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        Basics of Technical Analysis

        Views 9672022.09.21

        Is a "Market Breakout" Bullish or Bearish Sign?

        Sometimes Wall Street pros refer to an event known as a "breakout." For those unfamiliar with the term, here is what it means and why it matters to investors.
        What is a "breakout"?

        A breakout refers to a pattern in a price chart where the price of a stock (or other traded asset) breaches a previously unbroken level or a level that hasn't been breached in a long time, says JC Parets, founder of technical-analysis service
        Put simply, the price has "broken out" of a previously defined trading range.

        The first part of the pattern starts when a stock rallies to a certain level, but then retreats, Mr. Parets says.

        "What happens is that there is an overwhelming amount of supply at that price level," he says, meaning investors dump the stock, sending the price lower.

        A real-world example

        A recent example is $Financial Select Sector SPDR(XLF.US)$, which tracks a basket of financial stocks.

        article image

        In 2007, before the financial crisis the ETF reached a then-record price of around $31 a share. It traded lower than that for 12 years and didn't revisit $31 until late 2019. It retreated once again as the lockdowns sent stocks reeling in early 2020.

        The ETF's eventual breakout came earlier this year when the price broke through the $31 level. It recently was trading at around $37.

        "The more times a level gets tested, the more likely that a breakout is likely," Mr. Parets says.

        A breakout is considered bullish for investors because after it happens, the price of the stock (or other asset) is expected to continue rising until it reaches another level of overwhelming supply.

        "When you see a breakout happening, the risk is well defined, and you think the stock is going higher," Mr. Parets says.

        What's next?

        Mr. Parets sees a breakout coming for crude-oil futures ( $Crude Oil Future Main(MAR2)(CLmain.US)$ )

        article image                            

        Crude futures, which were recently trading at $65 a barrel, have hit $66 multiple times over the past few years, but each time the rally has stalled at that level.
        The fact that a critical level gets touched more than once makes it likely that the price will breach it sooner or later, Mr. Parets says. And when or if that happens, he expects the price of crude oil to sail far higher.

        "We are patient; when you see that break through the $66 level, then the next target is $76," he says.

        Some observers says a breakout can happen when prices drop lower, too. The same principles work in the opposite direction, with a breakout to the downside being a bearish signal.

        Source: Dow Jones Newswires

        By Simon Constable                            

        $S&P 500 index(.SPX.US)$  $Dow Jones Industrial Average(.DJI.US)$  $Nasdaq Composite Index(.IXIC.US)$  $Hang Seng Index(800000.HK)$  $GameStop(GME.US)$  $Apple(AAPL.US)$  $Tesla(TSLA.US)$  $Alibaba(BABA.US)$  $NIO Inc(NIO.US)$ 

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