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Started:August 18th, 2016 (10:23 AM) by Comeback King Views / Replies:2,585 / 82
Last Reply:November 14th, 2016 (05:47 PM) Attachments:40

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CK's ES Journal

Old August 24th, 2016, 05:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Tampa, FL/USA
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TT Trader
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
Posts: 85 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 29 given, 74 received

ES Plan for 8/25

SR Zones I have marked:

91.0 - 92.0
88.0 - 89.50
83.75 - 85.0
78.0 - 79.50
71.50 - 73.25
67.0 - 68.50
56.0 - 58.0

TOR: 2184.75
VAH: 2189.25
VAL: 2174.50
BOR: 2168.75

The profile today looks to me like two "B's" had a head-on collision - a quadruple distribution. The good news is that there was great range and 390% range expansion after the first 40 minutes. Prior to today, the post 40 minute range expansion 15-day MA was 74%. Hopefully this will loosen things up a bit in the market and get disagreement about value.

I'll see where the overnight and premarket takes us and formulate a plan in the AM.


ONH: 76.25
ONL: 69.0

It looks like we will open below 8/24 value of 74.50 this morning. This is generally bearish and this is reinforced by the position of VWAP and my SMA; these are very bearish. Using the VWAP/SMA position pre-market isn't super reliable due to lower volume, so I won't be married to the bearish idea, but I will go into the open with a strong lean.

Based on what I am seeing, the 68.50 support level is very important; I would call that major support. I think we need to hold that in order to stay in this range; it this area is lost and not gained back in short order, I think we could see a lot of downside today and tomorrow. Saying that, I'll attempt to trade what I see happening, not what I think could happen.

My plans for today:

1) If we push down off the open I will be watching the 68.50 area for support and would go long here if price action confirms and I get a valid signal. This could be a high stress trade as I might be fading a strong move, but I need to trust my signals. In this scenario I would look for a return to the chop zone/August area of value in the 84-76 range.

2) If we push higher off the open I will be looking to sell. My first spot would be my SR zone between 71.50 and 73.25. It's possible that we will open either in this area or very close to it, so I'll be cautious if it does. The longer term value area is up around 74.0, so if we get into this area and hold I will look to the long side until we reach my SR zone at 78.0, where I would be stalking a short.

My goal for today is to be calm and release control to the market. I believe that if I can release control to the market, I will have removed a heavy weight from myself. The weight of wanting to have control is very heavy and I don't need to carry it around. If I am able to release control, I will be able to get into and out of at least 1 valid signal today. I will measure success by this and by an honest assessment of my calmness.

Mid Session Update

Mixed results so far today. I took 2 trades, the first I scalped for +1; I bailed early. I got into the trade fine but the exit was emotional and not per my plan. My second trade was a valid setup, but it was also not in a great spot as I was shorting a little shy of a resistance zone. I took immediate heat but I was okay with it, no big deal. Price wasn't running lower like I wanted and since this was a less than ideal zone I scratched the trade at break even. Again, not according to plan here. I followed it through on paper, following my plan and it was a winner. I'm not being too hard on myself over this one because of the odd setup. I do, however, need to commit to trading my plan if I'm going to enter a trade. If I'm uncomfortable because of an odd level, then I need to decide to enter or stay out. If I enter, I need to trade my plan.

My emotions have been okay but I'm not focusing when I am in the middle of a trade. This afternoon I will place more emphasis on focusing on my plan while in the trade and accepting any discomfort I have.

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End of Day Update

The market really didn't open up today, range was again under 10 points and the post 40 minute range expansion was only 41%, well below the 15 day MA.

VWAP:SMA was tight today indicating chop. We did get a few ranging moves but prices were falling short of my SR zones and divergences were hitting in the middle of my zones or in areas where risk was increased which skewed my R ratio making a trade too risky versus the logical reward/target.

I ended up taking part in 2 trades today. While my plan calls for even numbers of contracts to be traded, I am still just trading a single contract for now. I do need to increase this to 2 in order to follow my entry and exit strategy.

Entering my trades was very easy and I was very calm and relaxed. However, on both occasions I micro managed the trade, letting my emotions guide my decisions rather than my trading plan. On both, I bailed too early - a habit I am repeating. Neither trade ran into my stop and both trades hit my initial 1R profit target, my exit point while I am trading 1 contract. These are clearly mistake trades and while I was "calm" I was also guided by emotions. I also did not stick to my trading plan on either trade, so my goal was not accomplished.

I can find some positives today. I am recognizing and acknowledging that I am letting my emotions take over my trade. I have yet to discover the emotional queue which leads to this, but I am working on ways to see this happening and taking a step back. My plan calls for a reassessment of the market if my first target has not been hit within 20 minutes, so I have a few options. My trading platform does not offer an OCO type order, so setting orders and simply walking away isn't so much of an option. I could end up getting a fill on my stop followed by the market moving to hit my exit orders and I'd be in an unwanted position.

What I am considering is meditating in spurts while my orders are sitting. If one is hit, I will get an audible alert so I can react at that point. I also have some soundbites from webinars recorded that I can listen to; this will draw my attention to my tendency/habit to let my emotions drive my trade once I have entered the market. I have some music saved - about 20 minutes worth of songs that I could play that would do the same - keep my mind focused. I am also creating an object that will redirect my focus using an NLP technique I learned many years ago. I had a plan to control my emotions pre-trade coming into today and that worked well. What I didn't have was a good plan to control my emotions intra-trade. I will have a plan tomorrow for this and I will put it to work.

P&L wise I ended +1 today on my 2 trades. My mistakes cost me an additional 2 ticks based on my paper trading results of those trades. I did paper trade a 3rd setup that gained 3 points; this was a very nice RSX divergence BUT it was 6 ticks short of the bottom of one of my SR levels. That's a pretty crappy place really. I saw the signal coming - I was sure there would be a divergence and was just waiting for the entry trigger. As I saw it developing (price was making a higher high while RSX was clearly going to make a lower low unless we started to rip) I started preparing for an entry. When the price turned down, I started evaluating where I would potentially place my stop and where my 1R target would be based on the stop. Based on the price area and where my SR zones were located, I decided that this was a higher risk trade than I was willing to participate in and just paper traded the setup, recording the result for my record keeping.

Despite not meeting my goal and letting my emotions guide my trade management, I am feeling good at the end of the trading day. I didn't get pissed off and do something stupid. I did recognize what I did wrong and I have made a corrective plan. It will be up to me to sincerely implement this corrective plan the next time I enter a trade, but I'll do work tonight to prepare myself for this tomorrow. Trading is a lot like golf. When I was golfing a lot I'd recognize something with my swing that I needed to correct - maybe my hip rotation. But there were times that overfocusing on this would cause the last thing I saw and was focusing on to correct to go to shit again - and my little white ball would still end up in the woods. Luckily, trading differs in that I don't have to correct the entire shot process at once. I can focus on my emotional fix for skipping good setups and get into a trade. Once I'm in, I can then shift to my intra-trade emotions; I don't need to focus on them both at the same time, I can have a transition - this is where I can make trading different than golf.

Lastly, I've really been working on keeping my PMA (positive mental attitude) despite what might be disappointing days. Several weeks ago I passed up some scary but total valid setups that were big winners; I did this two days in a row. I was super-pissed for about 3 days after; I was extremely down and this carried on at work and at home. That weekend I did a lot of thinking and sort of did a reset. I decided that I'm not going to turn trading into something negative. I enjoy the process of finding an edge and working on my trading mentality, even though it's hard. I am a former competitive powerlifter, who stopped due to age and injuries. That was hard also, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the bloody shins after a deadlift session and I enjoyed and accepted the pain because I realized it was part of the process. Somehow I'd lost those lessons when it came to trading. So, in my Come to Jesus meeting with myself I really thought about my life, my values and my overall worldview. That has been helpful and I've done a 180 since that weekend; and I'm very happy that I'm continuing to keep my PMA even though I have days where I'm not achieving what seem like pretty simple goals.

Last edited by Comeback King; August 25th, 2016 at 05:30 PM. Reason: End of Day
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Old August 25th, 2016, 06:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Tampa, FL/USA
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TT Trader
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
Posts: 85 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 29 given, 74 received

ES Plan for 8/26

SR Zones I have marked:

83.75 - 84.75 (good)
78.0 - 79.50 (good)
71.50 - 73.0 (good)
67.0 - 68.25 (good)
58.50 - 56.50 (good)

TOR: 2177.25
VAH: 2173.50
VAL: 2169.0
BOR: 2167.75

We're coming off a double distribution day where the market opened below value but above range, tested lower, taking out the ONL then slowly worked higher before moving lower into noon, hitting VWAP. Lunchtime was a tight sideways range before the market dropping, presumably on Saudi oil news. Post drop found a 2nd tight range and another distribution area. It looks like more short term buyers and sellers agreeing on price with the longer term players inactive.

I'll see what happens overnight and premarket and put a full plan together based on that. There is the usual premarket Friday news along with JY speaking at 10:00. My expectation is a pretty flat market until 10:00 at least. Based on the speech, we might see some fireworks and I'm not trained to handle these things so I will be extremely cautious. I'll consider a Grade A prime setup on the open but won't stick around very long, and if the market gets wild after 10:00, I'll take a step back until things settle a bit.

ONH: 76.25
ONL: 72.75

Nice 14 tick overnight range; the market is on life support here. Luckily Yellen has the paddles ready to go. I expect the unexpected so I will be sitting on my hands until the market has some meaning today. My last stupid trade was a few months ago when I took a flier on FOMC minutes and shorted 2 ticks from the bottom. I made up my mind that I would not be an idiot ever again and this lesson is still very fresh in my mind.

Plan for today:

1) Stay out of the way early. Watch the news and watch the market reaction and learn, but don't trade. Evaluate the conditions at 11:00 and formulate a plan at that time if the market is not whipsawing around. If it's still crazy, evaluate over the lunch period and formulate a plan for after 13:30. If I don't trade today it's okay.

Goals: 1) Don't take a stupid casino trade. 2) If the market is settled and I see a valid setup, put into practice what I have been working on, a) release control and get into my trade and b) once I am in the trade be aware of my emotions but don't act on them, stick to my trading plan. I want to follow through through from start to finish 1 time today if there is an opportunity.

Midday Update

Wild morning. I had a subtle divergence to sell at 11:29 that I passed on. This was just prior to Stan Fischer's comments about a rate hike. My divergence was saying that upward momentum was slowing, but I was skeptical given the news and emotion fueled trading. Clearly the market sold off super hard after this last push, but the selloff had 0 to do with this divergence and 100% to do with new news hitting the market.

There was a lot of money made this morning and just as much money lost. I am happy to have been a neutral observer, following my plan.

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The afternoon session was a bit more predictable though highly volatile. I was very patient watching the market and waiting for a good opportunity to make an entry. Because of the high volatility I wanted to be cautious. I really thought the 68.50 area was a key support level that we needed to hold or see major downside, down to 58.50. Right at 12:00 price dropped to and bounced off of 68.50 (68.0 was the low on that candle). Price did a sideways thing here which I figured was bad news then blew through this support level. At this moment I thought this level would provide sturdy resistance. This was tested at 12:21, 12:44 and 13:02. The 13:02 test grabbed my attention as price broke above 68.50 but was quickly knocked back below on the next candle, that was the first piece of evidence we would test the 58.50 area and not move higher here. At 13:02, price made a higher high as compared to the 12:44 high, but RSX was lower signaling a bearish divergence. A bearish divergence at a key support level where the market has just slammed a test above this area is a Grade A, high probability setup in my book. I waited for a red RSX dot, which came quickly, and I put an order to sell in at 67.0. Point A in the chart shows a candle hitting 67.0 but I did not get a fill. The next candle ran lower so I assumed I had missed my opportunity. I decided to take a short walk since I didn't get a fill; I wasn't pissed or anything I just figured I knew how this would play out; I thought the market would tank from here. 4 minutes later price moved back to and through 68.0 - I would have been filled! I have a sign at my desk that says the following, "Stay with the market, stay engaged. You don't know what will happen when". Obviously I was shocked to see what had unfolded while I was away as soon as I got back. Because I had not followed my own advice I missed my trade. The funny thing is this ran for a 10 point win and took only 2 ticks of heat; the entry was better than break even in 3 minutes.

So...I didn't really get a chance to practice exercising my demons today, those of getting into the market and staying in the market according to my plan. I failed even before I had the chance. I was not disciplined and I again assumed I knew what would happen. Quite a while ago, when I got back into trading, I was 100% discretionary. I would make trades based on what I thought, or assumed would happen. If I thought the market would go down from point X, I'd sell and the opposite for buying. I learned very quickly that I have no idea what the hell the market will be doing. Sure, sometimes I'm right - and I'm good at remembering those times. But way more often than not, I'm wrong. That is the precise reason I started exploring a more systematic way of trading and why I have a plan with a very specific set of rules that I need to follow. That's why I don't fade the initial Fed reaction, even though I figured that was the right thing to do; that's not in my plan. I really don't want to be a casino trader; I want to put on risk in an intelligent and systematic manner. But in this example, I reverted back to assuming and missed out on an opportunity to practice discipline, patience and focus; and I very likely made an error that hit my P&L as well.

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So, I have homework for the weekend - mental homework. I believe this is going to stick with me for a while, because it stings - bad. I'll be damned if I'm going to walk away from a potential trade again any time soon. If I need to go, I'll just leave my fill and my stop orders in and come back to see what happened...I'd much rather do that than assume and miss out again.

This weekend I will review this weeks charts, looking over all of the setups again. I will also review all of August since we're near the end of the month. I'll work on my mental homework, and read over my trading plan at least 10 times. I will spend time in meditation. I will consider creating a step by step process of what to do when a signal is approaching. I have this, but it's scattered in a few places; perhaps writing it in my trading plan would be good. I'm not going to kick my own ass the entire weekend because I made an error today. I made an error, it was a unique error and one I didn't really see coming - I wasn't focused on this one. I will not be making this error again, and I'll go back to working on the recurring things that are holding me back.

Last edited by Comeback King; August 26th, 2016 at 05:49 PM. Reason: End of Day Update
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Old August 26th, 2016, 05:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Tampa, FL/USA
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TT Trader
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
Posts: 85 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 29 given, 74 received

Weekly Review for 8/22 - 8/26

Negatives for the week:
1. Too many error trades, skipping valid entries and exiting too soon - not according to my plan.
2. I lost focus more than I wanted to.
3. I reverted back to assuming I knew what the market would do, even though I know that's foolish.

Positives for the week:
1. I had a very active Monday.
2. I continued to develop tools to enable to me to stick to my trading plan.
3. I established a good morning routine for trading; one that I will be able to continue into the future. I have been arriving at work much later now that school has started and I drop my kids off, so the week before (and even part of last week) was very unsettling as I am feeling rushed and unprepared. I solved this issue during the week.
4. I am growing more confident in the quality of my trading plan and setups.
5. I am even more committed to overcoming my obstacles than I was at this time last week.

I took 6 trades this week, 5 (83%) were error trades. I finished the week +2.0 points. Monday was my most active day with 4 total trades. I skipped a number of valid setups and took 1 casino trade. The casino trade was extremely low risk but I should not have taken it; it's outside of my trading plan.

Last edited by Comeback King; August 27th, 2016 at 04:49 PM.
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Old August 28th, 2016, 09:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Tampa, FL/USA
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TT Trader
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
Posts: 85 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 29 given, 74 received

ES Plan for 8/29

SR Zones I have marked:

88.0 - 89.50 (not tested)
83.50 - 84.75 (not tested)
71.50 - 73.0 (not tested)
65.0 - 66.50 (not tested)
60.0 - 61.0 (not tested)
57.50 - 58.25 (not tested)

TOR: 2186.75
VAH: 2177.0
VAL: 2158.0
BOR: 2157.50

Friday's distribution was more of a B, with areas of value found above the 72/74 area early and then below after Fischer's clarifying remarks were made around 11:30. At the current time, price is around 68, so in this zone that I think it a pretty key area. I'll make more detailed plans in the morning after the overnight action, but I will be looking carefully at the 67/68 zone. Even though I don't have this marked as an SR area I do think it's important, and will use it as a bullish/bearish bias. I would not be surprised if we had a very slow, low range day on Monday given Friday's volatility. If there is heavy action, I'd lean toward a volatile open as traders look for price agreement after digesting everything from Friday. So...either a totally dead day or a wild first hour followed by a dead day - those would be my predictions. Having said that, I'll trade (or attempt to trade) what the charts are telling me.

ONH: 71.75
ONL: 64.75

Price is pretty flat moving into the open; looking at an open slightly higher than Friday's close which means above the 67/68 zone. I'm still expecting a pretty slow day today after Friday's volatility. My plan:

1) If we move up off the open to the ONH (set 8:50) I will look with interest as this is an SR zone for me. If we can't move past 73.0 I will be a seller.

2) If we move down off the open, I will really be watching the 66.50-65.0 zone. If we can hold that zone I will look to buy in this area. If we move down and out of this zone, below 65.0 I'll see how we react but I will be looking for a short in the 65 area.

Because I'm leaning toward a mild day, my tendency would be to fade moves to the extremes rather than look for a breakout/breakdown to run. However, I will still stay flexible. If the market explodes or tanks I'm not just going to blindly fade it.

Goal for the day: I really need to get 1 trade in with 0 mistakes. I just need to jump off the diving board into the pool 1 time to prove to myself that I won't drown. I'm not going to blow my account up in 1 trade or even 50 trades. I have been working on tools to help me stick to my plan, so I need to utilize those tools and accept the pain.

Midday Update

We're getting a pretty slow day for sure. So far I've had 2 tradable setups; I took the first and skipped the second as it seemed a lower probability. Both were break even trades.

I went short at 10:11 based on a bearish divergence between price and RSX. I saw this developing and I thought for a bit it would not actually develop but it did. I entered without any difficulty and felt pretty good. I decided it would be best if I just left and took a walk around the office so I didn't fiddle. I came back to see that nothing much had happened. Because the VWAP was in a position of strength, my plan calls for a shorter wait time for the trade to start working. I was right at this point so I just exited with a 1 tick profit; basically according to plan. While I could have sat with the trade a little longer, there was news coming in at 10:30 and I wanted to be either out of the market by that time or in the market with a good profit.

Looking back at the trade I feel that I bailed on it a little early but at the same time I took an exit at break even before the news hit. Had I not exited when I did, price could have moved up past my entry and not moved back down before the news release. I would have been faced with the option of holding into news, which I think is a pretty bad idea, or taking a loss. While I think I did the correct thing, I don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling about my execution.

My challenge for the afternoon will be staying with the market. I've looked at the sign in front of me probably 20 times in the last hour that says "Stay with the market, stay engaged. You don't know what will happen when". I'm going to keep reading that.

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End of Day Update

ES put it a B profile today and stuck to 2 very tight ranges. I thought we might break down in the afternoon as we were approaching a sort of cliff around 79.0 but buyers kept stepping in and moving the market slightly higher. When we finally did break 79.0 there was not much downside momentum. Based on the profile I didn't expect there to be a lot but I thought the possibility was there for the market to move down into the lower distribution if 79.0 didn't hold. What ended up happening was (it seems to me) additional buyers stepping in to keep the market up and preventing a move to the lower distribution around 76/77. I was not in a position to trade this action either way as it's not a setup in my trading plan, but I thought the price action was interesting to watch. We closed back up into the chop zone which while a little disappointing isn't at all surprising. I suppose it's going to take larger fundamental shift to lurch the markets from this area. Perhaps that will be a new month, perhaps it will be the jobs report on Friday.

I did achieve my goal today, even though it was actually pretty easy. Staying in a trade is much more challenging when it starts to move into a profit zone as I'm tempted to take a small profit rather than letting the trade play out according to my plan. I am sure that if I can continue to enter trades throughout the week I will be fully tested.

I ended the day with 1 trade for a 1 tick profit. There were 2 potential setups but the 2nd was sketchy and of very low quality so I skipped it.

Last edited by Comeback King; August 29th, 2016 at 05:47 PM. Reason: End of Day Update
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Old August 28th, 2016, 09:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
Membership Revoked
Duluth MN
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader/Sierra Chart
Broker/Data: AMP
Favorite Futures: ES
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Futures Edge on FIO
This is a good journal you have here, but if you are seeking help, advice, or constructive criticism, you should get the elite membership.

It is definitely one of the best investments you will ever make.

Good luck!

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Old August 28th, 2016, 10:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Murrells Inlet SC
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Tradestation
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rocksolid68 View Post
This is a good journal you have here, but if you are seeking help, advice, or constructive criticism, you should get the elite membership.

It is definitely one of the best investments you will ever make.

Good luck!

Well organized journal and your putting the effort in- folks would be happy to help. There are a few things in the elite section regarding context and understanding the markets (no trading system bs) from some very experienced and talented traders that would likely change things for you forever. Best 2 ES points one could ever spend on thier trading IMO.

Best of luck on your journey- appears you are off to a good start!

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Old August 29th, 2016, 10:05 AM   #17 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Tampa, FL/USA
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TT Trader
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
Posts: 85 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 29 given, 74 received

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check out Elite Membership...

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Old August 29th, 2016, 05:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
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Platform: TT Trader
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
Posts: 85 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 29 given, 74 received

ES Plan for 8/30

SR Zones I have marked:

91.25 - 93.0 (not tested)
88.0 - 89.50 (not tested)
83.50 - 84.75 (not tested)
65.25 - 66.50 (not tested)
60.0 - 61.25 (not tested)

Minor, within the chop

77.50 - 78.50 (okay to good)
74.75 - 76.0 (good)
72.0 - 73.0 (good)

TOR: 2182.25
VAH: 2180.50
VAL: 2175.75
BOR: 2169.25

This is the first time I've distinguished between major and minor SR zones, but there are 3 that are within a composite value area. They are pretty obvious but are very tight/close together. I have added these to my charts and will utilize them but I will be much more cautious about my entries in these areas. If we can break out of this composite value area between 67 and 83 then I will use my regular/major SR zones as I normally do.

My feeling at this moment is that we're likely to stay within this composite value area between 67 and 83 unless there is some major news that will shift the perception of value. I would imagine that many traders (longer time frame traders) are taking a cautious approach until the jobs report on Friday. This will leave the markets in the hands of the short term traders and computers who will keep price in a tight range. I suppose we shall see.

I'll develop a plan in the morning after I can see the overnight and early morning sessions.

Morning Update

ONH: 80.75
ONL: 76.75

Really tight overnight range, mostly staying within 8/29 VA. With no premarket news we look to be opening around an SR area that I have marked, 77.50-78.50. This is minor SR as it is inside my composite VA and area of serious chop.

Plans for today:

We have a few minor news releases this morning, at 9:00 and 10:00. These are generally not market movers so I'm not expecting much out of them. Because we are opening in value, I'm expecting a range bound day and I would not be surprised if it was pretty tight. The average August RTH range was a little over 10 points prior to Friday; I believe we will be in this area for today's range.

1) If we push up off the open I will be keeping an eye on the 83.50 - 84.75 area for a short opportunity. Unless there is news driving us to this level I will be fairly aggressive with a short here. If we move lower first, find strong buyers then push to this level I will still look for a short but will be less aggressive.

2) If we push lower off the open I will look for a long opportunity around 76.0 down to 74.75. 76 is both the top of an SR zone for me as well as a tick below yesterday's VAL. An initial push lower could well find buying support here and move up. I will be fairly aggressive in looking for a long in this area, but will not just blindly put an order in. If we push higher first, then move lower I will be more cautious in this area.

I don't have any SR zone marked out in the 68-69 area because the volume profile does not suggest that there should be one there. However, I still think this is a key support area and as long as we stay above it I think the bulls have the advantage. If we close below 68-69 I think we could see continued downside; the bears will have the upper hand.

Goal for the day: I will enter and exit at least 1 valid setup according to my plan. To do this, I will need to 1) stay with the market, 2) let go of my need for control and give that to the market and 3) utilize my tools to recognize my emotions while my trade is on - acknowledge my emotions but not let them guide my decisions.

End of Day

Today was a pretty poor trading day for my style. I did manage to pull off 1 trade late in the day; it was a very sketchy entry but it fit my criteria. I was pretty doubtful about the trade; that's not all that uncommon but the chart wasn't really screaming to take the trade. I put my order in, got filled and then got stopped out 13 minutes later. And this is the core of my issue. I get into good trades and bail way too early. I finally get into a trade and it stops out. My stop loss was 6 ticks, so very reasonable and that won't kill me. But, since I have been taking profits way too early on my good trades, I'm now up $1.50 since last Monday. At some point, this is going to be so painful that I will change because it really pisses me off. Not the stop out so much, I get that those will happen. But my not staying in working trades is costing me.

Here's the first setup. It happened pretty fast and wasn't really clear at the time. Looking back on it, it's pretty obvious but at the time it didn't seem so given the tight ranges between my SR zones. I wasn't 100% focused on trading because one of my managers had the nerve to call me and start asking some questions while I was in the middle of stalking a trade...some people. In reality, I'm not sure if I would have caught the initial bounce back to SR anyway, though I did think about putting an order in after that but I was distracted. I'm not sure I would have gotten a fill, so this probably would have been a missed signal.

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There was also a pretty nice long trade after the impulse move to a new LOD but I wasn't too comfortable with an entry. I did paper trade this one and it was a break even trade as the market just wasn't reacting off the low quickly enough and I cut the trade short.

As we were pushing down in the afternoon making new lows I was really looking for a spot to get long. Unfortunately, nothing really set up for me to trade. I saw a couple of possibilities, but I'm really looking at a few specific setups at this point; I really want to trade within my plan.

At 14:55 price pushed up to 2172, the lower end of one of my SR zones. I really don't like to re-short breakdown areas like this; the probability of this setup working is much lower based on what I have tracked. Yes, these can and do work, but the failure rate is high as well. I suppose there is logic that there are still people holding long positions in this area and once price gets back there will be selling pressure. That might be in some cases, but given the couple of powerful moves lower once this area broke down, my thinking is that the market has already puked the longs out by now. The grinding up price action is the market auctioning back into range or value.

Anyway, I got some bearish divergences on higher highs that were running into my resistance zone. I knew this was a risky trade, I knew the longs were gone and that there would be little to no residual selling in this area. But at the same time, I was getting a divergence on my chart. I got one of these a week or so ago that failed as well, and I think for pretty much the same reasons (I didn't trade that one). But...I felt that I needed to get a trade on, if for nothing else practice my mental tools for staying in the market. I put the trade on at 15:13, watched it for a minute then took a walk. When I got back, I peeked and didn't like that we were not reacting down very well; the market moved down a little but buyers stepped in; there was not enough selling pressure to push prices lower. I had several chances to exit at break even or a tick or two positive, but I told myself I would stick to my plan no matter what, that I needed to give the trade time to work. In the end, I was right and I was wrong. I was right in that there were not enough residual longs left in this area to drive the market back down. I was right to put on my trade and even though it didn't work, I was right to stick with the trade and let it stop out rather than bail too soon for a break even trade. I was wrong in that the trade wasn't a good setup and I took it anyway. In the end, I'll pay the 6 ticks for a little education and a chance to work on my mental game. I won't however, take this type of setup again because I know how it will probably turn out.

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My goal today was achieved, I took a trade and stayed with it. I really needed to do this. Unfortunately, staying with a losing trade is pretty easy. Once you start taking heat there's not a hell of a lot you can do about it except sit and watch your stop get nailed. What I REALLY need is to put a trade on that starts to work, because my big issue is taking profits too soon. Maybe tomorrow.

I made 1 trade today and lost 6 ticks.

Last edited by Comeback King; August 30th, 2016 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Premarket Update
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Old August 30th, 2016, 05:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Tampa, FL/USA
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TT Trader
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
Posts: 85 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 29 given, 74 received

ES Plan for 8/31

SR Zones I have marked:

81.50 - 83.0
77.0 - 78.0
74.75 - 75.75
69.0 - 70.25
64.75 - 66.50

TOR: 2181.50
VAH: 2176.25
VAL: 2171.25
BOR: 2168.50

Pretty rangy day with more of a double distribution or a weak triple distribution. I really like the 77-78 SR zone; this looks nice both from today volume profile and from a short term volume profile. The 81.50-83.0 zone looks good to me as well; if those are tested on Wednesday I expect them to be strong.

I'm still expecting more chop and trading mostly within the recent value area until Friday; I don't think longer term traders will be active. There is a good bit of news tomorrow both premarket and during RTH so we could get some movement off that. I'll be busy with work tomorrow afternoon so my afternoon trading will be either limited or non existent. I'll put together a trading plan in the morning based off overnight trading.

Morning Update

ONH: 76.0
ONL: 71.50 (we're printing as I write this)

We had another tight overnight range but we're breaking down just before the open. I believe there is a case to me made that we will at least touch yesterday's RTH low at 68.50. We could open in value, but if we do it looks to be at the lower end. My plans are as follows:

1) There is a 77% chance ES will break yesterday's high or low. We're very close to the pLO at 68.50 and I think highly probable we will hit that price today. With this in mind, I will fade any strength off the open; I will look to aggressively short in the 75-76 area. I don't have a great feel for what we will do if we get to 68.50, but I would expect a temporary bounce at the least.

2) If we move down right off the open I will be cautious as we approach 68.50. I expect a bounce of some sort and will be looking for a long entry here with a trade moving toward 8/30 POC around 74.25.

The market seems to be drawn back into the longer time frame composite value area. I suppose there have been some bearish comments from the Fed which could potentially see us trade slightly lower. I don't expect any big moves until Friday, so I'll be trading accordingly until that time.

I will have time to trade this morning but probably won't this afternoon. Tomorrow also looks sketchy in the morning but tomorrow afternoon might be better. I should be able to keep an eye on the market, but trading might not happen.

My goal for today is pretty much the same as it's been. Get into a trade that fits my plan and manage it per my plan. I just want to do this 1 time today.

Mid Day Update

I didn't really get either of my plans on the open. Ideally I would have liked prices to move up first and show weakness so I could short. We did move up immediately off the open, but not by much. I did get a nice bearish divergence in the 72.50 area but this was in the middle of two SR zones I had marked and wasn't a clear trade. It would have hit; perhaps I needed to be more aggressive in taking this entry.

I did take a long trade at 11:04. The trend was moving down but it looked to me like we would get a bounce off of an SR level I had. I was getting a slight bullish divergence on the lower lows. Since the divergence wasn't very strong, and since the VWAP/SMA was extremely bearish, I decided to take the trade but give it a short leash. I entered long at 66.50 and later exited -2 ticks. I could have held for a break even trade but I didn't really want to risk a full stop for 2 ticks. I think I did okay on this trade. Hindsight trading is probably the easiest thing there is to do ever, but I feel that I'm being aggressive on the wrong trades and backing out on the harder ones. It's the "easy" trades that lose and the "hard" ones that win.

I'll be watching the market for the rest of the day, but it's likely I won't be able to place trades. If I can, and if one shows up, I'll take it.

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Last edited by Comeback King; August 31st, 2016 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Mid Day Update
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Old August 31st, 2016, 05:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Tampa, FL/USA
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TT Trader
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
Posts: 85 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 29 given, 74 received

End of Day Update for 8/31

I could not edit my original post as too much time had passed, so here the rest of 8/31...

I could not get a feel for the market today at all. We had another pretty nice range but I could not get a good trade off anywhere. I took the 1 in the morning that didn't pan out. There were a few more signals throughout the day that look pretty good now but we not as obvious at the time. I did have a little time to trade this afternoon as I was not as busy as I thought I would be.

My SR zone at 64.75 - 66.50 wasn't holding anything, price was leaking on either side of this area. While there was some indecision in this zone it didn't exactly repel prices.

I did take a trade outside my plan late in the day. My plan calls for no trading after 15:30 but I saw a short setting up around 15:40 so I traded it. I put a 4 tick stop in, which is too tight, and I got stopped out in less than a minute - pretty stupid. A 6 tick stop would have been fine and I could have scalped the trade for a small profit - a 6 tick stop is generally my minimum. Why I put in the 4 tick stop I don't know, other than a lack of discipline/stupidity.

There were spots today where I could have been aggressive with an entry and I wasn't. Most of these areas would have worked out okay, though some would not have. My issue was that I was passive when I should have been aggressive and the one time I should have sat on my hands I was aggressive. I suppose this is part of the process, but damn - it really pisses me off that I can't just stick to my plan.

In terms of my structured trades, this has been just a terrible week. I realize that these things will happen, not every day is going to be a big winner.

I suppose I achieved my goal today, even though it really doesn't feel like I did. I can't seem to buy a trade that runs in my favor at the moment. I suppose this is where I just have to keep plugging away.

I finished - 6 ticks today, again.

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