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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The 10 most profitable candlestick patterns

By Mark Deaton

There are literally hundreds of candlestick patterns that traders use to increase their trading performance. Best used with other technical analysis tools, here are the top 10 patterns that provide the most consistent results.

* The dark cloud cover: This 2 candlestick high probability formation is bearish. Generally the first candlestick is continuing the bull trend and the next candlestick will gap up and open appearing to continue the trend, but fail to make any bullish headway and close well below the open and well into the real body of the first candlestick.

* Doji: You will find doji's where the open close, high and low are in close proximity. The candlestick ends up looking like a small cross. It means that the buyers and sellers are indecisive and can indicate potentially that a reversal is about to take place.

* Engulfing Pattern: This is a two-day pattern where the first day's body is smaller than the subsequent candlestick, and they are both of opposite colors. This pattern is considered bearish when it appears at the end of an uptrend and bullish when it occurs in a down trending market.

* Evening star candlestick: This is a 3 bar bearish candlestick pattern. The first candlestick will be a rather strong white candlestick the second is a gap up short bodied candlestick indicating a weakness in bullish strength, then the final is a gap down bearish black candlestick where typically the low reaches beyond the 50% mark of candlestick #1.

* Hammer: When trading occurs significantly below the open, but ends well above the low and closes as its high, the candlestick formed has only one tail below its body. When this formation occurs during a downtrend, it often signals a reversal.

* Hanging man: The hanging man is still a hammer, but when its on an uptrend its called a hanging man. Look to the long tail for the intuitiveness in the candlestick. Price pushed down but failed to stay there, this is bullish and so the hanging man tells us the trend will continue. A continuation candlestick.

* Harami candlestick: This is a 2 candlestick formation. It resembles the exact opposite as the engulfing pattern. This pattern will show price opening and closing within the open and close of the previous candlestick and demonstrates a potential reversal in the short term trend. This can be bullish or bearish depending on the color of each candlestick and where it appears in the trend. Each candlestick will be a different color.

* Morning Star: This formation is considered a three day bullish reversal pattern that consists of a long bodied black first day, a short gap down second day, followed by a third long white bodied candle, which closes above the midpoint of the first day.

* The piercing line: This pattern is just two candlesticks. It is a bullish reversal pattern. What happens here is the first candlestick will continue the bearish trend down and the next will appear to be following suite on the open but will surprise you as it closes much higher and exceed the 50% level of the first candlestick.

* Shooting star: This is a single candlestick pattern. It looks like an upside down hammer and signals a bearish reversal. As such it's best when found on a bullish uptrend. Look to the long upper witch for the intuitiveness in this candlestick. The bulls pushed hard like they did in the prevailing trend but the bears won the race by days end closing near the low / open. - 23208

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