A single zigzag in a bull
market is a simple three-wave declining pattern labeled A-B-C.
The subwave sequence is 5-3-5, and the top of wave B is
noticeably lower than the start of wave A, as illustrated in
Figures 1-22 and 1-23.
In a bear market, a zigzag
correction takes place in the opposite direction, as shown in
Figures 1-24 and 1-25. For this reason, a zigzag in a bear
market is often referred to as an inverted zigzag.
Occasionally zigzags will occur
twice, or at most, three times in succession, particularly when
the first zigzag falls short of a normal target. In these cases,
each zigzag is separated by an intervening "three,"
producing what is called a double zigzag (see
Figure 1-26) or triple zigzag. These formations
are analogous to the extension of an impulse wave but are less
The correction in the Standard
and Poor's 500 stock index from
January 1977 to March 1978 (see
Figure 1-27) can be labeled as a double zigzag, as can the
correction in the Dow from July to October 1975 (see Figure
1-28). Within impulses, second waves frequently sport zigzags,
while fourth waves rarely do.
R.N. Elliott's original labeling
of double and triple zigzags and double and triple threes (see
later section) was a quick shorthand. He denoted the intervening
movements as wave X, so that double corrections were labeled
A-B-C-X-A-B-C. Unfortunately, this notation improperly indicated
the degree of the actionary subwaves of each simple pattern.
They were labeled as being only one degree less than the entire
correction when in fact, they are two degrees smaller. We have
eliminated this problem by introducing a useful notational
device: labeling the successive actionary components of double
and triple corrections as waves W, Y, and Z, so that the entire
pattern is counted "W-X-Y (-X-Z)." The letter
"W" now denotes the first corrective pattern in a
double or triple correction, Y the second, and Z the third of a
triple. Each subwave thereof (A, B or C, as well as D or E of a
triangle — see later section) is now properly seen as two
degrees smaller than the entire correction. Each wave X is a
reactionary wave and thus always a corrective wave, typically