As mentioned in Japanese candlestick analysis, the number three plays a very relevant part of the investment doctrine. Many of the signals and formations consist of a group of three individual signals. It has become a deeply rooted number for the Japanese investment community whether applied to Candlestick analysis or not.
This creates a highly profitable investment strategy when applied to Gaps or Windows. San-ku provides the best opportunities for buying and selling at the optimal points in time. After observing the bottoming signals, the first gap (ku) indicates that the buyers have entered the position with force. The second gap indicates further enthusiasm for getting into a stock position. This should have a mixture of short covering involved.
The third gap is the result of the bears finally realizing that this is too forceful for them to keep holding short positions, they cover along with the later buyers. Upon seeing the third gap up, the Japanese recommend that the position be closed out, take the profits. This is due to the price having probably reached the overbought area well before it should. The presence of three gaps up probably has resulted in very good profits over a very short period. The same parameters will occur in the opposite direction, in a declining price move.
Note in Figure 22 - URI, United Rental Inc., how the first gap demonstrated that the reversal picked up a lot of strength, buyers gapped up the price and it closed at a high for many months. A few more days of buyers showed that the price was not going to back off. This led to another gap up, probably the shorts deciding that the trend is now firmly against them. After a couple of more days of no real weakness, the price gapped up again. Panic short covering? Also the Japanese rule suggests, sell after the third gap up. In this case, selling on the close of the third gap up day would have gotten you most of the gains possible from this trade.
There was a day or two that you could have gotten a few percentage gains more, but why risk it? The Japanese have watched these moves for hundreds of years. Why try to squeak out a few more percentage points profit? 28% in the couple of weeks should be plush enough. Go on and find another trade that is starting at the bottom.
The same dynamics can be seen in the Ingersoll-Rand Ltd. Chart. In Figure 23, the first gap broke out prices above the recent high, the second gap still shows strong buying and the close of the third gap up day is as good a spot to take profits as any.
One more illustration shows the factors at work in a San-ku formation. Note in the Maytag Corp. stock price in Figure 24, the initial gap up should have prepared the Candlestick investor for the possibility of the exhaustion gap. However, this stock price opened and steadily moved higher, not affecting any stops. As it closed near its high for the day, a white Maruboza, a bullish continuation pattern, should have now alerted the Candlestick investor that the buyers were still around in force.
The second gap up now makes the investor aware that a San-ku may be in the making. As evidenced in the last two examples, selling after the third gap up, although more lengthy a period than the previous examples, would have captured a great majority of the potential of this move.
Having the knowledge of what should occur after gaps provides that extra advantage.
Most investors are leery of gaps because they don’t understand all the ramifications gaps introduce. This allows the Candlestick investor to exploit market moves because the majority of the investment community does not understand how to use them. The San-ku formation can get investors in when many investors would be afraid to chase a gap up or gap down. It also gets the Candlestick investor out at the appropriate time where other investors would hold too long and not get the best return on investment.
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