When is a breakout not a breakout? When it is a false break. The retest of a prior extreme, or a trendline test, probably won’t extend very far if volume accompanying the break is weak or weaker than normal. With the exception of ascending and descending triangles, a false break is usually in the opposite direction of the actual breakout yet to come.
Following are examples of false breaks from various patterns. Each is linked to more examples of the pattern: