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How do I scan for this?
There is more than one way and more than one kind of breakout, so you have to make some decisions.
One way is to look at the pre-defined scan page in the P&F section. There are five different kinds of breakout scans there. If you click on the numbers under each exchange, you will see the symbols. Also on the results page is a link to the scan itself to the upper right, which you can modify and save. Look at them all and see what interests you.
Another way that allows you some more customization is scanning for price channel breakouts. You have to decide how much time there should be between the last high and the new high (assuming you want bullish breakouts). Suppose you choose 20 days (about a month). So a scan would look like this:
// test that prices have been below the high few days (the channel is flat for several bars)
and [1 day ago Upper Price Chan(20) = 15 days ago Upper Price Chan(20)]
// then test for a close above the channel today
and [close x Upper Price Chan(20)]
This should catch stocks that made a high between 15 and 20 days ago and closed above that high today.
Notice this is a very specific situation. The window for the stock to break out is only about five days. You can widen the window by changing 15 days ago to maybe only 10 days ago. Or, you can use a longer channel, like 40 or 60. No one combination of parameters will catch every breakout, so you might want to have several for different time frames (monthly, quarterly, annually, maybe). Keep in mind that a breakout can also become a top and often does.
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