SC—selling climax, the point at which widening spread and selling pressure usually climaxes and heavy or panicky selling by the public is being absorbed by larger professional interests at or near a bottom. Often price will close well off the low in a SC , reflecting the buying by these large interests.
AR—automatic rally, which occurs because intense selling pressure has greatly diminished. A wave of buying easily pushes prices up; this is further fueled by short covering. The high of this rally will help define the upper boundary of an accumulation TR .
ST—secondary test, in which price revisits the area of the SC to test the supply/demand balance at these levels. If a bottom is to be confirmed, and price spread should be significantly diminished as the market approaches support in the area of the SC . It is common to have multiple STs after a SC .
Note: Springs or shakeouts usually occur late within a TR and allow the stock’s dominant players to make a definitive test of available supply before a markup campaign unfolds. A “spring” takes price below the low of the TR and then reverses to close within the TR ; this action allows large interests to mislead the public about the future trend direction and to acquire additional shares at bargain prices. A terminal shakeout at the end of an accumulation TR is like a spring on steroids. Shakeouts may also occur once a price advance has started, with rapid downward movement intended to induce retail traders and investors in long positions to sell their shares to large operators. However, springs and terminal shakeouts are not required elements: Accumulation Schematic 1 depicts a spring, while Accumulation Schematic 2 shows a TR without a spring.
Test—Large operators always test the market for supply throughout a TR (e.g., STs and springs) and at key points during a price advance. If considerable supply emerges on a test, the market is often not ready to be marked up. A spring is often followed by one or more tests; a successful test (indicating that further price increases will follow) typically makes a higher low on lesser .
SOS—sign of strength, a price advance on increasing spread and relatively higher . Often a SOS takes place after a spring, validating the analyst’s interpretation of that prior action.
LPS—last point of support, the low point of a reaction or pullback after a SOS. Backing up to an LPS means a pullback to support that was formerly resistance, on diminished spread and . On some charts, there may be more than one LPS , despite the ostensibly singular precision of this term.
Sometimes the downtrend may end less dramatically, without climactic price and volume action. In general, however, it is preferable to see the PS, SC, AR, and ST, because these provide not only a more distinct charting landscape, but also a clear indication that large operators have definitively initiated accumulation.
In a re-accumulation TR (which occurs during a longer-term uptrend), the points representing PS, SC, and ST are not evident in Phase A. Rather, in such cases, Phase A during re-accumulation resembles that more typically seen in distribution (see below). Phases B – E in re-accumulation TRs are similar to, but are usually of shorter duration and smaller amplitude than, those in the primary accumulation base.
Early on in Phase B, the price swings tend to be wide, accompanied by high volume. As the professionals absorb the supply, however, the volume on downswings within the TR tends to diminish. When it appears that supply is likely to have been exhausted, the stock is ready for Phase C.
The appearance of a SOS shortly after a spring or shakeout validates the analysis. As noted in Accumulation Schematic #2, however, the testing of supply can occur higher up in the TR without a spring or shakeout; when this occurs, the identification of phase C can be challenging.
Phase E: In phase E, the stock leaves the TR, demand is in full control, and the markup is obvious to everyone. Setbacks, such as shakeouts and more typical reactions, are usually short-lived. New, higher-level TRs comprising both profit-taking and acquisition of additional shares (“re-accumulation”) by large operators can occur at any point in phase E. These TRs are sometimes called “stepping stones” on the way to even higher price targets.