Bar, Line, and Candlestick Charts

Types of Charts

Although there are many different types of charts which stock, traders of the stock, futures and forex markets use, the most common, which we will review below, are the line chart, the bar chart, and the candle stick chart.

Line Charts

A line chart is the most basic type of chart as it displays the least amount of data. Very simply, line charts display only the closing price of an instrument and are used by traders who do not care about viewing the open, high, and low prices or when only the close price is available.

Example of a Line Chart:

Bar Charts

In addition to the close price, bar charts also show the open, high, and low prices for the time period selected. The name of the chart comes from the fact that the high and low of the instrument for the time period selected is displayed as a two points connected by a vertical line or bar. The open and close are then displayed as short horizontal lines placed across the vertical lines.

As you can see from the chart below bar charts display a much more detailed picture of the price movement of a particular security than do line charts.

Example of a Bar Chart

Candlestick Charts

Candlestick charts (which are also sometimes referred to as Japanese candlesticks because they originated in Japan) display the most detail for the price movement of a security of the three chart types listed here. A candlestick chart is similar to a bar chart with one significant difference – in addition to displaying the open, high, low and close prices, candlestick charts use different colors to represent when the open is higher than the close and vice versa.

In general when the open price for the time period selected is lower than the close, white or unshaded candle form and when the open is higher than the close a black or shaded candle forms. I say in general here in reference to the colors of the candles as sometimes instead of shaded and unshaded different colors such as red for down days and green for up days are used.

On a candlestick chart the thick or colored part of the data points is referred to as the body of the candle and the thin lines at the top and bottom (which represent the space between the open/close and the high/low for the time period selected are referred to as the wick.

I use bar charts since i have a small monitor & i need to see the last 9 months on my daily charts.

Bar charts and candlestick charts patterns are the same. candlestick is ez on the eyes.