As traders, it’s imperative that we take note of any nuance or variation from character when reviewing charts. Doing so can give us occasional false or contradicting signals, but it can also alert us to imminent moves or potential pattern failures.
Take for example those imminent move alerts. A sudden perk in volume as a stock turns to challenge a key level can sometimes be an indication that a breach of that zone is about to take place. Someone’s accumulating shares ahead of the break, and technical traders will take note of the volume expansion ahead of a possible break, placing that stock on the radar of many.
Potential pattern failures  can also come to light sooner by taking note of variations in how the stock is moving. With that in mind, let’s examine a stock which may be giving off some of these subtle suggestions like I’ve been discussing.
ARUN has a multi-month uptrend line (higher lows) which has provided support on numerous occasions, letting dip-buyers use it as support to play short-term bounces. It’s still intact, but something else is of concern.
Specifically, the stock had been establishing higher highs along the way up, with each bounce attaining new recovery highs – until recently. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen bounces carry to lower levels, and one could even consider drawing a rounded top around the peaks of the past month. This suggests waning strength in the stock, so I’d avoid a support-based buy at this point. ARUN may rally again from this area, but I’m not betting on it.
A New Plan
My inclination would be to give this one a bit more time and see if another descending trend line can be drawn at some point from the 10/27 peak along the recent highs and wait for an upside break. This stock has a history of clearing such trend lines (including the 3 drawn below), so that’s likely a better approach for getting long than a support buy after the establishment of lower highs.
Here’s a closer look at the chart:
Again, detecting these subtle variations in the price action is not a guarantee for better entries and exits. What it does is alert us to potential changes of character so we can make better decisions based on probabilities – and trading is all about probabilities.
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