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What is a protective put?

A protective put is an option contract that hedges against losses in a long stock position, by allowing the investor to sell the underlying security at a specific price. Sometime investors will seek to limit possible losses in a stock that they hold by purchasing a put option at a price below the current market price. This allows the investor to sell their stock at a set price if it takes a dive for any reason. Let’s assume that you have 100 shares of company ABC, which is trading at $100/share. Continue reading...

What is a put option?

A put option gives the owner of the option/contract the right to sell a stock at the strike price named in the contract. One kind of option is a put. A Put is a right to sell a particular asset (usually a stock) at a certain price (called the “strike price”) within a specified time-frame. The owner of the put contract doesn’t need to own the underlying stock. If the price of the stock drops below the strike price in the put, the owner of the put contract can buy the stock at the lower market price and immediately sell it at the higher strike price in the put contract. That is a speculative way to use a Put contract. Continue reading...

What is the Rectangle Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

The Rectangle Bottom pattern forms when the price of a security is stuck in a range­bound motion, bouncing between support and resistance levels. Two horizontal lines (1, 3, 5) and (2, 4) form the pattern. Depending on who gives up first ­ buyers or sellers ­ the price can Breakout in either direction. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets. Usually the pattern performs better when there is a strong downtrend leading into the formation. Continue reading...

What is the Rectangle Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Rectangle Top pattern forms when the price of a security is stuck in a range­bound motion, and it bounces between support and resistance levels. Two horizontal lines are formed (top: 1, 3, 5) and (bottom: 2, 4) as a result. Depending on who gives up first – buyers or sellers – the price can Breakout in either direction. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets. Usually the pattern performs better when there is a strong uptrend leading into the formation. Continue reading...

What is the Descending Triangle (Bearish) Pattern?

The Descending Triangle pattern has a horizontal bottom (1, 3, 5) which represents the support level, and a down­-sloping top line (2, 4). The breakout can be either up or down and the direction of the breakout determines which corresponding price level is the target. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. When the price of a security consolidates in a somewhat volatile fashion, it may indicate growing investor concern that the price is set to break out. Continue reading...

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Bottom pattern forms when the price of a security fails to retest a high or a low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. Points 1­ 5 form the triangle patterns. The price is expected to move up or down past the triangle depending on which line is broken first. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Top pattern forms when the price of a security fails to retest a high or low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the triangle depending on which line is broken first. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). The price movement inside the triangle should fill the shape with some uniformity, without leaving large blank areas. Continue reading...

What is the Triple Tops (Bearish) Pattern?

The Triple Tops pattern appears when there are three distinct minor Highs (1, 3, 5) at about the same price level. The security is testing the upper resistance level (horizontal line formed by (1, ­3,­ 5), but the price ultimately declines as buyers give up. This type of formation potentially happens when investors can not break the resistance price. There is a distinct possibility that market participants will sell out, and the price can move down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

What is the Rising Wedge (Bearish) Pattern?

The Rising Wedge pattern forms when prices appear to spiral upward, with higher highs (1, 3, 5) and higher lows (2,4) creating two up­-sloping trend lines that intersect to form a triangle. Unlike Ascending Triangle patterns, both lines need to have a distinct upward slope, with the bottom line having a steeper slope. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. There is a distinct possibility that market participants will sell out, and the price can move down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

What is the Broadening Wedge Ascending (Bearish) Pattern?

The Broadening Wedge Ascending pattern forms when a security price progressively makes higher highs (1, 3, 5) and higher lows (2, 4), following two widening trend lines. This pattern may form when large investors spread their buying over a period of time. When initial buying occurs, other market participants react to rising price and jump on the bandwagon to participate. Then value investors begin to sell, believing the price has risen too much, which spurs the original large investor to resume buying again. Once these activities stop, the price may break out in either direction. Continue reading...

What is the Broadening Wedge Descending (Bearish) Pattern?

The Broadening Wedge Descending pattern forms when a security price makes lower lows (1, 3, 5) and lower highs (2, 4), forming two downward sloping lines that expand over time (kind of like a pointed down megaphone shape). This pattern may form when large investors spread out their selling over a period of time, and the Breakout can occur in either direction. When the initial selling occurs, other market participants react to falling price and jump on the bandwagon to participate. Then the value investors begin to sell, believing the price has not fallen enough, which spurs the original large investor to resume selling again. Continue reading...

What is the Falling Wedge (Bearish) Pattern?

The Falling Wedge pattern forms when prices appear to spiral downward, with lower lows (1, 3, 5) and lower highs (2, 4) creating two down­-sloping trend lines that intersect to form a triangle. Unlike Descending Triangle patterns, however, both lines need to have a distinct downward slope, with the top line having a steeper decline. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout).​​ Continue reading...

What is the Three Falling Peaks (Bearish) Pattern?

The Three Falling Peaks pattern forms when three minor Highs (1, 3, 5) arrange along a downward­-sloping trend line. This pattern often emerges at the end of a rising trend, when a security slowly rolls over. It potentially indicates sellers moving ­in to replace buyers, which pushes the price lower. If the price breaks out from the bottom pattern boundary, day traders and swing traders should trade with the DOWN trend. Consider selling the security short or buying a put option at the downward breakout price level. To identify an exit, compute the target price by subtracting the pattern’s height (maximum price minus minimum price within the pattern) from the breakout level ­ the lowest low. When trading, wait for the confirmation move, which is when the price moves below the breakout level. Continue reading...

What is the Broadening Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

The Broadening Bottom pattern forms when a security price makes higher highs (2, 4) and lower lows (1, 3, 5) following two widening trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the pattern depending on which line is broken first. What distinguishes a Broadening Bottom from a Broadening Top is that the price of the security is declining prior to entering the pattern formation. This type of formation happens when volatility is high or increasing, and when a security's price is moving with high volatility but or no direction. It potentially indicates growing investor nervousness and a little indecisiveness. Continue reading...

What is the Broadening Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Broadening Top pattern forms when a security price makes higher highs (1, 3, 5) and lower lows (2, 4) following two widening trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the pattern depending on which line is broken first. What distinguishes a Broadening Top from a Broadening Bottom is that the price of the security is rising prior to entering the pattern formation. This type of formation happens when volatility is high or increasing, and when a security’s price is moving with high volatility but little or no direction. It indicates growing investor nervousness and indecisiveness. Continue reading...

What is the Ascending Triangle (Bearish) Pattern?

The Ascending Triangle pattern has a horizontal top line (1, 3, 5) representing a resistance level, and an upward­-sloping bottom line (2, 4). The Breakout can either be up or down, and the direction of the Breakout will determine whether the Target Price is higher or lower. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets, since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. When the price of a security consolidates around highs it might indicate that a significant downtrend is ahead. Continue reading...

What is the Inverted Cup-and-Handle (Bearish) Pattern?

The Inverted Cup­-and-­Handle (sometimes called Inverted Cup­-and-­Holder) pattern forms when prices rise then decline to create an upside-­down “U”­like shape (1, 2, 3, also known as the Cup), followed by a shorter relatively straight price increase that bounces from the right lip (from 3 to 4, creating the Handle). The rising handle forms as a result of mounting buying pressure created when the security retests a low at the right lip of the cup. Once the buyers give up, sellers take over and the security has the potential to decline rapidly. Continue reading...

What is the Dead Cat Bounce (Bearish) Pattern?

The Dead Cat Bounce pattern appears when a security's price falls quickly but has a temporary “v­-shaped” recovery before resuming its downward trend. The temporary bounce (from point 2 to point 3) may be explained by shorters covering their positions or buying by investors who think the price has already reached a low point. It is important to wait for the confirmation move, which is when the price breaks below the low where the dead cat bounce occurred (point 2). Continue reading...

What is the Falling Flag (Bearish) Pattern?

The Falling Flag (or Bearish Flag) pattern looks like a flag with the mast turned upside down (the mast points up). The pattern forms when falling prices experience a consolidation period, and the price moves within a narrow range defined by the parallel lines through points 2-4 and 3-5. After the consolidation, the previous trend resumes. This type of formation happens when anticipation of a downtrend is high, and when a security’s price consolidates during a broader decline. It may indicate growing investor concern of an impending downtrend. Continue reading...

What is the Falling Pennant (Bearish) Pattern?

The Falling Pennant (or Bearish Pennant) pattern looks like a pennant turned upside down (the mast points up). It forms when falling prices experience a consolidation period, and the price moves within a narrow range defined by the converging lines through points (2, ­4) and (3, ­5). After the consolidation, the previous trend resumes. This type of formation happens when anticipation of downtrend is high, and when the price of a security consolidates during a declining trend. It may indicate growing investor concern of an impending downtrend. Continue reading...