Support and Resistance – Breakout Failure Tick

Support and Resistance – Breakout Failure Tick
Indicator for NinjaTrader® 7/8

E-mini S&P 500 Future 5 min chart (click to enlarge)



  • shows Tick Failure Breakouts of possible Support and Resistance
  • shows Tick Failure Breakouts above swing highs and below swing lows
  • shows Tick Failure Breakouts above the high and below the low of yesterday (HOY, LOY)
  • shows Tick Failure Breakouts above the high and below the low of the 1st bar of the session (useful for RTH traders who trade charts with gaps)
  • configure swing strength, bars to look back and individual colors
  • alert feature
  • does not work on Renko and PointAndFigure charts
  • achieves best results on futures and equities (on centralized markets, where all participants seeing the same data)

Example Charts

Download a 20 day trial version

Download for NinjaTrader 7  (how to install, see here for help)
Download for NinjaTrader 8  (how to install, see here for help)

Sound file .zip file  (how to install, see here for help)

All of our available paid indicators are distributed in one package.
This package also includes a chart template (“PA_Indicators_ES_5min”) .
After installing the indicator package into NinjaTrader, that chart template can be
used to show a possible setup of the indicators for the ES E-mini 5 minute RTH chart.

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What are Tick Failure Breakouts?

Tick Failure Breakouts are breakout failures (also called failed breakouts) of prior swing highs/lows, high/low of the 1st bar of the session and HOY, LOY (High/Low of Yesterday), to name a few.

1 or 2 tick Tick Failure Breakouts (on the E-mini) can be considered a failed breakout for traders, who entered on the breakout on a stop entry above/below that swing high/low. In stocks, Tick Failure Breakouts are often around one to a couple of cents, depending on the price and volatility of the stock.

5 tick Tick Failure Breakouts (on the E-mini) can be considered a failure to reach a common scalp target, since a scalp for four ticks (one point) is a very popular trade. A six tick breakout is needed to fill a four tick profit target for a trader who entered on a breakout (one tick to enter on a stop, four ticks profit, and one more tick to fill the profit target limit order). With higher volatility (and larger range/bars) that four tick scalp often becomes a scalp for six ticks.

A 5 tick Tick Failure Breakout (on the E-mini) also often means, that there were sellers above a swing high (for a bull breakout), who also might have scaled-in one point (four ticks) higher. The same can be true for a 9 tick Tick Failure Breakout, where sellers were able to scale-in twice above the swing high (one and two points higher).

Tick Failure Breakouts can be found in all liquid futures markets, that have many scalpers, like ES, NQ, CL, as well as ETFs like SPY or QQQ, highly liquid stocks and FOREX.

What do I need to set the Tick Failure to?

Tick Failure Breakouts largely depend on the market and time frame you are trading. Some common scalp targets are (add one or two ticks (futures) for the failure):
ES – 4/6, 8, 10, 12 and 16 ticks
NQ – 10, 20 ticks
CL – 5, 10, 15 ticks
SPY – 10 ticks (cents)
AAPL (Apple stock) – 50, 100 ticks (which is 50 cents and $1)

On the ES E-mini 5 min chart 1 or 2 tick failures are failed breakouts and 5 or 7, 9, 11, 13 and 17 ticks are failures to reach common scalp targets.
Best results are achieved on futures and equities.

Can I simply trade every signal?

This largely depends on context, trading style and stop loss (risk), also on your ability to scale in and the use of wide or swing stops (below the last higher low or above the last lower high in a trend) .
Check out the Blog for more examples on how to use Tick Failure Breakouts in your trading.

for advanced/experienced traders
Below is a basic example, how one might trade Tick Failure Breakouts using a scale in approach.
The idea is based on fading a breakout of what appears to be trading range price action. The trading range/swing needs to be large enough. On the ES 5min chart it should be at least four points or larger.
This trading range is divided in three parts, a measured move of it is projected below or above the trading range and a breakout of it is faded with a scale-in approach.
This is no investment advice, the investor is solely responsible for the choice of the indicator signals or entry  method. Please read our Disclaimer.

for the example on the chart below
The the 1st buy is taken below the bar, that gave the failed breakout signal.
Aggressive traders often already buy the close of the bar that gave the failed breakout signal.
If the market goes lower, the 2nd buy is taken 1/3rd the size of the trading range lower.
If the market goes lower again, the 3rd buy is taken 1/3rd the size of the trading range lower.
The stop for the entire position is a measured move of the trading range lower from the 1st entry. Add a couple of ticks to rule out the breakout going right to a measured move of the trading range and then reverse.
Support below the trading range price action, like HOY, LOY, COY or trend lines (to name a few) increase the probability of a successful trade.
Often the bar after the Tick Failure Breakout, or the context, gives already a clue, whether it makes sense to only scalp or swing parts of your position.

E-mini S&P 500 Future 5 min chart

Look for confluence

Confluence is very important in trading and means to have several (at least two) reasons to take a trade. Your 1st reason is the Tick Failure Breakout and your 2nd reason can be e.g. Support / Resistance, measured moves, trend line / trend channel line overshoot, Buying/Selling Pressure, a 2nd attempt to reverse and many more.

E-mini S&P 500 Future 5 min chart

Also check out the
Blog for more examples on how to use Tick Failure Breakouts in your trading.

What are the settings?

Show Last 200 Bars only
Show the indicator signals only for the last 200 bars, which will speed up a reload of the chart or indicator

Sound Alert
Play a sound and show an alert in the alert window

Sound Alert File
Pick a .WAV file from the NinjaTrader sound folder (how to install sounds, see here )

Extend of the Tick Failure breakout in ticks

Ticks above or below Tick Failure (e.g. set “Ticks” to 100 and “Band” to 2 to show 98, 99, 100, 101 and 102 Tick Failure breakouts)

Swing Strength
Show Tick Failure breakouts only for swings with a certain swing strength
1 = one bar with a lower high to the left and right of a swing high

Look back Bars
Number of bars back to look for a swing high or low

Look back Prior Day
Show Tick Failure breakouts of swing highs or lows from prior session

Show Bar 1
Show Tick Failure breakouts above or below the 1st bar of the session (useful, if you trade charts with gaps , like RTH

Show Tick Failure breakouts of the High or Low of Yesterday

Show Untriggered
Otherwise Tick Failure breakouts, that don’t trigger, will be deleted instead of being colored with the “untriggered color”


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