Feel like the market’s about to pull a fast one? 

That gut feeling, the pregnant pause before a trend whipsaws the other way? The harami cross, that unassuming two-candle duo in technical analysis, is like a cryptic pregnancy test for the market. This “pregnant moment,” a smaller candle cradled within a larger, whispers of indecision and potential change. It’s the market’s subtle language, a pregnant pause before the tide turns. 

For seasoned traders, it’s a nudge to reassess, a whisper in the trading winds. Bullish or bearish, this pregnant pause deserves a closer look, for it might be the market’s way of saying, “buckle up, something’s about to change.”

Dissecting the harami cross reveals its hidden language, its power to predict shifts, sharpen instincts, and ultimately, drive informed decisions. So, put on your technical analysis game face, because we’re about to deliver the harami cross, baby and all, and crack the market’s cryptic code.

Decoding the Harami Cross Pattern

The harami cross pattern is a subtle yet telling formation in technical analysis, often signaling a shift in market trends. Understanding its structure is key to grasping what it reveals about the market’s psychological undercurrents.

This pattern features two candles: the first, a long candle in line with the current trend, and the second, a Doji—a candle whose opening and closing prices are almost identical, creating a cross-like shape. The harami cross can emerge in both uptrends and downtrends. In an uptrend, the pattern starts with a bullish long candle, followed by a Doji. In a downtrend, it’s the opposite: a bearish first candle, then a Doji.

In Uptrends: The harami cross’s appearance in an uptrend signifies a potential turning point. The initial bullish candle indicates strong buying pressure, but the emergence of the Doji introduces doubt, hinting at a possible loss of bullish momentum and a market pivot.

In Downtrends: Conversely, during a downtrend, the harami cross starts with a bearish candle, signaling strong selling pressure. The subsequent Doji indicates a shift, suggesting the sellers might be losing their grip, potentially heralding an upward market reversal.

The significance of the harami cross lies in its psychological implications. It represents a change in market sentiment—from confidence in the ongoing trend to uncertainty and indecision. This change often precedes a directional shift in the market.

In summary, the harami cross pattern is a crucial indicator for traders, signaling potential market trend reversals. Its presence calls for close scrutiny as it frequently precedes significant price direction changes, mirroring the evolving sentiment among market players. It serves as a cue for traders to reconsider their positions in anticipation of a new emerging trend.

The Dynamics of the Harami Cross 

The harami cross isn’t merely a technical pattern; it’s a tale of evolving market dynamics, capturing the nuanced interplay between buyers and sellers. This pattern emerges through a sequence of candles, each contributing its part to the narrative of market prediction.

Our story opens with a substantial first candle, aligning with the existing trend. In an uptrend, it’s distinctly bullish; in a downtrend, notably bearish. This candle is a testament to the prevailing market mood – be it bullish enthusiasm or bearish control. Its significant size and direction mirror a market moving decisively, with apparent sureness in its trajectory.

Enter the Doji, the second act of our story. This candle presents a stark contrast to its predecessor, with open and close prices almost identical, forming a cross. Resembling a spinning top candle in its small real body, the Doji, nestled within the body of the first candle, signals a pivotal shift in the market. It represents a pause, a momentary halt in the market’s previously unswerving direction.

The Doji, encased within the first candle’s range, visually symbolizes a stalemate. It’s a critical juncture, hinting that the trend’s momentum is waning, and market confidence is diminishing. It suggests we might be at the brink of a new market chapter.

In this setting, the harami cross is a foreteller of potential shifts, signaling the market might be ready to change direction. For traders, it’s a sign to be vigilant, readying for a possible trend reversal. The harami cross, in its subtle intricacy, encapsulates a key transitional moment, offering insights into shifting market sentiments and emerging movements.

Types of the Harami Cross Pattern 

In technical analysis, the harami cross pattern manifests in two primary forms: bullish and bearish. Each type sheds light on market trends and potential reversals, characterized by their specific market conditions.

Bullish Harami Cross Pattern

The bullish harami cross symbolizes hope in a downtrend. It starts with a large bearish candle, signifying the strong selling pressure typical of downtrends. This candle represents bearish dominance, with sellers pushing prices lower.

The plot shifts with a Doji’s emergence. This small, cross-shaped candle, forming within the large bearish candle, marks a change. It signals reduced selling pressure and a loss of bearish control.

The bullish harami cross’s importance lies in its potential to indicate a trend reversal. It suggests the downtrend may be losing momentum, with a bullish reversal possibly in the offing. Confirmation is crucial, though. A following bullish candle, closing above the Doji, can confirm this reversal, hinting at a strengthening buyer presence and a potential new uptrend.

Side-by-side comparison of bullish and bearish harami cross candlestick patterns.

Bullish (left) & bearish (right) harami cross patterns: Doji candles hint at market indecision before potential trend reversals.

Bearish Harami Cross Pattern

Conversely, the bearish harami cross appears in uptrends, signaling a possible bearish reversal. It begins with a large bullish candle, indicative of strong buying momentum. This candle reflects the bullish force behind the uptrend.

The narrative changes with a Doji within the bullish candle, indicating a shift to indecision and questioning the bullish momentum.

The bearish harami cross indicates a shift from bullish to bearish trends, hinting at a weakening uptrend and potential downward reversal. Essential for confirmation, a bearish candle closing below the Doji reinforces this signal. So the presence of a subsequent bearish engulfing candle can further confirm the onset of a bearish trend, suggesting an increasing dominance of sellers.

In both variants, the harami cross is more than a simple chart pattern. It’s a story about shifting market forces, where existing momentum is questioned, and new trends may be forming. For traders, these patterns are vital signals, prompting a reevaluation of the market and potential strategy adjustments in response to emerging trends.

The harami cross, in its dual forms, provides crucial insights into market sentiment and trend reversals, making it a key tool for technical analysts.

Key Enhancers for the Harami Cross

The harami cross pattern, while significant in technical analysis, often necessitates extra technical elements to bolster its dependability. These enhancers not only reinforce the pattern’s predictive capability but also offer traders enhanced confidence in interpreting the signal.

  • Volume Analysis: Volume is pivotal in affirming the harami cross. An uptick in trading volume with the emergence of the Doji, relative to the preceding candle, signals increased market interest, lending credence to a possible reversal. On the flip side, low volume may point to a lack of market conviction, diminishing the pattern’s trustworthiness.
  • Preceding Trend Strength: The preceding trend’s vigor can influence the harami cross’s impact. A solid, enduring trend before the pattern sets a more credible stage for a potential shift. In a bullish harami cross, a marked downtrend lends the pattern greater validity, just as a strong uptrend does in a bearish harami cross.
  • Proximity to Support and Resistance Levels: The harami cross’s location in relation to critical support and resistance levels can elevate its importance. A bullish harami cross near a substantial support level could suggest a stronger chance of an upward shift. Conversely, a bearish harami cross close to a resistance level might hint at a more likely downward turn.
  • Complementary Technical Indicators: Utilizing other technical indicators like moving averages, RSI (Relative Strength Index), or MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence) can add extra layers of verification. For example, a bullish harami cross combined with an oversold RSI may indicate a more robust bullish reversal.
  • Price Action Confirmation: Subsequent price movements following the harami cross are critical. A bullish or bearish candle closing outside the Doji’s range in subsequent sessions can confirm the reversal, enhancing the pattern’s predictive accuracy.

In essence, the harami cross, though a powerful pattern by itself, sees its market reversal forecasting significantly improved when paired with these additional technical factors. Traders integrating these enhancers in their harami cross analysis can make more informed and assured decisions in their trading tactics.

Strategies for Trading Harami Cross Formations

Effectively trading the harami cross pattern calls for strategic patience, sharp observation, and risk management. This pattern, indicative of potential market shifts, presents traders with opportunities to capitalize on momentum changes. Below are some pragmatic strategies for trading harami cross formations:

  • Wait for Confirmation: Crucially, await confirmation after the harami cross. This may come as a candlestick closing beyond the Doji’s range, aligned with the expected reversal. For a bullish harami cross, this means a close above the Doji; for a bearish one, a close below.
  • Volume as a Verifier: Monitor trading volume closely. A volume surge on or after the harami cross day strengthens the reversal indication. A high-volume move towards the new trend suggests a solid market commitment to this direction.
  • Use of Stop-Loss Orders: Implementing stop-loss orders, such as trailing stop-loss, is essential in risk management for harami cross trades. Place these orders just beyond the pattern’s extremes – below the Doji’s low for a bullish harami cross, and above the Doji’s high for a bearish one. Trailing stop-loss orders can protect gains while accommodating profitable price movements.
  • Combine with Other Technical Tools: Increase the harami cross’s reliability by integrating it with other technical analysis instruments. Support/resistance levels, moving averages, and momentum indicators can offer supplementary context and confirmation.
  • Position Sizing and Risk Management: Manage risks by tailoring position sizes based on the harami cross signal’s strength. Exercise caution in position sizing, particularly if the pattern appears in a volatile market or if the confirmation signals are weak.
  • Market Context Consideration: Always factor in the broader market backdrop when trading the harami cross. The pattern’s significance may vary depending on overall market conditions, the asset’s volatility, and prevailing market sentiments.

By adopting these strategies, traders can effectively utilize the harami cross pattern within their technical analysis repertoire. While indicative of potential reversals, this pattern should be applied judiciously and as part of a comprehensive trading strategy.

Harami Cross in Action: A Practical Illustration

The harami cross, along with other popular candlestick patterns like hammer candlesticks, is widely used by traders to identify potential trend reversals. But how do these patterns actually play out in real-world scenarios? Let’s delve into a specific example involving CRISPR’s stock (CRSP) to see how the harami cross, akin to the insight offered by hammer candlesticks, manifested in a bullish trend.

Setting the Stage: CRSP’s Uptrend

Imagine CRSP riding a steady uptrend throughout December 2020. Investors are confident, and the stock price reflects this optimism. Then, on January 4, 2021, something interesting happened.

The Bullish Harami Cross Emerges

On January 4th, a bullish harami cross pattern formed on CRSP’s chart. This pattern is characterized by:

  • A long red candle: This represents the continuation of the uptrend.
  • A Doji candle: This smaller candle with virtually equal upper and lower shadows appears within the body of the previous red candle. This Doji signifies indecision and a potential shift in momentum.

CRSP Responds with Bullish Surge

Following the harami cross, CRSP’s stock price embarked on a significant upward journey. Over the next three days, it climbs from a low of around $150 to a high of $195. This roughly 30% jump in just three days highlights the potential power of the harami cross as a reversal signal.

Continued Momentum and Correction

The bullish trend continues for the next few days, with CRSP reaching a peak of $220 six days after the harami cross. However, as with most market movements, a correction phase eventually sets in. The stock price dips from its $220 high, but the overall uptrend remains intact.

Check out the harami cross form right in the middle of the previous bearish candle: 

Price chart of CRSP stock showing a bullish harami cross pattern on January 4, 2021, followed by a three-day rally. The Doji candle within the red candle indicates a potential trend reversal, which is confirmed by the subsequent price increase.

Harami Cross Signals Bullish Breakout in CRSP: This chart highlights a textbook bullish harami cross pattern (circled) on January 4, 2021, followed by a significant upward surge in CRSP’s stock price. This real-world example showcases the potential of the harami cross as a reversal signal for traders.

Key Takeaways from this Example:

  • The harami cross, while not a guaranteed indicator, can provide valuable signals for potential trend reversals.
  • Traders who recognized and acted upon this pattern in CRSP could have capitalized on the bullish movement.
  • Employing risk management strategies like stop-loss orders is crucial to protect gains and manage potential losses during periods of market volatility.


  • The harami cross is just one tool in a trader’s arsenal. It should not be the sole basis for trading decisions.
  • Always consider other factors like market context, technical indicators, and fundamental analysis before making investment decisions.

CRSP’s price movement in January 2021 serves as a classic example of the harami cross in action. However, as with any trading strategy, it’s crucial to remember that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Volatility remains a constant companion in the world of CRISPR, as evidenced by the recent dip despite FDA approval. Careful analysis and a comprehensive trading approach are always key. 

Pros and Cons

The harami cross, a respected element in technical analysis, presents definite advantages but also has its limitations. It’s important for traders to understand these to make well-informed decisions.


  • Early Reversal Signal: The harami cross is adept at signaling possible trend reversals early, helping traders anticipate and adapt to market momentum changes.
  • Ease of Identification: With its distinctive two-candle structure (a long candle followed by a Doji), the harami cross is relatively easy to identify, making it user-friendly for those new to candlestick charting.
  • Enhanced Market Insight: The pattern offers deeper insights into market sentiment shifts, from certainty to indecision, crucial in psychologically-driven markets.


  • Need for Confirmation: The harami cross suggests potential reversals but needs confirmation from subsequent candles or other technical indicators, which can sometimes delay actions.
  • Risk of False Signals: As with any technical pattern, the harami cross isn’t infallible and can emit false signals, especially in highly volatile markets.
  • Context Sensitivity: Its effectiveness can vary based on the market context and the strength of the prevailing trend. It’s less reliable in weak or ambiguous trends compared to strong, established ones.

In summary, while the harami cross is a valuable tool in technical analysis, it should be applied with caution. Traders should integrate it into a comprehensive strategy, using additional technical indicators and market analyses for balanced trading decisions. By recognizing its strengths and limitations, traders can more effectively employ the harami cross in navigating market trends.

Balancing Risk and Reward in Harami Cross Trades

Trading with the harami cross pattern is a delicate balance between risk and reward, akin to a tightrope walk. The pattern offers valuable insights into market reversals but also carries inherent risks and potential rewards, necessitating a strategic approach.

On the risk side, the distinctive appearance of the harami cross can be misleading, tempting traders into premature actions based on incomplete signals. Its reliance on subsequent confirmation adds complexity, where hasty or misinterpreted actions can lead to errors. Furthermore, the pattern’s effectiveness varies across different market conditions; it excels in clear trends but may struggle in volatile or uncertain environments. Recognizing these subtleties is key to mitigating risks and avoiding over-dependence on a single pattern. To help navigate these risks, traders might consider using trading alerts, which can provide timely information and insights to make more informed decisions.

Conversely, the rewards for skillfully trading the harami cross can be significant. It often acts as an early alert system, indicating a trend shift. For savvy traders, this means catching a new trend early, with the potential for considerable gains. The pattern also offers a framework for risk management, particularly in setting stop-loss orders to limit potential losses if the market deviates from expectations.

Additionally, utilizing trading signals can serve as a means to shield oneself from some of these risks, offering a layer of protection and aiding in more strategic decision-making. Mastering this approach not only maximizes opportunities presented by the harami cross but also enhances overall market trend navigation with greater confidence and control.

Tips for Trading Harami and Harami Cross Candlesticks

Effectively trading with harami and harami cross patterns requires technical skill and strategic insight. These patterns are valuable but must be used with a deep understanding of market dynamics. Here are advanced tips for traders incorporating these patterns into their strategies:

  • Contextual Analysis: Both harami and harami cross patterns are more meaningful within the broader market context. Evaluating overall trends, market sentiment, and recent price movements provides a backdrop for accurate pattern interpretation. A harami or harami cross following significant price changes or at key support/resistance levels often signals more reliable reversals.
  • Combining with Other Indicators: Use other technical indicators alongside these patterns to enhance their reliability. Tools like moving averages, relative strength index (RSI), and moving average convergence/divergence (MACD) can support the signals provided by harami and harami cross patterns. For example, a harami pattern near a moving average or in conjunction with an oversold RSI can strengthen the potential reversal indication.
  • Volume as a Verifier: Monitor trading volume closely. An increase in volume accompanying the pattern formation bolsters the signal’s validity. High volume during these patterns typically indicates robust market participation and commitment to the new trend.
  • Wait for Confirmation: Particularly with the harami cross, it’s crucial to wait for confirmation in subsequent candles. A reversal signal is more credible when followed by a candle closing in the direction of the expected new trend.
  • Risk Management: Apply strict risk management strategies. Setting stop-loss orders just outside the pattern’s range can help minimize losses if the market moves contrary to the anticipated direction.
  • Avoid Overreliance: While harami and harami cross patterns are effective, they shouldn’t be the sole basis for trading decisions. Overdependence on a single pattern can lead to biased interpretations. Balance their signals with a comprehensive analysis of overall market conditions and other technical factors.

By following these advanced tips, traders can more effectively utilize the harami and harami cross patterns. When integrated thoughtfully into a comprehensive trading strategy, these patterns can provide insightful entry and exit signals, enhancing a trader’s ability to successfully navigate market fluctuations.

Wrapping It Up

To wrap up, the harami cross pattern emerges as an indispensable tool in technical analysis, offering traders a distinct perspective on potential market reversals. Its unique formation – a prominent candle followed by a Doji – acts as a visual symbol of a shift in market sentiment, transitioning from a dominant trend to a phase of uncertainty. This pattern’s presence in both bullish and bearish scenarios serves as an early alert, signaling that the current market trend might be losing steam, and a turnaround could be on the horizon.

Yet, the true value of the harami cross lies in its integration with a thorough market analysis. Traders are advised to utilize this pattern within a larger strategy, blending it with other technical indicators and contextual market understanding for corroboration. This approach enhances prediction accuracy and supports more informed trading decisions. While potent, the harami cross should not stand alone but rather function as a piece in the intricate mosaic of market dynamics.

Embracing and adeptly using the harami cross pattern demands patience, sharp observation, and a dedication to ongoing learning. For traders who hone these skills, the harami cross provides invaluable insights, enabling them to steer through the ever-shifting currents of the financial markets with increased confidence and precision. 

Understanding the Harami Cross: FAQs

What Distinguishes a Harami Cross from a Standard Harami Pattern in Technical Analysis?

The main difference between the harami cross and a standard Harami lies in the second candle of the pattern. In a standard Harami, this candle is a small real body candle, but in a harami cross, it is a Doji – a candle where the opening and closing prices are almost identical. This Doji suggests a higher level of market indecision and a more balanced interplay between buyers and sellers compared to the small real body of a standard Harami. The presence of a Doji in the harami cross often indicates a stronger likelihood of a trend reversal.

What Market Conditions Are Ideal for the Emergence of a Harami Cross Pattern?

The harami cross pattern typically performs best in markets that have shown a strong and sustained trend, whether bullish or bearish. As a potential trend reversal indicator, it’s more reliable after a period of significant directional price movement. The pattern may not be as effective in quiet or sideways markets.

Can the Harami Cross Pattern Effectively Signal Both Bullish and Bearish Market Reversals?

Yes, the harami cross pattern can indicate reversals in both directions, depending on its context within the trend. In a downtrend, a bullish harami cross may suggest a shift towards an uptrend. In contrast, a bearish harami cross during an uptrend can signal a potential move to a downward trend.

What are Common Mistakes Traders Should Avoid When Interpreting the Harami Cross Pattern?

Traders should be wary of several typical mistakes while using the harami cross pattern. These include acting on the pattern without waiting for confirmation, which can help in avoiding bear traps, and depending solely on the pattern without taking into account the broader market context. Misjudging the pattern’s effectiveness in different market conditions is another error. Additionally, overlooking volume analysis is a common oversight, as an increase in volume can often reinforce the pattern’s reliability.

How Does the Reliability of the Harami Cross Compare as a Standalone Indicator versus When Used with Other Technical Analysis Tools?

 While the harami cross can be a potent indicator on its own, its reliability significantly improves when used alongside other technical analysis tools. As a singular indicator, it may occasionally give false signals or be ambiguous. However, its predictive accuracy is enhanced when combined with tools like trend lines, moving averages, and volume analysis. It is generally advised to use the harami cross as part of a comprehensive analytical strategy for more effective trading decisions.