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FM's Trade Log
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FM's Trade Log

  #51 (permalink)
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Zooming out

Here's what I'm looking at in crude on the longer picture.

$45 should serve as a line in the sand here. Anything below 44.35 starts to look very dicey and sellers will have a chance to extend this correction back down to the $40 level. However in the context of this channel, with Monday's lows still intact, a traversal up to $47 seems likely. Another possible scenario is the market settles into a sideways chop in the $44 to $47 range which could go on for weeks. Just as it took weeks to shake out of the sideways action between $48 and $50.

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Zooming in a bit, 44.75 - 45.80 is the range du jour overnight and we'll see where we open up tomorrow. If buyers can't muster their way over $46 early, I'll expect selling to dominate. If buyers can crack the top of this steeper sub-channel, I'd expect buyers to continue a push through $47.

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  #52 (permalink)
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In this day and age...

Here I was ready to rock this morning, I wake up, fire up the system and ... No internet?

In this day and age my internet should be as reliable as my electricity. I hate the cable company.

Damn shame too. Looks like crude tested lower end of the range and then pushed back up to the upper end 46 level. Going to be an interesting morning.

If I were to wager, I'd say it's likely to break higher. Well, I can't hotspot my phone so I guess that's it for me today.

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  #53 (permalink)
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futures swing analysis


Swing / longterm futures watch list. Just noting some ideas here.

6J: On the weekly,after breaking out of a year long base at the beginning of 2016, Yen made a courageous attempt to overcome .01, and was rejected. There is an opportunity here to take a bet that this will hold for now, and hop on a multi-month ride down to .00875 area.

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Depending on strategy / approach, I can conceive of a couple ways of trading this. In either case, I want to see a bounce back up to the .0098+ area for an attractive entry short. At that point, one could take a short at an attractive intraday price with a stop outside the .0102 spike. For example an entry at .0099 with a stop at .0102 would be $3750 of risk by my math. A target in this case around .0088 is $13750.

An alternative approach, and maybe a more palatable option, would be to eyeball smaller daily / intraday inflections as price approaches .0098 area, and try to anticipate the turn with a smaller stop say 100 ticks. This one could try a few times in case shaken out, allowing several attempts short each with a risk of around $675, with a goal of getting some green and letting it ride.

Yet another way to trade this, if one is more agile, would be to look long right now. Ride up as far as it will go, and then reverse when the timing presents itself. 6J Daily:

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CL: I got to say, this is an interesting place to buy crude. The momentum on the latest downswing has been lackluster compared to the frenzied selling since July 2014. A bounce to $60 would not be crazy. Taking a long around here with a stop below $44.50 would get you into a bit over $2000 risk for $10000 potential profit on a first target of $56.


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On the daily one sees this market was already poised to move higher as the week ended and unrest in Turkey was starting. Not sure if we see a gap on the week open as I'm writing this Sunday morning. May not be much room to get cute with a more attractive entry price as it could just drive higher without waiting. I think it makes sense to just shut up and buy at these prices, but would try to get a $45.75 entry (near the channel midpoint) if possible.

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HG: Copper has been annihilated over the past few years. At the risk of bottom fishing here, it does appear that we have a few signals that there may be at least a moderate continued bounce coming. Notice that each successive selloff has been less extensive, and finally put in a higher low that appears to be significant at the $2 even level.

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On the daily, one approach for getting long here would be to wait for a test of this 2.15 level. As price approaches that level, look for the level to hold and jump in with a stop below 2.1. So, hypothetically with an entry around 2.155 and a stop around 2.095, that's 120 ticks risk or $1500. One could use an even wider stop, down below 2.07, risking $2200 ish. I fthis thing bounced even just conservatively to 2.5 even, that's an initial profit target of $8625.

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Out of time for now. Haven't looked at softs / bonds yet. Equities, forget about it. Just buy until the music stops.


Last edited by FlyingMonkey; July 17th, 2016 at 12:18 PM.
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  #54 (permalink)
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Sunday Night Oil

Oil has held the $45.80 level but has not yet succeeded to hold the $46.25 level for more upside. Although my bias is slightly bullish here, the buying on Friday was pretty weak, which could be attributed simply to Friday laziness or to a sign that this downward channel is readying another leg down to $44. I am equally prepared for another test of the 45 level if the 45.75 level breaks. Will re-assess in the morning in light overnight / opening action.



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  #55 (permalink)
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Recap

Futures Edge on FIO
When I flipped on the screen, crude was in the midst of a steep sell off and approaching a support level, but still had a bit of room to run. This freefall, in combination with realizing I needed to roll over my charts, left me flat footed and I did not take any intraday trades.

I thought about it a bit afterward and decided to make this the first item in my nonexistent "playbook." I too frequently am paralyzed when a big move commenced over night. Do you wait for the momentum to turn the other direction? Do you hold your nose and jump in? Nothing will work all the time, but when oil is moving this decisively, you could do worse than just jump in on a pull back. If there are no pull backs, fine, you miss it. If the pull back turns into a stop run and turns hard, fine, take the loss. Even at the end of a move it's more likely to toss around for a while than just turn 180 degrees, giving you time to get out.

So, play 1: If you turn on your screen, and the market has already moved hard overnight, breaking through a level, and racing toward the next level, don't freak. Wait for a tasty pullback and enter, period. Contraindications: Price already touched / reacted to major level, or stands close enough to major level that R/R is not worth it.

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For tomorrow it's the usual 3 scenarios. It will go up, it will go down, or it will chop sideways. We have the broken $46.50 level serving now as resistance. We have the holding $45.50 level as support. Below that it's even number $45 and below that I've got $44.40 all the way back at the April 25th low, also conveniently sitting at the lower border of current downward channel.

I did take advantage of these lower prices to experiment with my swing trading idea. I took a sim-long the Sept contract at $45.82. Additionally, because I know jack about options, I sim-bought a 48 strike call just to see how the decay and price fluctuations play out. My interest in options for swing trading is about downside protection and possibility of lower capital requirements. But I have a lot to learn before real world use.

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  #56 (permalink)
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Slowing down

20
==
Created Wednesday 20 July 2016

I'll likely be decreasing the frequency of my posts here for the next month or so, but will try to shoot for 1 per week.

The main reason is just timing of events unrelated to trading. But also. I want this journal to be consistent and structured and LIVE, and at the moment I can't do that with daily posts where I'm messing around to a certain extent in sim. I'm not too crazy about sim at this point in my trading learning-process it's fine for now as I'm still working out kinks in my method from a platform / operational standpoint. But posting my own daily sim trades doesn't excite me too much as they don't represent anything tangible to me. Until this changes I will continue to keep the private journal going, and post occasional updates / summaries here.

The past couple days both offered great opportunities to get short before the open. They both fit into the "play 1" in my playbook from previous post. Turn on the screen and the market is moving agressively? You've missed a lot of the move but it still has a little room to run? Hop on a pull back and COMMIT to it. With Oil, it seems that even if it starts to turn on you in this scenario, it will usually bounce around enough to let you off somewhat gracefully if you want off.

My sim swing long from $45.82 is still looking OK after shaking out $44.60 (my stop is sitting somewhere around 43.50). 4-Hourly chart below.

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For intraday trading tomorrow, we're back in this range that's been compressing lower over the past week. $45.25 needs to hold for the buyers to have a chance to take back control here. Overhead, sellers will need to defend $46.50 and then $47. In this wide range between $45.25 and 46.50 it's a bit messy and will need to really be carefully looking at the action. If a tighter range develops and trades sideways, it may call for establishing a new fade-the-edges "play" in the playbook.

I'll be back.

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  #57 (permalink)
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August 10, 2016

I'm nearing completion on my sandbox activities and am commencing a real-world trial run through the end of August. I am still in flux with my daily schedule, but have managed to, between diaper changes / coffee brewing etc, free up my usual time slot from 5:30am to 8am pacific. I've done this by setting my laptop up in the kitchen and rearranging windows to a single-screen workspace. I've found that one of the best ways to combat a difficulty in life-work balance is to just remove the separation between life and work. So while I'm making breakfast / coffee / dog feeding / getting lunch packed for school, there is the laptop within reach.

To compensate for this approach, I've decided to start wearing actual pants while trading. I figure the pros aren't trading in their underwear and neither should I. They aren't making breakfast while trading either, but hey, we do what we can.

I have written down a set of rules / guidelines / things to always remember while trading. I will continue to add to and modify this list. I plan to read through the list every morning before trading. Having "rebooted" before, I know that I do lose the focus as time goes on. I believe this practice will help counter that tendency. I will post these "rules" in their current state in a followup post.

I have also been screwing around with options on futures over the past few weeks. Just sim-trades, which means I can't trust the fills even a little bit. The bid/ask on these things is very wide, and liquidity is not always great. I don't plan on trading these live any time soon, and would like to learn a bit of the math before I consider doing that. However what I am seeing is promising so far, as the potential is there for a swing-trading strategy with downside protection. I know there are some very long threads here on FIO pertaining to this topic, and I have a lot of learning to do there. I will post more on this topic as my research continues.

Here's what I was looking at today (with a Michael-Phelps-like intensity). CL Vol5000 chart below. Market had a sideways trajectory since start of week, basically waffling around the $42.90 level +/- 50 cents. I followed the morning action, which was moving along pretty logically, and waited until after the inventory report. There was an impulsive move from top of range to bottom, and then a bump back up to the midline. I've circled the spot where I took a quick short. I did not plan for this to be a runner, given the sideways trajectory of the market until that point.

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The trade lasted less than a minute, hitting the target at 16 ticks. Vol1000 chart below with markers.

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  #58 (permalink)
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August 11, 2016

Well, that was unexpected. What a squeeze! I did one thing right today. I stopped pressing my thesis once it was called into question. This saved my ass a bit of extra pain today. But there is one very important thing I need to do a better job of next time. Have a plan B.

This was my morning analysis. As I saw it, the Primary trajectory of CL was down. I'd wait for this wedge to play up to the 41.90 - 42.00 level and then short it (where that circle is). I was right to expect the market to reach that level. But the idea of shorting there was obliterated.

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Here's the same timeframe Vol5000, zoomed in a bit, showing how it played out. I went short a bit earlier than planned, as price looked like it could stall out there below 41.90. That's fine. Trade did go 7 ticks favorable before reversing for an 8 tick loss. I could have cut it short for a smaller loss but I am making an effort to meddle as little as possible with open trades right now, so I let it be.

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I am happy with the fact that I didn't press the short case after that. I didn't take another stab at 42.00, or at 42.40, or at 43.00. I stepped back and decided shorts were off until new sign of weakness. Good.

I am also happy to add another rule to the rule book. Always have a plan B. This move up had a million places to jump on board, if one was simply prepared for it . . . open to it. Even if not part of the primary thesis. Just being aware of the possibility, before it happens, allows one to stay in the game and adjust instead of basically shut down, which is what I did today. I had a defensive posture.

This also goes back to the idea of knowing "who you are selling to / buying from". I've always had trouble wrapping my head around this idea. But basically you want to know what other side of the trade is thinking. I thought I was selling to someone who didn't know what I knew - that continuation momentum from yesterday was going to turn this thing down again. Turns out I was wrong, and the person I was selling to knew something I didn't know... that oil was still too cheap. I don't know how much I get out of this type of thinking - I prefer the simplicity of lines on charts personally - but I like to think about it from time to time, to try to develop my understanding of the psychology of market participants.

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  #59 (permalink)
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August 12, 2016

12
==
Created Friday 12 August 2016

Here's where we are, looking a month back. I was concerned with the long side this morning because yesterday's move had us extended pretty far up. But at the same time, I was aware of a high probability for CL continuing to melt up the top edge of this channel.


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But the morning action was initially sideways. It looked like the market was going to continue to bash up against 43.90 until it broke or sellers wrested control. I am disappointed that I did not take any longs today. I managed to stay cautious with tight stops and targets on the short side leaning against that 43.90 level. But still, disappointed that I wasn't able to clearly see the balance shifting upward and take advantage of it. I traded -5 and +5 on the day, so 0 overall. I was not able to stay at the screen consistently after 6:30, and was waiting for the news release. The second trade was perhaps questionable, but the action after the news release initially made me believe that sellers were about to jump in and pull the market back to 43.40. I correctly bailed out because as the trade lingered without moving further down. I brought my target in to get out for a very small win. Just as I was bailing out of the short, that's when the buying really started.

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Following my rules and being cautious when the market wasn't really "speaking to me" is what saved me from losses today (and a bit of luck). It may simply be that I am looking at too much data, too much history. I have heard a few pro traders mention that most of the time they don't really pay any attention to what happened more than a day or two ago. When in doubt, zoom in? Possibly. The little channel heading up to start the move was clear by around 7am.


Last edited by FlyingMonkey; August 12th, 2016 at 03:13 PM.
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  #60 (permalink)
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Followup to ideas from July 17, 2016


Created Sunday 14 August 2016

Want to follow up on a few swing trade ideas from last month in this post: https://futures.io/trading-journals/38350-fm-s-trade-log-6.html#post584355

The CL idea was a bust, but the Japanese Yen and Copper ideas have proceeded with the expected retracements. Now the question is whether the action still looks good for the originally planned entries. I am still only passively watching, as an exercise.

6J idea from July17:


FlyingMonkey View Post
Swing / longterm futures watch list. Just noting some ideas here.
Depending on strategy / approach, I can conceive of a couple ways of trading this. In either case, I want to see a bounce back up to the .0098+ area for an attractive entry short. At that point, one could take a short at an attractive intraday price with a stop outside the .0102 spike. For example an entry at .0099 with a stop at .0102 would be $3750 of risk by my math. A target in this case around .0088 is $13750.

An alternative approach, and maybe a more palatable option, would be to eyeball smaller daily / intraday inflections as price approaches .0098 area, and try to anticipate the turn with a smaller stop say 100 ticks. This one could try a few times in case shaken out, allowing several attempts short each with a risk of around $675, with a goal of getting some green and letting it ride.

Yet another way to trade this, if one is more agile, would be to look long right now. Ride up as far as it will go, and then reverse when the timing presents itself. 6J Daily:

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Current 6J. Honestly, the chart doesn't scream "sell" to me here. The cup and handle is a little too pretty. It is however a low risk short entry with high r/r, but being strongly counter trend I give it relatively low probability. Still , I think it would be worth a try. Buyers are struggling to retake a major level here:

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HG idea from July 17:


FlyingMonkey View Post
On the daily, one approach for getting long here would be to wait for a test of this 2.15 level. As price approaches that level, look for the level to hold and jump in with a stop below 2.1. So, hypothetically with an entry around 2.155 and a stop around 2.095, that's 120 ticks risk or $1500. One could use an even wider stop, down below 2.07, risking $2200 ish. I fthis thing bounced even just conservatively to 2.5 even, that's an initial profit target of $8625.
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Current HG. This one still looks good to me. I like the series of higher swing lows since january, and defense of 2.00 in June, defense of 2.10 in July. I'm sure there are a million fundamental reasons, flooded supply and weak demand etc. why going long copper is not a good idea. But the chart looks like it's firming up.

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