Friday, February 22, 2008

Late Day Rally

The last half-hour in today's market saw a recovery of the Nasdaq to bring it from the lows of the day to just shy from closing the opening gap. So, where does that leave us in the broad picture? As far as Japanese Candlestick methodology teaches us, today's candle has a number of meanings. First of all, it can be perceived as a Hammer. A hammer candlestick has three criteria: (1) The real body is at the upper end of its trading range (the color of the real body is not important). (2) It has a long lower shadow that should be at least twice the height of the real body. (3) It should have no, or a very short, upper shadow. Also of importance for Hammer candlesticks is that it come after a decline (even if the decline is short-term).
Today's candlestick can also be considered a bullish Harami Pattern. A harami is a small real body (either red or green) contained within "an unusually long" green or red real body candle. From Steve Nisson's Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques: "For harami all that is required is that the second real body be within the first real body, even if the shadow of the second day is above or below the prior day's high and low."
So, perhaps we have some reason to be slightly bullish-leaning? Who am I kidding? The market did one of two things today; sold off or chopped around narrow ranges. It's obvious the last half-hour brought in the short-sellers covering their positions. Today's hammer pattern was a weak one (nearly a doji, which would tell us there's plenty of indecision in the market and a trend reversal is suspect).

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