In expanded flats, wave B of the 3-3-5 pattern terminates beyond the starting level of wave A, and wave C ends more substantially beyond the ending level of wave A, as shown for bull markets in Figures 1-33 and 1-34 and bear markets in Figures 1-35 and 1-36. The formation in the DJIA from August to November 1973 was an expanded flat correction of this type in a bear market, or an “inverted expanded flat” (see Figure 1-37).
Figure 1-33 Figure 1-34
Figure 1-35 Figure 1-36
In a rare variation on the 3-3-5 pattern, which we call a running flat, wave B terminates well beyond the beginning of wave A as in an expanded flat, but wave C fails to travel its full distance, falling short of the level at which wave A ended, as in Figures 1-38 through 1-41. Apparently in this case, the forces in the direction of the larger trend are so powerful that the pattern becomes skewed in that direction. It is always important, but particularly when concluding that a running flat has taken place, that the internal subdivisions adhere to Elliott’s rules. If the supposed B wave, for instance, breaks down into five waves rather than three, it is more likely the first wave up of the impulse of next higher degree. The power of adjacent impulse waves is important in recognizing running corrections, which tend to occur only in strong and fast markets. We must issue a warning, however. There are hardly any examples of this type of correction in the price record. Never label a correction prematurely this way, or you’ll find yourself wrong nine times out of ten. Running triangles, in contrast, are much more common, as we’ll see in Lesson 8.
Figure 1-38 Figure 1-39