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BecomingaTrader Journal
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BecomingaTrader Journal

  #1 (permalink)
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BecomingaTrader Journal

Hey folks. First post to this journal. I'll add more about myself in a future post, but here's the trading basics.

How long have you been trading?
For about fifteen years, but it's only the last five when I've been focused upon trading as a career. I planned an exit strategy from a 20-year career in software project management that took me to full-time trading just a little over two years ago.

What's my focus?
ES and EC(6E).

What's your trading platform?
TradeStation is my primary platform+broker, and most of my custom indicators are in EasyLanguage. I also run NinjaTrader, along with Rancho Dinero's ACME Market Analytics package to provide volume profiling and MarketDelta-like footprints. I've considered moving to Investor R/T or MD, but I need to re-code my signals first. Some day, perhaps.

Trading style?
Trend, retrace, and counter-trend, just like many others. My nature is strongly contrarian, so I have to fight that monkey.

Setup, Indicators?
Range bars
- At least on the intraday charts, I'm all about range bars (momentum bars in TS).
Volume profile
- Gives me support/resistance areas for the day. I also watch low and high volume nodes created during the day for rejection.
33/99 EMA - These, combined with the CCI, tell me the trend.
CCI
- On trend days, I use this, along with the RSI for retrace entry, but I primarily use this as a derivative of price. It provides a different visual view, and I trade patterns off the CCI.
Stochastic RSI - With the ES, I find the Stochastic RSI better for entries.
Custom Volume Signals - I watch for skewed bid/ask volume ratios, especially at key S/R points or the edges of the Keltner channels
TICK - I don't actively trade off TICK, but I do have alerts that warn me when the TICK is skewed to the high or low in the first few hours or when extreme readings emerge.

Other questions?

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  #3 (permalink)
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2012-2-22 Trading Day - Chop Chop Chop


Choppy day today. The market did not give up much. I entered the day expecting the possibility of a trend day down, but my first trade, the first hour, and no trend alerts from the TICK and CCI indicator signaled otherwise.

4 trades today. All marked on the screenshot.
3 winners, 1 loser

Trade 1: Short, Retrace.
EMAs were in a downtrend. The slower 45CCI was not showing strong pushes down yet, but the 6CCI had retraced from above +100. No luck. Stopped out.

Trade 2: Short, Flush off Previous Close and LVN resistance
After gap close, there was a Flush signal (shown by the purple F!! marker), which is a high volume bar and highest high within a 5 bar lookback period that ALSO closes opposite the trend. On choppy days, these can be good signals when you're leaning against support/resistance. Price was also up against a low volume node (LVN) at 1361.50.

Trade 2: Short, Flush off Previous Close and LVN resistanceSame trade, and I almost didn't take it. I didn't like the fact that price just wouldn't go down, even though the SP500, in general, is overbought. Plus price had made a slightly higher low during the last move. I'd ignored the retrace trade because the setup was near identical to the Trade 1 loser, and it has failed, too. But when price broke back down through the 33EMA, I took the short. A bit of nervousness as it immediately moved up, but it never closed above the 33EMA, so I held for the best trade of the day.

Trade 4: Long, Flush off LVN
This was also a difficult trade to take--not because of the setup, but because I was biased to the downside today. But these are just the type of trades to take on a day like today. There was a significant LVN off the composite volume profile (profile runs from 1/10/2012 through today. See profile on the left of the second attached screenshot). I needed to watch my risk, because if price broke through, the context of the day would have changed, and the next logical LVN was at 1347.75. So I only entered with a 50% position. I scaled off half at 1 point and held the second for a possible reversal with a tight stop, but bailed when price rejected the Open. As it was, that was a decent exit, but I still give myself only an average score for execution.

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  #4 (permalink)
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If you don't mind me asking. Where can one get the volume profile and mp indicators for the ninja screenshot you posted? I haven't found mp and vp indicators that look that nice on ninja. Thanks for the journal.

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  #5 (permalink)
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Cloudy View Post
If you don't mind me asking. Where can one get the volume profile and mp indicators for the ninja screenshot you posted? I haven't found mp and vp indicators that look that nice on ninja. Thanks for the journal.

No problem. Those are from Rancho Dinero. It's not a free indicator, but you get many indicators for the price and great support.
Rancho Dinero | and Acme Market Analytics

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  #6 (permalink)
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2012-2-23 Trades

Ended the trading day early with only 2 trades. They were both profitable, but I was second-guessing my reads and feeling hesitant on my entries, so when the market slowed over noon, I decided to call it a day.

Trade 1: Short, Retrace
EMAs were starting to twine together, and the CCI was down but not down strong yet (which felt quite a bit like yesterday morning). When the Initial Claims numbers failed to lift the market, price broke down through the 33EMA with confirmation from the Stochastic RSI and the CCI crossing the zeroline. I only had two units in (I will trade up to 4 units), so I scaled out at 1pt, (which is normal for me) then held the runner until the Flush (F!!) signal at the Previous Low.


Trade 2: Long, Trend Change
This is what I meant by late entry. Price pulled back quickly from the test of 1350, but with no support there, I didn't trust it. The lowest negative NYSE TICK reading for the day was -442, so the market felt thin, and I was worried that stronger negative readings were coming. So when price returned to the 33EMA, I was actually looking for a retrace. But it helps to be flexible. With no retrace signal, and price going back up through the 33EMA, I took the long, again with only 2 units. Scaled the first at 1pt, then held the last until the first range bar closed down.
NOTE: There is a Flush signal two bars before my entry which seems to signal a retrace, but that occurred at what was, at the time, the volume bulge in the intraday profile. Flush signals often occur then since high volume is being transacted, so they aren't nearly as useful as those out in the thin volume areas.


Trade 3: Short, Flush off Previous High, LVN
I didn't take this trade, but really should have. Ahh, hindsight. Flush signal off a retest of the Previous High with a signal Low Volume Node just above at 1361.50. If you notice the volume profile, too, you'll see what I call a Ledge around 1360.50. It's when price drops off quickly to a low volume area. These can be good countertrend entries, because your stops can be well defined. But it's scary .

Until tomorrow!

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  #7 (permalink)
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2012-2-24 Trades

One trade today in the EC (6E). The ES was just too quiet.

Some might notice that my style is similar to Electronic Local's. I picked up the CCI and use of range bars from him, but have since worked to make it my own (and he certainly got it from Woodies or someone similar). Unlike EL, I rarely vary the length of the CCI and/or range bars, though. He changes his settings far too much for my taste.

Trade 1: Retrace
With the 6E trending up all night, I was looking for a retrace trade. The trend was getting long, but as you can see from the volume profile, there was a large bulge of high volume around 1.3468 that I hoped would be tested. On the 8:25 bar, the 6CCI crossed the zero line after a deep, relatively quick retrace from below -150. The 45CCI was holding strong on the positive side, with no exhaustion moves. The StochRSI moved above 20. All signals aligned. I only trade 2 units on the EC due to volatility. My first profit target was 12 ticks which hit quickly. I held the second as a runner. The 6CCI never moved below zero until after my target of 1.3468 was hit, and I exited at 66 on the next down bar.

No other retraces were deep enough for me to take, so I sat out the rest of the day.

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  #8 (permalink)
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When you say the ES was too quiet, do you mean it wasn't trending as much? This morning the ES had some quick reversal moves from the opening , then was quietly channeling up until the last hours when it dropped steep below the day's low. Just wondering how you define the quiet aspects of the ES today.

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  #9 (permalink)
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Cloudy View Post
When you say the ES was too quiet, do you mean it wasn't trending as much? This morning the ES had some quick reversal moves from the opening , then was quietly channeling up until the last hours when it dropped steep below the day's low. Just wondering how you define the quiet aspects of the ES today.

Hey Cloudy,

I don't need it trending if there's decent volatility, but the overnight range was only 6 points, so that had me looking at the 6E. I'll stick with the ES if both markets are similar, because I haven't traded the 6E as much yet, but today the 6E was more enticing.

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  #10 (permalink)
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2012-2-28 Trades


One trade today in the Euro.

Trade 1: Short, First Retrace after Trend Change
Just before the open, the 45CCI crossed below zero with pushes below -100 showing a possible trend. Prior to this, price diverged from the CCI, followed by lower highs and lower lows. I took the first retrace when the 6CCI moved above the zero line then quickly reversed. The StochRSI confirmed. I scaled out of my first position at 14 ticks. The second I held until the Divergence (Div) signal on the CCI. With that second retrace at 1.3437, I should have added back my first scale, but I missed that opportunity.

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