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lovetotrade's YM Breakout Journal
Started:November 6th, 2014 (04:13 PM) by lovetotrade Views / Replies:11,142 / 187
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lovetotrade's YM Breakout Journal

Old December 4th, 2014, 05:16 PM   #31 (permalink)
Student of the Markets
Cocoa, FL
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
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Favorite Futures: YM, Forex
 
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12/4

Important levels:
17946 R1/R2 midline
17933/29 Weekly R2/ Daily R1
17904 Yday high
17889 Onight Low/double bottom
17885 Central pivot/4 hour ema Line in the sand one
17870/68 Weekly R1/ CP/S1 midline Line in the sand two
Added these two after:
17852 S1
17807/08 S2/weekly close

Well I'd like to give myself a pat on the back for getting the direction right this morning, but the truth is I did not check the economic reports this morning, and it may have been sheer luck that the market launched higher into the double top that took me out at target, but I did hit target. But that was after again getting lucky with entry. I did not see that entry until I looked at overnight context, and market bounced right where I thought it should if we were to keep the pattern higher. So I got in after a bounce of the yday high, a couple points from a pivot level, and it took off and retested the overnight high.

This reinforces how important it is to check context first thing in the morning! So I am printing out a new morning checklist sheet, just to help reinforce the morning steps, because even though I do this every day, I still forget. Oh I also am labeling my two most important buy levels in bold, and labeling them lines in the sand. Need to have buy orders set up on the chart ASAP first thing in the morning. Also place stops at least two below where the market bottomed, preferably below a pivot level.

So I'm actually pretty excited after this morning, I see learning opportunities galore. So I have seen the first flaw in my methodology, for trying to pick the bottom with the context I look at. So far I have placed too much importance on the longer term chart, and overnight price action, but not enough on price action right before, and at the open. There were plenty of signs that we were going to get a pretty strong push down, and I let my bias override looking for signals telling me to jump out at a small gain, and look for lower prices. Then I actually missed the very obvious, and even better bottom below! I did get in once we made the bottom, and started moving higher, but I wasn't looking for it like I was with the previous move down.

So I want to go into what it was that I saw, that should have made me skeptical that we would just bottom and bounce today. The awesome part is that they are already part of my current squeeze system, and so it makes it very easy for me to identify. I just need to make sure I am keeping my eyes wide open to price action. So at the open we had a very tight long consolidation, the 5/15/hourly squeeze, which can be a very explosive move and this morning it was, and to the downside. And the larger squeezes were still active when the market double topped at the pivot point, where I could have gotten out of my trade at a profit, and gone short or waited for lower prices. And that is where I could have placed another order at the double bottom of S2 and the weekly close for a hundred point move higher.

Ok so I've had one great trade this morning, and have started to give back all its gains. When we go into a prolonged squeeze, you truly can't just guess it's going higher or lower. You need to watch and see where the volume is coming in. Since we had that huge V-bottom this morning, and was consolidating near the highs, I assumed we would just break out to the upside. And from past experience I knew that during a prolonged squeeze that you will often get a fake breakdown. So I tried to keep the stops small as we broke down from one level to the next, searching for a good entry for higher prices.

You have to watch volume on the smaller charts, and really pay attention to any levels that are being rejected. If your bias is too strong because of a position that you opened then you need to close it until you can see the market objectively again. You obviously had enough evidence to open the trade, what you are looking for evidence that you might need to close the trade or reverse, instead of just looking for reasons to hold the trade and be blind to what's really going on. From what I've noticed volume spikes really give you an inside peak as to S/R on the smaller time frames, and if there are no spikes, and volume seems to be pretty equal on both sides then a continuation of previous trend is more likely.

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Old December 5th, 2014, 03:46 PM   #32 (permalink)
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12/5

Important levels:
17946 R1
17929-33 Yday high/weekly R2
17882-85 Overnight low/Yday open
17870-73 Weekly R1/Central pivot

So I have been able to read this morning pretty well. 8:30 NFP came out way better than forecasted, so have to assume that's bullish for the stock market and dollar. Initial reaction was a sell off to test the overnight low, and it bounced hard there. VPOC has already shifted higher from yesterday and overnight. So longs are the only thing entering my mind for sure. First time I have been able to read through the chop like this, pretty exciting!

Got a good entry at a double bottom for higher, then the thought crept into my mind that since I am trading only one contract, that I need to really stretch my target instead of going for the most obvious one. So instead of grabbing 18 points which is a decent trade, I got out at B/E +1. Pretty close to my second entry anyway. There will always be another trade idea, but if I choose to trade with one contract then that is on me, and I must go with the closest target, having already measured if the R:R is worth it. I can't try to force the market into my own idea of what it should be. That's an easy way to go broke. So pretty easy formula from here on out. If the R:R is close to 1:2 then take it, if not then pass. If you can get an entry withing 5-8 points, then go for the extra contract and stretch your second target.

Very nice and tight initial balance this morning. Hanging out at the IB high, just waiting for it to break through now, and will be looking for a good entry. If we don't head higher just yet, I will be looking for a test of the VPOC, and hopefully I can scoop an entry around there. So now I have a plan for either direction. Have to remain flexible, but anticipate what the market might do, and have a plan for when it does it. From what I understand, a narrow IB is more likely to trigger a breakout and trend day. So hopefully I can get that breakout, and a re-test for entry.

Ok so we had a failed breakout of the IB, then the chart got ugly, looking back now, it wasn't big volume, but if I was trading bar by bar, I wouldn't want to buy right down into that. But this is the problem that I have come across twice this morning. I know that the chart is bullish and buyers are active, but after a nasty top where I would have considered shorting in the past, has kept me from taking a stab at a good logical entry. Which has ended up being the perfect buying opportunity in both instances. Now the main reason I am really peculiar about this, is because the place I was looking to buy both times was right above areas of heavy confluence: Open,VPOC, Yday high, Weekly R2. So after the fact it seems obvious you just have to buy it blind into support, and then watch to see what happens after the fact. @shodson maybe you can help me with this one? I also believe it probably depends on how much support, and the importance of the support vs. the volume of selling that's coming in. The only thing I have seen to really decipher these areas for entry is the volume ladder, but that is beyond me for now.

So now I missed the pullback to the IB High by one point. Today was definitely setup to be a trend day, and I just haven't been able to take full advantage of it. But I see the opportunity. I have been able to recognize entry points throughout, and I know now that I definitely need to be an aggressive buyer on days like today. Could have made bank with multiple contracts just this morning. Would have done well with even one contract. Another 15 minute/hourly squeeze firing off today, but now I can see and understand the underlying market, and where to get best entry in anticipation of what I would usually have to wait for the breakout, and hope for a pullback for entry. Aggressive is definitely the key word here.

So I had forgotten about the ask/bid volume difference bars that I saw @mpo7 using to describe a specific scenario, that he was reading what was going on underneath the hood of the bars he was looking at. Just got my free trial at Sierra Charts, so playing with the VWAP as well. Lot's to review over the weekend.

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Old December 8th, 2014, 05:28 PM   #33 (permalink)
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12/8

So I din't get as much done over the weekend as I would have liked, the wife works both nights, so I watch our baby girl. And between family time, and church on Sundays, I maybe get 5 hours total between naps, and late night. So I was up late last night trying to get Sierra chart the way I like it. My goal is to get that up and running, and get as much market replay time as possible out of my free trial. So now I can play a little catch up today, as I know I can trade today's session later.

My goal now is to get organized, go through all my notes, and try to define exactly what scenarios I want to trade. Right off the top of my head I am thinking an opening gap play, a targeted LOD play, a trend play, and an extreme play for range bound days. From what I have seen the squeeze plays are still a legit option, I just have to be dynamic with the targets. So instead of a 30 or 50 point static target, like this morning, the gap fill would have been appropriate, and risk reward would have still been great. Primarily the 5 minute/15 minute combo squeeze tends to have the greatest market impact.

Fortunately I have some good market research on different market patterns, and developed some good intuitive sense when it comes to price action. So I hope to combine that with watching these levels to develop a winning strategy.

I have been working hard at digesting new information, without getting bogged down or burned out. But I can feel things getting a little foggy, so I need to work on getting my focus back. So I think having a strategic goal in mind, as I go through my notes will help bring clarity and focus back to the fore front.

Important levels I watch and why:
Previous week close- Weekly strong S/R
Previous day HLC- Close for gap play, and HL act as S/R, and give context for the days movement.
Overnight HL- S/R and context.
VPOC- Market is drawn to value when extremes are rejected, reversion to the mean.
HVN/LVN/VA for VP- S/R and context throughout the day.
Open- S/R and context.
Pivot levels- S/R and context.
VWAP- S/R and context.
IB and extensions- S/R, context, and targets for trending days.
Working on adding TPO.

Morning checklist:
Check for any economic reports for the day, and set 5 minute warning alarms ahead of them.
Check longer term charts from daily down for time frames in a squeeze, and more importantly time frames that have fired off and still active. (Larger trends)
Go over hourly chart, and overnight price action, list important levels of S/R, and any important pivot levels and trend lines.
Go over the daily, 8 hour, 4 hour, and 2 hour charts for overall context of the market, and potential turning points on the 3 way pivot chart. Scout the closest pivot point above/below the 8 hour 10 ema, this is your big buy for the day if the market is trending higher. If the market is trending higher, but is no where near the 8 hour ema, move down to the 4 hour chart, and use it as the same as above. Hourly double bottoms at or above the central daily pivot will be key to identify, if the market made a good bottom the previous day or overnight(like a DB at S2 for example). Also identify a worse case scenario the market could sell off to, bounce, and still maintain the trend. An hourly squeeze short at the open may produce these extreme buy points.
Set your repeating 5, 15, and hourly alarms for chart development.
Be watching charts by 8:30 as some of these lower buy ares develop before the market opens.

Market behavior:
Definitely need to be watching for cheap trades, and characteristics I have seen that lead up to them. These are great PnL boosters with minimal risk. These are your trades with >5 points of risk. They generally show up on the one minute chart as double tops and bottoms. Best ones are double tops/3 bar reversals in strong downtrends. Hit em with two contracts and let em
run.

For choppy markets, there is generally a one hour squeeze involved as it oscillates between one side of the keltner channels and bollinger bands to the other. I think if I do a little backtesting with the IB thrown into the mix, I can probably get some identifiable patterns. And now that I can see when value is building outside of the IB's, then I know when to abandon the strategy, instead of just buying and selling blindly.

Also making a note of the infamous 61.8% fib pullback I have seen. After large moves with seemingly no pullbacks for entry, they then reverse, and just when you think the market is selling back off it bottoms and reverses. These have a tendency to hit the 61.8% fib retracement, and bounce hard.

*Will continue tomorrow, got through most of my paper notes, and now have new notes to add to the journal lol. Gonna try to read my online journal tonight.


Last edited by lovetotrade; December 9th, 2014 at 02:58 PM.
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Old December 9th, 2014, 03:01 PM   #34 (permalink)
Student of the Markets
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12/9

Behavior continued:
Failed squeezes: usually indicate a a failed break out, which usually puts a floor or ceiling in the market. The bigger charts such as the hour can be used for longer term S/R. As where a failed 5 minute squeeze may be a great entry for a move in the opposite direction. The idea behind this is some herd mentality along with trapped short term break out traders. As the market consolidates, traders enter and choose a side, and subsequently are betting that their side will win. So lets say we get an initial move to the downside out of a squeeze that breaks support, this is a trigger for traders to jump in short. So now you have your new longs probably stopped out, and as the market reverses hard, trapped shorts begin to panic and start to bail on their position. This condition is ripe for a reversal as it has bucked most traders off the train. So there are technical, psychological, and emotional factors at play here. The best part is that failed squeezes usually happen counter-trend, so it creates an even better entry opportunity to get back in on the larger trend.

VPOC shifts: I like to watch where the VPOC shifts to from the previous day, to overnight, then after market open. This lets me see how value is moving from one area to the next. Really just another piece of market context to gauge market movement. I think it helps add weight to the bulls or bears for the next day. If the market has shifted down three times since yesterday, then I am not going to be looking to buy the market, I am going to be looking for signs of weakness on rallies. The market must prove to me at that point when to turn back bullish from bearish. This is also assuming the larger overall market is painting me a bearish picture as well, but from VPOC shifts I know I where I need to be paying close attention for that first hour.

Failed new highs/lows: Where the market appears to have broken out, but then just bleeds back into the previous high/low/break out level. Looking for failed market retracements, and reversal signals with good risk on these trades. Look for these at important levels of S/R like IB, S2/R2, CP. One of your targets should be a test of the VPOC. After the failed breakout attempt, the market seems to seek value first before re-testing S/R or heading higher or lower.

I know there is more, but this is a great start for how I like to trade. I will add more as it comes to me.

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Old December 9th, 2014, 04:32 PM   #35 (permalink)
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12/9

Holy cow what an awesome trading day. Starting to trade the way I have seen myself trading in my thoughts. I just about have Sierra chart set up the way I would like, and it is becoming very obvious that this will have to be a permanent fixture. It is so much more advanced than my broker's free platform it is ridiculous. And the price is very reasonable, way less than I thought it would be.

I have added cumulative delta bars, and the bid/ask volume ratio. They compliment each other nicely, allowing me to see similar things in different ways. I was able to use them both effectively in my price action trading today. And you know what is really cool, is that the CD on the 5 minute chart generally tells me which way the 5 minute squeeze is gonna break, through divergence or confirmation. It is a great addition to that side of my trading as well.

I think it's safe to say that I no longer trade the squeezes, as much as I trade the price action around them which has been my goal since about a month ago. I now use the squeeze to quickly identify what state of the market is in, then make trading decisions from there. But not gonna lie, knowing that I have the squeeze in my back pocket does give me more confidence when I pull the trigger.

I have noticed that when I lose focus on the big charts(and this seems to happen on a daily basis so I must learn to stop this) and stare too long at the one minute I end up coming to the party late on a setup I thought about taking, but if I had known of the context on the large time frames I would have jumped in with both feet. These are generally the easy runners, so I must focus on taking advantage of this. But now that I am starting to read the charts correctly, there is no anxiety, and the movements make sense. I am working on steadily building onto this intuition through more screen time. Lots of market replay is in my future.

I will try to work through my thoughts and notes, and try to develop a detailed plan of my setups along with examples so I have a clear picture to fall back on. I know it is too broad right now, so I would really like to drill down a few specific setups, and then become very proficient at executing them. Then I can start my spreadsheet back up, and get back to that critical aspect of logging data. But right now I am just enjoying the moment, and taking things one step at a time.

Gonna mark up a chart from my Apex platform of my trades today, and then post a picture of my new sierra chart.

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Old December 10th, 2014, 05:11 PM   #36 (permalink)
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12/10

So from what I have gathered I can rely on cumulative delta to give me a couple things. Either a good divergence where the market is heading lower, but traders are accumulating longs for example, and then we break to the upside. Or the market is heading higher, and you are getting a good positive delta accumulation, only to have price reverse, and squeeze everyone out of their position/reverse for example. The latter is preferable for a squeeze setup since it will exponentiate the move. The first is better for double bottoms, or failure at new lows, and to then go long. I'm gonna do some back testing on my 5/15/1 hour chart squeeze chart to see if I can get some more confirmation of trade direction with the CD.

I cannot express how much context needs to be in charge throughout the day. I can tell it will take me a little while to put it all together, before it becomes intuitive. I need to come up with a series of questions to ask that will direct my thought process until it becomes second nature. And naturally those questions will change as my learning progresses, but I have used this method before, and it is effective. I would say this is most important once you have taken a trade through the smaller entry chart, maybe managed the trade through to exit, and then get lost in the price action. This is when I need to be looking at the bigger picture to re-evaluate. I think this is why having an automatic timer that forces me to look at the larger picture periodically helps so much.

The important but vague questions to start are: What has the market done so far? What is the market trying to do now? How good of a job is it doing? The awesome thing about cumulative delta, is that it gives me context to go along with the price action. I just have to keep my eyes open to it. So here are some questions that I can see that were important today. I need to keep the list simple, but not vague. Specific, but not so much that it bogs my thinking process. And well rounded enough for any trading environment.

Insight on direction and strength:
Are we in an uptrend or downtrend on the hourly chart?
Have we spent any time above or below the VWAP?
Are we moving away from the VWAP or oscillating around it?
Are we outside of the IB levels or oscillating inside them?

Trending market:
Are we trending well on the 5 minute chart?(HH's/HL's)(LL's/LH's)
Are we trying to/have broken out of the nearest IB level?
Is the market treating the VPOC as support/resistance/oscillator at value?
Is the market respecting the pivot levels?
How did the market react to the last S/R level?
What level should I be watching for entry to get in on this trend?
At what point is the trend dead?

I know it's redundant, but I really need to be asking these questions every 5 minutes to stay focused. And the first set of questions until I figure out what the market is trying to do.

It's funny the desire to counter trend trade becomes so powerful on trend days, and on oscillating days all you want is an extended break out move. And again I feel like this is because of not spending enough time on the larger charts really focusing on the market at hand. If the market is trending down, the majority of your trades better be looking for retracements to get in short vs. trying to pick bottoms. We oscillated through a good part of the day today, and there were some good divergences with some good money in it. But the hundred point moves were at the beginning and end of the day, and that is where my true focus should be.

Both moves were started with a 5 minute squeeze as a warning. So from this point forward I need to build my trading plan, and focus on taking advantage of all opportunities that are presented within the time frame I choose to trade. A fellow trader suggested I choose a 4 hour time frame to trade instead of a full 8 hours, to help stay focused, and reduce decision fatigue. I would like to take full advantage of trending days, so if we are trending from the beginning of the day, I would more than likely stay for the day. But an oscillating market from open through lunch is probably best left at lunch. Goal tomorrow is figure out what I am doing with the squeezes, setup all charts on sierra, and get some back testing done.

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Old December 12th, 2014, 04:52 PM   #37 (permalink)
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12/12

So I seem to come full circle back to the squeeze every time I learn new things, and dig deeper into the market. Which really speaks volumes in that this is the right trading style for me. And the new knowledge I have acquired will help me pull even more money out of the squeeze. Unfortunately the markets are moving, and the squeezes are hitting home run after home run, while I sit on the sidelines and do research. But the market will always be there tomorrow, and the most important thing for me to do is to finish out this shift in processes, so I can be a better, more well rounded trader in the long run.

So if I can express what the last couple of weeks has done for my trading in just a few words, it would be this. Squeeze in context. I really wasn't looking at the market as a whole before, didn't pay attention to volatility, or what phase the market was in, and I was basically fighting myself because of it. I thought my strategy was to blame, and that I needed something different. But in reality that just wasn't true. It was my lack of knowledge, and close minded approach to the market I am trading. It's never just as simple as going long or short from a buy or sell signal. You must take the entire context of the market, and let your strategy work out within that context. This is what I was truly missing I believe, my "holy grail". I was profitable before, when the market was in a specific phase, but now I believe I can use a variation of trading around the squeeze to make money in any market phase or condition. And my journey from now on will be to continue to learn from the markets, and continue to improve one day at a time.

I watched the webinar about Wycoff last night, and that showed me some important price action I was missing. Pretty integral stuff since I trade breakouts, and will help me minimize risk, target new areas of entry, and help understand price action that I knew was there, but couldn't explain. So I will be using today and this weekend to specify the context needed for my strategy, and rework my trading plan. A lot of things will be similar, but will be a more flexible approach.

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Old December 15th, 2014, 07:51 PM   #38 (permalink)
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trading

when you take profit at lower band

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Old January 2nd, 2015, 09:46 AM   #39 (permalink)
Student of the Markets
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Haven't posted here much lately, but my notebook is filling up. Half of it is just market observations, and I assume there is a lot of repetition in there, but I will use that to refine the trading plan. But the other half is me meticulously going through each process and scenario. Almost done, trying to be ready to trade on the 6th.

Psychology pattern recognition notes:

Goal setting- identify problem patterns, but also patterns of strength when trading well. Our primary goal is to duplicate our patterns of trading well every session. So to be able to do that, we must work to eliminate any problem patterns or behaviors that get in the way of reaching that goal. And establish specific goals that replace those problem patterns with a new thought process or action.

So this will require a heightened sense of awareness for any flaws in my trading that are emotional based, and/or deviate from the trading plan. The plan was designed for long term sustainability, so any feelings or feeling based trade decisions that deviate from the plan need to be identified as quickly as possible, documented, and set on a course for correction.

Time and experience will inspire confidence in my trading plan, and time will also prove the viability of certain ideas and methods. But I must strive to trade at my best, and that is when I am following my plan.

I will document all negative thoughts, feeling,and trade errors, but the largest problems need to be focused on first and foremost. Then I will continue to hone my process from there. I need to make it a priority to continue to read and learn even when my trading is going well, not just when things are falling apart.

My trading should be broken down into 3 parts:
Psychology
Risk management
Method


These three parts of my trading are not a final destination, and can never be perfected in a sense of completion. Only if I refuse to continue learning and improving, will this process end. May it never be.

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Old January 19th, 2015, 03:19 PM   #40 (permalink)
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trading journal


trying to teach myself trading the ym and jour journal i excellent. thank you

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