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The pattern was originally named the Bump and Run Formation, or BARF. Bulkowski decided that Wall Street was not ready for such an acronym and changed the name to Bump and Run Reversal. Bulkowski identified three main phases to the pattern: lead-in, bump and run. We will examine these phases and also look at volume and pattern validation. Lead-in Phase: The first part of the pattern is a lead-in phase that can last 1 month or longer and forms the basis from which to draw the trend line. During this phase, prices advance in an orderly manner and there is no excess speculation. The trend line should be moderately steep.
If it is too steep, then the ensuing bump is unlikely to be significant enough. If the trend line is not steep enough, then the subsequent trend line break will occur too late. Bump Phase: The bump forms with a sharp advance, and prices move further away from the lead-in trend line. Roughly speaking, this would call for an angle between 45 and 60 degrees. If it is not possible to measure the angles, then a visual assessment will suffice. Bump Validity: It is important that the bump represent a speculative advance that cannot be sustained for a long time. Bulkowski developed what he calls an “arbitrary” measuring technique to validate the level of speculation in the bump.
The distance from the highest high of the bump to the lead-in trend line should be at least twice the distance from the highest high in the lead-in phase to the lead-in trend line. Bump Rollover: After speculation dies down, prices begin to peak and a top forms. Sometimes, a small double top or a series of descending peaks forms. Prices begin to decline towards the lead-in trend line, and the right side of the bump forms. Volume: As the stock advances during the lead-in phase, volume is usually average and sometimes low. When the speculative advance begins to form the left side of the bump, volume expands as the advance accelerates.