Stage 1 is the stage right after a prolonged downtrend. This stock has been going down but now it is starting to trade sideways forming a base. The sellers who once had the upper hand are now beginning to lose their power because of the buyers starting to get more aggressive. The stock just drifts sideways without a clear trend. Everyone hates this stock!
Finally stocks break out into Stage 2 and begins the uptrend. Oh, the glory of stage 2!! Sometimes I have dreams of stocks in Stage 2! This is where the majority of the money is made in the stock market. But here is the funny thing: No one believes the rally! That’s right, everyone still hates the stock. The fundamentals are bad, the outlook is negative, etc. But professional traders know better. They are accumulating shares and getting ready to dump it off to those getting in late. This sets up stage 3.
Finally, after the glorious advance of stage 2, the stock begins to trade sideways again and starts to “churn”. Novice traders are just now getting in! This stage is very similar to stage 1. Buyers and sellers move into equilibrium again and the stock just drifts along. It is now ready to begin the next stage.
This is the dreaded downtrend for those that are long this stock. But, you know what the funny thing is? You guessed it. Nobody believes the downtrend! The fundamentals are probably still very good and everyone still loves this stock. They think the downtrend is just a “correction”. Wrong! They hold and hold and hold, hoping it will reverse back up again. They probably bought at the end of Stage 2 or during Stage 3. Sorry, you lose. Checkmate!
Here is an example