• Kian Lee Teo

    3. 20EMA Carry?

    In the beginning, after the first rejection off the key resistance level, price penetrated nicely below the 20ema. But as we get closer and closer towards the right where the squeeze is taking place, you see the market barely go below it for more than a single candle before resurfacing.


    Notice how the first few times the rejection approaches the 20ema, it breaks through after one candle. But towards the end many candles start to float above it where some traders are entering in anticipation of the breakout.

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    2. Pre-Breakout Pressure or Tension (Squeeze)

    This pre-breakout tension is highly important because it creates a friction and pressure upon the defenders (in this case the bears). As the bears realize their rejections off a key level are getting smaller, while the bulls continue to gain more upside and territory, it causes a friction in their minds that forces them to make a critical decision (either stay in and defend, or exit the market).


    You can easily identify a price action squeeze and this pre-breakout pressure, or tension, by the price action forming higher lows in attacking a resistance level, or lower highs when attacking a support level. This is a combination of the current bulls willing to buy up the instrument at a worse price, along with new bulls wanting to get long before the breakout.

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    1. Well Defined Support/Resistance Level

    The first pre-requisite to identifying a healthy pre-breakout situation is having a clearly defined barrier in the form of a support or resistance level. The classic case is when you have a trend in place (lets say uptrend) and then the price action runs into resistance at a key level.

    Ideally, you want there to be at least two touches on this level before defining it. The more horizontal and neater this level is - the better. But it should be noted, this is just a pre-requisite and generally by itself not enough to identify a healthy breakout setup. The reason for the two touches is to identify a sticking point where players are parked and what level they are defending that the (bulls in this case) are unable to penetrate.


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    This series between the impulsive vs. corrective moves will generally continue until the market encounters a counter-trend impulsive move, which usually translates to an equal or greater force on the opposing side of the market. Very similar to Newton’s Laws of Motion about an object in motion will stay in motion until acted upon another object with equal or greater force.


    Glancing at the chart above starting with the bottom left at move A, you can see how it was an impulsive move, followed by a corrective move (B). This series continued until…it hit a counter-trend impulsive move in G. It was only until here did the bulls finally relent control as the opposing bears took control of the price action with the bulls likely taking profit or exiting all together, especially after the low point from move D was taken out. Ironically, what followed move G, was a corrective move after, followed by the bears continuing the down-leg.

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    What About Corrective Moves?

    The good thing about corrective moves is they are easy to spot, since they have the inverse characteristics of impulsive moves. Meaning, they tend to have;

    • Smaller Candles
    • Greater mix between red/blue or bull/bear candles
    • Closes more towards the middle with larger wicks

    How impulsive action relate to corrective action?

    Generally, impulsive and corrective moves tend to have a common pattern or dance with each other. The general pattern that tends to play out between them is the following;

    • Impulsive moves about 75% of the time are followed by corrective moves. These corrective moves can either be horizontal, slightly against the impulsive move, or even slightly in the same direction, but they denote a change in the order flow and participation.

    • 75% of the time, these corrective moves are followed by impulsive moves in the same direction as the original impulsive move. Because those who are in control, rarely give up control unless encountering a strong counter-trend force. Even then, they usually make a second attempt to take out a recent swing high or low before giving up.

    Only when they fail a second time will they usually exit the market, either waiting for a new chance to get in on a pullback, or reset completely. This is why V-Bottoms are quite rare and only form about 10% of the time. Usually there is a 2nd bottom, which is could be a LL (lower low), HL (higher low) or a similar low.

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    It is important to look at price action not just based on structure of the candles, which is one dimensional. Price doesn’t just move in a vacuum, it moves in time, and HOW price moves over time can communicate a lot of information to us as traders.

    Closes Towards the Highs/Lows of the Move – If you think about it, when the market is in a strong trending move, let’s say using a 4hr chart, and the candle that closed in the direction of the trend (in this case uptrend) has a very small wick, thus a strong close towards the highs, what does that communicate? When you have a strong close with a very small wick, this usually indicates very little profit taking, thus a confidence the move will likely continue.


    Candles 1-4, the price action moves in a sideways corrective fashion until candle 5, which if you notice, increases in size tremendously (rule #1 of impulsive moves). From here, price continues on selling for the next 9 candles, 10 total in a row, or 40hrs of selling (rule #2 of impulsive moves).

    looking at the candle closes, you can see most of them are towards the lows, showing very little profit taking along the way, thus suggesting likely continuation.

    Only until candle 11 do we get a strong rejection, and from here price then moves sideways in a corrective fashion until candle 16. But what happens at candle 17? The candle expands (rule #1) telling us the trend will likely continue.

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    Large Candles communicate to us there is strong participation and order flow behind this particular candle. Strong imbalances during a candle will translate into larger candles than the norm. When you see large candles forming consistently in one direction, they indicate strong order flow behind them from the institutional side.


    At candles 1-8, all but the blue doji in the middle are solid in size. Yet candles 9-17 are all contained within the highs and the lows of last 2-3 candles in this down leg, communicating weak order flow and participation behind them.

    Mostly of One Color – this ingredient is also common amongst impulsive moves as it communicates something critical to us – time. More specifically, how the bulls or bears were able to maintain control of the price action over time.

    In the down leg, there is only 1 blue candle, meaning for 8 out of 9hrs, the bears had complete control of the market (almost one full trading session).

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    What Is An Impulsive Move?

    An impulsive move is one whereby the market moves quite strongly or heavily in on direction, covering a great distance in a short period of time. These moves tell you when the imbalance between the buyers and sellers is really strong and there is heavy participation from the institutional side.

    Logically, more money can be made during these impulsive moves, as they cover more points or pips in less time. They are generally more volatile, and thus provide us with great opportunities to get more R (reward) with less risk since the market will stretch more easily in one direction. But no matter what, we want to be trading with these moves as much as possible, not against them.

    Three Characteristics

    • Large Candles (bodies)
    • Mostly of one color (blue/bullish, or red/bearish)
    • Closes towards highs/lows of the move

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