Elliott used volume as a tool for verifying wave counts and in projecting extensions. He recognized that in a bull market, volume has a natural tendency to expand and contract with the speed of price change. Late in a corrective phase, a decline in volume often indicates a decline in selling pressure. A low point in volume often coincides with a turning point in the market. In a normal fifth wave below Primary degree, volume tends to be less than in the third wave. If volume in an advancing fifth wave of less than Primary degree is equal to or greater than that in the third wave, an extension of the fifth is in force. While this outcome is often to be expected anyway if the first and third waves are about equal in length, it is an excellent warning of those rare times when both a third and a fifth wave are extended gold signals
At Primary degree and greater, volume tends to be higher in an advancing fifth wave merely because of the natural long term growth in the number of participants in bull markets. Elliott noted, in fact, that volume at the terminal point of a bull market above Primary degree tends to run at an all-time high. Finally, as discussed earlier, volume often spikes briefly at the throw-over point of a parallel trend channel line or the resistance line of a diagonal. (Upon occasion, such a point can occur simultaneously, as when a diagonal fifth wave terminates right at the upper parallel of the channel containing the price action of one larger degree.)
In addition to these few valuable observations, we have expanded upon the importance of volume in various sections of this book. To the extent that volume guides wave counting or expectations, it is most significant. Elliott once said that volume independently follows the patterns of the Wave Principle, a claim for which the authors find no convincing evidence.
The "Right Look"
The overall appearance of a wave must conform to the appropriate illustration. Although any five-wave sequence can be forced into a three-wave count by labeling the first three subdivisions as a single wave A, as shown in Figure 2-13, it is incorrect to do so. Elliott analysis would lose its anchor if such contortions were allowed. If wave four terminates well above the top of wave one, a five-wave sequence must be classified as an impulse. Since wave A in this hypothetical case is composed of three waves, wave B would be expected to drop to about the start of wave A, as in a flat correction, which it clearly does not. While the internal count of a wave is a guide to its classification, the right overall shape is, in turn, often a guide to its correct internal count.
The "right look" of a wave is dictated by all the considerations we have outlined so far in the first two chapters. In our experience, we have found it extremely dangerous to allow our emotional involvement with the market to let us accept a wave count that reflects disproportionate wave relationships or a misshapen pattern merely on the basis that the Wave Principle’s patterns are somewhat elastic.
Elliott cautioned that "the right look" may not be evident at all degrees of trend simultaneously. The solution is to focus on the degrees that are clearest. If the hourly chart is confusing, step back and look at the daily or weekly chart. Conversely, if 77 the weekly chart offers too many possibilities, concentrate on the shorter term movements until the bigger picture clarifies. Generally speaking, you need short term charts to analyze subdivisions in fast moving markets and long term charts for slowly moving markets.
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