Understanding the Shooting Star Candlestick Pattern in Trading

The shooting star candlestick pattern is a technical analysis tool frequently used in financial markets to signify potential trend reversals. Its formation suggests a temporary upward movement followed by a significant sell-off, implying a potential shift from bullish to bearish market sentiment. Traders often utilise this pattern alongside other indicators to make informed trading decisions.

If you are a trader looking to understand the ins and outs of this pattern, here we are with a detailed guide to help you grasp everything you need to know.

What is the Shooting Star Candlestick Pattern?

The shooting star candlestick pattern is a significant tool in technical analysis used by traders to identify potential reversals in price trends. It forms when the market is in an uptrend and indicates a potential trend reversal from bullish to bearish sentiment. Recognised for its distinct appearance, the pattern consists of a single candlestick with a small real body positioned at or near the lower end of the price range and a long upper shadow or wick. This upper shadow is notably longer, usually at least twice the length of the body, resembling the shape of a shooting star, hence its name.

The pattern represents a specific price action scenario: an initial rally or upward movement followed by a sudden retreat or sell-off within the trading period, causing the price to close near its opening level. This occurrence signifies that despite the initial optimism among buyers that drove prices higher during the session, sellers managed to push the price significantly lower by the session’s close. This contrast between the high point of the session and the closing price forms the long upper shadow.

Traders interpret the shooting star as a potential warning sign of a trend reversal, suggesting that the momentum trading may be shifting from bullish to bearish. However, it’s essential to consider this pattern within the broader market context, incorporating other technical indicators or price action signals for confirmation before making trading decisions. When observed in conjunction with other confirming factors, the shooting star pattern can provide valuable insights into potential changes in market direction, assisting traders in managing risk and making more informed trading strategies.


Several distinctive features traders characterise the pattern look for when analysing price charts. It comprises a single candlestick demonstrating a few key attributes:

  1. Small Real Body: The pattern typically displays a small-bodied candle positioned near the lower end of the price range, indicating minimal price movement between the session’s opening and closing.

  2. Long Upper Shadow/Wick: Its most prominent feature is an extended upper shadow or wick at least twice the length of the candle’s body. This shadow represents the distance between the session’s high and the closing price.

  3. Uptrend Precedence:

    The shooting star forms during an uptrend, signifying a potential shift in market sentiment from bullishness to bearishness.

    These defining characteristics highlight the struggle between buyers and sellers during the trading session, with the long upper shadow indicating the sellers’ ability to drive prices down from the session high, hinting at a possible trend reversal. Traders interpret these features to assess potential changes in market direction and make informed trading decisions.

How to Identify a Shooting Star Candlestick?

Identifying a shooting star candlestick pattern involves recognising specific visual elements within a price chart:

  1. Uptrend Context: The pattern typically emerges during an uptrend, indicating an upward market movement before its appearance.

  2. Small Real Body: Look for a small-bodied candlestick near the lower end of the price range, reflecting minimal price variation between the session’s opening and closing.

  3. Long Upper Shadow: The most crucial aspect is an extended upper shadow or wick that’s at least twice the length of the candle’s body. This shadow represents the distance between the session’s high and the closing price.

  4. Closing Position: The candle generally closes near its opening price or slightly lower, showcasing the selling pressure that pushed prices down from the session’s high.

    By examining these features within a price chart, traders can identify the shooting star pattern. It serves as a potential signal for a trend reversal, suggesting a shift from bullish to bearish sentiment, prompting traders to consider their market positions accordingly.

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Trading Strategies with Shooting Star Candlestick Patterns

Trading strategies involving this pattern typically revolve around its indication of a potential trend reversal. Traders often combine this pattern with other technical analysis tools for confirmation and implement various strategies:

  1. Confirmation with Indicators: Traders often seek confirmation from other indicators or candlestick patterns. For instance, they might look for overbought conditions using indicators like the Relative Strength Index (RSI) or combine the shooting star with other reversal patterns, such as bearish engulfing patterns, for added confirmation.

  2. Wait for Confirmation Candle: Some traders prefer to wait for the next candle after the shooting star to confirm the reversal. They look for a bearish candlestick (such as a red or black candle) that closes lower than low to validate the reversal signal.

  3. Entry and Exit Strategies: Traders might consider entering short positions (selling) after the shooting star formation to capitalise on the potential downtrend. Stop-loss orders are often placed above the high of the shooting star to manage risk. Similarly, traders could set profit targets based on support levels or previous price action.

  4. Contextual Analysis: Understanding the broader market context is crucial. Traders analyse the timeframe, overall trend, support and resistance levels, and volume to validate the shooting star’s significance. For instance, a shooting star on a daily chart might carry more weight if it appears near a significant resistance level.

  5. Risk Management: Implementing proper risk management strategies is vital. Traders might employ position sizing techniques to control the amount of capital at risk on each trade. Additionally, they may use trailing stops to protect profits as the potential downtrend develops.

  6. Multiple Timeframe Analysis: Combining the shooting star pattern with analysis across various timeframes helps confirm the reversal signal’s strength. A shooting star on a higher timeframe, such as a weekly or monthly chart, might indicate a more potent reversal than a shorter timeframe.

    Traders should remember that no single candlestick pattern guarantees a successful trade. Considering the broader market context, using risk management techniques and employing confirmatory signals to make informed trading decisions during the shooting star pattern is crucial.

Example of Shooting Star Candlestick Pattern

Suppose a trader noticed a prolonged uptrend in ABC Pharma, a pharmaceutical company. After diligent analysis, he/she identified a shooting star candlestick pattern on ABC Pharma’s daily chart.

Recognising the significance of this pattern, the trader cautiously initiated a short position the next trading day, considering the potential trend reversal indicated by the shooting star. He/she set a stop-loss slightly above the pattern’s high to manage risk.

With a conservative approach, the trader aimed for a profit target aligned with key support levels. This strategic move integrated risk management while leveraging the shooting star’s implication of a shift in sentiment.


The shooting star candlestick pattern is a potential indicator of a market sentiment shift. Its appearance during an uptrend warns traders of possible exhaustion among buyers and an impending reversal to bearish sentiment.

This pattern prompts traders to exercise caution, reassess their positions, and consider implementing risk management strategies or capitalising on potential downtrends. While not infallible, the shooting star’s relevance lies in its ability to signal potential trend reversals, aiding traders in making informed decisions and adjusting their trading strategies accordingly in various financial markets.


The primary risk associated with the shooting star candlestick pattern is its reliance on a single price formation. As with any technical analysis tool, false signals can lead to erroneous interpretations.

Recommended Read: Hammer Candlestick Patterns

Relying solely on this pattern without considering broader market context or confirmation from other indicators can result in misleading signals and potential losses. Traders must exercise caution, use risk management techniques, and combine the shooting star pattern with other analytical tools to mitigate the risk of making incorrect trading decisions based solely on this formation.

Difference Between the Shooting Star and the Inverted Hammer

The shooting star and the Inverted Hammer are candlestick patterns that resemble each other due to their similar shapes, but they appear in different market contexts and convey contrasting signals.

  1. Shooting Star

    • Appears during an uptrend

    • Signals a potential trend reversal from bullish to bearish

    • Characterised by a small body near the low of the session and a long upper shadow, at least twice the length of the body

    • Suggests selling pressure after an initial rally, often seen as a bearish sign

  2. Inverted Hammer

    • Occurs during a downtrend

    • Indicates a potential reversal from bearish to bullish

    • Features a small real body near the high of the session and a long lower shadow, at least twice the length of the body

    • Implies buying interest after an initial decline, often considered a bullish signal

Criteria Shooting Star Inverted Hammer
Market Context

Appears in an uptrend

Occurs in a downtrend

Reversal Signal



Candlestick Shape

Small body, long upper shadow

Small body, long lower shadow


Mastering the shooting star candlestick pattern equips traders with a valuable tool to discern potential trend reversals. While its appearance during uptrends warns of market sentiment shifts, prudent utilisation, in conjunction with risk management and confirmation indicators, empowers traders to make more informed decisions in navigating the dynamic financial markets.

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