, equivalent to tick charts, day by day or weekly charts.
  • Triangles, flags, pennants, and rectangles are examples of continuation patterns that market merchants usually work with.

Forms of Continuation Patterns

Continuation patterns happen mid-trend and are a pause within the value motion of various durations. When these patterns happen, it may well point out that the development is prone to resume after the sample completes. A sample is taken into account full when the sample has fashioned (might be drawn) after which “breaks out” of that sample, doubtlessly persevering with on with the previous development. Continuation patterns might be seen on all time frames, from a tick chart to a day by day or weekly chart. Frequent continuation patterns embody triangles, flags, pennants, and rectangles.

See also  Medicare Advantage Definition

Continuation patterns set up the value motion a dealer is observing in a means that enables them to execute a plan to make the most of the actions.


Triangles are a standard sample and may merely be outlined as a converging of the value vary, with larger lows and decrease highs. The converging value motion creates a triangle formation. There are three primary forms of triangles: symmetrical, ascending and descending. For buying and selling functions, the three forms of triangles might be traded equally.

Triangles fluctuate of their length however can have a minimum of two swing highs in value and two swings lows in value. As value continues to converge, it is going to ultimately attain the apex of the triangle; the nearer to the apex value will get, the tighter and tighter value motion turns into, thus making a breakout extra imminent.

Symmetrical: A symmetrical triangle might be merely outlined as a downward sloping higher sure and an upward sloping decrease sure in value.

Picture by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020

Ascending: An ascending triangle might be outlined as a horizontal higher sure and upward sloping decrease sure.

Picture by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020

Descending: A descending triangle might be outlined as a downward sloping higher sure and horizontal decrease sure.

Picture by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020


Flags are a pause within the development, the place the value turns into confined in a small value vary between parallel strains. This pause in the course of a development offers the sample a flag-like look. Flags are typically quick in length, lasting a number of bars, and don’t include value swings backwards and forwards as a buying and selling vary or development channel would. Flags could also be parallel or upward or downward sloping, as proven in beneath.

Picture by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020


Pennants are just like a triangle, but smaller; pennants are typically created by solely a number of bars. Whereas not a tough and quick rule, if a pennant accommodates greater than 20 value bars, it may be thought of a triangle. The sample is created as costs converge, overlaying a comparatively small value vary mid-trend; this offers the sample a pennant look.

Picture by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020


Typically there can be pauses in a development by which the value motion strikes sideways, sure between parallel assist and resistance strains. Rectangles, also called buying and selling ranges, can final for brief intervals or a few years. This sample is quite common and might be seen usually intra-day, in addition to on longer-term time frames.

Picture by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020

Working With Continuation Patterns

Continuation patterns present some logic to the value motion. By figuring out the patterns, a dealer can create a buying and selling plan to make the most of widespread patterns. The patterns current buying and selling alternatives that will not be seen utilizing different strategies.

Sadly, just because the sample known as a “continuation sample” doesn’t imply it’s all the time dependable. A sample could seem throughout a development, however a development reversal should still happen. Additionally it is fairly doable that, as soon as we’ve got drawn the sample on our charts, the bounds could also be barely penetrated, however a full breakout doesn’t happen. That is known as a false breakout and will happen a number of occasions earlier than the sample is definitely damaged and a continuation or a reversal happens. Rectangles, attributable to their recognition and straightforward visibility, are extremely inclined to false breakouts.

Patterns will also be subjective, as what one dealer sees just isn’t what one other dealer sees, or how one other dealer would draw or outline the sample in actual time. This isn’t essentially a nasty factor, as it may well present merchants with a novel perspective available on the market. It would require time and follow for the dealer to develop his or her talent find patterns, drawing them and formulating a plan on tips on how to use them. 

The Backside Line

Continuation patterns, which embody triangles, flags, pennants and rectangles, present some logic on what the market could doubtlessly do. Typically these patterns are seen mid-trend and point out a continuation of that development, as soon as the sample is full. To ensure that the development to proceed, the sample should escape within the right path. Whereas continuation patterns may also help merchants make buying and selling selections, the patterns usually are not all the time dependable. Potential issues embody a reversal in a development as a substitute of a continuation and a number of false breakouts as soon as the sample is starting to be established.