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Contract Killer's Trading Journal
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Contract Killer's Trading Journal

  #11 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
New York City, NY, USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Tradestation
Broker/Data: Tradestation
Favorite Futures: Eminis ES
 
Posts: 11 since Jan 2016
Thanks: 0 given, 4 received

About My "Stop and Reverse" Today


Contract Killer View Post
On ES I shorted below the low of the day expecting a larger drop with a super tight stop. With crude inventories overloaded, producers would have to start dumping oil, so I took it to be very bearish news. It bounced up, took me out, and I immediately longed to catch the gap close, again with a super tight stop. I moved the stop to breakeven and was taken out, even though the gap closed.

My strategy is to look for just one or two high probability trades per session, and get 4 points or 15 pips. It is very rare for me to take a trade in one direction, and then immediately in the other. In fact, I can't even remember the last time I did a true "stop and reverse" like I did this morning. Usually I will pick a direction for the session and stay in that direction. A single s&r will also use up my self-imposed two trades quota, so it doesn't really fit in to how approach a session.

I usually look at an s&r as someone panicking with uncertainty, and is trying to chase price.

I am thinking about it, and I still stand by my s&r today. There was a high probability that price would break lower, and upon failure of that, a high probability that it would close the gap. So I want to bring attention to it as a rare example of a legitimate "tactical" s&r. But in general I think they are a sign of someone losing control.

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  #12 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
New York City, NY, USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Tradestation
Broker/Data: Tradestation
Favorite Futures: Eminis ES
 
Posts: 11 since Jan 2016
Thanks: 0 given, 4 received

I'm back after a long break

I was sick for many weeks, then had to take a couple months to catch up with business.

Today I am looking at ways I can find big orders hitting the market, in hopes that seeing what the big boys are doing may hint at where price may go. On ES I am using a volume chart where each bar is 50 contracts. I am ignoring all the vertical lines, and only paying attention to the horizontal lines.

Bars will make horizontal lines as contracts are traded, but eventually the buyers or sellers exhaust the other side at that price, and the horizontal line will move up or down to the next price, until that level is exhausted as well. A big order will suddenly make "steps" of horizontal lines up through three or four price handles. Since I have each bar set as representing 50 contracts, I can pretty immediately see just how many contracts suddenly hit the market to move it a little bit.

So for my purposes, this is another way I can see "conviction" in a move.

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  #13 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
New York City, NY, USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Tradestation
Broker/Data: Tradestation
Favorite Futures: Eminis ES
 
Posts: 11 since Jan 2016
Thanks: 0 given, 4 received

Oh Yeah I'm Starting to Like Volume Bars


On the E-minis I have each bar representing 50 contracts. When watching the chart, I can see entire blocks of 150-300 contracts hitting the market at key areas. It is like I can watch another trader trade, and I can see what he is thinking. Selling large blocks after a drop in price? He is expecting a breakout. Buying after a drop? He is picking a bottom.

Also I can see the little "flashes" of when price, which is staying at one price, "flashes" to the next tick and then back to where it was before. These little "flashes" were always a problem when trying to pick scalp entry and exit points, because they would trigger my order before price actually got to that point. I could get a "flash" into a breakout long position, only to see price stay in the consolidation level, then breakout downwards, turning my long into a loss. I put my order just out of reach, but it "flashed" me in anyway. Maybe now I can avoid those flashes.

Another thing the volume bars allow me to see is the amount of buying or selling that is making the move. Did price move up three ticks on just 200 contracts trading hands, or 1000? Because someone who is dropping 1000 contract blocks is someone you want to be watching.

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  #14 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
New York City, NY, USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Tradestation
Broker/Data: Tradestation
Favorite Futures: Eminis ES
 
Posts: 11 since Jan 2016
Thanks: 0 given, 4 received

My Set UP (E-minis)

My set up is very simple. No indicators. For the session I look for daily, hourly, and 15 min levels, check the calendar for any important data releases, then settle in to watch this. 1 min chart, a volume (bar = 50 contracts), and the ladder for managing the orders.

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I am really, really starting to like my volume bar chart. It shows 1.) where the large blocks of contracts are hitting the market, and 2.) where the price "flashes" may reach, so I can place my orders one tick out of their reach. A couple of interesting things from this morning:

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Here is a huge 6 tick move after buyers simply disappeared. You could see hundreds of contracts trading hands, then suddenly all the buyers just disappear, price drops, and then volume returns. I look at only the horizontal lines, not the vertical lines. So I'm looking at the length of the horizontal lines at each price, then how those horizontal lines make "steps" as they change price.

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Here is a massive 12 tick waterfall of selling. You can see in each "step" that about 400 contracts traded, then down a tick, another 400 contracts, and so on.

So by looking at the volume bars I get a real sense of the force (or "conviction") behind the moves. For a scalper such as myself, it is the quick but short burst I am looking for. This helps me gauge that force for the seconds that it happens.


Last edited by Contract Killer; May 5th, 2016 at 12:08 PM.
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