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Reading order flow - big vs small players
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Reading order flow - big vs small players

  #1 (permalink)
Elite Member
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Reading order flow - big vs small players

Just started intraday trading the ES. I for the most part only look at the dom and time/sales. Today I was seeing larger lot orders on the buy side throughout the day, 400-600 lot blocks, being purchased. Price remained fairly stable with a small bias to the upside. Then price might slowly trickle back down. volume and action was fairly low all day.

Am I incorrect in thinking that these large sized buys that were taking place over the entire day would indicate an institutional buyer? It ended up ramping up a decent bit at end of the day. Sp I'm thinking seeing this accumulation, especially in larger blocks, throughout the whole day was a nice indicator of the later run up. Any thoughts or advice? Thanks

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  #3 (permalink)
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There's very few rich dumb people. Most large lot trades are by professional traders or institutions. That said, you shouldn't just be looking at order size, because many automated firms trading millions into the market will trade hundreds of 1 lot trades rather than 1 large order to hide their presence.

I would just opening up a tick chart, with volume and average trade size indicators. You can determine average trade size by doing

V / T

V = Volume
T = Tick (The tick chart setting you are using.)

If you are looking at a 233 tick chart, then you know 233 trades took place in that bar. All you need to do is Volume / 233 to determine the average trade size.

You'll usually want to look for high or low volume peaks, with an average trade size confluence.

You'll see a lot of times on the low of day or extreme swing lows volume coming in with spikes in the average trade size as well. In extreme swing highs you may see very low volume (exhaustion) or in some cases big volume of profit taking/selling if its the high of day.

Most people I've seen from Google searches who just trade the DOM end up losing money, or quitting by the end of their forum thread, because it's an ego thing. "Hey look at me, I don't need charts!." But in my opinion there's no better method of day trading than analyzing volume and average trade size in tick charts.

I personally use 233 tick for scalping/trade entries and 512/1200 charts for analyzing the volume, swing highs, swing lows, low of day, high of day, etc. I like to take lows or highs reversals with lots of volume or very little, and I also look for consolidation breakouts where there's small range but a lot of volume. I use average trade size for confluence. Nothing beats supply and demand. Buy when the big boys buy and sell when the big boys sell.

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