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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 Stick Sandwich

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Market
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 09/18/2017
22,331 63.01 0.3%
9,515 -31.61 -0.3%
739 -7.54 -1.0%
6,455 6.17 0.1%
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Tom's Targets    Overview: 09/14/2017
22,450 or 21,500 by 10/01/2017
9,750 or 9,200 by 10/01/2017
775 or 730 by 10/01/2017
6,650 or 6,200 by 10/01/2017
2,600 or 2,425 by 10/01/2017

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.

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 stick sandwich is a wonderful name for this candle pattern, thank you very much! But I had nothing to do with naming it, of course. The candlestick is supposed to act as a bullish reversal in theory, but actually performs as a bearish continuation most often. It has a frequency rank of 59, and that means you should be able to see several examples along your daily commute to work. The overall performance rank is quite high and that speaks of a trend that, well, trends.

Stick Sandwich: Important Results

Theoretical performance: Bullish reversal
Tested performance: Bearish continuation 62% of the time
Frequency rank: 59
Overall performance rank: 14
Best percentage meeting price target: 67% (bull market, up breakout)
Best average move in 10 days: 7.43% (bear market, up breakout)
Best 10-day performance rank: 11 (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 stick sandwich candlestick
Stick Sandwich
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Stick Sandwich: Discussion

The stick sandwich is supposed to be a bullish reversal, as I mentioned, but testing shows it acts as a bearish continuation 62% of the time. The overall performance rank is 14th and that tells me the price trend after the breakout is a good one. Drilling down into the numbers shows that the stick sandwich shines after an upward breakout, but the results from downward breakouts (after 10 days, that is), is lousy. If you ignore the 10 day limitation on the trend, reversals (upward breakouts) outperform downward ones.

The best average move 10 days after the breakout is a rise of 7.43% in a bear market. That ranks 11th for performance. I consider moves higher than 6% to be good ones, so this candle does well.

Stick Sandwich: Identification Guidelines

CharacteristicDiscussion
Number of candle linesThree.
Price trend leading to the patternDownward.
ConfigurationLook for a black candle in a falling price trend. The second candle is white and it trades above the close of the prior day. The last candle is a black one that closes at or near the close of the first day.
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Stick Sandwich: 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. The position of the closing price helps detect reversals of the downward price trend -- page 716.
  2. Buy the stick sandwich as part of a downward retrace in an upward price trend -- page 715-716.
  3. Patterns within a third of the yearly low tend to act as continuations most often -- page 716.

Stick Sandwich: Example

The stick sandwich candlestick on the daily scale

The stick sandwich appears on the daily chart circled in red. Price trends downward into the first black candle, which happens to be a tall one in this example. Following that is a white candle that trades above the close of the prior day. The last candle in the triplet is another black candle that closes at or near the close of the first day.

This stick sandwich has price trending downward into the pattern and eventually price breaks out downward, too, meaning this stick sandwich is a bearish continuation pattern. A downward breakout occurs when price closes below the bottom of the candlestick pattern. Here, that takes about a week before that happens, but happens it does and price resumes the downtrend at about the same velocity at which it entered the candle.

Since stick sandwiches that reverse the downward price trend post better moves, that is the way to trade this candlestick. Look for an upward primary trend and a stick sandwich to appear as part of a downward retrace. That is not the setup shown in the chart.

-- Thomas Bulkowski

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See Also

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. <-------The information went data way ----->