downswing. Nearly everyone was proclaiming a new bull market. Services were extremely bullish, and the upside volume was running higher than at the peak in 1929.
— The 1961-1962 rise was wave (b) in an (a)-(b)-(c) expanded flat correction. At the top in early 1962, stocks were selling at unheard of price/earnings multiples that had not been seen up to that time and have not been seen since. Cumulative breadth had already peaked along with the top of the third wave in 1959.
— The rise from 1966 to 1968 was wave Ⓑ in a corrective pattern of Cycle degree. Emotionalism had gripped the public and "cheapies" were skyrocketing in the speculative fever, unlike the orderly and usually fundamentally justifiable participation of the secondaries within first and third waves. The Dow Industrials struggled unconvincingly upward throughout the advance and finally refused to confirm the phenomenal new highs in the secondary indexes.
— In 1977, the Dow Jones Transportation Average climbed to new highs in a B wave, miserably unconfirmed by the Industrials. Airlines and truckers were sluggish. Only the coal-carrying rails were participating as part of the energy play. Thus, breadth within the index was conspicuously lacking, confirming again that good breadth is generally a property of impulse waves, not corrections.
— For a discussion of the B wave in the gold market, see Chapter 6, page 180.
As a general observation, B waves of Intermediate degree and lower usually show a diminution of volume, while B waves of Primary degree and greater can display volume heavier than that which accompanied the preceding bull market, usually indicating wide public participation.
C waves — Declining C waves are usually devastating in their destruction. They are third waves and have most of the properties of third waves. It is during these declines that there is virtually no place to hide except cash. The illusions held throughout waves A and B tend to evaporate and fear takes over. C waves are persistent and broad. 1930-1932 was a C wave. 1962 was a C wave. 1969-1970 and 1973-1974 can be classified as C waves. Advancing C waves within upward corrections in larger bear markets are just as dynamic and can be mistaken for the start of a new upswing, especially since they unfold in five waves. The October 1973 rally (see Figure 1-37), for instance, was a C wave in an inverted expanded flat correction.
9) D waves — D waves in all but expanding triangles are often accompanied by increased volume. This is true probably because D waves in non-expanding triangles are hybrids, part corrective, yet having some characteristics of first waves since they follow C waves and are not fully retraced. D waves, being advances within corrective waves, are as phony as B waves. The rise from 1970 to 1973 was wave Ⓓ within the large wave IV of Cycle degree. The "one-decision" complacency that characterized the attitude of the average institutional fund manager at the time is well documented. The area of participation again was narrow, this time the "nifty fifty" growth and glamour issues. Breadth, as well as the Transportation Average, topped early, in 1972, and refused to confirm the extremely high multiples bestowed upon the favorite fifty. Washington was inflating at full steam to sustain the illusory prosperity during the entire advance in preparation for the presidential election. As with the preceding wave Ⓑ, "phony" was an apt description.
10) E waves — E waves in triangles appear to most market observers to be the dramatic kickoff of a new downtrend after a top has been built. They almost always are accompanied by strongly supportive news. That, in conjunction with the tendency of E waves to stage a false breakdown through the triangle boundary line, intensifies the bearish conviction of market participants at precisely the time that they should be preparing for a substantial move in the opposite direction. Thus, E waves, being ending waves, are attended by a psychology as emotional as that of fifth waves.
Because the tendencies discussed here are not inevitable, they are stated not as rules, but as guidelines. Their lack of inevitability nevertheless detracts little from their utility. For example, take a look at Figure 2-16, an hourly chart of the most recent market action, the first four Minor waves in the DJIA rally off the March 1, 1978 low. The waves are textbook Elliott from beginning to end, from the length of waves to the volume pattern (not shown) to the trend channels to the guideline of equality to the retracement by the "a" wave following the extension to the expected low for the fourth wave to the perfect internal counts to alternation to the Fibonacci time sequences to the Fibonacci ratio relationships embodied within. Its only atypical aspect is the large size of wave 4. It might be worth noting that 914 would be a reasonable target in that it would mark a .618 retracement of the 1976-1978 decline.
There are exceptions to guidelines, but without those, market analysis would be a science of exactitude, not one of probability. Nevertheless, with a thorough knowledge of the guidelines of wave structure, you can be quite confident of your wave count. In effect, you can use the market action to confirm the wave count as well as use the wave count to predict market action.
Notice also that Elliott wave guidelines cover most aspects of traditional technical analysis, such as market momentum and investor sentiment. The result is that traditional technical analysis now has a greatly increased value in that it serves to aid the identification of the market’s position in the Elliott wave structure. To that end, using such tools is by all means encouraged.