Afternoon update. This may be the last post of the day as I'm not liking the action today; just a little better than breakeven so far despite some good chances. Market is bouncing around more than I'd expected and my timing is off.
Okay, last post of the day. How many of you were as completely caught off guard by that afternoon move as I was?
I'm sure it was pretty obvious on any chart setup that something unusual had hit the market around 3:00 ET. This means of course that "all bets are off." When the market starts reacting to news then whatever trends had been in play are pretty much called off and you have to adjust to the new reality.
On this particular chart setup, the clues that news has hit are (a) lots of fast-forming bars, much quicker than normal (there are indicators you can use to measure how fast bars are forming on a tick chart if you find this info useful); and (b) a surge way past the outer envelope that just keeps on going.
If you're in a trade when this happens, hopefully you have your stop in place. If you're not in a trade, then you shouldn't enter one until things settle down because the normal rules no longer apply.
I can't really argue with what you said here generally but, for some of the more experienced they can kick some butt on this stuff. I suspect your aware of this but hesitate to share that with the less experienced for fear they will lose thier shirts. I guess my point is that to me the same rules apply but things happen at a much faster rate and for the uninitiated it can be a blood bath but the well versed can recognize a potential opportunity and do very well quickly
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Certainly many analysts were caught off guard today because of the decision to tap into the oil reserve. Not many analysts were expecting that as soon as today. So the volatility it created was reflected on our charts to the downside and then when the austerity plan for Greece was accepted we saw a positive reaction but despite of these news it is interesting to note from a supply/demand point of view where price turned and how most of the time the ping pong game was going on between high volume nodes. Although the movement appeared random it was done within set limits.
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I believe that there are significant turning points in the markets that can be traded successfully but that are hard to capture intraday in real time. The initial reaction to a news event, as far as I'm concerned, is untradeable. I'm sure HFT algorithms and other fast-paced traders can capture these moves, but I don't really have a way to do so.
After the initial reaction, when the news is percolating its way through the markets, then you can take a stab. If I'm trading during a volatile news-driven period then I assume that the moves in either direction will be larger and sharper than usual. This means that if I use my normal stop size, it's very likely to be hit. So trading these periods becomes a matter of either (a) increasing stop size and decreasing number of contracts traded, so as to keep risk at your normal level; or (b) increasing stop size and leaving your normal number of contracts in place, meaning that you're voluntarily taking on more risk in exchange for a potentially greater reward.
If the news is truly a "game-changer," then these trades can be the most profitable ones you ever take. If you're wrong, then the initial news reaction turns out to be a "headfake" and you take a loss. Controlling the size of that loss during volatile conditions is the tricky part.
For me personally, I take a lot of swing trades based on this approach. If I see a significant reversal that I interpret as a change in psychology, I'll jump in anticipating that a turn has occurred on the daily chart. As swing trades, stop placement is much different from my usual 12-tick approach for intraday scalps -- if the stop goes below the swing low on the daily chart, you're usually quite far from the stop so it may be necessary to scale back size significantly or even switch to an ETF rather than futures in order to keep the risk acceptable.
Today's reversal is the kind of move that easily could mark a significant swing low on the daily charts. We've seen this kind of thing time and again at all the significant swing lows during the bull market. Then again we are still below some significant resistance points (like 1295-1300 on the SPX) so the move is still unconfirmed at this point. For now I am positioned long for a swing trade but did not take on massive size as the move could fail at resistance. If it breaks above resistance with conviction, then I'll add.
Worldwary - Just want to say thanks for posting these trades the past few days. I realize it's difficult to do this and trade at the same time, but I think what you've posted is valuable. At least I know I am learning from and enjoying it. Look forward to seeing more.
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