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BecomingaTrader Journal

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  #1 (permalink)
 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: Futures
 
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Posts: 30 since Jun 2011
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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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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: Futures
 
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Posts: 30 since Jun 2011
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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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 Cloudy 
desert CA
 
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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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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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Posts: 30 since Jun 2011
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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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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 30 since Jun 2011
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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)
 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 30 since Jun 2011
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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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 Cloudy 
desert CA
 
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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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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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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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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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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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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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Here's are the volume micro-composites showing how price has stair-stepped up since the middle of December.

The major resistance levels to watch this week are the 1359.50 high volume node, then the 1350-1352.50 low volume. On any move lower, watch those locations for responsive buyers, especially around 1350-52.

There is quite a bit of POMO activity this week, plus tonight is the release that shows which banks took up LTRO money. If 50-52 breaks, I'll be looking for a test of 1330.75.


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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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I didn't get in at the start of the quick move down today as I was closing out a long, but the ES paused long enough to give me a chance to re-enter.

Trade 1: Long, Flush Signal
Profitable, but not the best of signals. I probably should not have taken this. Both MAs were up, but flat. Price was making higher highs and low, so I entered after the Flush signal just prior to open. The next bar was confirmed by the StochRSI. Out of all but the last scale at the Flush signal that marked the high of the day (unless it gets broken later this afternoon). The last scale was out at breakeven.

Trade 2: Short, Break of 33 and 99EMA, Break of Opening Range
This was nice. I held my runner until the first range bar closed up and formed a short term CCI divergence ("+") right at the High Volume Node at 1363.75 . That's when price closes outside the Keltner channel on the lowest bar of the last 8 bars, the bar closes up, and 45CCI closes up. These are good exit signals, especially after an extreme move.

SKIPPED TRADE
I didn't take the Flush signal on the 6CCI retrace, frankly because the recent action of "buy the dip and rip up." Plus, after a strong move such as the one that preceded it, I often wait for the second retrace, so it forms an A-B-C pattern.

Trade 3: Long, Divergence at CHVN
Price retested the CHVN and formed a divergence against the 45CCI. I waited until price closed inside the Keltner channel and above the Previous Day's Low to enter. I held until a possible retrace began to form off the 33EMA.

Trade 4: Short, Retrace off 99EMA
After the strong move this morning, I expected the trend down to continue. Entered on retrace of 6CCI confirmed by StochRSI. Nope. Stopped out for a loss.

And done.


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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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I don't know about everyone else, but days such as today are tough for me. It's easy to overtrade. I was lucky that there was a vet appointment for our cat, because I may have forced more. My first trade was at 6:30CST, next around 10, and the final at 1:18. The rest of the time was hand- or cat-sitting.

Trade 1: Short, Short Term and Long Term Divergence, Flush Signal
I don't take these when the 45CCI is greater than 200, but it dropped below on my entry bar. Still, I was only able to get my first 1pt scale before being stopped out on the rest.

With such a small rotation down, I was either looking for long retrace entries or a blow-off top. There was a slight pop with Flush right before the ISM numbers were released, but I don't trade through numbers, and I was at the vet anyway

Trade 2: Long, 6CCI Retrace
Not the cleanest of entries, so I only took a partial position, but the internals were strong, the MAs were up, and the 45CCI had been mostly positive. It bounced around, but never dropped below my entry bar, and I got both my scales.

Trade 3: Short, Flush, Reverse off 6CCI drive
I believe this is the first time that I've taken this trade while journaling. The Flush signal two bars before was a warning sign, but when the 6CCI has been above/below the zero line for a high number of bars (with these settings, 12), then I'll wait and take a reversal trade only when the Stochastic RSI crosses back from being overbought/oversold. This is marked by the white dots on the +200 lines of the CCI indicator. Volume was also being absorbed heavily at 1374.25-.50, so if price moved down, it could be a decent rotation. I've marked this on the Footprint chart below. I took my final scale when price was rejected twice off the previous day's VPOC.


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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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Just like my last trade yesterday, there was a long setup in pre-market for the 6CCI Reversion trade. There was also one last night at 3:43CST, but I didn't want to watch the trade into the evening/overnight.

I'm still in this trade with only my last scale left, holding for either previous day VPOC, Gap fill, or stop out at breakeven.


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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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Trade 1: Short, Retrace
The market had been in a downtrend since late the previous night, so it was possible that this was end of trend chop, but there with a large composite High Volume Node sitting below at 58-60 that was tested overnight, so there was a better than average chance it would be tested again. On this trade, I was mostly wrong. I got my first 1 point scale, but was stopped out of the remainder.

Trade 2: Short, Retrace, Break of 33EMA, Previous Low, Opening Swing Low
Same high level logic as trade 1. In addition, Price had tested down, then returned to just above the Open and had rejected. I entered when price pierced the 33EMA and was breaking through the Opening Swing Low and Previous Day's Low. Fast reward on this trade. I exited the last of my position at the Flush signal at the 58-60 CHVN. I expected price would either sit there for a while, or there would be a fast buy-the-dip retrace.

Trade 3: Long, Divergence, Flush, Price Testing Other Side of CHVN
This was a convergence of signals, but with price moving so slowly, I only took a partial position. I got my first scale, but was stopped out on for a loss on my final because I tightened up my stop when price chopped for an hour.


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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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A straightforward trend day with a slow grind down. In addition to the price action and the strongly negative $TICK, the SP500A/D indicator was strongly negative, too. It was under -400 all day, for the first time this year.

First Two Hours SP500A/D


Three trades: All Short, 6CCI/Stochastic RSI Retraces.


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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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Got caught flat-footed today when price started to move up from 46 and missed the trade. 1346 was a significant CHVN on a volume composite profile from 12/19/2011, and my bias was that it was going to break up, but yesterday's move down made me skittish. Trade what you see. Trade what you see. Pffft.

So I was left with these two trades.

Trade 1: Divergence off CLVN
Only got two small scales, then was stopped out.

Trade 2: Divergence and Flush off CLVN
Price broke through the CLVN then rejected. Only one scale here.

And that's it. Made a pittance, bought a new iPad, and quickly sold my old one, so let's call it break-even.



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 BecomingaTrader 
Champaign, Champaign County
 
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I wanted to post something different today than just trades. Since it was a day with small reversals, here's my thoughts as the day progressed.

Location 1
Woke up to see the market extended significantly with divergences signalling. Checked out the 6E to see it up in the same way. Correlation between those two might mean trend day. However, with the market this extended and up against a composite Low Volume Node, I'm thinking countertrend, just in case this is the blow-off at the end of the trend that started yesterday.

Location 2
At the Open. The SP500 Advance/Decline breadth was >400 at the open and rising. The $TICK was near +800, but not at an extreme. All other indicators pointed up, so I was thinking trend day. There had been a 1-2-3 retrace from that fast pre-market push, so I was ready to enter a retrace.

Location 3
Okay. Price has not broken above the range from the first 5 minutes of a day. Warning sign. A/D and TICK are still high, but I was watching these closely. When they started to fall along with price, I began to re-consider a trend change. Get out and watch for a retracement after the trend change to enter short. All the indicators still show too much strength to go short too quickly.

Location 4
Price not pushing down. The 45CCI hasn't even gone below -50. Might need a test of the Opening Swing Low or Open before moving down. A/D and $TICK start to move back up with some strength. Every indicator is still up or neutral. When price went back up through the Open after breaking the 33EMA, I wanted to get long, but carefully, because this could just be a tiny rotational day before Friday's non-farm payrolls.

Location 5
Momentum gets stretched out reaching for the gap fill of 3/2 close. There is a composite High Volume Node at 1362.50 and that's also 2X the First Hour Range. It's late in the day, though, so I should only use a partial position. Could enter at 62-62.50 with one position, then average in second if it makes it to 63. Wrong above 64.


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