How To Spot A Bottom In Stocks

Did you know that there are ways to spot a bottom in a stock? Before the stock rises, they often give subtle hints that a bottom has formed. The general public often do not know how to spot bottoms. But the trained technical analyst and the great investor knows how to differentiate between a stock that is good for bottom fishing and one that is a falling knife.

Why Spot Bottoms?

The primary reason we want to spot bottoms in a stock is of course to buy it at a cheap price before it rises. Some great profits can be made when you identify a bottom early. Traders who swing trade can also buy a stock that has formed a short term bottom. They hold it for a few days and sell it for a quick profit.

The Signs Of A Stock That Is Bottoming

First of all, in order to understand how to spot bottoms, you need to know the 4 stages that every stock goes through. Very briefly, the 4 stages are:

  • Stage 1- Bottom
  • Stage 2 - Uptrend
  • Stage 3 - Market Top
  • Stage 4 - Downtrend

You will make money by buying stocks that have just bottomed and are about to start a Stage 2 uptrend. Here are some signs to look for to spot a bottom in stocks:

  1. Breaking downtrendlines
  2. Double bottom, triple bottom patterns, reverse head and shoulder and cup and handle patterns
  3. Reaching support areas in long term charts
  4. Bottoming tails
  5. Bullish candlestick patterns
  6. Stochastics oversold

Breaking Downtrendlines

Breaking trendlines is a great way to spot a change in the trend. A stock that is in a downtrend will often break a trendline when it is about to bottom and move up. Breaking a downtrendline changes the psychology of market players. While not all stocks that break their downtrendline will move up and start a new uptrend, many stocks often exhibit this behavior when they are starting a new uptrend.

You can easily construct a downtrendline by connecting the highs of the rallies.

In the chart above, you can see how AAPL broke above its weekly downtrendline. When it broke above the trendline, it gives traders an indication that things are getting better. It is a hint that this stock might be bottoming. Sure enough, the stock climb up from there.

Trendlines can be used on daily chart as well. ALLE broke above its daily trendline and formed a bottom. The stock rally and rise from there. Trendlines are very simple tools but they are extremely powerful to spot a bottoming in stocks.

Double Bottoms, Triple Bottoms, Cup With Handle And Reverse Head And Shoulders

Chart patterns like the double bottom, triple bottoms, cup with handle and reverse head and shoulders often appear when a stock is bottoming. Whenever a stock exhibits these kind of patterns, we need to take note because they usually tell us the stock might be finding a bottom.

The S&P 500 above formed a double bottom pattern in January to March. Double bottoms that happen in indexes can often be very very reliable. Look how the market rally up.

The weekly chart of Apple showed that it formed a triple bottom. The triple bottom tells us that the stock tried to move lower 3 times but failed to do so. The bears were not able to make the stock go lower despite 3 times. The bulls were stronger and supported the stock everytime it fell. Therefore, Apple rallied and formed a bottom. It is hitting new highs now.

The cup with handle pattern is a very useful and reliable bottoming pattern. It is popularized by William O' Neil in his book How to Make Money In Stocks. Today, this pattern is often watched very carefully by investors and traders. When they see this pattern, traders will look at whether the stock can break above the handle. They will often invest or buy the stock as it rises above the handle.

ABT above shows how this reliable pattern marked a bottom in the stock. The stock broke above the handle and flew higher.

A reverse head and shoulder is also a very potent bottoming pattern. The stock will form a left shoulder then move lower to form a head and then form a higher low which creates a reverse head and shoulder pattern. ADBE above formed this pattern from November to January and look how the stock fly higher from there.

Reverse head and shoulders also work very well in weekly charts. The chart above shows the FTSE 100 which formed a reverse head and shoulders pattern. The funny thing was the BREXIT vote happen in June 2016 which is where the right shoulder formed.

When the surprise results came out everybody thought the FTSE market was going to fall drastically. World markets crashed lower but quickly regain the losses. Turns out the crash formed the right shoulders which eventually made the FTSE move higher. Traders knew better because they saw the reverse head and shoulders pattern.

Reaching Support Areas In Long Term Charts

A stock that is in a daily downtrend can look devastating. But many stocks that are in a bear market tend to end the downtrend when they reach the weekly and monthly long term support.

In the chart above, you can see HSIC having a downtrend. The stock then reached the weekly support and the stock then started to formed a rounded bottom. From there the stock started a new uptrend.

IBM was in a very long downtrend. The monthly chart of IBM showed how this stock dropped from 2014 to 2016. The stock then reach the long term monthly support. It formed a bottoming tail and notice that is where it met the monthly 200 MA as well. The strong support as well as the psychological 200 MA support help keep IBM from dropping further. The stock formed a bottom and then started a new uptrend.

Bottoming Tails

Bottoming tails are excellent candlestick reversal patterns. They work very well in daily charts but they also work superbly well in weekly charts. When there is a big market crash and the S&P 500 makes a bottoming tail, it often gives us a very reliable signal that a reversal is at hand.

The chart above shows the S&P 500's weekly chart. Do you notice the many weekly bottoming tails that appear after the markets crash? They did a very good job of telling us when a bottom is happening.

The chart above shows the weekly chart of IR. You can see the stock formed a double bottom pattern and the right bottom has many bottoming tails there. This told us that the stock was rejecting going lower. Eventually the stock found a bottom and made a new powerful uptrend.

Bullish Candlestick Patterns In Weekly Charts

Bullish candlestick patterns in daily charts can setup very nice swing trading opportunities. But a bullish candlestick pattern in weekly charts can show a potential bottom in a stock. This is usually more for V shape bottoms where the stock drops and have a quick bottoming process instead of a long rounded bottom. This is where the bullish candlestick pattern comes in.

In the chart above, JBHT had a drop and then it formed a weekly bullish harami. The bullish candlestick pattern marked the bottom for the stock. Studying Japanese candlestick patterns can be very beneficial to spot reversals in the weekly charts so do spend some time studying these patterns.

Oversold Indicators

Oversold indicators such as the stochastics can be very helpful to spot stocks that are bottoming. When you use the indicators in the weekly charts, it can even be more beneficial to spot long term bottoms.

In the chart above, JNJ had a bear market in late 2016. However, the stock was actually dropping to weekly long term support. The stochastics were oversold and not only that, they were forming a bullish divergence which indicated bullish strength in the stock. The stock eventually bottomed and started a fresh new uptrend.

Summary

There is no one perfect way to spot a bottom. The above ways when you add them all together can be very powerful to spot a bottom in stocks. You can use these techniques and indicators to spot a bottom in stocks, indexes and even commodities. When you use them in weekly charts they can often tell you when a stock or index is bottoming and about to start a long term uptrend.

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