First trade today was a loss. Bought March s&p mini at 1295; bounced out at 1285. I always use 10 point stops on the mini. Ideally I would have bought at 1290 but it was already over that when I checked in at 6am. It ran up to 1297 so I took it at 1295. Seemed like a good trade, but then I watched the market plunge 15 points and my stop gets hit.
I then had a sell signal at 1280, set that up but if was never filled, thankfully. Had it been I would have placed a stop at 1290 and that would have gotten hit for another loss. Watched the market go back up, cancelled the sell order, then got a buy signal at 1290. That just got filled a few minutes ago so I'm long March mini s&p at 1290 with a stop working at 1280.
It's been a choppy day on the s&p.
I also trade the grains, but not today. No sir, not on one of the biggest market reports of the year. I'm going to watch the soybean and corn markets the next couple days and see how it trades this report. Soybeans have made a nice rally off the bottom but I'm wondering if that's just short covering.
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A little bit about my trading style. Not a day trader, which I think puts me in a distinct minority around here. Invariably many of my trades last only a day (see above) but I'll keep a good trade for as long as 3-4 days. All I trade is the mini s&p and the grains, either corn or soybeans. One day, after my account grows, I may expand.
I'm a trend follower who uses some ridiculously simply technical indicators for signals. That's it. Fundamentals? I don't really know what those are. I'm in the camp that feels that is reflected in the price, and I believe the big moves start when no one is looking.
I don't ever have profit targets. I just use trailing stops. I use 10-point stops on the mini s&p and 10-cent stops in the grains. For every 10 points or cents of profit I move the stop accordingly.
Discipline and patience are very important, and like all traders it's something I continue to work on. I feel I have reached maturity as a trader because I am now unfazed by wins and losses. Not totally, but for the most part. If I lose a trade, I just wait for the next signal. It took a while to get to this point.
To me, and I know I'm not the first to say this, trading is like playing poker or blackjack. You have to look for the hands where the odds are in your favor and be willing to go through a lot of crap in between. Just like a card player will go through lots of antes, folds and busts, a trader must go through lots of small losses to get the big fish.
Trading is not easy, but if you are disciplined and patient you can survive during the bad times, and if you do that you will be ready for the big moves where the money is made. To me, that's really it in a nutshell.
The s&p is down this morning after being higher overnight. Still have my long position from 1290 with a stop at 1280. Currently the March is at 1285 and I have a sell signal set up and confirmed at 1280. So if my 1280 stop gets hit I'll immediately place a sell order at that price.
I said I was going to wait, but I went ahead and bought March corn last night at 610. I thought long and hard about this, because this trade goes against my system in every way. It's basically a gut feeling that corn is putting in a low after yesterday's bearish report. It's a low risk bet, and it won't really hurt if I lose. I'm wondering if corn is going to do what it did after the June 30 report last year, when it locked down the then 30 cent limit, then gapped another 30 cents lower that night. That was the low for corn last summer, and it then rallied a dollar over the next two weeks.
Current positions: long March s&p at 1290; long March corn at 610. Keep the faith.
Stop got hit on corn for a 10-cent loss. The grains were looking strong overnight but fell in the day session. Picking bottoms is not easy when you run a tight stop. Not sure if I'll try that again.
The s&p continues to hover around 1280. Overall it was a lousy week. I like going into a long weekend with some profit but that's not going to happen. Oh well the losses have been manageable and there's always next time.
To recap, going into the weekend I was short March s&p from 1280 with a 1290 stop. The last hour or so of Friday's session saw the market run up strongly, and on Monday morning ( a holiday here in the US) my 1290 stop got hit for a 10-point loss.
The market had already set up a buy at 1290 so I took it, and it was filled shortly after the open Monday night. I then placed a sell stop at 1280. By the time I woke up this morning the market had hit and even gone a little above 1300, so I moved my sell stop to 1290. I'm now at break even, basically.
Last week was trying. I had three losses and a break even in the s&p. It would have been easy, after my loss yesterday when the market hit 1290, to just say screw it and sit out for a while. But I had the buy signal at 1290, I took it, and what do you know the market runs up another 12 points. Goes to show you, once again, that you have to stick with it. You have to keep trying. Sometimes the market will beat you down, but if you keep trying good things will happen.
It will be interesting to see what the market does at 1300.
Midday update: the March s&p continues to waffle in the mid 1290's. It's been in a solid uptrend since before Christmas, but for me at least there have been very few money making opportunities. I'm sure you could scalp for a few points here and there daytrading, but there just hasn't been a clear, established multi-day trend in my system. I use a 30 or 15 minute weighted moving average as part of my system, and the s&p just doesn't want to come off that line very far.
This happens. Sometimes one system is going nowhere while another is on fire. When I figure out how to do it I'll post some charts and explain my system some more.
Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.
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Success! Thanks Mike, I used Jing.
Ok. The line in my chart is a 180 period weighted moving average, and the bar chart is a 30 minute chart. This is March mini s&p since last Friday. Basically I look for closes above and below the WMA for buy and sell signals. I then place an order at the next number ending in 0. So you can see yesterday, 1/16, the market began closing above the WMA. When it hit 1290 I bought and placed a sell stop 10 points back at 1280. When the market went to 1300 this morning I moved the stop from 1280 to 1290. Just a little while ago this afternoon the market fell back down to 1290 and my stop was hit for a break even.
The market has now closed below the WMA but I won't take a sell unless it goes to 1280. We'll see what happens tonight.