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YM day trading with price action - My Journey
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YM day trading with price action - My Journey

  #61 (permalink)
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10 feb 2014 - 2 legged down move followed by gentle bull channel

Price was in a bull channel after 2 legs down. The bull channel was moving up in a gentler slope compared to the downswing. Price then formed 2 lower highs within the channel and I looked for a downward breakout of the bull channel.

I placed a stop sell order at 1 pip below the prior low. The target was placed at the extreme low and the stop was placed at a recent prior high. RR is slightly more than 1.

Trade management was ok. Price went down initially but it turned out to be a breakout failure. Price inched upwards back to the channel high in a series of 6 consecutive bull bars. With such strong bull momentum, I decided that the trade was invalid and exited before the stop was hit. This saved a few pips of losses.

Emotionally wise, I was calm when analysing price action and when the trade was moving against me. I did not feel the urge to jump into the trade and did not feel the need to take more trades when the trade turned out to be a losing one.

Result is -6 pips.

On review, I am not sure if a downside breakout of a bull channel following a downswing is a good probability setup or not. I have seen price make a steep or 2 legged down move, then forms a gentler bull channel then has a convincing bear breakout of the bull channel. On this instance, it failed. I will do more observations on such setups and trade smaller size while seeing such price action behaviour form.

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Last edited by mrBean888; February 10th, 2014 at 08:12 PM.
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10 feb 2014 - spike down followed by trading range

Price had a strong spike down followed by a horizontal trading range. When i saw the chart, price had reached the trading range top and was starting to fall from the range top. Bear bars were more numerous than bull bars. A small lower high formed after buyers tried to push price up. But price fell quickly in a bear bar to erase the gains made by the lower high. After seeing a strong spike down, a range which could be a bear flag and price falling from the range top, I looked to sell.

I entered on a stop sell order. The entry was 1 pip below the small prior low leading to the lower high. The stop was placed at the top of the lower high while the target was placed at the range low. RR is slightly less than 1.

Trade management was ok. Price soon made a strong bear breakout and when I saw price hesitate near the target and start to move up, I did not interfere with the trade by manually exiting or adjusting the target. I reasoned that the bear breakout bar was strong and there could be more follow through.

Result is 6 pips.

Emotionally wise, I felt calm both during price action analysis, placing the trade and managing the trade.

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11 Feb 2014 - L2 bar in a bear trend reversal


Price was in an uptrend and had a strong bear bar which broke the bull trend line. A bear channel formed below the ema. Within the channel, price formed lower highs with similar lows. It could also be a small descending triangle. When a L2 bear bar formed below the ema, I looked to sell.

I entered using a stop sell order with the entry at 1 pip below the L2 bar low. The stop was placed at 1 pip above the L2 bear bar high, which was the signal bar. The target was placed at the low of the bull reversal bar with a long lower tail. RR is 1.

Trade management was mixed. I shifted the stop a bit higher to a couple of more pips above the signal bar high. Price went down initially but started to inch back up. When price moved closer to the stop, I manually exited. The trade was losing its validity and the break of bear trend line and bear channel could be just a double bottom bull flag in an uptrend.

Result is -8 pips.

On review, I learnt 2 things. One is that when seeing a setup form, I need to scroll the chart back in time to spot for past support or resistance obstacles first. In this chart, the low of the bull reversal bar and the bear channel both bounced off a major support level some time back.

The second one is that forex is a trending market and it is wise to keep an eye out for trend continuation setups despite a trend line break. Trend line breaks may turn out to be double bottom bull flags in an uptrend or double top bear flags in a downtrend.

Emotionally wise, I was calm when analysing price, entering the order and watching the trade. The loss did not affect my emotions much.

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YM day trading with price action - My Journey-trade1.png  

Last edited by mrBean888; February 11th, 2014 at 08:20 PM.
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11 feb 2014 - double bottom bull flag in an uptrend

Price was in an uptrend, had a trend line break, a bull reversal bar with a long lower tail and formed a bear channel below the ema. Price went back up from the bull reversal bar low and prior strong support level (in the past). Price then broke out from the bull channel with 3 strong bull bars. 2 relatively small bear bars formed. This could be a breakout pullback from a double bottom bull flag in an uptrend. I scrolled back in time to check for strong resistance levels. There were none and prior price movement was an uptrend. The risk was that there is a bull trend line break already. However, with a strong bull reversal bar after the trend line break and a strong breakout from the bear channel, there could be a second leg up and a test of the extreme high.

I placed a stop buy order with an entry 1 pip above the final bull breakout bar before the pullback. The stop was placed a couple of pips below the second bear bar pullback. The target was placed at the prior extreme high. RR is 1.

Trade management was ok. I did not meddle with the stop or target levels and let the trade play itself out.

Result is 8 pips.

Emotionally wise, I was calm during the trade and when placing the order. When analysing price, I had mixed feelings though. I was very uncertain whether it was a trend reversal or a double bottom bull flag. I went with the trend continuation setup eventually due to the strong break of the bear channel and also because of how the second bear pullback bar formed. It went a few pips below the first bear inside bar but did not have follow through and the next bar was a bull bar which went up with conviction fairly quickly after it opened. The bull reversal bar with a long lower tail was also another clue that bears could not push price down.

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13 feb 2014 - downtrend continuation

Price was in a long downtrend. It formed a double bottom and then price started to move up steadily, breaking the bear trend line, ema and prior lower high in the process. Price reached a prior high and formed a bear reversal bar with its high off the prior high level. I saw it as a possible double top at resistance and a test of the prior extreme low following the trend line break. I looked to enter short for a bear trend continuation.

I made a stop sell order with the entry 1 pip below the bear reversal bar. The stop was placed at the bear reversal bar high and the target was set at a prior low level. RR is slightly more than 1.

Trade management was ok. Price moved down a bit before pushing up in a strong bull bar. There was no bear trend continuation strength and the bull reversal continued. As I saw price move up and start to reach the stop, I manually exited and saved a few pips.

Result is -6 pips.

Reviewing the trade, I made a couple of mistakes and need to learn from them. The first is that i broke my rule and entered even though the bar after the bear reversal bar is a bull bar. If I had stuck to my rule of the signal bar being a trend bar in the intended direction, I would not have taken this trade.

Another is that I still lack the skill to differentiate between a with-trend correction which breaks the trend line and a trend reversal. I had made a number of losing trades while mistakening a correction for a reversal and vice versa. In this case and a few previous losing trades, I made a mistake of entering too early before price asserts itself as continuing or reversing the trend. Other clues in this case are the strong bullish trend line break with many average sized bull bars and the small bodied bear reversal bar compared to the prior bull bars.

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14 feb 2014 - spike up follow through

Price had a strong bullish 2 legged up move. A sideways move then formed. The sideways move stayed above the ema and did not display bearish strength. A follow through from the strong bull upmove could occur. A bear bar closed below the ema and slightly below a prior low but there was no bear follow through. 2 reversal bars formed followed by a bull bar. I looked to buy above the bull bar.

I entered on a stop buy order with the entry 1 pip above the bull signal bar. The stop was placed at the low of the bull signal bar. The target was placed at the prior extreme high during the upswing. RR is slightly less than 1.

My trade management was poor. After the entry, price continued to move sideways. After 9 bars, as price reached the top of the sideways move, my emotions got the better of me and I interfered with the trade. I manually exited the trade.

Result is 1 pip.
Price went down a bit, formed a bull reversal bar and then shot up. The target would have been hit had I stayed in the trade.

Emotionally wise, I was calm when analysing price action and when entering the order. When in the trade, I started to get uncomfortable as price moved aimlessly for more than half an hour. When price reached the top of the sideways move, my emotions got the better of me and I manually exited.

On reflection, the sideways move remained above the ema and i should stay in the trade. For future trades, to reduce my anxiety if the trade is lingering for a long time, I could move the stop to reduce the risk.

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Weekly review - 10 to 14 feb 2014

Number of trades: 6
Wins: 2
Loses: 3
BE: 1
Net pips: -5

What I did not do well:
-> Did not check for past support or resistance levels as potential obstacles
-> Differentiating between a trend reversal and with trend correction
-> Entering a trade without a good signal bar

What I did well:
-> Analysed price action calmly before placing an order
-> Entered trades in a timely manner
-> Decisive in exiting losing trades which are losing their validity

What I aim to work on:
-> Enter a trade only with a good signal bar which is a trend bar in the intended direction (except for flag breakouts)
-> Wait for clearer correction or reversal price action to form after a trend line break rather than anticipating one (also consider the number and type of the bars, the strength of the trend line break, chart patterns, length and strength of the prior trend)
-> Scroll back to check for major support and resistance levels when analysing price


Last edited by mrBean888; February 15th, 2014 at 11:21 AM.
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17 feb 2014 - descending triangle

Price was in a downtrend and had lower highs and same lows. As price formed a lower high and started to fall, I looked for a short opportunity. The bear signal bar was also a L2 bar in a pullback.

I entered on a sell market order. The entry was set at 1 pip below the signal bar low. The stop was placed at the high of the most recent lower high and the target was placed at the prior low. The prior low was also a major support level when I scrolled back in time to check for potential obstacles. RR is slightly less than 1.

Trade management was ok. I did not interfere with the trade and let the trade run its course.
Result is 5 pips.

Emotionally, I was calm when analysing price, entering the order and monitoring the trade.

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18 feb 2014 - pullback in an upswing

Price had 2 steep bullish legs up and was above the ema. The prior price movement was sideways. There was then a bearish pullback to the ema consisting of 5 consecutive bear bars. Price remained above the ema. Due to the bearish pullback, I decided to wait for a 2nd entry long. Price moved up from the ema, then formed a bear bar, followed by a bull bar up. This could be the second entry and i looked for a long on the next bar.

I placed a stop buy order with the entry 1 pip above the high of the signal bar. The stop was placed 1 pip below the prior pivot low and the target was placed at the prior extreme high. RR is 1.

Trade management was ok. I did not interfere with the stop or target level. Price formed a lower high and started to inch down. The trade was in negative territory most of the time. I manually exited as price approached the stop.

Result is -9 pips.

Emotionally, I was calm when analysing price action. I was a little anxious when entering the order because the signal bar closed on its high and the entry is 1 pip above the signal bar high. Nonetheless, the order was sent in a timely manner and I got in at the intended price.

On review, I had encountered such price action before and the results were mixed at best. The characteristics are:
1) price had 2 or 3 steep bull upswings and is above the ema
2) the pullback is bearish with consecutive bear bars back to the ema and no H1 bar in between
3) it is approaching noon time

Sometimes, like in this case, price forms a lower high and moves sideways. At other times, it goes up more and hits the prior extreme. In other cases, it drifts downwards. The common outcome is a transition into a sideways move. In the meantime, i will stay on the sidelines if price forms such a behaviour and observe the outcome. Perhaps, this is not such a good probablity setup after all.

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18 feb 2014 - downtrend continuation


Price was in a long downtrend and a major bear trend line can be drawn connecting the major lower highs. After a slightly higher low which consisted of a smaller double bottom, price rose up, broke the ema and reached the major bear trend line. I watched for a major trend line break. There was none and after a small penetration of the trend line, price had a sideways move then formed a bearish bar down to form a lower high. A small pullback to the ema formed before a bear bar down. I looked to enter on short after the bear signal bar for a possible swing daytrade down.

I made a sell stop order with the entry at 1 pip below the bear signal bar low. The stop was at the signal bar high and the target was placed at somewhere near the extreme low. RR is a bit more than 2.

Trade management was ok. I did not interfere with the target. Price drifted sideways, had a bull bar up which came close to the stop before falling back into sideways mode. The sideways movement was below the ema. I decided to go to sleep while leaving the stop and target levels intact, reasoning that price was in a long downtrend and should continue to head down. Anyway, the stop was intact in case price went up.

I manually exited the next day when price went down but did not come close to the target. It moved sideways instead. Result is 10 pips.

Emotionally, I was calm when analysing the price, entering the order and watching price for the first several bars.

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YM day trading with price action - My Journey-trade2.png   YM day trading with price action - My Journey-downtrend_zoomed-out.png  
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