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Young Ninja Group (ages 3-5)

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Ethan Murphy
Ethan Murphy

Candlestick Charting

The price range is the distance between the top of the upper shadow and the bottom of the lower shadow moved through during the time frame of the candlestick. The range is calculated by subtracting the low price from the high price.

Candlestick Charting


If the asset closed higher than it opened, the body is hollow or unfilled, with the opening price at the bottom of the body and the closing price at the top. If the asset closed lower than it opened, the body is solid or filled, with the opening price at the top and the closing price at the bottom. Thus, the color of the candle represents the price movement relative to the prior period's close and the "fill" (solid or hollow) of the candle represents the price direction of the period in isolation (solid for a higher open and lower close; hollow for a lower open and a higher close). A black (or red) candle represents a price action with a lower closing price than the prior candle's close. A white (or green) candle represents a higher closing price than the prior candle's close. In practice, any color can be assigned to rising or falling price candles. A candlestick need not have either a body or a wick. Generally, the longer the body of the candle, the more intense the trading.[6]

Rather than using the open, high, low, and close values for a given time interval, candlesticks can also be constructed using the open, high, low, and close of a specified volume range (for example, 1,000; 100,000; 1 million shares per candlestick).[citation needed] In modern charting software, volume can be incorporated into candlestick charts by increasing or decreasing candlesticks width according to the relative volume for a given time period.[8]

Candlestick charts are a visual aid for decision making in stock, foreign exchange, commodity, and option trading. By looking at a candlestick, one can identify an asset's opening and closing prices, highs and lows, and overall range for a specific time frame.[9] Candlestick charts serve as a cornerstone of technical analysis. For example, when the bar is white and high relative to other time periods, it means buyers are very bullish. The opposite is true when there is a black bar.

The body of a Heikin-Ashi candle does not always represent the actual open/close. Unlike with regular candlesticks, a long wick shows more strength, whereas the same period on a standard chart might show a long body with little or no wick.[11]

The Japanese have been using candlestick charts since the 17th century to analyzerice prices. Candlestick patterns were introduced into modern technical analysis by Steve Nison in his book Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques.

An open and close in the middle of the candlestick signal indecision. Long-legged dojis, when they occur after small candlesticks, indicate a surge in volatility and warn of a potential trend change. 4 Price dojis, where the high and low are equal, are normally only seen on thinly traded stocks.

The hammer is not as strong as the dragonfly candlestick, but also signals reversal after a down-trend: controlhas shifted from sellers to buyers. The shadowof the candlestick should be at least twice the height of the body.

We now look at clusters of candlesticks. How one candlestick relates to another will often indicate whether a trend is likely to continue or reverse, or it can signal indecision, when the market has no clear direction.

Engulfing patterns are the simplest reversal signals, where the body of the second candlestick 'engulfs' the first. They often follow or complete doji, hammer or gravestone patterns and signal reversal in the short-term trend.

Harami formations, on the other hand, signal indecision. Harami candlesticks indicate loss of momentum and potential reversal after a strong trend. Harami means 'pregnant' which is quite descriptive. The second candlestick must be contained within the body of the first, though the shadows may protrude slightly.

More controversial is the Hanging Man formation. A Hammer candlestick is a bullish signal in a down-trend but is called a Hanging Man when it occurs in an up-trend and is traditionally considered a bearish (reversal) signal. Thomas Bulkowski (Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns) tested the pattern extensively and concludes on his website that the Hanging Man pattern resolves in bullish continuation (of the prevailing trend) 59% of the time. It is therefore advisable to treat the Hanging Man as a consolidation pattern, signaling indecision, and only take moves from subsequent breakouts, below the recent low or high.

The Morning Star pattern signals a bullish reversal after a down-trend. The first candlestick has a long black body. The second candlestick gaps down from the first (the bodies display a gap, but the shadows may still overlap) and is more bullish if hollow. The next candlestick has a long white body which closes in the top half of the body of the first candlestick.

A Doji Star is weaker than the Morning or Evening Star: the doji represents indecision. The doji star requires confirmation from the next candlestick closing in the bottom half of the body of the first candlestick.

While candlesticks may offer useful pointers as to short-term direction, trading on the strength of candlestick signals alone is not advisable. Jack Schwager in Technical Analysis conducted fairly extensive tests with candlesticks over a number of markets with disappointing results.

A candlestick is composed of three parts; the upper shadow, lower shadow and body. The body is colored green or red. Each candlestick represents a segmented period of time. The candlestick data summarizes the executed trades during that specific period of time. For example a 5-minute candle represents 5 minutes of trades data. There are four data points in every candlestick: the open, high, low and close. The open is the very first trade for the specific period and the close is the very last trade for the period. The open and close is considered the body of the candle. The high is the highest priced trade and low is the lowest price trade for that period.

The hammer is a bullish reversal candlestick. It is one of the most (if not the most) widely followed candlestick pattern. It is used to determine capitulation bottoms followed by a price bounce that traders use to enter long positions.

A hammer candlestick forms at the end of a downtrend and indicates a near-term price bottom. The hammer candle has a lower shadow that makes a new low in the downtrend sequence and then closes back up near or above the open. The lower shadow (also called a tail) must be at least two or more times the size of the body. This represents the longs that finally threw in the towel and stopped out as shorts start covering their positions and bargain hunters come in off the fence. A volume increase also helps to solidify the hammer. To confirm the hammer candle, it is important for the next candle to close above the low of the hammer candle and preferably above the body. A typical buy signal would be an entry above the high of the candle after the hammer with a trail stop either beneath the body low or the low of the hammer candle. It is prudent to time the entry with a momentum indicator like a MACD, stochastic or RSI.

The shooting star is a bearish reversal candlestick indicating a peak or top. It is the exact inverse version of a hammer candle. The star should form after at least three or more subsequent green candles indicating a rising price and demand. Eventually, the buyers lose patience and chase the price to new highs (of the sequence) before realizing they overpaid.

The upper shadow (also known as a wick) should generally be twice as large as the body. This indicates the last of the frenzied buyers have entered the stock just as profit takers unload their positions followed by short-sellers pushing the price down to close the candle near or below the open. This in essence, traps the late buyers who chased the price too high. Fear is at the highest point here as the very next candle should close at or under the shooting star candle, which will set off a panic selling spree as late buyers panic to get out and curb losses. The typical short-sell signal forms when the low of the following candlestick price is broken with trail stops at the high of the body or tail of the shooting star candlestick.

If the preceding candles are bullish before forming the doji, the next candle close under the body low triggers a sell/short-sell signal on the break of the doji candlestick lows with trail stops above the doji highs.

A bullish engulfing candlestick is a large bodied green candle that completely engulfs the full range of the preceding red candle. The larger the body, the more extreme the reversal becomes. The body should completely engulf the preceding red candle body.

The most effective bullish engulfing candlesticks form at the tail end of a downtrend to trigger a sharp reversal bounce that overwhelms the short-sellers causing a panic short covering buying frenzy. This motivates bargain hunters to come off the fence further adding to the buying pressure. Bullish engulfing candles are potential reversal signals on downtrends and continuation signals on uptrends when they form after a shallow reversion pullback. The volume should spike to at least double the average when bullish engulfing candles form to be most effective. The buy trigger forms when the next candlestick exceeds the high of the bullish engulfing candlestick.

Like a massive tidal wave that completely engulfs an island, the bearish engulfing candlestick completely swallows the range of the preceding green candlestick. This is a strong price reversal candlestick. The bearish engulfing candlestick body eclipses the body of the prior green candle. Even stronger bearish engulfing candlesticks will have bodies that consume the full preceding candlestick including the upper and lower shadows. These candlesticks can be signs of enormous selling activity on a panic reversal from bullish to bearish sentiment. 041b061a72


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