Important Candlestick Chart Patterns

Six bullish candlestick patterns

Bullish patterns may form after a market downtrend, and signal a reversal of price movement. They are an indicator for traders to consider opening a long position to profit from any upward trajectory.

Hammer

The hammer candlestick pattern is formed of a short body with a long lower wick, and is found at the bottom of a downward trend.

A hammer shows that although there were selling pressures during the day, ultimately a strong buying pressure drove the price back up. The colour of the body can vary, but green hammers indicate a stronger bull market than red hammers.

Hammer

Inverse hammer

A similarly bullish pattern is the inverted hammer. The only difference being that the upper wick is long, while the lower wick is short.

It indicates a buying pressure, followed by a selling pressure that was not strong enough to drive the market price down. The inverse hammer suggests that buyers will soon have control of the market.

Inverse hammer

Bullish engulfing

The bullish engulfing pattern is formed of two candlesticks. The first candle is a short red body that is completely engulfed by a larger green candle.

Though the second day opens lower than the first, the bullish market pushes the price up, culminating in an obvious win for buyers.

Bullish engulfing

Piercing line

The piercing line is also a two-stick pattern, made up of a long red candle, followed by a long green candle.

There is usually a significant gap down between the first candlestick’s closing price, and the green candlestick’s opening. It indicates a strong buying pressure, as the price is pushed up to or above the mid-price of the previous day.

Piercing line

Morning star

The morning star candlestick pattern is considered a sign of hope in a bleak market downtrend. It is a three-stick pattern: one short-bodied candle between a long red and a long green. Traditionally, the ‘star’ will have no overlap with the longer bodies, as the market gaps both on open and close.

It signals that the selling pressure of the first day is subsiding, and a bull market is on the horizon.

Morning star

Three white soldiers

The three white soldiers pattern occurs over three days. It consists of consecutive long green (or white) candles with small wicks, which open and close progressively higher than the previous day.

It is a very strong bullish signal that occurs after a downtrend, and shows a steady advance of buying pressure.

Three white soldiers

Six bearish candlestick patterns

Bearish candlestick patterns usually form after an uptrend, and signal a point of resistance. Heavy pessimism about the market price often causes traders to close their long positions, and open a short position to take advantage of the falling price.

Hanging man

The hanging man is the bearish equivalent of a hammer; it has the same shape but forms at the end of an uptrend.

It indicates that there was a significant sell-off during the day, but that buyers were able to push the price up again. The large sell-off is often seen as an indication that the bulls are losing control of the market.

Hanging man

Shooting star

The shooting star is the same shape as the inverted hammer, but is formed in an uptrend: it has a small lower body, and a long upper wick.

Usually, the market will gap slightly higher on opening and rally to an intra-day high before closing at a price just above the open – like a star falling to the ground.

Shooting star

Bearish engulfing

A bearish engulfing pattern occurs at the end of an uptrend. The first candle has a small green body that is engulfed by a subsequent long red candle.

It signifies a peak or slowdown of price movement, and is a sign of an impending market downturn. The lower the second candle goes, the more significant the trend is likely to be.

Bearish engulfing

Evening star

The evening star is a three-candlestick pattern that is the equivalent of the bullish morning star. It is formed of a short candle sandwiched between a long green candle and a large red candlestick.

It indicates the reversal of an uptrend, and is particularly strong when the third candlestick erases the gains of the first candle.

Evening star

Three black crows

The three black crows candlestick pattern comprises of three consecutive long red candles with short or non-existent wicks. Each session opens at a similar price to the previous day, but selling pressures push the price lower and lower with each close.

Traders interpret this pattern as the start of a bearish downtrend, as the sellers have overtaken the buyers during three successive trading days.

Three black crows

Dark cloud cover

The dark cloud cover candlestick pattern indicates a bearish reversal – a black cloud over the previous day’s optimism. It comprises two candlesticks: a red candlestick which opens above the previous green body, and closes below its midpoint.

It signals that the bears have taken over the session, pushing the price sharply lower. If the wicks of the candles are short it suggests that the downtrend was extremely decisive.

Dark cloud cover

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