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Thursday, September 23, 2010

THREE BLACK CROWS - Bearish Candlestick Pattern

Three Black Crows (Bearish)

Three Black Crows is a top reversal / bearish reversal formation.
It could occur at the end of an uptrend, or during a bounce within a downtrend, or at the resistance.

This pattern consists of 3 consecutive long black candlesticks that appear in an upward price trend.
The opening price of Candles 2 and 3 of the pattern should be higher than the previous day's closing price (i.e. The prices open within the previous day’s body).
And all the 3 candles should close near or at their lows, and make new lows in each day.

Since all the 3 candles should close near or at their lows, the lower shadows of the Three Black Crows formation are normally short, or even no shadow in some cases.

This pattern is formed when the prices are in overbought condition, and indicate a sign that the bulls might have lack of conviction in the current uptrend. This uptrend has now reached levels where the bears have started to short the market.
On 1st day, due to increasing selling pressure, the price closes below its opening price.
On 2nd and 3rd days, it seems that as if the price wants to regain its former strength, as the price opens higher than the previous day’s close. However, by the end of each day, the sellers would regain control, causing the price to fall to a new closing low (i.e. the price closes at lower levels than previous day’s closing price).

The Three Black Crows pattern does not occur very frequently. However, when it does occur, traders / investors should be very alert, because their appearance indicates a period of strong selling pressure, and hence the reliability of this pattern is likely to be very high. If on the 4th day the stock is not able to show strength, then lower prices may potentially continue.

The reliability of this pattern tends to increase in the following conditions:
1) Longer black candlesticks’ body.
However, it should not be too long as well because if the black candlesticks are too long (over-extended), traders / investors would worry that the market could be oversold by now and hence may pause accordingly.
2) Shorter lower shadow of the candles.
3) The opening prices of the 2nd and 3rd days can be anywhere within the previous day's body. However, it is better to see the opening prices to be below the middle of the previous day's body.
4) Increase in trading volume.

Although the reliability of this pattern is likely to be very high, but it is always better to substantiate this signal with other technical indicators to confirm that the momentum is actually changing.

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* Options Trading Basic – Part 2
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