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Head and shoulders: not just a flaky pattern

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  • C.L. Osler
  • P.H. Kevin Chang

Abstract

This paper evaluates rigorously the predictive power of the head-and-shoulders pattern as applied to daily exchange rates. Though such visual, nonlinear chart patterns are applied frequently by technical analysts, our paper is one of the first to evaluate the predictive power of such patterns. We apply a trading rule based on the head-and-shoulders pattern to daily exchange rates of major currencies versus the dollar during the floating rate period (from March 1973 to June 1994). We identify head-and-shoulders patterns using an objective, computer-implemented algorithm based on criteria in published technical analysis manuals. The resulting profits, replicable in real-time, are then compared with the distribution of profits for 10,000 simulated series generated with the bootstrap technique under the null hypothesis of a random walk.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 4.

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Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:4

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Related research

Keywords: Forecasting ; Investments ; Foreign exchange rates;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christopher J. Neely, 1997. "Technical analysis in the foreign exchange market: a layman's guide," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 23-38.
  2. Andrew W. Lo & Harry Mamaysky & Jiang Wang, 2000. "Foundations of Technical Analysis: Computational Algorithms, Statistical Inference, and Empirical Implementation," NBER Working Papers 7613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. F. FernAndez-RodrIguez & S. Sosvilla-Rivero & J. Andrada-FElix, 2003. "Technical analysis in foreign exchange markets: evidence from the EMS," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 113-122.
  4. M. A. H. Dempster & C. M. Jones, 2002. "Can channel pattern trading be profitably automated?," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 275-301.
  5. Fernando Fernández-Rodríguez & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero & Julián Andrada-Félix, . "Technical Analysis in Foreign Exchange Markets: Linear Versus Nonlinear Trading Rules," Working Papers on International Economics and Finance 00-02, FEDEA.
  6. Bernd Lucke, 2003. "Are technical trading rules profitable? Evidence for head-and-shoulder rules," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 33-40.
  7. Fernando Rubio, 2004. "Technical Analysis On Foreign Exchange: 1975 - 2004," Finance 0405033, EconWPA, revised 01 Jul 2004.
  8. Adrangi, Bahram & Chatrath, Arjun & Dhanda, Kanwalroop Kathy & Raffiee, Kambiz, 2001. "Chaos in oil prices? Evidence from futures markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 405-425, July.
  9. Pereira, Pedro Luiz Valls, 2009. "“Ombro-cabeça-ombro” : testando a lucratividade do padrão gráfico de análise técnica no mercado de ações brasileiro," Textos para discussão 181, Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  10. Vlad Pavlov & Stan Hurn, 2009. "Testing the Profitability of Technical Analysis as a Portfolio Selection Strategy," NCER Working Paper Series 52, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  11. Hans Dewachter & Marco Lyrio, 2005. "The economic value of technical trading rules: a nonparametric utility-based approach," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 41-62.
  12. Yochanan Shachmurove & Uri BenZion & Paul Klein & Joseph Yagil, 2001. "A Moving Average Comparison of the Tel-Aviv 25 and S&P 500 Stock Indices," Penn CARESS Working Papers 4731f3394c43bebf4d3191c81, Penn Economics Department.
  13. Chatrath, Arjun & Adrangi, Bahram & Dhanda, Kanwalroop Kathy, 2002. "Are commodity prices chaotic?," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 123-137, August.
  14. Christopher J. Neely & Paul A. Weller, 2011. "Technical analysis in the foreign exchange market," Working Papers 2011-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  15. Saacke, Peter, 2002. "Technical analysis and the effectiveness of central bank intervention," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 459-479, August.
  16. Copeland, Laurence, 2002. "Exchange Rate Forecasting. Techniques and Applications: Imad A. Moosa, Macmillan Business, London, 2000, ISBN: 0-333-73644-3, pp. 448, [UK pound]120 (Hardback)," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 153-154.
  17. Michael Frenkel & Georg Stadtmann, 2004. "Trading Rule Profitability and Central Bank Interventions in the Dollar-Deutschmark Market," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 224(6), pages 653-672, November.
  18. Kidd, Willis V. & Brorsen, B. Wade, 2004. "Why have the returns to technical analysis decreased?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 159-176.

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