1. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Introduction
  2. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Why Charts?
  3. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Head And Shoulders
  4. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Cup And Handle
  5. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Double Top And Double Bottom
  6. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Triangles
  7. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Flags And Pennants
  8. Analyzing Chart Patterns: The Wedge
  9. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Gaps
  10. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Triple Tops And Bottoms
  11. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Round Bottoms
  12. Analyzing Chart Patterns: Conclusion

The wedge chart pattern signals a reverse of the trend that is currently formed within the wedge itself. Wedges are similar in construction to a symmetrical triangle in that there are two trendlines - support and resistance - which band the price of a security.

The wedge pattern differs in that it is generally a longer-term pattern, usually lasting three to six months. It also has converging trendlines that slant in an either upward or downward direction, which differs from the more uniform trendlines of triangles.

There are two main types of wedges – falling and rising – which differ on the overall slant of the pattern. A falling wedge slopes downward, while a rising wedge slants upward.

Falling Wedge
The falling wedge is a generally bullish pattern signaling that one will likely see the price break upwards through the wedge and move into an uptrend. The trendlines of this pattern converge, with both being slanted in a downward direction as the price is trading in a downtrend.

Figure 1: Falling wedge pattern

From the above, one can see that a wedge is similar to the triangles, in that the price movement bounces between the two trendlines, which are bounding the price movement.

Another thing to look at in the falling wedge is that the upper (or resistance) trendline should have a sharper slope than the support level in the wedge construction. When the lower (or support) trendline is clearly flatter as the pattern forms, it signals that selling pressure is waning, as sellers have trouble pushing the price down further each time the security is under pressure.

The price movement in the wedge should at minimum test both the support trendline and the resistance trendline twice during the life of the wedge. The more times it tests each level, especially on the resistance end, the higher quality the wedge pattern is thought to be.

The buy signal is formed when the price breaks through the upper resistance line. This breakout move should be on heavier volume, but due to the longer-term nature of this pattern, it's important that the price has successive closes above the resistance line.

Rising Wedge
Conversely, a rising wedge is a bearish pattern that signals that the security is likely to head in a downward direction. The trendlines of this pattern converge, with both trendlines slanted in an upward direction.

Figure 2: Rising wedge pattern

Again, the price movement is bounded by the two converging trendlines. As the price moves towards the apex of the pattern, momentum is weakening. A move below the lower support would be viewed by traders as a reversal in the upward trend.

As the strength of the buyers weakens (exhibited by their inability to take the price higher), the sellers start to gain momentum. The pattern is complete, with the sellers taking control of the security, when the price falls below the supporting trendline.


Analyzing Chart Patterns: Gaps
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Weatherford International May Drop Despite Uptrend

    Weatherford International stock has been rising but may be due to drop soon.
  2. Trading

    What to Do With These Strong ETFs

    These have been three of the strongest ETFs over the last year. But things could be changing.
  3. Trading

    Currency ETFs Near Long-term Breakout Levels

    These currency ETFs could be heading into the next wave of the uptrend, but beware of resistance. (FXA,FXC,FXY)
  4. Investing

    Tales From The Trenches: Volume Confirmed Broadening Pattern

    Find out how to make sense of this tricky - but profitable - formation.
  5. Trading

    Yahoo!: Uptrend or Due for a Crash?

    A major long-term reversal pattern is forming in Yahoo!'s stock. Buying Alphabet on a pullback is likely the better trade. (YHOO,GOOGL)
  6. Investing

    How To Interpret Technical Analysis Price Patterns: Triple Tops And Bottoms

    Triple and double tops and bottoms may be tough to spot, but once you learn them, they can be powerful patterns.
  7. Trading

    Watch for These Stocks to Breakout Soon (ACM, ADBE)

    Four stocks close to breaking out of chart patterns, with anticipated entry points and profit targets.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Why Do Most of My Mortgage Payments Start Out as Interest?

    Fear not: Over the life of the mortgage, the portions of interest to principal will change.
  2. What is the difference between secured and unsecured debts?

    The differences between secured and unsecured debt, and how banks buffer risks associated with each type of loan through ...
  3. How Many Times has Warren Buffett Been Married?

    Warren Buffett has been married twice in his life, but the circumstances surrounding the marriages were unconventional.
  4. What's the smallest number of shares of stock that I can buy?

    Many people would say the smallest number of shares an investor can purchase is one, but the real answer is not as straightforward. ...
Trading Center