Mastering the Bearish Pennant Pattern

Jeremy BiberdorfBy: Jeremy Biberdorf

May 24, 2024May 24, 2024

The Bearish Pennant pattern is a crucial signal for traders who want to identify trend continuation in bearish markets. Its formation during downtrends indicates potential continuation of price declines, making it an invaluable tool for recognizing when further bearish moves are likely to occur.

Understanding this pattern and its implications allows traders to anticipate downward trends with more confidence and effectively manage their positions.

Defining the Bearish Pennant Pattern: Structure and Significance

What Is the Bearish Pennant Pattern?

The Bearish Pennant pattern emerges after a significant downward price move, known as the flagpole. Following this initial decline, the price action consolidates within a narrow, triangular shape, which reflects a pause before the continuation of the downward trend.

 Bearish Pennant Pattern

Key Characteristics

  • Flagpole: A significant downward move in price, usually steep and rapid, that precedes the consolidation phase.
  • Pennant Formation: A triangular shape with converging trend lines that reflect a brief consolidation phase after the initial decline.
  • Breakout: The breakout occurs when the price drops below the lower trendline, signaling a continuation of the downward trend.

Implications of the Bearish Pennant Pattern

The Bearish Pennant pattern has important implications for traders:

  • Continuation of Downtrend: It generally indicates the continuation of the downtrend, helping traders anticipate further price declines.
  • Bearish Momentum: The breakout from the Pennant suggests strong bearish momentum, which can lead to additional downward price movement.

Market Psychology Behind the Bearish Pennant Pattern

Understanding the psychology behind the Bearish Pennant pattern is crucial for recognizing the sentiment behind it:

  • Sellers Dominate: After a strong downward move, sellers dominate the market and anticipate further price declines.
  • Temporary Resistance by Buyers: During consolidation, buyers attempt to push the price up but lack the strength to do so effectively, leading to a pause in the downtrend.
  • Bearish Sentiment Reinforced: The breakout from the Pennant reaffirms the bearish sentiment, causing further price drops as sellers regain control.

Steps to Identify the Bearish Pennant Pattern

To accurately identify the Bearish Pennant pattern, follow these steps:

  • Identify the Flagpole: Find the significant downward price movement that forms the flagpole and sets the context for the pattern.
  • Spot the Pennant: Identify the triangular consolidation phase with converging trend lines that narrow towards a single point.
  • Confirm the Breakout: Wait for the price to break below the lower trendline, ideally with strong volume, to confirm the pattern.

Accurately identifying this pattern will enable you to capitalize on its strong bearish implications and develop a trading strategy that aligns with its signals. You can also utilize a stock screening tool like TrendSpider to automate technical analysis and improve your trading strategy.

Other Patterns to Know

To enhance your trading strategy, familiarize yourself with these patterns:

Discover more patterns and improve your trading strategy – check out our guide to master trading chart patterns.

Trading Strategies for the Bearish Pennant Pattern

The Bearish Pennant pattern offers traders a clear signal for potential bearish market movements. Here’s a detailed look at strategies you can use to trade this pattern effectively:

Entry Points

  • Post-Breakout Entry: Enter a short position immediately after the price breaks below the lower trendline of the Pennant with strong volume. This confirms the continuation of the downtrend.
  • Retest Entry: Sometimes, prices may retest the breakout level after the initial drop. Entering a short position on this retest provides an opportunity to enter at a more favorable price, with additional confirmation of the trend.

Stop-Loss Settings

  • Above the Pennant Formation: Place a stop-loss order above the upper trendline of the Pennant. This protects against a sudden reversal and helps limit potential losses.
  • Fixed Percentage Stops: Alternatively, calculate stop-loss levels based on your risk tolerance by using a fixed percentage above the breakout level.

Profit Targets

  • Flagpole Measurement: Measure the height of the flagpole and project that distance downward from the breakout point to set a logical profit target.
  • Fibonacci Extensions: Use Fibonacci extensions to find potential support levels and set exit points for taking profits.

Risk Management Strategies

  • Position Sizing: Limit your exposure by carefully managing position sizes. Calculate your risk per trade and set stop-loss levels accordingly to avoid overexposure.
  • Multiple Timeframes: Confirm the pattern across multiple timeframes to ensure the breakout aligns with broader market trends. This can help mitigate the risk of false breakouts.

Market Context

  • Bearish Market: The Bearish Pennant pattern works best in markets with a clear bearish trend. Trading it in a neutral or bullish market can lead to misleading signals.
  • Volatility: High volatility can lead to false breakouts. Ensure the breakout is confirmed by strong volume before entering the trade.

By following these strategies, you can effectively trade the Bearish Pennant pattern and increase your chances of profitability.

Complementary Technical Indicators

Use these technical indicators to complement the Bearish Pennant pattern:

  • Volume Analysis: Rising volume during the breakout validates the pattern, signaling strong participation in the move.
  • RSI (Relative Strength Index): An RSI reading above 70 during a Bearish Pennant can indicate overbought conditions, which often precedes a downward movement.
    Learn More About RSI Divergence
  • MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence): A bearish crossover in MACD further supports the signal from the Bearish Pennant.

Essential Tools for Mastering the Pattern


TradingView provides powerful charting tools that allow traders to identify and analyze Bearish Pennant patterns effectively. Customize your charts and set alerts to monitor for these patterns.

Learn More About TradingView


TrendSpider offers automated technical analysis, making it easier to screen for Bearish Pennant patterns across multiple markets. Its automated pattern recognition enhances traders’ ability to find trading opportunities.

Learn More About TrendSpider

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

To trade the Bearish Pennant pattern effectively, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Misinterpreting False Breakouts: False breakouts can lead to losses. Always confirm the breakout with high volume before entering a trade.
  • Ignoring Market Context: Consider the broader market trend to ensure the pattern aligns with it. Trading a bearish pattern in a strong bullish market may not yield reliable trades.
  • Confusing Patterns: The Bearish Pennant can be mistaken for other patterns, such as symmetrical triangles. Ensure the pattern has a flagpole and converging trendlines.

Examples of Bearish Pennant Patterns in Action

1. Bearish Pennant Leads to a Strong Decline

A prominent retail stock experienced a Bearish Pennant pattern after a significant downward movement. The stock consolidated within the Pennant, then broke down, continuing the downtrend.

2. Bearish Pennant Signals a Further Downtrend

A major technology company formed a Bearish Pennant pattern after a steep decline. The stock broke below the Pennant and continued its downtrend, leading to further losses.

Mastering the Bearish Pennant Pattern

The Bearish Pennant pattern is a reliable tool for identifying bearish continuations, allowing you to anticipate market shifts and align your strategies accordingly. Mastering this pattern requires practice, but with a solid understanding of its structure, psychological implications, and integration with other technical tools, you can effectively leverage it in your trading.

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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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