What are the main differences between a Doji and a Spinning Top pattern?

Candlestick charts can reveal quite a bit of information about market trends, sentiment, momentum and volatility. The patterns that form in the candlestick charts are signals of such actions and reactions in the market. Doji and spinning top candles are quite commonly seen as part of larger patterns, such as the star formations. Alone, doji and spinning tops indicate neutrality in price, or that buying and selling pressures are, essentially, equal, but there are differences between the two and how technical analysts read them.

Doji candles resemble a cross or plus sign, depending on the length of the shadows. The prominent trait of a doji is an extremely narrow body, meaning that the open and close prices are the same or very nearly the same. The high and low for the day determine the length of this candle's upper and lower shadows. A doji is indicative of neutrality; when it is seen gapped above a previous hollow candle, it signals a reversal in buying momentum. Likewise, if a doji appears lower than a filled candle, it signals a reversal of the downward trend.

Spinning tops are quite similar, but their bodies are larger, where the open and close are close. The main difference is a spinning top always has long legs on either side, indicating a large variance in the high and low. A spinning top also signals weakness in the current trend, but not necessarily a reversal. If either a doji or spinning top is spotted, look to other indicators, such as Bollinger Bands, to determine the context to decide if they are indicative of trend neutrality or reversal.