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Bulkowski's Gravestone Doji

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As of 02/20/2019
  Industrials: 25,954 +63.12 +0.2%
  Transports: 10,627 +9.81 +0.1%
  Utilities: 746 +2.71 +0.4%
  Nasdaq: 7,489 +2.30 +0.0%
  S&P 500: 2,785 +4.94 +0.2%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 02/14/2019
26,000 or 24,600 by 03/01/2019
10,900 or 9,900 by 03/01/2019
755 or 725 by 03/01/2019
7,700 or 7,050 by 03/01/2019
2,825 or 2,650 by 03/01/2019

Written by and copyright © 2005-2019 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. Some pattern names are the registered trademarks of their respective owners.

My book, Encyclopedia of Candlestick ChartsEncyclopedia of Candlestick Charts book., pictured on the left, takes an in-depth look at candlesticks, including performance statistics.

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Many people look at a gravestone doji with alarm, especially during an uptrend. They believe that it signals a bearish reversal. It does, but only 51% of the time. I call that random. The trend after the reversal does not amount to much, placing the performance rank at 77 out of 103 candles where a rank of 1 represents a trend that really moves. There are exceptions, of course, and a gravestone doji can signal a lasting trend change. The analysis I conducted (see my Candlestick Encyclopedia book) highlights several tips to identify gravestone doji candles that outperform. See the above link.

Gravestone Doji Important Results

Theoretical performance: Indecision to bearish reversal (during up trends)
Tested performance: Bearish reversal 51% of the time
Frequency rank: 42
Overall performance rank: 77
Best percentage meeting price target: 79% (bear market, up breakout)
Best average move in 10 days: 5.09% (bear market, up breakout)
Best 10-day performance rank: 27 (bear market, up breakout)

All ranks are out of 103 candlestick patterns with the top performer ranking 1. "Best" means the highest rated of the four combinations of bull/bear market, up/down breakouts.

The above numbers are based on hundreds of perfect trades. See the glossary for definitions.

The ideal gravestone doji candlestick
Gravestone Doji
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Gravestone Doji Discussion

The actual, tested, behavior of the gravestone doji matches the theoretical performance: indecision or randomness, packaged into a tight little bundle of joy. Price closes at the bottom of the candlestick and price should breakout downward most often, which it does.

The gravestone doji is rare in a bear market, which I find odd. That can be due to the dearth of bear markets, but the ratio of bullish to bearish sightings is about 15 to 1.

Once price breaks out, the performance is lousy, ranking 77 -- near the bottom of the list. That means price does not trend far after a breakout. However, after an upward breakout in a bear market, price moves higher by 5.09% in 10 days, which is quite good. When you consider that price closed at the bottom of this candlestick, the climb is even higher (because I measure from a close above the top of the candlestick as the breakout, and do not start counting from the bottom of the doji). Using the height of the candle projected in the direction of the breakout shows that the trend meets the predicted target 79% of the time, which I consider acceptable.

Gravestone Doji Identification Guidelines

Number of candle linesOne.
Price trend leading to the patternNone required.
ConfigurationLook for a candle with a tall upper shadow and little or no lower one. The opening and closing prices should be within pennies of each other.
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Three Trading Tidbits for Gravestone Doji

If you want a few bones from my Encyclopedia of candlestick charts book, here are three to chew on. The pages refer to the book where the tips appear.

  1. Gravestone doji candles that appear within a third of the yearly low perform best -- page 233.
  2. Gravestone doji candles taller than the median show price that moves about 50% farther after the breakout than those shorter than the median -- pages 233-234.
  3. Ignore gravestone doji in congestion areas -- pages 234-235.

Gravestone Doji Example

The gravestone doji candlestick on the daily scale

The daily chart shows a gravestone doji candlestick (A) at the top of a short up trend. Notice how the opening and closing prices are at the bottom of the candle line with a tall upper shadow. In this example, price trends upward for a few days leading to the gravestone doji and then reverse direction -- falling. Price continues lower following the general market down.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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See Also

Written by and copyright © 2005-2019 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. Some pattern names are the registered trademarks of their respective owners. So many stupid people and so few asteroids.