What's the Deal with These Colored, Filled and Hollow Candles?


Candlestick colors and fillings tell chartists the story of the trading day. Colored candlesticks are made up of four components in two groups. First, a close lower than the prior close gets a red candlestick and a higher close gets a black candlestick. Second, a candlestick is hollow when the close is above the open and filled when the close is below the open. The table below shows the four combinations.


Each candlestick reflects the day's price action. In particular, the hollow candlesticks tell us that a security moved higher after its open. A filled candlestick indicates that a security moved lower after the open. This is important information. Moving lower after the open reflects weakness, while moving higher after the open reflects strength.


Red-hollow and black-filled candlesticks also convey important information on price action. Take for instance the red-hollow (no, it’s not a bird). Even though the close was below the prior close (red), prices managed to move higher after the open (hollow). Despite closing lower on the day, there was some evidence of buying pressure during the day. The black-filled candlestick is the opposite. Even though the close was above the prior close (black), prices moved lower after the open (filled). Despite closing higher on the day, there was some evidence of selling pressure.

Arthur Hill
About the author: , CMT, is a Senior Technical Analyst at He has written articles for numerous financial publications including Barrons and Stocks & Commodities magazine. Focusing predominantly on US equities and ETFs, his systematic approach of identifying trend, finding signals within the trend, and setting key price levels has made him an esteemed technician. In addition to his CMT designation, Arthur holds an MBA from the Cass Business School at City University in London. Learn More
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