A bearish engulfing candlestick pattern is a reversal pattern, occurring at the top of an uptrend. The pattern consists of two candlesticks: 1) a smaller bullish candle (Day 1) followed by a 2) larger bearish candle (Day 2). The bullish candle real body of Day 1 is contained within the real body of the bearish candle of Day 2. On day 2, the market gaps up (typically interpreted as a bullish sign) however, the bulls run out of gas and do not push price very far before the bears take over reversing price down, not only filling in the gap from the morning’s open but also below the previous day’s open. A completed pattern warns of a high probability (at least for the short term) the uptrend is over. The larger the candle body and volume on day 2, the higher the probability of a reversal.
Taking a look at the weekly chart of the Dow Jones Transportation stocks you can see last week closed with that same bearish engulfing candle. Unfortunately for the bears, while last week’s candle did engulf the prior week, it was not overly large. In addition, the weekly selling volume was just slightly above average, nothing out of the norm. If you look to the immediate left at the most recent prior peak in November of last year, it too formed a bearish engulfing pattern where the gulfing candle was not only huge but was confirmed with excessive selling volume. Notice what happened immediately following. This is why you need to take notice when these patterns appear
I have been saying for a couple of weeks the market looks tired but was not yet telling us we had reached the end of this reversion to the mean bounce from last Christmas eve. With last week’s close though, the transports have thrown out the yellow caution flag warning long-term investors to likely expect further selling pressure and short-term traders to cash in their chips or at least tighten stops.