Tops are a process and bottoms are a process and not a point in time. I see a potential bottom developing on Transocean (RIG).
Patterns are rarely "textbook," so students of technical analysis need to think outside the box to get the sense of a bottom instead of using a checklist to tick off. Bottoms are reversal patterns, so first you need something to reverse. RIG qualifies, as it has declined from over $80 a share at the beginning of 2011.
As prices move sideways to lower in a bottom pattern, you like to see volume start to increase on the rallies and diminish on the declines -- the opposite of what transpired in the downtrend. RIG is seeing this volume shift.
Another clue to be looking for is for RIG not to decline on what appears to be bearish news. Not declining on bearish news should tell you that all the bad news has been discounted.
The two dips in January and March of this year could be considered two left shoulders of this bottom.
The decline last month to a new low for the move down could be considered a "head." Because these patterns often display symmetry in their development, it may take another seven months for the right side of this bottom to play out.
Patience should pay off when RIG emerges from the base and starts a new up leg. Look for volume to be heavier than average when this occurs.