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Introduction to Candlesticks [ChartSchool] - StockCharts.com

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Just above and below the real body are the "shadows". Chartists have always thought of these as the wicks of the candle, and it is the shadows that show the high and low prices of that day's trading. If the upper shadow on the filled-in body is short, it indicates that the open that day was closer to the high of the day. A short upper shadow on a white or unfilled body dictates that the close was near the high. The relationship between the day's open, high, low and close determines the look of the daily candlestick. Real bodies can be either long or short and either black or white. Shadows can also be either long or short.

It is important to emphasize that the Doji pattern does not mean reversal, it means indecision. Doji's are often found during periods of resting after a significant move higher or lower; the market, after resting, then continues on its way. Nevertheless, a Doji pattern could be interpreted as a sign that a prior trend is losing its strength, and taking some profits might be well advised.

The technical analyst is seeking to answer the question "how are other traders viewing this stock, and how will that effect the price in the immediate future".

Candlestick charts are thought to have been developed in the 18th century by Munehisa Homma , a Japanese rice trader of financial instruments . [3] They were introduced to the Western world by Steve Nison in his book, Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques . They are often used today in stock analysis along with other analytical tools such as Fibonacci analysis (Fibonacci retracement) . [4]

To be considered a bullish reversal, there should be an existing downtrend to reverse. A bullish engulfing at new highs can hardly be considered a bullish reversal pattern. Such formations would indicate continued buying pressure and could be considered a continuation pattern. In the Ciena example below, the pattern in the red oval looks like a bullish engulfing, but formed near resistance after about a 30 point advance. The pattern does show strength, but is more likely a continuation at this point than a reversal pattern.

Generally speaking, the longer the body is, the more intense the buying or selling pressure. Conversely, short candlesticks indicate little price movement and represent consolidation.

An evening star is a bearish reversal pattern where the first candlestick continues the uptrend. The second candlestick gaps up and has a narrow body. The third candlestick closes below the midpoint of the first candlestick. A morning star is a bullish reversal pattern where the first candlestick is long and black/red-bodied, followed by short candlestick that has gapped lower; it is completed by a long-bodied white/green candlestick that closes above the midpoint of the first candlestick.

The shadow is the portion of the trading range outside of the body. We often refer to a candlestick as having a tall shadow or a long tail .

Two additional things that traders will look for to place more significance on the pattern are a long lower wick and an increase in volume for the time period that formed the hammer.