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Double Top, a bearish reversal chart pattern explained

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What is Double Top Pattern ?

Double top is a trend reversal chart pattern formed after good bullish price move (a continuous price move for a good duration) where the upward price movement looses its steam (first top) and it retraces a bit (to neck line or mid point). Then again it moves in direction of original trend and reaches the first top level there by forming second top. It again cannot move above first top and start moving to neckline. Once the neck line is broken its fall in price is steep.

Understanding Double top in details

Double top is formed when the stock moves up for many days and the movement is steep towards the end. And then it falls from there by about 10-15 %. After this it again tries to move up and reaches level of previous high but cannot cross its previous high. After this it again starts falling to a level of neckline. Once it retraces below neckline a downtrend starts.

A image representing Double Top Chart Pattern formation

Please note that in actual practice, the two top may not be exactly at same level. Generally, second top is a slightly lower level but 1-2 % higher then first level is also acceptable. A significant higher second top may be dealt with lot of suspicion as it may indicate continuation of uptrend .

Volume in Double Top has a lot of significance as it can help to confirm formation of the pattern. Volume during first top should generally be much higher than volume during second top formation and volume during midpoint formation should be much lower than volume during neckline break out. Please avoid aggressive positioning when volume is not supporting the move. For aggressive traders a strict stop loss is recommended.

It is very fairly common to see a pullback near to neck line after formation of the pattern. It should generally be seen as a healthy thing as it gives better confirmation of neckline as resistance. In some case the pull back may happen few times. If this happens too many times then it may not be typical double top pattern. In case of pullback, it is recommended to keep a stop loss of about 3% above neck line.

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