Recognizing the Bull Flag Pattern 2023: Explained to Traders

Both bull and bear flag patterns, pauses in the market narrative, offer traders a glimpse of potential future moves. As tactical indicators, they are part of a larger array of patterns that traders use to forecast and strategize, hinting at significant movements yet to come. This consolidation bullish flags embodies a tempered confidence, suggesting that the initial price rally might be the prelude to a more sustained performance. The breakout from the flag, especially when accompanied by an uptick in volume, acts as a signal for continuation, hinting that the story has further to run.

  • In this article we look at how to trade these opportunities.
  • Certain requirements must be met in order to trade options.
  • Futures and options trading has large potential rewards, but also large potential risk.

In a downtrend a bear flag will highlight a slow consolidation higher after an aggressive move lower. This suggests more selling enthusiasm on the move down than on the move up and alludes to the momentum as remaining negative for the security in question. The strong directional move up is known as the ‘flagpole’, while the slow counter trend move lower is what is referred to as the ‘flag’. It is found anywhere from the daily chart to the 5-minute chart, and as such, it is a pattern that all traders should be aware of. A 2014 paper (revised 2019) titled “Learning Fast or Slow? ” analyzed the complete transaction history of the Taiwan Stock Exchange between 1992 and 2006.

To draw a price channel, you need simply trade a line touching the highs and lows of a ranging market. The available research on day trading suggests that most active traders lose money. Fees and overtrading are major contributors to these losses. When you trade the type of stocks I do, it’s not uncommon to see a stock rip 100% or more in a single day. If you miss your entry point because things are moving too fast, sit this one out. Also, don’t let your ego get the best of you if the stock is running up past your exit price.

What Happens After a Bull Flag Pattern?

Traders of a bull flag might wait for the price to break above the resistance of the consolidation to find long entry into the market. The breakout suggests the trend which preceded its formation is now being continued. If you search for information on how to trade bull flag patterns, you’ll notice there are differing definitions about what is and isn’t a true bull flag. One trader will tell you the flag is only a ‘real flag’ if it forms between five and 20 days. The flag forms the top part of the pattern, while the pole forms the bottom part. The pattern is considered to be bullish, as it typically forms during an uptrend.

Over longer periods, the pattern becomes a rectangle or triangle. Thus these moves are characterized by higher than average (and increasing) volume patterns. When the price pauses its downward march, the increasing volume may not decline, but rather hold at a level, implying a pause in the anxiety levels. Because volume levels are already elevated, the downward breakout may not be as pronounced as in the upward breakout in a bullish pattern.

The bottom support levels may continue to ascend creating a triangle (sometimes called a ‘pennant’). A bull flag fails or is invalidated once it breaks the low of the breakout candle. You want to see a strong move upward in prior days to form the “pole” of the flag. Then you want a tight consolidation where the price begins to move downward or countertrend on lower volume.

  • While all chart patterns are susceptible to false signals and surprise moves, bullish flags are among the most reliable and effective patterns.
  • FOMO might drive a new trader to jump in on the move, hoping for a meteoric rise, while indecision on entry points might make them miss the move altogether.
  • Consequently, many traders use other indicators to confirm the direction of the trend before entering a trade based on a bull flag pattern.

The bull flag pattern is easily spotted by its small, rectangular consolidation after a significant upward price movement, similar to a flag flying high on a pole. This formation usually takes place over a brief period and can be seen as the market catching its breath after a surge, with prices gathering in a tight band before the next upward move. The question is when to buy if you see a bull flag pattern emerge.

A high-volume bar to accompany the breakout, suggests a strong force in the move which shifts the price out of consolidation and into a renewed trend. A high-volume breakout is a suggestion that the direction in which the breakout occurred, is more likely to be sustained. Bull and bear flags are popular price patterns recognised in technical analysis, which traders often use to identify trend continuations. In this article we look at how to trade these opportunities.

The Psychology Behind the Bull Flag Chart Pattern

Into the pullback, you’ll want to see a series of lower highs and lower lows. Can there be a bull market without Microsoft (MSFT -1.00%) stock performing well? The tech giant makes up 7.3% of the S&P 500 and nearly 10.5% of the Nasdaq-100.

Bull Flag Pattern vs. Bear Flag Pattern

Never assume that any pattern in the market will work 100% of the time. Always set your stop and move on if the trade doesn’t go in your favor. As we mentioned above, you want a bull flag to put in a series of lower highs so that you can buy the breakout of the most recent candle’s lower high. You then can set your stop at the lows of that prior candle. After you buy the breakout, you then set your stop below the breakout candle.

A Bull Market Is Coming. Here Are 3 Stocks You’ll Absolutely Want to Own.

If you draw trend lines around it, it looks like a rectangle. The sideways consolidation tends to be more bullish than a bull flag … It doesn’t pull back as much. Longs also jump in when they see the stock rallying further. After the initial run, the stock pulls back and consolidates on lower volume. If you draw trend lines on the chart, the consolidation boundaries form a flag.

Traders of a bear flag might wait for the price to break below the support of the consolidation to find short entry into the market. Many small-cap assets are prone to explosive moves upwards, and the chart might simply create a double-top at the previous flag pole. Traders should look into the local trading history of the asset to establish a price target for the trade. Before you can trade using any of the 3 bull flag patterns, you need to understand how to read a candle.

A high-tight bull flag pattern is a good signal for traders. It provides an easy and accurate way to identify potential buying opportunities creating high-probability trades. Tom Bulkowski’s research confirms an accuracy of 85 percent for high-tight bull flag patterns with an average profit potential of 39 percent. Traders should pay attention to volume when trading a bull flag chart pattern.

We shift the first flagpole to the bottom of our flag to estimate the target. Once you find consistency trading the first bull flag rally, you can start branching out. If you feel like you missed a quick rally or a breakout, a bull flag can open up another entry opportunity. Note that while we put the bear flag in a separate section, the flat top and pennant patterns can also be flipped to form bearish indicators. Keep reading to see examples of these patterns in action.