Ever notice how a stock’s price sometimes drops for a while, pauses, then starts to fall again? 

Technical analysts refer to this formation as a “neckline continuation” and search for it as an indicator that the downward trend will probably continue. But what is meant by a neckline continuation? And how do you spot them on a chart?

In this article, we are going to explain the “on neck” candlestick formation which usually indicates a continuation of the neckline trend. We will describe its appearance, the reasons it takes shape and how you can apply this knowledge to improve your trading outcomes. Let’s get into it.

Unraveling the On Neck Candlestick Pattern

The on neck pattern in candlestick charts shows that the current downward trend will likely keep going. Traders find this shape interesting because it helps them predict what might happen soon in the market. It’s made of two candles – first, a big black one, then a small white one that closes only a little bit higher than the low of the black candle before it. The pattern appears when prices are going down, suggesting that those selling still dominate even after a brief period where people were buying.

In the area of trading stocks and options, there is a pattern called on neck. It gives a small hint that there is still strong selling happening and it probably means prices will keep going down. This pattern happens when the price starts higher at opening but then buyers cannot keep pushing the price up, so sellers take over again and make the price close almost as low as it was the day before. The fact that purchasers have not changed the current direction is an important detail, it shows that the negative market feeling is still powerful.

For people who trade, the on neck pattern is an important sign for deciding what they should do next. It does not make sure that prices will keep going down but it makes it more likely, so it is a good spot to start selling or think about leaving if you already have buys. The appearance of this signals to traders that there could be more drops coming, so it is a very important tool for someone doing technical analysis.

Grasping the importance of the on neck pattern’s occurrence within the broader market context is essential. Its formation is crucial, but its position during a downtrend and subsequent price actions are key to guiding trading decisions. Like other technical analysis tools, utilizing additional indicators or corroborating patterns, such as the bearish engulfing pattern, can enhance the reliability of predictions made with the on neck candlestick pattern. 

The Mechanics Behind the On Neck Pattern

The on neck candlestick pattern creation is an interesting event that shows what’s happening in the market and how traders are feeling. This pattern appears when certain situations come together during a falling trend, giving traders hints that the downward movement might keep going.

The on neck pattern begins with a big black (or red) candle, which shows that on this day, the people selling had more control and made the price go down a lot. This kind of candle means many investors feel negative about it and you usually see it when prices have been falling for some time. This candle being here makes it possible for what we call an on neck pattern to start showing up.

Tomorrow is very important for the on neck pattern to take shape. It starts with a higher opening, showing that at first, people feel positive about it or there might be a small effort by buyers to bring prices up. But this feeling of hope does not last long because the price cannot keep up at the higher levels. The day ends with a little white or green candle that finishes just a bit more than the low of the black candle before it. The end of this is very important because it has to happen at the same level or lower than the beginning of the first candlestick for meeting what is required by the pattern.

To correctly recognize, people who trade should make sure the close of candle two is nearly at the same level as the low of candle one. This closeness is important for telling on neck pattern apart from other similar shapes and to verify that it suggests prices will likely keep going down.

The criteria for the on neck pattern are straightforward, yet they contribute significantly to trend analysis by signaling the likelihood of a continuing downward trend. It is an advantageous method for traders aiming to comprehend the short-term fluctuations in pricing amidst an overarching market decline.

Deciphering Market Sentiment with the On Neck Pattern

The on neck candlestick pattern acts like a view into the market’s mind, giving us clues about what traders feel and hinting at possible next moves in prices. When this pattern shows up while prices are going down, it reflects a fight between those wanting to buy and sell, usually showing that sellers keep having the upper hand.

When the on neck pattern appears, it starts with a big negative candle that shows sellers have much power and the mood is very bearish. Then, next day opens higher and there is a short positive candle which might make you think at first that buyers want to change the direction of trend. However, this strong upward candle did not manage to rise much above the low of yesterday and closed close to it instead, showing that the push from buyers was not successful.

The situation shows a mental struggle. The bulls try to fight back but it’s not strong enough to change the ongoing downward trend. The on neck pattern thus indicates that even if there are short-term bullish actions, the bearish feeling stays powerful and will probably keep influencing the market. People who analyze this pattern may conclude that sellers have control still, and any positive sentiment isn’t strong to start a change in trend.

For people who invest or trade, it is very important to understand the mental effects of the on neck pattern. It shows that prices might keep going down, so it’s a good time to think about strategies for when markets fall or wait before making positive moves until clearer signs of change are seen. The on neck pattern shows what people feel about the market right now and also helps traders to guess where it will go next, so they can make their trading plans match with how the market is moving.

Strategies for Trading with the On Neck Pattern

The on neck candlestick pattern suggests that the current downward trend will keep going. It provides valuable information for traders who want to improve where they start and end trades. Understanding what this pattern means helps traders to better plan their strategies, especially when they want to sell stocks at a high price before the value drops or when planning to close out long positions.

When you see an on neck pattern where the second candlestick finishes right at or just a little higher than the bottom of the big downward candle before, it could be good to start selling short. The reasoning is to expect that the downward trend will keep going, using the negative movement to make possible profits. But it is very important to wait for this sign before acting, so we don’t start too early because of patterns that are not fully formed.

To handle risk well, it is suggested to put a stop-loss order slightly over the top of the initial candlestick in the pattern. The position minimizes possible losses if the market suddenly turns and the expected downward trend does not persist.

Observing the quantity of trades is essential to make sure that the on neck pattern is accurate. When the trading amount grows on the days that create this pattern, and if more is traded on the second day than on the first one, it can make the signal seem more trustworthy. Traders need to include looking at trade volumes to make their decisions better.

For those trading with long positions, if an on neck pattern appears, it could be a sign that they should think about leaving the position to avoid potential losses. The pattern indicates that there is not much chance for the price to increase soon, so it might be good to think again about keeping investments.

Traders should wait before entering into long positions right after they see an on neck pattern, because it usually indicates that prices will continue to go down. I find it safer to wait for obvious signs of a market going up before thinking about buying in, so I don’t end up investing while prices are still falling.

By using these methods, traders can go through the markets better, use the on neck pattern to guide their trading choices, control dangers and maybe benefit from how this pattern predicts market feelings and trends.

In Practice: Analyzing an On Neck Pattern Example

In the fast-moving environment of day trading, it is very important to notice small details in candlestick formations such as the on neck pattern. On March 25th, the PayPal (PYPL) stock chart displayed this specific pattern within a span of two hours, just following a time when people mentioned that the stock had fallen enough to consider purchasing. The on neck pattern showed up, having two candlesticks that nearly line up flat next to each other and create a clear ‘neckline,’ which usually suggests the current trend will keep going.

The second candle, resembling a spinning top, indicated a moment of indecision. Together with PayPal’s victory in court about telling fees for their digital wallet on April 2, the shape of the next candle at an important price level hinted that maybe there would be less desire to sell and possibly prices could start going up again soon. 

Two-hour interval chart of PayPal (PYPL) showing an on neck candlestick pattern with a horizontal neckline, indicative of potential market movement.

PayPal’s On Neck Pattern: A Signal for Day Traders

But the on neck pattern shows that the decrease in price may continue for a while. Even if market experts feel good and think prices might go up, the red candle looking like a spinning top means people are still not sure what will happen. It is smart for traders to pay close attention and wait for additional confirmation before they choose their trading positions.

This example, created within one day, gives a very good chance for day traders to learn how short-term patterns can show small drops even when there is a strong overall upward market feeling. As PayPal moves through the ups and downs of market shifts, patterns such as the on neck give traders understanding that helps them make trading choices when they consider it with new news and other signs.

On Neck Pattern vs. Counterattack Lines

The on neck candlestick pattern and counterattack lines are important signs in technical chart reading. They give clues about possible changes in market direction or the ongoing trend. But, they suit different feelings in the market and situations, so they have their own special uses for people who trade.

The on neck pattern typically means that a downtrend will keep going. It appears when the market is in a down phase and you see one big black candle, then a smaller white candle that starts upper but ends close to the previous day’s low point. The pattern shows that even though there was a short moment where the prices went up, the force of selling is still stronger and it probably means that the decrease in price will keep going.

However, counterattack lines signify a possible change or opposition to the current direction, whether it is rising or falling. These are made up of two candles with different colors but close at nearly the same price, no matter where they started or what trend came before them. This pattern shows a fight between those wanting to buy and those wanting to sell where no one really wins much, which could mean the trend might change or at least stop for a while.

Important differences are in what they mean and how they form. The on neck pattern clearly shows the market might keep falling, especially if it’s already going down, while counterattack lines suggest prices could change direction or stay the same without showing if it will go up or down. Furthermore, the on neck pattern needs a particular sequence of candles changing from bearish to bullish within a downward trend, whereas counterattack lines concentrate on the closing prices of two contrasting candles without considering the previous trend direction.

Although there are differences, both shapes show that how people feel about the market is important and there’s always a fight between those who want to buy and those who want to sell. You need more candles after or other signs before you make decisions based on these patterns because if you just use them by themselves, it can be easy to understand wrongly since sometimes they give wrong hints in markets where prices change fast.

On Neck vs. In Neck

The on neck and in neck patterns of candlestick, they look similar by name and how they are, but show a little bit different feelings in the market because of small changes in how they appear. These patterns happen when prices go down and mean that probably the downward trend will keep going, but also give delicate information about what is happening with buying and selling.

The on neck pattern shows up with two candles during a falling trend: first, there’s a big dark candle, then comes one that is smaller and light-colored. What matters most is the end point of the white candle; it finishes just a little higher than the bottom of the black one before it, making it look like sitting on top of the neck of that first big candle. The pattern shows that even though there is a small try from the bulls seen by the white candle at the start, the bears get power back fast and make the price fall to close almost at its lowest point. This gives us a sign that it is probable for this falling trend to keep going.

On the other side, the in neck pattern also forms in a similar way with one big black candle and then a smaller white candle after it. But what makes the in neck pattern different is that the closing price of this second candle is almost the same as that of first, like it sits ‘inside’ or close to where the previous body ends. This pattern shows a stronger feeling that the market will go down compared to the on neck pattern because it presents an even weaker attempt by buyers to push prices up before sellers keep control and continue making prices fall.

Here’s what they look like side by side: 

 Illustration showing the basic shapes of in-neck and on-neck candlestick patterns, highlighting their distinctive configurations on a chart

In-Neck and On-Neck Patterns: Key Indicators in Candlestick Charting

Grasping these fine points is crucial for traders. The on neck pattern signals a slight bullish interruption in a strong downtrend, and the in neck pattern reveals an immediate bearish reaction following a brief bullish uptick, similar to the three black crows pattern, with both suggesting a continuation of the downward trend. Nonetheless, traders should seek additional confirmation from subsequent price movements or supplementary indicators, as these patterns alone do not guarantee the persistence of the trend.

Pros and Cons

The on neck pattern in candlestick charts, which is common in technical analysis, gives traders a detailed perspective of market feelings, especially when prices are falling. Its main benefit is that it shows possible ongoing drops in an existing downward trend, helping traders get ready for more decreases in price. By identifying this trend, traders can carefully position their trades to match the expected market movement, which may improve their prospects of succeeding in unpredictable markets.

A big advantage of the on neck pattern is that it’s simple and easy to spot, which helps traders with different amounts of experience. When this pattern comes right after a long downward price candle, it gives an obvious sign that there’s still strong interest in selling even though there was a short moment where prices went up. This pattern is thus a useful instrument for traders to predict market trends and adjust their trades in response.

However, the on neck pattern has its limitations, one significant issue being the potential for false signals. Often, the on neck pattern may emerge in candlestick charts at times when markets fail to follow the anticipated trajectory, leading to misinterpretations and potential financial losses. This unreliability underscores the importance of seeking additional confirmation from subsequent price movements or other technical signs, such as volume indicators like on balance volume (OBV), or utilizing moving averages to affirm the pattern’s implication of a continuing downtrend.

Furthermore, the success of the on neck pattern can change depending on various time periods and situations in the market. When markets are very unstable or when not many trades are happening, this pattern might not be so dependable. This means that traders should be careful and look for extra proof before they make any trading decisions.

To sum up, while the on neck candlestick pattern offers valuable insights into potential market continuations, it’s important to acknowledge its limitations. Enhancing the on neck pattern with other technical analysis tools and incorporating investment signals, along with a disciplined approach to risk management, is crucial for leveraging its benefits and mitigating its drawbacks within a comprehensive trading strategy.


Studying the on neck candlestick pattern shows its detailed importance in technical trading, giving traders a way to understand if downtrends will keep going. Its easy-to-see signals in certain market situations highlight how useful it is for making smart trading choices. The real effectiveness of the on neck pattern depends on how well it is combined with a wider, diverse trading plan. When traders see its value together with different analytic methods, they can more effectively understand and move through the complicated feelings and changes in the market.

However, depending too much on the on neck pattern or just one technical sign can be risky. Sometimes this pattern can give wrong signals which makes it even more important to check with other market signs and really understand how the market works. For those who trade and are ready to understand the details of candlestick shapes, and also follow a strong way of handling risks, using the on neck pattern is very useful as part of different trading plans. In financial markets that always change, learning and using patterns such as on neck regularly can lead to possible success; this is made better by what we learn from experience and looking back at past actions.

On Neck Candlestick Pattern: FAQs

What Key Factors Enhance the Reliability of an on Neck Candlestick Pattern?

The trustworthiness of an on neck candlestick pattern gets better when there are a few important things present. If many shares were traded on the day this pattern appeared, it makes the pattern more believable. Moreover, if the pattern appears in a wider trend that is going down and it’s placed near other signals from technical tools, this can greatly make its ability to predict stronger. When following candles or different tools of technical analysis give matching signs, they make the trustworthiness of the pattern firmer.

How Can Traders Distinguish between a True on Neck Pattern and Similar Formations?

Traders can tell the real on neck pattern apart from others that look like it by looking at its special requirements. For this pattern, the candle of day two has to start below where the last one ended and finish right on or a little bit over the end price of before in a trend that goes down. These details are important because how close these ending prices are is what makes on neck different from other patterns that mean prices might keep falling.

Is the on Neck Pattern More Effective in Certain Market Conditions or Trading Sessions?

The on neck pattern often works better when the market has a lot of volatility. In these situations, it’s more accurate in forecasting that downward trends will keep going. It can happen in different trading sessions, but its usefulness is most accurately assessed by considering the current market feelings and nearby price movements.

Can the on Neck Pattern Be Combined with Other Technical Indicators for Better Results?

Certainly, integrating the On Neck pattern with other technical tools such as moving averages, RSI, or MACD can lead to more informed trading decisions. These indicators provide additional confirmation and can enhance decision-making by supporting the bearish trend continuation signals indicated by the On Neck pattern and highlighting important instances of convergence and divergence within the market.

What Precautions Should Traders Take When Trading Based on the on Neck Pattern?

When you trade with the on neck pattern, make sure to check for extra signals after the pattern appears so you don’t get tricked by incorrect signs. To manage risk well, it is important to use stop-loss orders. Traders need to think about the general direction of the market too and other things that could change prices. To reduce risk, it’s good to use different trading strategies instead of just one pattern because the market can change in ways we might not expect or understand.