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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 Two Black Gapping

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Candles Chart
Small Patterns
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 06/18/2018
24,987 -103.01 -0.4%
11,050 -24.14 -0.2%
681 2.25 0.3%
7,747 0.65 0.0%
2,774 -5.91 -0.2%
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.

Two Black Gapping Candle: Summary

Two black gapping candle pattern acts as a continuation of the downward price trend. Look for two black candles that gap below the prior one and the second of the two candles has a lower high. That combination is simple enough and it appears often, so you will have no trouble finding it in real time trading or in a historical price series.

The exciting thing about this candlestick is that is performs so well, but a check of the numbers shows that all is not rosy. The two black gapping candles does best after an upward breakout, but performance after downward breakouts really suffers.

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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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Two Black Gapping: Important Results

Theoretical performance: Bearish continuation
Tested performance: Bearish continuation 68% of the time
Frequency rank: 29
Overall performance rank: 10
Best percentage meeting price target: 61% (bull market, up breakout)
Best average move in 10 days: 6.45% (bear market, up breakout)
Best 10-day performance rank: 14 (bull 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 two black gapping candlestick
Two Black Gapping
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Two Black Gapping: Discussion

The two black gapping candlestick acts as a bearish continuation pattern both in theory and after testing. The overall performance rank is 10, which it near the top (1) out of 103 candle types. The reason for that high score is that upward breakouts do well enough that downward breakouts do not have enough juice to pull the results lower.

The best average move 10 days after the breakout is a rise of 6.45% in a bear market. I consider moves of 6% or higher to be good, so this joins the few candle patterns that make the grade. The best performance rank is 14, which is also high on the list.

Two Black Gapping: Identification Guidelines

Number of candle linesTwo.
Price trend leading to the patternDownward.
ConfigurationLook for a price gap followed by two black candles. The second black candle should have a high below the prior candle's high.
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Two Black Gapping: 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. Two black gapping candles that appear within a third of the yearly low perform best -- page 848.
  2. Select tall candles for the best performance -- page 848.
  3. For the best performance, trade the two black gapping candles when the primary trend is downward -- page 850.

Two Black Gapping: Example

The two black gapping candlestick on the daily scale

This chart shows the two black gapping candlestick pattern circled in red on the daily scale. Price trends upward at a sedate pace then forms a series of small black candles, mostly trending lower. The next day, an opening black marubozu candlestick leads the way downward, gapping below the prior black candle. The following day, another black candle appears but this one has a lower high, just as it is required to have for a two black gapping candlestick. Price doesn't really pause on the way down from there, either.

Notice the price scale. The stock dropped from a peak of 13 to a low of 6 and change in a matter of weeks. Ouch.

The breakout from this candle is downward when price closes below the lowest low in the pattern. Since price trends downward into the two black gapping candlesticks and exits downward, the candle patterns acts as a continuation of the downward price trend.

-- 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. Not all men are annoying. Some are dead.