I'm trading crude oil since January for a living after learning from an extraordinary trader, but now I'm speciallizing in CL and I'm trying to read the price in the "times and sales" from ninja trader.
Does anyone know why it mostly trades 1 contract and sometimes it appears a block of 5 to 20.
The big ones have a platform that sends the orders from bloack 1 to 1?
It has to do with the way orders are matched and reported by the CME. For example, say I need to buy 100 CL contracts. If I lift the offer, let's say I find several traders, each of whom has an order in for a different amount of contracts. That trade will come across your time and sales in the pieces it transacts in, even though I was the only person on one side. So in other words, maybe it comes across as 1, 1, 4, 2, 1, 2, etc instead of 100.
Also, people can put in advanced orders like icebergs and growlers that essentially break up their trade into smaller trades. So, either way, you usually won't see big size fly across your tape in one piece.
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I don't believe this is accurate. If there was a visible 100 lot on the offer, if you lift the offer the T&S will show 100 lot transaction. If instead you broke your 100 lot up to 4x25. Then it would show 25, 25, 25, 25. ie. T&S shows the exact size that went to market.
Check and see if Ninja can be configured to show exchange implied pricing (for exchange matched spreads). I know X-Trader can be. I know nothing about Ninja, but with implied pricing enabled you would see more depth of market and quite possibly best bid/offer liquidity. CME and ICE will both match a firm outright order to fill a spread order in their Algo.
Another thought is to gain access to a WebICE screen. There are some amazingly large block trades in WTI going through there.