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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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Chart Patterns: After the Buy
Getting Started in Chart Patterns, Second Edition book.
Trading Basics: Evolution of a Trader book.
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Bulkowski's Short White Candle

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Candles Chart
Small Patterns
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 12/10/2018
24,423 34.31 0.1%
9,877 -74.62 -0.7%
755 1.98 0.3%
7,021 51.27 0.7%
2,638 4.64 0.2%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 11/28/2018
25,350 or 23,650 by 12/15/2018
10,600 or 9,650 by 12/15/2018
765 or 730 by 12/15/2018
7,350 or 6,750 by 12/15/2018
2,750 or 2,580 by 12/15/2018

Written by and copyright © 2005-2018 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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The name of this candlestick describes its appearance: short and white. It acts as a reversal about 52% of the time and it is common with a frequency rank of 54. That is mid list. Performance is dreadful, ranking 85 out of 103 candle patterns, when a rank of 1 belongs to the best performing candle.

Short White Candle: Important Results

Theoretical performance: Reversal or continuation (indecision)
Tested performance: Reversal 52% of the time
Frequency rank: 54
Overall performance rank: 85
Best percentage meeting price target: 95% (bull market, up breakout)
Best average move in 10 days: -2.62% (bear market, down breakout)
Best 10-day performance rank: 61 (bull market, down 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 short white candlestick
Short White Candlestick
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Short White Candle: Discussion

In theory, the short white candle cannot make up its mind between a reversal or continuation of the existing trend. In the real world, it performs as a reversal 52% of the time, which is close to the theoretical indecision.

The candle appears less often than you might think, ranking 54 (mid way down the list of 103 candle patterns). Once price breaks out from the candle (a close either above the top or below the bottom of the candle), then price doesn't move far. The drop in a bear market is just 2.62%, well below the 6% move scored by the top players. The overall performance rank is 85, which is poor. Nevertheless, the one redeeming quality is price almost always meets the measure rule target (the height of the candle added to or subtracted from the breakout price for up/down breakouts, respectively). The best performance over 10 days ranks a dismal 61, where 1 is best.

Short White Candle: Identification Guidelines

Number of candle linesOne.
Price trend leading to the patternNone required.
ConfigurationA short candle with shadows shorter than the body.
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Short White Candle: Three Trading Tidbits

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. Short white candles that appear within a third of the yearly low perform best except after downward breakouts in bear markets -- page 165.
  2. Short white candles taller than the median show price that moves significantly farther after the breakout than those shorter than the median -- page 165 - 166.
  3. The candle frequently breaks out upward -- page 167.

Short White Candle: Example

The short white candlestick on the daily scale

No one cares about short white candles, but they do hint that the buying demand or selling pressure is waning. The day before the short white candle appears at A, a tall white candle prints on the chart, suggesting a powerful move underway. When the short white candle shows, the bulls and bears are almost evenly matched, but the bulls win out because the candle is white and not black. In this case, a small gap attests to the buying demand powering the stock higher but the short candle size is a clue to a potential reversal.

That happens a day later when a tall upper shadow pokes out from the next candle. Price declines for several days after that.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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Written by and copyright © 2005-2018 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. Jesus loves you! Everybody else thinks you're a jerk.