One of the most important concepts in technical analysis is the concept of the trend.
I am pretty sure that you may have heard the phrase, go with the trend, and never trade against the trend.
Needless to mention, my favorite, the trend is your friend.
The 3 directions of the trend are uptrend, downtrend, and sideways trend.
Never forget that!
I remember in one of my workshops a couple of years ago, a student of mine came up with more directions to justify and convince himself that his decision to go against the trend was right.
A trend may be defined in many ways such as classic chart patterns, the moving average, the trendline, the channel, the Bollinger bands even with certain indicators and oscillators just to name a few tools.
The direction of successive tops and bottoms on the price chart is my personal favorite.
It stems from Charle’s Dow publications of the Wall Street Journal editorials at the beginning of the 20th century (1900 -1902).
Successively higher tops and bottoms define an uptrend.

Where successively lower tops and bottoms identify a downtrend.

I bet you are wondering what the minimum requirements are to identify the trend.
Well, let’s focus on the uptrend here.
It goes without saying that 2 successive higher tops and higher bottoms are required.
So, for some traders, this is all they need.

Once the second bottom is formed, an uptrend is considered in place, and they would also place a buy order in the direction of the trend.
Others would wait for prices to exceed the 50% retracement before they consider it an uptrend.

Another group of traders, including me, will identify an uptrend not only after 2 successively higher tops and bottoms are formed but also when the price exceeds the second top.
This makes me more confident that the established trend is in place.

Nevertheless, If the trend is rising, then it makes sense to enter the market with a buy position.
Similarly, if the trend is declining, then I am sure that you would agree with me that a sell order is more suitable.
Look at the water in the river. Is it easier to swim with the flow of the water or against it?
Follow the trend, remember?
So, if the trend is sideways as defined by equal tops and equal bottoms, then it simply means that the market is going nowhere, as there is no established trend.
Remember, the trend is your friend!