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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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Picture of Bumper.
Picture of the head's law.
Chart Patterns: After the Buy
Getting Started in Chart Patterns, Second Edition book.
Trading Basics: Evolution of a Trader book.
Fundamental Analysis and Position Trading: Evolution of a Trader book.
Swing and Day Trading: Evolution of a Trader book.
Visual Guide to Chart Patterns book.
Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns 2nd Edition book.

Bulkowski's White Spinning Top

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Candles Chart
Small Patterns
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 06/15/2018
25,090 -84.83 -0.3%
11,074 64.50 0.6%
678 5.01 0.7%
7,746 -14.66 -0.2%
2,780 -2.83 -0.1%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 06/14/2018
25,750 or 24,500 by 07/01/2018
11,350 or 10,600 by 07/01/2018
695 or 645 by 07/01/2018
8,000 or 7,500 by 07/01/2018
2,850 or 2,700 by 07/01/2018

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.

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 white spinning top acts randomly. Thus, you cannot tell ahead of time which way price will breakout. Its frequency ranks second only to the black spinning top and that means it is as prolific as bugs in your garden. Overall performance ranks a distant 69, where 1 is best out of 103 candlestick patterns. Once price breaks out (a close above the top or below the bottom of the spinning top) it does not trend far before reversing. I really do not see any benefit to this candle.

White Spinning Top: Important Results

Theoretical performance: Indecision
Tested performance: Reversal 50% of the time
Frequency rank: 2
Overall performance rank: 69
Best percentage meeting price target: 83% (bull market, up breakout)
Best average move in 10 days: -3.63% (bear market, down breakout)
Best 10-day performance rank: 58 (bear 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 white spinning top candlestick
White Spinning Top
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White Spinning Top: Discussion

The white spinning top is an unremarkable candle, so let me tell you about it (that's a joke). It has a small white body but tall shadows and it acts randomly. That means the breakout can be with or against the prevailing price trend equally.

The best average move 10 days after a breakout is a drop of 3.63% in a bear market. A good move would be 6%, so the white spinning top falls well short of that.

White Spinning Top: Identification Guidelines

Number of candle linesOne.
Price trend leading to the patternNone required.
ConfigurationLook for a small white bodied candle with tall shadows.
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White Spinning Top: 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. White spinning top candles that appear within a third of the yearly low perform best -- page 705.
  2. White spinning tops with shadows taller than the median outperform those shorter than the median -- page 706.
  3. Volume gives performance clues -- page 706.

White Spinning Top: Example

Black and white spinning top candlesticks on the daily scale

The chart shows black and white spinning tops on the daily scale. The candle at A is a black spinning top because the body is black, small, and the candle has shadows taller than the body. This one occurs in a downward price trend, but the breakout is upward. Thus, it acts as a reversal. And a breakout occurs when price closes either above the top or below the bottom of the candlestick.

Candle B is a white spinning top that appears in an upward price trend. Notice the small white body and tall upper and lower shadows. Price breaks out upward from this spinning top two days later, meaning the spinner acted as a continuation of the up trend.

Candles C, D, and E are also black spinning tops. Candles C and E act as continuations of the downward price trend whereas candle D is a reversal. Price enters and exits the candle from the top.

-- 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. Well, this day was a total waste of makeup.