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Reversal Chart Patterns

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Broadening Top Bearish Reversal

Broadening Top is a rally to a new high, weakness to an intermediate support level, a second rally to a higher high on increased volume and decline through the intermediate support level, a third rally to a higher high on strong volume followed by a eventual collapse.

Because Broadening Tops are very large reversal patterns, the technical implications are usually extreme. The measured target is derived by subtracting the height of the pattern from the eventual breakout level.


Broadening Top

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The Broadening top is a relatively rare formation that looks like an inverted triangle. Instead of increasingly narrowing fluctuations in prices, the broadening formation is formed by price swings that are increasingly widening. The difference with the triangle pattern is the change in volume. Volume contracts with the triangle, indicating investor indecision, volume in the broadening top usually expands right along with prices, indicating a volatile emotional market.

Broadening Top
  • The most common of these patterns consists of three successively higher peaks and another line connecting the two lows combine to give the price formation its distinctive pattern.
  • The combination of wide price swings and increasing volume implies a frenzied market that's out of control, symptoms of market tops rather than bottoms. As a result, these patterns are rarely found at market bottoms.
  • The signal that the market has topped occurs when prices fall below the lower low. Prices may again test the third peak but usually don't exceed that level. In addition, in some cases, the third peak might not actually exceed the second peak before prices drop and fall below the second low, providing an early indication that the market is topping.
  • The broadening top is considered complete once this violation of the second low is made.
Triple Bottom           Diamond Top
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