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Thomas Bulkowski’s successful investment activities allowed him to retire at age 36. He is an internationally known author and trader with 30+ years of stock market experience and widely regarded as a leading expert on chart patterns. He may be reached at

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Bulkowski's Tall Candle Support and Resistance

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Tall Candle Support and Resistance: Summary

Unusually tall candles (2 times the average height) show support or resistance 39% of the time. Candles 4 times the average height do even better. However, price does not show a tendency to reverse near the middle of a tall body.

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Tall Candle Support and Resistance: Methodology

Tall candle showing support

Test 1

I used 453 stocks of daily price data covering the 3 years ending May 28, 2007 in the first test and found 41,301 candles. Not all stocks covered the entire 3 years. Each of the candles had bodies (open to close, not high to low) more than twice as tall as the prior 22 trading day average (approximately 1 calendar month). I then searched for minor highs or minor lows that peaked or bottomed within the body of the candle.

For candles with upward breakouts, where price first closed above the top of the candle, I searched for minor lows and stopped the search if price closed below the bottom of the body. For downward breakouts, where price first closed below the bottom of the candle, I searched for minor highs and the search ended when price closed above the top of the body.

For example, in the figure, a candle with a tall body appears in mid March. Later, price forms a minor low that stops within the body of the tall candle. The tall black candle had an upward breakout (price first closed above the top of the candle) so I searched for a minor low.

Test 2

The second test was similar to the first except I required the candle bodies to be over four times the average height and also lengthened the search time to the 15 years ending on the same date. Few stocks covered the entire period. I found 25,285 candles that qualified.

 

Tall Candle Support and Resistance: Results

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Test 1

  • A body 2 times as tall as the average shows support or resistance 39% of the time.
  • Black or white candles also show the same support/resistance rate, 39%. That is, 39% of the time, price reversed within the body of the candle.
  • Reversals are evenly distributed over the candle body. In other words, price may reverse at the middle of the candle just as often as any other area of the candle body.

Test 2

  • A body 4 times as tall as the average candle shows support or resistance 66% of the time.
  • Black candles show support/resistance rates of 67%.
  • White candles show support/resistance rates of 65%.
  • Reversals are evenly distributed over the candle body. In other words, price may reverse at the middle of the candle just as often as any other area of the candle body.

 

Tall Candle Support and Resistance: Conclusions

Based on this research, it is unclear whether tall candles actually show support or resistance. Think of it this way. Imagine that a candle was as tall as your price chart. In that case, every minor low or minor high would appear within the body of the candle. The success rate would be 100%. Thus, the taller the candle body the more likely it will be that minor highs or minor lows will find their way into the body of the candle and reverse there.

Also, the idea that a tall body commonly shows support in the middle of the candle is probably incorrect, at least based on these tests. Price is no more likely to stop near the middle of the body than anywhere else in the candle body.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. How do I set a laser printer to stun?