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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 Thrusting

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As of 04/19/2018
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Thrusting: Summary

The thrusting candle name is an unusual one, but one that makes sense. The thrusting candle begins with a downward price trend and a black candle appears. The next day a white candle opens below the prior low, but closes near the mid point of the prior body. The thrusting part is the white candle gapping open lower but soaring into the body of the black candle. It is not a complete piercing because the candle stops below the mid point of the black body.

The thrusting candle is supposed to act as a continuation of the downward price trend, but testing shows that it acts as a bullish reversal more often. Still, I consider the performance as near random since it is difficult to predict the breakout direction with any accuracy. The thrusting candle appears mid list in the frequency rankings (56th), so you should be able to find them in your neighborhood grocery store. The overall trend performance rank is quite good. In fact, the thrusting candle pattern works best in a bear market, but suffers in a bull market.

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Thrusting: Important Results

Theoretical performance: Bearish continuation
Tested performance: Bullish reversal 57% of the time
Frequency rank: 56
Overall performance rank: 15
Best percentage meeting price target: 65% (bull market, up breakout)
Best average move in 10 days: -5.92% (bear market, down breakout)
Best 10-day performance rank: 20 (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 thrusting candlestick
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Thrusting: Discussion

The thrusting candle is supposed to act as a bearish continuation candle, but actually performs as a bullish reversal 57% of the time. That is what I call "near random." The overall performance rank is 15th out of 103 candles, which is very high up the list.

The best average move 10 days after the breakout is a drop of 5.92% in a bear market. That ranks 20th. I consider moves of 6% or more to be good, so this is close enough for government work, as they say.

Thrusting: Identification Guidelines

Number of candle linesTwo.
Price trend leading to the patternDownward.
ConfigurationLook for a black candle in a downward price trend followed by a white candle that opens below the prior low but closes near but below the midpoint of the black candle's body.
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Thrusting: 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. Thrusting candles that appear within a third of the yearly low perform best -- page 806.
  2. Select tall candles for the best performance -- page 807.
  3. Avoid trading the thrusting candle as part of a reversal of the primary downtrend -- page 808.

Thrusting Example

The thrusting candlestick on the daily scale

The chart shows a thrusting candlestick pattern circled in red on the daily scale. Price trends downward leading to the candle pattern, but only for a few days unless you consider the longer view. Then a black candle shows followed by a white one. The white one opens below the closing black marubozu and closes near but below the midpoint of the black candle's body.

This thrusting candle acts as a reversal of the downward price trend because price closes above the top of it. That upward price trend lasts all of a day before another reversal happens. The new reversal takes price lower, forming a sort of triple bottom before a longer-term reversal takes hold and price rises.

A head-and-shoulders bottom (bottoms 1, 2, and 3) is a better choice for this chart pattern

-- 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. If you're smoking in here, you better be on fire!