The inverted hammer and shooting star look exactly alike, but have different implications based on previous price action. Both candlesticks have small real bodies (black or white), long upper shadows and small or non-existent lower shadows. These candlesticks mark potential trend reversals, but require confirmation before action.
The shooting star is a bearish reversal pattern that forms after an advance and in the star position, hence its name. A shooting star can mark a potential trend reversal or resistance level. The candlestick forms when prices gap higher on the open, advance during the session and close well off their highs. The resulting candlestick has a long upper shadow and small black or white body. After a large advance (the upper shadow), the ability of the bears to force prices down raises the yellow flag. To indicate a substantial reversal, the upper shadow should relatively long and at least 2 times the length of the body. Bearish confirmation is required after the shooting star and can take the form of a gap down or long black candlestick on heavy volume.
The inverted hammer looks exactly like a shooting star, but forms after a decline or downtrend. Inverted hammers represent a potential trend reversal or support levels. After a decline, the long upper shadow indicates buying pressure during the session. However, the bulls were not able to sustain this buying pressure and prices closed well off of their highs to create the long upper shadow. Because of this failure, bullish confirmation is required before action. An inverted hammer followed by a gap up or long white candlestick with heavy volume could act as bullish confirmation.
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