The Elliott wave principle is a form of technical analysis which some traders use to analyze financial market cycles and forecast market trends by identifying extremes in investor psychology, highs and lows in prices, and other collective factors. It was discovered by Ralph Nelson Elliott, a professional accountant, in 1920s.
The description reveals that mass psychology swings from pessimism to optimism and back in a natural sequence, creating specific Elliott wave patterns in price movements. Each pattern has implications regarding the position of the market within its overall progression, past, present and future.
This theory is somehow based on the Dow theory in that stock prices move in waves. Because of the "fractal" nature of markets, however, Elliott was able to break down and analyze them in much greater detail. Fractals are mathematical structures, which on an ever-smaller scale infinitely repeat themselves. Elliott discovered stock-trading patterns were structured in the same way.