Master the Ascending Broadening Wedge Pattern

Jeremy BiberdorfBy: Jeremy Biberdorf

May 27, 2024May 27, 2024

The ascending broadening wedge pattern is a significant chart pattern in technical analysis, recognized for its distinctive structure and bearish implications. This pattern is characterized by two diverging trendlines sloping upwards, indicating an increasingly wider trading range over time.

Understanding and identifying this pattern is crucial for traders, as it often signals an impending bearish reversal. The expanding price action suggests growing uncertainty and volatility, making it a crucial indicator for predicting potential downtrends in various financial markets.

Key Characteristics of the Ascending Broadening Wedge Pattern

  • Diverging Trendlines: The ascending broadening wedge is defined by two trendlines that slope upwards and diverge, with the upper trendline connecting progressively higher highs and the lower trendline connecting higher lows. This configuration signifies expanding volatility.
  • Expanding Price Action: The price action within the pattern becomes increasingly erratic, with wider swings between the highs and lows. This volatility signals indecision and an impending reversal.
  • Breakdown Implications: When the price breaks below the lower trendline, it typically signals a bearish reversal. The breakdown is often strong and sustained due to the false bullish sentiment that preceded it.

Ascending Broadening Wedge Pattern

Market Psychology

  • Increasing Bullish Momentum: Initially, the pattern reflects a market with growing bullish momentum, as evidenced by the rising highs and lows. However, the divergence in trendlines indicates a lack of consensus among traders, leading to uncertainty.
  • Struggle Between Buyers and Sellers: The pattern highlights a struggle between buyers and sellers, as evidenced by increasing volatility. Buyers push prices higher, but sellers resist and increase pressure, eventually leading to a breakdown.

Identifying the Ascending Broadening Wedge Pattern

Steps to Identify the Pattern

1. Identify Diverging Trendlines

The first step in identifying the ascending broadening wedge is to plot the trendlines. The upper trendline should slope upwards, connecting progressively higher highs, while the lower trendline also slopes upwards, connecting progressively higher lows but diverging from the upper trendline.

2. Recognize Expanding Price Action

Observe the expanding price action between the trendlines, which should grow increasingly volatile over time.

3. Analyze Pattern Duration

The pattern is more reliable if it forms over several weeks to months, as shorter durations may yield less significant results.

Trading Strategies to Achieve Success

Entry Points

  • Post-Breakdown Entry: The most common trading approach involves entering a short position after the price breaks below the lower trendline. This entry allows traders to capitalize on the momentum of the bearish reversal.
  • Anticipating Breakdown: Traders can anticipate the breakdown by using complementary technical indicators like RSI and MACD. These indicators can help identify the diminishing buying momentum and signal an impending breakdown, allowing traders to enter earlier.

Stop-Loss Settings

Setting stop-loss orders above the upper trendline helps traders manage risk from false signals. This positioning ensures that the trade is closed if the pattern does not hold.

Profit Targets

  • Measure Pattern Height: To establish a profit target, measure the pattern’s height and project it downward from the breakdown point. This approach gives traders a realistic target based on the pattern’s volatility.

These strategic trading approaches provide a structured framework for traders to effectively navigate the ascending broadening wedge pattern and leverage its predictive power. In the following sections, we will explore the use of technical indicators, similar chart patterns, and helpful trading tools to complement the pattern analysis.

Incorporate Technical Indicators

Using technical indicators with the ascending broadening wedge pattern helps traders confirm breakdowns and identify optimal entry and exit points. Here are the most effective indicators to use:

Moving Averages

  • Trend Confirmation: Moving averages, like the 50-day and 200-day, help confirm the broader trend direction, making them essential for validating breakdowns from the pattern. A death cross, where the 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-day, reinforces the bearish outlook.
  • Breakdown Validation: If a breakdown occurs while the price is below key moving averages, it indicates that the move is aligned with the broader trend, adding strength to the bearish signal.

RSI (Relative Strength Index)

  • Overbought Conditions: The RSI can identify overbought conditions before the breakdown, validating a bearish reversal. If the RSI shows a reading above 70 and starts declining while the price is still within the pattern, it suggests the upward momentum is waning.
  • Divergence: Bearish divergence between RSI and price, where RSI makes lower highs while price makes higher highs, often indicates that a breakdown is likely.

Learn more about RSI Divergence

MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence)

  • Momentum Shifts: The MACD is effective in detecting momentum shifts. A bearish crossover, where the MACD line crosses below the signal line, aligns with the pattern’s downward breakout.
  • Divergence Analysis: Divergence between the MACD and the price can provide early warning signals. For instance, if the price is still making higher highs while the MACD is making lower highs, it suggests a bearish reversal is imminent.

Volume Analysis

  • Volume Confirmation: A breakdown accompanied by increased trading volume signifies strong selling pressure, validating the pattern’s bearish implications.
  • Volume Trends: Increasing volume within the pattern, particularly during rallies, might signal that the buying is unsustainable, increasing the likelihood of a breakdown.

Other Key Chart Patterns You Should Know

Here are a few super important chart patterns that you should be aware of if you want to improve your trading strategy and technical analysis. We also have a complete guide to master trading chart patterns.

Descending Broadening Wedge

  • Formation: Unlike the ascending broadening wedge, this pattern has diverging trendlines that slope downwards, indicating lower highs and higher lows.
  • Implications: It forms in downtrends and signals a bullish reversal when the price breaks above the upper trendline.

Learn More About The Descending Broadening Wedge

Symmetrical Triangle

  • Formation: The symmetrical triangle pattern features converging trendlines, which distinguishes it from the ascending broadening wedge’s diverging trendlines.
  • Implications: This pattern signifies consolidation and typically resolves in the direction of the prevailing trend.

Learn More About The Symmetrical Triangle

Rising Wedge

  • Formation: The rising wedge has converging trendlines that slope upwards, contrasting with the ascending broadening wedge’s diverging lines.
  • Implications: It typically forms in uptrends and indicates a bearish reversal when the price breaks below the lower trendline.

Learn More About The Rising Wedge

Head and Shoulders

  • Formation: The head and shoulders pattern has three peaks: a central high peak (head) flanked by two lower peaks (shoulders), all connected by a neckline.
  • Implications: It signifies a bearish reversal when the price breaks below the neckline, which often triggers a significant downward move.

Helpful Trading Tools


  • Advanced Charting Tools: TradingView offers advanced charting tools that allow traders to identify ascending broadening wedge patterns with precision. Its trendline drawing tools help accurately outline the pattern.
  • Alerts and Notifications: Traders can set alerts for pattern breakouts or breakdowns, ensuring they never miss critical trading opportunities.
  • Community Insights: TradingView’s active community provides traders with valuable insights, sharing analysis and interpretations that help validate observations about the pattern.


  • Automated Pattern Recognition: TrendSpider’s automated pattern recognition tool enables traders to identify ascending broadening wedge patterns quickly and accurately, reducing the chances of bias or errors.
  • Backtesting and Analysis: The platform offers robust backtesting capabilities, allowing traders to test their strategies using historical data to refine their approach to the ascending broadening wedge.
  • Advanced Charting Tools: With features like multi-timeframe analysis and heat maps, TrendSpider provides the tools needed to understand the pattern’s formation in-depth.

Wrapping Up

Mastering the ascending broadening wedge pattern is essential for traders seeking to predict bearish reversals and avoid potential losses. Recognizing this pattern provides crucial insights into shifting market sentiment, allowing traders to anticipate significant downward movements.

Combining it with technical indicators such as the MACD, RSI, and moving averages further enhances its reliability, leading to more accurate trading decisions. Leveraging advanced tools like TradingView and TrendSpider can streamline pattern identification, making the analysis process more efficient and precise.

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Jeremy Biberdorf
Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He's a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.

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