Mastering Bearish Candlestick Patterns

Jeremy BiberdorfBy: Jeremy Biberdorf

May 24, 2024May 24, 2024

Understanding Candlestick Structure

A candlestick chart provides a detailed representation of price movements in a specific time frame. Each candlestick is formed by four data points:

  • Open: The price at which the asset started trading in the selected time frame.
  • Close: The price at which the asset finished trading in the selected time frame.
  • High: The highest price reached during the selected period.
  • Low: The lowest price recorded in that time.

The Components of a Candlestick

  • Body: The main, rectangular part of the candlestick represents the open and close prices. A green (or white) body indicates that the close was higher than the open (bullish), while a red (or black) body signifies that the close was lower than the open (bearish).
  • Wicks (or Shadows): Thin lines extending above and below the body. The upper wick shows the high price, while the lower wick shows the low price.

Bullish vs. Bearish Candlesticks

  • Bullish Candlesticks: These have a green or white body, signaling that the closing price was higher than the opening price. They indicate an upward price movement during the session.
    Learn More About Bullish Candlesticks
  • Bearish Candlesticks: These have a red or black body, meaning that the closing price was lower than the opening price. They indicate a downward price movement during the session.
    Learn More About Bearish Candlesticks

Types of Candlestick Patterns

  • Reversal Patterns: Indicate a potential change in the current trend direction. Bullish reversal patterns form at the end of a downtrend, while bearish reversal patterns form at the end of an uptrend.
  • Continuation Patterns: Suggest that the current trend is likely to continue. For instance, bullish continuation patterns form during an uptrend, and bearish continuation patterns form during a downtrend.

Master Bearish Candlestick Patterns

Understanding Bearish Candlestick Patterns

Defining Bearish Patterns

Bearish candlestick patterns signal potential downward price movements. They typically indicate a shift in market sentiment from bullish to bearish. Some patterns consist of a single candlestick, while others may require two or more candlesticks to form.

Common Features of Bearish Patterns

  • Long Upper Wicks: Often represent a rejection of higher prices, indicating that sellers are pushing prices down from their highs.
  • Short Bodies: Indicate indecision or a transition from buying to selling pressure, particularly in reversal patterns.
  • Large Bearish Bodies: Show strong selling pressure that overwhelms buyers and pushes prices down quickly.

Understanding these common characteristics helps traders spot bearish patterns and signals potential selling opportunities.

Strategies for Trading Bearish Patterns

Short Positions

Short selling involves borrowing shares to sell immediately at the current price, aiming to buy them back at a lower price later. It’s a strategy that thrives on bearish patterns, allowing traders to profit from falling prices. When trading bearish patterns, you aim to identify early signs of a downward trend to maximize your returns on short positions.

Stop-Loss Placement

Setting stop-loss orders is crucial to manage risk when trading bearish patterns. A stop-loss order automatically sells your position if the price moves against your expectations, preventing significant losses. For bearish patterns, place stop-losses above key resistance levels or above the highest price in the pattern.

Risk Management

Effective risk management involves carefully sizing positions and diversifying your portfolio. When trading bearish patterns:

  • Limit the amount of capital you allocate to any single trade.
  • Diversify your trades across different markets and sectors to spread risk.
  • Use protective orders, like stop-losses, to minimize losses if the market turns against you.

Integrating Indicators

Combining bearish patterns with technical indicators enhances their reliability:

  • RSI (Relative Strength Index): Indicates overbought conditions, supporting bearish patterns.
    Learn More About RSI Divergence
  • MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence): A bearish crossover confirms the downtrend signaled by the pattern.
  • Moving Averages: Price crossing below a moving average signals bearish momentum.

Trading Tools for Bearish Patterns


TradingView offers advanced charting tools, allowing traders to identify and analyze bearish patterns effectively. Its customizable features enable you to overlay technical indicators and track market trends in real time.

Learn More About TradingView


TrendSpider provides automated technical analysis, making it easier to identify bearish patterns across different markets. Its pattern recognition tools streamline finding bearish setups, making your analysis more efficient.

Learn More About TrendSpider

Examples of Bearish Candlestick Patterns

1. Bearish Engulfing Pattern

The Bearish Engulfing pattern consists of two candles and indicates a reversal from an uptrend to a downtrend. The first candle is bullish, with a smaller body, and the second candle is bearish, with a larger body that completely engulfs the first one. This pattern signals strong selling pressure.

  • Example: A stock trading at $150 forms a small bullish candle followed by a large bearish candle that engulfs the previous one, closing at $140. This suggests that sellers have taken control, potentially leading to further price declines.
  • Trading Strategy: Traders can enter short positions immediately after the pattern is confirmed, setting stop-loss orders above the high of the bearish engulfing candle to protect against false signals.
    Learn More About Bearish Engulfing Pattern

2. Shooting Star

The Shooting Star is a single-candle bearish pattern that appears at the top of an uptrend. It has a small body near the lower end of its price range and a long upper wick, indicating that the bulls pushed prices higher, but sellers regained control.

  • Example: A stock moving upward reaches $170 during a trading session but closes at $160, forming a shooting star pattern. The long upper wick shows that sellers rejected higher prices, which could signal the beginning of a downtrend.
  • Trading Strategy: Traders can enter short positions when the price moves below the shooting star candle’s body, using the high of the shooting star as a stop-loss point.
    Learn More About The Shooting Star

3. Three Black Crows

The Three Black Crows pattern consists of three consecutive bearish candles. Each candle opens within the previous candle’s body and closes progressively lower. This pattern typically indicates a strong bearish reversal after an uptrend.

  • Example: A stock rises to $100, but over the next three trading sessions, forms three consecutive bearish candles, closing at $90. Each candle opens near the previous candle’s close, suggesting a sustained bearish trend.
  • Trading Strategy: Traders can enter short positions after confirming the pattern. Stop-loss orders should be placed above the high of the first bearish candle.
    Learn More About The Three Black Crows

4. Evening Star

The Evening Star is a three-candle pattern indicating a reversal from a bullish trend to a bearish trend. The first candle is bullish, followed by a small-bodied candle, and the third is a long-bodied bearish candle that closes well below the midpoint of the first candle.

  • Example: A stock trading at $120 forms a large bullish candle, followed by a doji candle, and then a large bearish candle that closes at $110. This pattern suggests a reversal in trend, signaling further price declines.
  • Trading Strategy: Traders can enter short positions when the price closes below the bearish candle’s body. Stop-loss orders should be placed above the high of the doji candle to protect against false signals.
    Learn More About The Evening Star

Learn about many more key candlestick patterns here

Final Thoughts on Bearish Candlestick Patterns

Bearish candlestick patterns are valuable tools in technical analysis, helping traders identify potential reversals and continuation signals in downtrends.

When used correctly, they can provide timely signals to adjust trading strategies, enabling traders to capitalize on bearish market movements. However, it’s crucial to combine these patterns with other technical tools to confirm their signals and increase accuracy.

Consistent practice and analysis are vital in mastering these patterns, allowing traders to refine their strategies and improve their trading decisions over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, bearish patterns can form in uptrends and signal potential reversals.

High volume during the formation of bearish patterns often confirms the strength of the signal.

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Jeremy Biberdorf
Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He's a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.

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