Here are some terms that might provide some insight during market discussions where you find yourself confused about the nomenclature:
Buyers and Sellers
There are only two groups of people in the stock market. There are buyers and sellers. We want to find out which group is in control of the price action now. We use candles to figure that out.
The picture above shows how candlesticks are constructed. The highs and lows of the time period are called the “wicks” and the open and close form the “body”. The candle itself is the “range”. When stocks close at the bottom of the range we conclude that the sellers are in control. When stocks close at the top of the range we conclude that buyers are in control.
If a stock closes at the top of the range, this means that buyers were more aggressive and were willing to get in at any price. The sellers were only willing to sell at higher prices. This causes the stock to move up.
If a stock closes at the bottom of the range, this means that sellers were more aggressive and were willing to get out at any price. The buyers were only willing to buy at lower prices. This causes the stock to move down.
Where a stock closes in relation to the range tells us who is winning the war between buyers and sellers. This is the most important thing to know when reading candlestick charts.
We can classify candles in two categories: wide range candles (WRC) and narrow range candles (NRC). Wide range candles state that there is high volatility (interest in the stock) and narrow range candles state that there is low volatility (little interest in the stock).
Wide range candles
If we know that stocks tend to move in the direction of wide range candles, we can look to the left of any chart to gauge the interest of either the buyers or sellers and trade in the direction of the trend and the candles.
The importance of this cannot be overstated! You want to know if there is interest in the stock and if it is being accumulated or distributed by institutional traders.
Narrow range candles
Narrow range candles imply low volatility. This is a period of time when there is very little interest in the stock. Looking at the chart above you can see that these narrow range candles often lead to reversals (up or down) because:
Low volatility leads to high volatility and high volatility leads to low volatility. So, knowing this, doesn’t it make sense to enter a stock in periods of low volatility and exit a stock in periods of high volatility? Yes.
This resource outlines a procedure for plotting support and resistance zones.