Master the Descending Broadening Wedge Pattern – Modest Money

The descending broadening wedge pattern is a crucial technical analysis tool, representing a potential bullish reversal in markets that have been trending downward. It forms when price action oscillates between two diverging trendlines, with the upper trendline sloping downward and the lower trendline sloping upwards.

This pattern signifies increasing volatility and uncertainty as sellers and buyers battle for control. Recognizing the descending broadening wedge is essential for traders as it provides insights into possible trend reversals, allowing them to anticipate significant upward movements and capitalize on lucrative trading opportunities.

Key Features of the Descending Broadening Wedge

Key Characteristics

  • Diverging Trendlines: The pattern’s most notable feature is its diverging trendlines. The upper trendline slopes downward, marking progressively lower highs, while the lower trendline slopes upwards, indicating higher lows.
  • Expanding Price Action: Within the pattern, price swings become increasingly erratic, reflecting growing volatility. This expansion is due to the divergence in the trendlines.
  • Breakout Implications: The pattern often implies a reversal from bearish to bullish, with the breakout occurring when the price convincingly breaches the upper trendline.

Market Psychology

  • Waning Bearish Momentum: As the pattern forms, bearish momentum typically starts to weaken, indicating that sellers are losing control and buyers are gradually stepping in.
  • Increasing Buyer Confidence: Buyers become more willing to participate, leading to a breakout when they eventually overpower the sellers. This creates an upward trend as buyers establish dominance.

Descending Broadening Wedge Pattern

Identifying the Descending Broadening Wedge Pattern

Steps to Identify the Pattern

1. Identify Diverging Trendlines:

Start by drawing two trendlines diverging over time. The upper trendline should connect progressively lower highs, while the lower one connects progressively higher lows.

2. Recognize Expanding Price Action:

Observe the expanding price action between the trendlines, which is indicative of increasing volatility.

3. Analyze Pattern Duration:

A typical descending broadening wedge forms over weeks to months. Shorter formations may be less reliable, while those with extended durations indicate stronger potential.

Practical Examples

1. Forex Markets: In the Forex market, a descending broadening wedge may form during periods of macroeconomic uncertainty, with the pattern indicating a potential reversal in currency pairs.

2. Stock Markets: A stock that’s been in a downtrend due to unfavorable earnings reports might develop a descending broadening wedge, signaling a reversal as buyers anticipate a future recovery.

Effective Trading Strategy

Entry Points

  • Post-Breakout Entry: The most common approach involves entering after the price breaks above the upper trendline. This breakout indicates that buyers have taken control.
  • Anticipating Breakout: Some traders attempt to predict the breakout by analyzing complementary technical indicators like RSI or MACD. This enables them to enter positions before the breakout for potentially higher profits.

Stop-Loss Settings

To minimize risk, traders should set stop-losses below the lower trendline. This helps protect against false breakouts.

Profit Targets

  • Fibonacci Extensions: Using Fibonacci extensions helps estimate profit targets after the breakout. Traders can project price movements based on key Fibonacci levels.
  • Price Projections: Projecting the pattern’s width onto the breakout point provides another target level, offering a realistic estimate of potential price movements.

These strategies offer traders an effective framework for navigating the descending broadening wedge pattern and making informed trading decisions. Further sections will explore integrating technical indicators and comparing the pattern with similar formations.

Combining This Pattern Technical Indicators

To increase the accuracy of trading decisions based on the descending broadening wedge pattern, traders should complement it with technical indicators. Here are some key indicators that enhance the reliability of this pattern:

Moving Averages

  • Trend Confirmation: Moving averages help confirm the broader trend direction, which is crucial in validating the breakout of a descending broadening wedge. The 50-day and 200-day moving averages are common choices for identifying trend direction.
  • Breakout Validation: A crossover of shorter-term moving averages over longer-term ones, like the 50-day crossing above the 200-day, often coincides with a breakout, reinforcing the pattern’s bullish signal.

RSI (Relative Strength Index)

  • Overbought/Oversold Conditions: The RSI helps identify overbought and oversold conditions, which can validate a descending broadening wedge breakout. An RSI below 30 indicates oversold conditions, suggesting a potential bullish reversal.
  • Momentum Confirmation: If the RSI is rising while the price is still within the wedge, it suggests building bullish momentum, reinforcing the probability of an upward breakout.

Learn about RSI Divergence

MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence)

  • Momentum Shifts: The MACD captures momentum shifts by analyzing the relationship between two moving averages. A bullish crossover, where the MACD line crosses above the signal line, aligns well with a descending broadening wedge breakout.
  • Divergence Analysis: Divergence between the MACD and price action can hint at a trend reversal. If the price continues to make lower lows while the MACD is making higher lows, it suggests a bullish reversal is imminent.

Volume Analysis

  • Volume Confirmation: Breakouts are more reliable when accompanied by increased trading volume, signifying that the breakout has broader market support.
  • Volume Trends: A steady increase in volume within the pattern, even before the breakout, often signifies growing interest among traders, indicating a higher likelihood of a breakout.

More Chart Patterns You Should Know

Ascending Broadening Wedge

The ascending broadening wedge pattern features trendlines that diverge upward, indicating a series of higher highs and higher lows. This pattern typically forms in uptrends and suggests a bearish reversal is possible. The breakdown often occurs when the price moves below the lower trendline, signaling a potential downward movement.

Symmetrical Triangle

The symmetrical triangle pattern  consists of converging trendlines, which differentiate it from the descending broadening wedge’s diverging lines. This formation signifies a consolidation phase in the market, where the price range narrows over time. The pattern often resolves with a breakout that follows the direction of the prevailing trend.

Learn More About Symmetrical Triangle

Falling Wedge

Unlike the descending broadening wedge, the falling wedge about this pattern features trendlines that converge downward, implying a bullish reversal. The pattern suggests a reversal in a bearish market, similar to the descending broadening wedge. When the price breaks out above the upper trendline, it often leads to a significant upward move.

Learn More about Falling Wedge

To learn about more key chart patterns, check out our complete guide to master trading chart patterns

Trading Tools to Level Up Your Technical Analysis


  • Advanced Charting Tools: TradingView offers a suite of advanced charting tools, enabling traders to identify descending broadening wedge patterns accurately. Its drawing tools allow for precise trendline plotting, which is essential for identifying the pattern.
  • Alerts and Notifications: Traders can set alerts for pattern formations or breakout levels, ensuring they don’t miss critical trading opportunities.
  • Community Insights: TradingView’s active community provides traders with a wealth of shared insights and analyses, helping them validate their observations about the pattern.


  • Automated Pattern Recognition: TrendSpider’s automated pattern recognition tool helps traders identify descending broadening wedge patterns accurately and swiftly, reducing the chances of bias or oversight.
  • Backtesting and Analysis: The platform offers backtesting capabilities, allowing traders to test their strategies using historical data to refine their approach to the descending broadening wedge.
  • Advanced Charting Tools: With features like heatmaps and multi-timeframe analysis, TrendSpider provides the necessary tools to understand the pattern in depth.

Final Thoughts on the Descending Broadening Wedge Pattern

Understanding the descending broadening wedge pattern is crucial for traders seeking to predict bullish reversals. Recognizing this pattern can lead to significant trading opportunities, allowing traders to anticipate shifts in market sentiment.

Combining it with complementary technical indicators like RSI, MACD, and moving averages further enhances its reliability, enabling traders to make well-informed decisions. Advanced trading platforms like TradingView and TrendSpider simplify the identification process, making it easier to spot potential breakouts and react accordingly.

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