How to Identify & Trade Bearish Engulfing Patterns

Bearish engulfing patterns happen typically at the top of uptrends. They are a two candlestick pattern setup. The first candle is a small bullish candle followed by a second larger bearish candle that completely engulfs the first candle. Look for price to fail second candle and hold to confirm bearish continuation. Watch our video on how to identify and trade bearish engulfing patterns.

What Is a Bearish Engulfing Pattern & How to Identify These Patterns?

A bearish engulfing pattern consists of two candlesticks that form near resistance levels where the 2nd bearish candle engulfs the smaller 1st bullish candle. Typically, when the 2nd smaller candle engulfs the first, price fails and causes a bearish reversal.

Bearish engulfing patterns are two candlestick patterns found on stock charts that will help you trade more successfully.

The bearish engulfing pattern signals the possible end of a bullish trend. Confirmation is needed for this pattern to set up and break. Watch our video above to learn more bearish engulfing patterns. 

Main Points You Need to Know:

  • This pattern can happen on any time frame, but it is more significant if it occurs after the stock has been climbing up.
  • The body of the stick , not the wicks is what matters. The body of the declining candle must engulf the candle before it that was a green candle.
  • In a perfect world, both candles are big candles versus the other candles around them and they have TONS of volume on the volume candles below. The bigger the candles  the more solid the setup.
  • If the market is choppy, it isn’t as strong a signal. Look for trending markets to get better trade signals from this candlestick pattern.

Buyers and sellers are in a constant battle with each other for control. The fight is what forms stock charts. Candlesticks by themselves, whether long legged doji candlesticks or high wave candlesticks, tell a story.

When you group the different candlestick together they form key areas of support and resistance as well as patterns. These patterns and levels are tools that traders pay close attention to and use to their advantage (bookmark our penny stocks list and stock watch lists pages, which are updated daily).

Basics of Bearish Engulfing Patterns

bearish engulfing patterns

They are made up of two candlesticks. The first candle is a small bullish candlestick with small wicks. The second candlestick is a bearish one that engulfs the small bullish one.

The name of the chart pattern implies the what the future may bring. A bearish trend engulfing the previous bullish one to reverse it.

This pattern typically occurs at the top of a bullish trend. You can read this signal as a peak or a slowing down in it’s moves up. It’s good to consider the prices of the stock that occurred before the bearish engulfing candle as well as after it.

Bullish momentum is coming to an end when bearish engulfing candles form. This is especially relevant when second candles price opens higher than the first candles price.  The more the second candle falls down, should be lower than the first candle, the more significant the downtrend signal is. Looking for more stock training? Take our free stock trading courses to help you get started and master the stock market.

Technicals of Bearish Engulfing Patterns 

When they occur at the top of an uptrend it’s one of the most important factors of a reversal. Bearish engulfing candles can happen anywhere on a chart but the most powerful reversal signal is when it forms at the top (try our stock picks service free for 14 days).

The pattern has formed at a key resistance level that the bulls can’t break. The bears don’t want price to climb anymore so they step in. The highs of the bearish engulfing candle should be the highs of the pattern.

The next candle after the bearish engulfing pattern close lower than its predecessors. That’s a pretty significant signal that the trend reversal is taking place. It should start making lower lows.

It’s important to remember that small candlestick patterns like this one can break down all the time. It’s important to see what technical analysis is telling you. These indicators can help to solidify a reversal or make you aware of a trap.

How to Trade Bearish Engulfing Patterns

  • How to trade bearish engulfing patterns:
  • Watch for 1st bullish candlestick to form
  • Next, watch for 2nd larger candlestick to engulf 1st smaller bullish candle
  • Then, watch for 3rd candlestick to fall below 2nd
  • Traders take a short position once price breaks below the 2nd candlestick
  • Place stop above the top of the 2nd candle
  • Some traders take a long position once price breaks above 2nd candle
  • Then place stop below the 2nd candle
  • Pair this strategy with the ABCD pattern for extra good results 🙂

bearish engulfing patterns

Technical analysis when paired with candlesticks become a fantastic tool in helping to predict moves when stock trading. Candlesticks form key levels of support and resistance as well as tell stories and form patterns. The more you study them the better off you are. Candles LEAD the charts, so they are the most important thing to study!

When you couple that with moving average lines, RSI and MACD, you have tools to help you trade. These indicators are not a crystal ball to help you see into the future. If that were the case, everyone would be rich. Technical analysis is very key to identifying bearish engulfing patterns.

They do provide confirmation or hints of coming moves though. If RSI is overextended and a bearish engulfing candle forms, you know a reversal is probably going to happen. The degree of the reversal isn’t known yet.

Price could go down only one day before going back up. In contrast, price may end up completely reversing and fall. Look at where price is in regards to moving average lines. All of these play a role in how a stock will trade. Read our posts on the simple moving average formula and VWAP trading strategy to learn more above trading with moving average lines.

What Other Patterns Are There?

Stock charts are made up of big and small patterns. Sometimes a reversal pattern such as bearish engulfing patterns set up and break down. That can be because of the larger pattern forming.

It’s incredibly important to be able to zoom out and see the big overall patterns like symmetrical triangle patterns or bull pennants.

If a small bearish pattern forms inside of a large bullish pattern, it can go either way. Being able to see the larger patterns can keep you from buying or selling at the wrong time. Take our free online trading courses for more insight into patterns and how to trade them.

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