Corrections are movements against the larger trend. So, when the correction is over, the larger trend should resume. Those of you, who are familiar with the Elliott Wave Principle, know that there are three types of corrective patterns – zig-zags, flats and triangles. In our Elliott Wave Patterns lesson we have discussed all three of them. Usually, one single corrective pattern is enough. For example, a zig-zag in wave 2 or a triangle in wave 4. However, things are not always that simple. There is something, called a “corrective combination”. It describes a situation, when the correction consists of two or three different corrective patterns. Ralph Nelson Elliott called these corrections “double threes” and “triple threes”. An idealized example of a double three and a triple three is given below.
Just like in a double or a triple zig-zag, in double and triple threes we use the letters W,X,Y and Z to label the different patterns within the corrective combination. In a double or a triple three, wave W usually achieves an adequate retracement level in terms of price. The rest of the combination appears only to extend the duration of the correction. In the double three example shown above, the first pattern of the combination is a zig-zag in wave W. Then there is wave X, which is also a “three” and connects the second pattern of the combination – the triangle in wave Y – with the first one. The triple three example shows an expanding flat for W, a zig-zag for Y and a triangle in the position of wave Z. The intervening X waves could be any corrective pattern, but are usually zig-zags. There could be only one triangle in a corrective combination – in wave Y in a double three, in wave Z in a triple three or, in rare cases, as the last wave X of the pattern. Note that if wave Y or Z is a triangle, the correction does not end at its lowest point, which is wave W or Y respectively. The exchange rate of the US dollar against the Japanese yen provided us with a real chart example of a double three correction.
The chart shows a five-wave impulse in wave (1) followed by a double three in wave (2). While a triangle alone cannot occur as a second wave of an impulse, there is no problem if it is a part of a combination. In this case we have a double zig-zag in W, another double zig-zag in X and a triangle for Y. After the end of wave “e” of Y, just like after the end of any other correction, the larger uptrend resumes. Due to their horizontal appearance, corrective combinations are accompanied by lack of volatility. This makes trading very difficult and could be a real nightmare, especially for the not-so-patient of us. However, no correction lasts forever. That is why you should be aware of the possibility of a double or a triple three. Otherwise, you will not be able to recognize what is developing right before your eyes, which could cause you to miss opportunities.