Wave 1-2 /1-2 Wave Characteristics

A 1-2/1-2 structure is an indication that the larger degree impulse wave in development is extending. All extended waves are going to have a 1-2/1-2 structure. Typically, you will find them in wave 3's, but they certainly can develop in waves 1 and 5.

The 2nd Wave 1 almost always exceeds the first wave 1.

The 2nd Wave 2 almost never moves beyond the first wave 2 pivot. 

The 2nd Wave 1-2 structure most often does not  exhibit alternation.  You might end up with two wave 2 zigzags, or 2 flats.  This can be a tip-off that you are not looking at wave 4, but rather a second 2nd wave.
The second 2nd wave is typically not as steep as the first 2nd wave.


The 1-2/1-2 structure is not difficult to identify, even in real time.  A typical impulse wave normally forms with a wave 1 of some indeterminate distance, and a wave 2 retracement typically of 50% to 61.8% of the wave 1 movement. Then, wave 3 will take off in a very impulsive manner, creating quite a distance between the wave 1 pivot and where the wave 3 pivots.  With a 1-2/1-2 structure, price most often moves back into the territory of the previous wave 1-2 range.   Doesn't have to, but it does need to be close.
The 2nd wave 1-2 structure needs to be similar in proportions to that of the first 1-2 structure, not taking much more, if any more, time than the first.  Remember, you are actually
seeing the development of a smaller degree impulse wave, so expect it to be a bit smaller than the larger degree structure.
There are two types of 1-2/1-2 combinations.
The short advance 1-2/1-2:
The short advance 1-2/1-2 occurs when the wave 1 pivot is overcome in what you think is to be wave 3, but price stops shortly after surpassing the wave 1 pivot and returns back into the range of waves 1-2.    Wave 3 is supposed to fly.  When you find yourself frustrated because the price isn't moving as expected, that is the point you should suspect another 1-2 is in the works. 
The deep retracement 1-2/1-2
There are times when wave 3 develops normally and you have at least a 1.618 extension beyond wave 1.  Wave 3 looks good, but price then proceeds to pull back into the range of waves 1-2.    You might be tempted to call the structure wave 4 and label the wave as diagonal, but if you can clearly identify 5 waves, rather than 3, in wave 1 you are more likely looking at a 1-2/1-2.
 Wave 1-2 1-2 Structure

Guidelines to exclude a 1-2 1-2 count

The second Wave 1 MUST have overlapped the first Wave 1 or it should be treated as a B wave in an ongoing wave 2 correction. Potentially it is an internal wave 1-2, but not the start of an extension. - To clarify, an extension suggests a massive elongation of the impulse pattern.  All impulse waves 1,3, and 5 have internal 5 wave structures as well.  The fact that you can see the internal 1-2 at times does not mean the larger wave will extend.  When the second wave 1 does not exceed the first, the probabilities are that the wave is not going to extend. 

Not every double pair of pivots is a 1-2/1-2, however. Here are some important considerations to keep you on track. The 2nd wave 1 must advance beyond the pivot of the previous wave 1.

The Second Wave 2 should not overlap the trend line from the first wave 2

The 2nd wave 2 pivot must not move beyond the previous wave 2 pivot. It either of these is not true, then you are likely still seeing the first wave 2 developing or a B wave triangle working in the 1st Wave 2.

Wave 1-2 1-2 Structure


Unwinding all of the 1-2/ 1-2 Structures Unwinding all of the 1-2/ 1-2 Structures