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Head and shoulders: not just a flaky pattern

Author

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  • Carol 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol L. Osler & P.H. Kevin Chang, 1995. "Head and shoulders: not just a flaky pattern," Staff Reports 4, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:4
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Alvarez-Ramirez, Jose & Fernandez-Anaya, Guillermo & Ibarra-Valdez, Carlos, 2004. "Some issues on the stability of trading based on technical analysis," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 337(3), pages 609-624.
    3. Roar Adland & Siri Strandenes, 2006. "Market efficiency in the bulk freight market revisited," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 107-117, May.
    4. repec:eee:quaeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:115-126 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Loretta Mastroeni & Pierluigi Vellucci, 2017. "“Chaos” In Energy And Commodity Markets: A Controversial Matter," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0218, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    8. 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.
    9. Andrew W. Lo & Harry Mamaysky & Jiang Wang, 2000. "Foundations of Technical Analysis: Computational Algorithms, Statistical Inference, and Empirical Implementation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1705-1770, August.
    10. Boainain, Pedro G. & Valls Pereira, Pedro L., 2009. "“Ombro-Cabeça-Ombro”: Testando a Lucratividade do Padrão Gráfico de Análise Técnica no Mercado de Ações Brasileiro
      [Head and Shoulder: testing the profitability of graphic pattern of technical anal
      ," MPRA Paper 15653, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Frenkel Michael & Stadtmann Georg, 2004. "Trading Rule Profitability and Central Bank Interventions in the Dollar-Deutsch mark Market / Der Zusammenhang zwischen der Profitabilität einer technischen Handelsstrategie und Zentralbankinterventio," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 224(6), pages 653-672, December.
    12. 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.
    13. Chatrath, Arjun & Adrangi, Bahram & Dhanda, Kanwalroop Kathy, 2002. "Are commodity prices chaotic?," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 123-137, August.
    14. 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.
    15. Christopher J. Neely & Paul A. Weller, 2011. "Technical analysis in the foreign exchange market," Working Papers 2011-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    16. J. P. Marney & Heather Tarbert & Jos Koetsier & Marco Guidi, 2008. "The application of the self-organizing map, the k-means algorithm and the multi-layer perceptron to the detection of technical trading patterns," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(12), pages 1009-1019.
    17. 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.
    18. Fernando Rubio, 2004. "Technical Analysis On Foreign Exchange: 1975 - 2004," Finance 0405033, EconWPA, revised 01 Jul 2004.
    19. Fernando Fernández-Rodríguez & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero & Julián Andrada-Félix, "undated". "Technical Analysis in Foreign Exchange Markets: Linear Versus Nonlinear Trading Rules," Working Papers on International Economics and Finance 00-02, FEDEA.
    20. 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.
    21. Chatrath, Arjun & Adrangi, Bahram & Dhanda, Kanwalroop Kathy, 2002. "Are commodity prices chaotic?," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 27(2), August.
    22. 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.
    23. Simon Sosvilla-Rivero & Julian Andrada-Felix & Fernando Fernandez-Rodriguez, 2002. "Further evidence on technical trade profitability and foreign exchange intervention," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(12), pages 827-832.
    24. 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.
    25. 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.

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