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CK's ES Journal
Started:August 18th, 2016 (10:23 AM) by Comeback King Views / Replies:2,563 / 82
Last Reply:November 14th, 2016 (05:47 PM) Attachments:40

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CK's ES Journal

Old September 9th, 2016, 05:20 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Weekly Review for 9/5 - 9/9

Negatives for the week:
1. I bailed on trades too early
2. I did not follow my morning routine on 50% of the days this week.
3. I have tools set up and available to use to help me help myself stay in a trade, but I failed to use them.

Positives for the week:
1. I got into trades without hesitation on most days.
2. I recovered on Friday from a really terrible morning and did better in the afternoon.
3. I recognized my errors as they were happening.
4. For the second week running I traded each day of the week. I have now made trades for 9 days in a row, which record for me.

Progress is not linear; few things in life are. With progress comes setbacks. As I sit back and reflect I often try to relate what I'm doing to my powerlifting days. Some days I felt like I could pull all the weight in the gym and other days I could just not get my technique down and pulled like shit. Some days I felt tired yet had great squat sessions while other days I was jacked and squatted like a little girl.

I suppose trading is a little bit like that as well. Some days I'm going to do a lot of things right while other days I'm going to do a lot of things wrong. In powerlifting, the weight on the bar didn't increase in a linear fashion; there came a point where it was add a few pounds then back down, then add a few more than back down. This is pretty much what happened with my trading this week. Honestly, it started off bad as I made too many errors and was not focused like I should be on Tuesday. The week got better and at the end I can see that I did make more progress. I got a case of the yips this morning but I corrected that by the afternoon. I also didn't do anything stupid, so that's a plus as well.

I have a lot of thinking and reflecting to do over the weekend as well as some chart study. I definitely need to ask myself some questions about why I'm not able to be patient in a trade. I am definitely committed to getting over this hurdle and I'm not going to stop working.

One thing that really helped this week was a new kind of nightly chart review I started. Each night I took the last 4 weeks of charts and spread them on the floor in a circle around me. I then just started looking at them and studying them all together and separately. I felt very confident each night after doing this. I suck at getting up in the morning, but I will make an effort to do this next week both at night and in the morning before everyone else wakes up and the morning hurricane begins. I think doing this premarket will give me a bit of a mental boost coming into the trading day.

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Old September 11th, 2016, 05:36 PM   #32 (permalink)
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ES Plan for 9/12

SR Zones I have marked:

Composite/Support
11.75 - 14.0
06.0 - 08.0
01.0 - 03.3
78.50 - 81.0

Friday/Resistance
52.75 - 54.75
49.25 - 50.25
43.50 - 45.25
38.25 - 40.25
34.50 - 36.50
26.25 - 27.75
22.25 - 24.25
18.75 - 20.0

pHi: 2158.0
pLo: 2115.50
pCl:2116.50

VAH: 2149.25
VAL: 2115.75

ONH: 2115.50 (so far)
ONL: 2100.25

We're at the top of a pretty think volume area (June/July) from here to 2001/00. I see a few possibilities happening from here, and I'll look to trade these stories; at least for Monday - I could be totally off and have to reassess after the close Monday. I don't see a great deal of early week domestic news until Thursday and Friday, so I don't think there will be major drivers until at least then.

1) The market is still valued as too high and prices are pushed lower. As we're moving into an area of thick volume, if we do move lower I expect it to be difficult as there will be buyers. I could see dropping to 2001 and even testing below but I think that would be a tough ask on Monday. If the market is moving lower on Monday I would favor buying dips for a bounce as I don't see downside without bulls stepping in; certainly no free fall like Friday.

2) It's possible that the market has found value in this area. We are at the top of an area where we spent a bit of time in June in a 12-14 point range. If this is the case, I would expect to see the market test both up and down but remain in a fairly tight range, perhaps within 15 points or so. The only real difference I see between this scenario and the above one is that there will be more aggressive tests higher.

3) I suppose it's likely that Friday's move was technically driven and not a reflection of a change in value. In this case we would move higher quite quickly; perhaps not as fast as we moved down Friday, but there would be a few days where we would generally trend higher. If this were to play out I would expect resistance levels to be brushed aside quite easily, with prices perhaps pausing or reversing slightly before moving through. I don't think this is likely but it's something that I will be watching for. I think if we were to move higher, the market would need to probe lower first, get some sucker shorts and then blast off.

Those are my thoughts on Sunday afternoon. I'll develop a more specific plan on Monday morning, but it will be much the same unless the overnight/premarket action is heavy.

I'm a little surprised by the Sunday night/Monday morning downside movement, I was expecting some difficulty moving through this range. The market looks to be rallying in the premarket as we're getting close to the ONH level. Given the overnight downside it seems likely that this would be retested during RTH today. It does look like we will gap down off the open by 4-6 points. A 4 point gap down is left unfilled 72% of the time so I will be leaning bearish today unless the gap is filled and held with conviction. We've got a lot of resistance points above so tests higher should be met with selling.

Today's plan:

1) Be a seller of rallies. I have many potential resistance zones marked and I will be interested in them starting at the 12-14 area. I really like the idea of selling the OHN off the open. Below say 2098 there's not much activity down to the 78 zone, so if we hold below 2098 I would anticipate downside into the 78 area. I will be watching this today for a short opportunity.

2) Expect chop. If selling is met with aggressive buying and we can't seem to break support levels, I think we could be in for some chop. Big moves are often followed by a period of consolidation and I think we could see this today, but I won't be banking on it. If dips are being bought, I will be looking for a more choppy day. I think the area between 2101 and 2098 is pretty key to hold and for the bulls to defend. If I see this happening, I would consider buying support zones.

My goal for today is to follow my plan. I don't want to make a goal of 1 or 2 trades where I follow my plan 100%. This would be fine if there were only 1 or 2 valid trades today, but what if there are 10? Following 1 out of 10 valid trades is pretty terrible, so I just need to follow my plan. I will say that I should execute my plan more often than I don't today. I put in a lot of work both with charts and in thinking, reading, meditating this weekend and I feel very prepared this morning.

End of Day Update

Pretty disappointed with myself today. Going into the open I was pretty bearish based on the open below pLo. However, price was trading above VWAP and VWAP was above the 600 SMA, and that extended quickly after the open which for me is a very bullish sign. So, bearish sign + bullish sign = neutral. However, I stayed bearish. I took a few swings at shorts early on and got stopped out on both as the market was not having any trouble getting through resistance areas. I did recognize after this that I really need to be careful with shorts as the market was flying. At the same time, I could not get a good entry long without feeling like I was probably buying the top. I saw a few good entry points late morning and early afternoon and had orders in but they never got hit; the market just moved so fast after I was able to detect a good spot to get long. Not wanting to chase the market higher I just sat back and waited for the next one.

I really hate this but I found a spot I liked at 14:35 and got long at 2149.50 at 14:36. I got a reversal on my RSX indicator and we were at the bottom of a SR zone I had so I thought is was a nice spot. I stayed in the trade for about a minute, we got a reversal candle and I thought, "What the heck are you doing going long up here?" and exited for a tick. Naturally, about 2 minutes later the market goes to 2154.0, well past my target.

Some days I feel like I have a pretty good read on what the market is doing; today was not one of those days. I really let my bearish bias impact my decision making, and I know my stop outs were sitting in the back of my mind when I did get long later in the day. I really hate that today played out the way that it did because I should have been able to recognize what was occurring much earlier - I mean it was sitting right there in front of me. I'm not particularly bothered about missing entries because I didn't chase the market. I can't believe I bailed on my would be profitable trade so soon - again. I just can't seem to get past this. I was pretty confident coming into today and I think I had a nice plan.

I have the tools in front of me and on paper to be able to conquer this. I know that I have the ability to, I'm just not using my discipline and letting my fear get the best of me. This ends up costing me time and money and at some point I have to decide that enough is enough and just manage the pain; I have to be tired of this self-sabotage before it's too late. The more I bail from trades early for no good reason the harder this habit is going to be to break.

I did not achieve my goal today and I ended up down 15 ticks.


Last edited by Comeback King; September 12th, 2016 at 05:18 PM. Reason: End of Day Update
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Old September 12th, 2016, 05:38 PM   #33 (permalink)
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ES Plan for 9/13

SR Zones I have marked:

71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.25 - 55.0
43.50 - 45.25
37.75 - 40.25
34.25 - 36.75
26.0 - 27.0
18.50 - 20.25
13.75 - 15.25
05.75 - 07.75


pHi: 2156.0
pLo: 2110.50
pCl:2151.0

VAH: 2156.0
VAL: 2120.75

ONH: 2151.50
ONL: 2134.25 (so far)

The market ripped today and given the tail I'd expect it to retrace and retest lower tomorrow. I certainly don't expect another big up day again at this point (that might change in the morning). My two scenarios at 16:37 are either chop or or retesting lower.

Morning Update, 8:42AM

Not shockingly we will open within yesterdays value area. I don't (or can't find) statistics on how often pVAL/pVAH is hit during the next day's RTH but I suspect it's quite high, though given the context I don't know how useful such a thing would be today.

After two big trend days that market might be ready to settle down today. My take is that buyers and sellers have struggled to find value over the last 2 trading days and I won't be surprised if that continues at least off the open. While I don't expect another trend day, I will be looking for high volatility and sharp moves this morning. I think it's quite possible for the market to settle in later in the morning or in the afternoon. With this in mind, I will be more cautious off the open so as to not get caught in a rip current. In general though I think fading extremes might be the way to go today, again dependent on price action.

My plan:

1) As we're going to open lower I will be looking for continued weakness off the open. I like the idea of buying in the 27 to 25 area for a run back into the 43/45 area. This idea is contingent on the market pushing lower first, before testing the 43/45 area. If we test up first and reject in the 43/45 zone I will favor the downside until proven otherwise.

2) If we move up off the open I will be watching the 43/45 area. If we cannot get above this zone, I think this sets up for a bearish day and will be looking to short rallies. I do have SR in the 38/40 area as well, and I do think price could bounce off this zone, but the 43/45 is critical to me. If we move up off the open and can't get above 40 then I will see this as bearish as well.

I know that an edge is defined as a mathematical advantage over a series of events. I seem to be taking my trades with the idea that the specific trade I'm in has edge, which it does not. In theory (and from my backtesting and paper trading and some real trading) my method does have an edge, but there are times when I'm stopped out. More often, my profit targets are hit.

So my goal is to just follow my plan for the next 10 trades, period. If I miss an entry because I had trouble seeing it, fine - I'm not going to count that. But I also can't avoid seeing things on purpose. I need to be focused and pay attention and play the next 10 trades I see and follow my plan. If all 10 are stop outs, I will not have a blown account so I'll still be able to trade. I need to do this to just see what will happen and go from there.

End of the Day

I ended down a tick. I got into a lot of trades per my plan but I can't say I did well or not as today was very confusing for me. To quote Tom Dante, I didn't know whether I needed a shit or a haircut. The market would drop 5 points and 3 minutes later it's rallying 7 points. I put a few trades out there but with the speed of the moves today (as well as yesterday) I just can't get a good entry in most cases. Most of my SR zones were leaking prices all over the place and they were mostly meaningless. I was a little off on the 13.75 - 15.25 zone but aside from that it held up okay.

I'll be on the fence as to whether or not I trade tomorrow. If the action is schizophrenic like it was yesterday and today then I'll just stand aside and watch. I was trading around the Brexit stuff and that was pretty wild but to me, this is crazier and just not something I'm comfortable reading/trading.


Last edited by Comeback King; September 13th, 2016 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Afternoon Update
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Old September 13th, 2016, 05:24 PM   #34 (permalink)
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ES Plan for 9/14

SR Zones I have marked:

53.50 - 55.0 (*)
48.25 - 50.25
43.50 - 45.25
38.50 - 40.75 (*)
29.75 - 30.75
13.75 - 15.25 (*)
5.75 - 7.75
01 - 03

Major zones marked with an *
I don't feel the other zones are as strong

pHi: 2139.0
pLo: 2112.25
pCl:2122.75

VAH: 2126.25
VAL: 2116.75

ONH: 2129.75
ONL: 2118.50

The action on Monday and Tuesday was nearly impossible for me to trade. I could not get a good read on the market and when I did it was always a minute and 4 points too late. I will be watching the action in the early going to assess what's happening before I decide to trade. If the market is going to put in 3 minute ranges of 5+ points up and down regularly I'll just do something else for the day...it's too stressful trying to figure out what the heck is going on and where to put an entry with a reasonable stop.

Morning Update

The great thing about intraday trading the market is that each day starts new. Even on days where I have had a profit, I've had things I could have done better; I've learned new things. I imagine this process is ongoing and continual as the markets are always evolving.

I added an SR zone at 29.75 - 30.75. There was a big gap between 38.50 and 13.75. I'm not feeling wonderful about this new zone but it's the most logical place in between the two that I see; it could hold up. Price has tested that area overnight and pulled back and there's a bit of an LVN on my composite time frame there, not as deep as I would prefer but that's a much to do with trading on 9/9.

We look set to open at the top of the VAH or slightly over. We had a slight miss on import/export prices at 8:30 but not by much and that's not normally a big market mover. We do have petroleum status at 10:30 that I'll be conscious of, that can be a market mover at times; if nothing else causing a temporary price distortion.

So we are opening near VAH from 9/13 and in the thick of volume on a shorter composite time frame. I'm expecting today to settle a bit today into a more normal auction. If I see wild price swings early and an ultra-thin book, I'll stand aside until things start making sense. We had a pretty thin book on Monday and last Friday but the price swings were not nearly as wild as yesterday. I don't mind the thinner book as much as I mind the price spikes; I also understand the thin book creates conditions where while price swings can occur.

My plan:

1) If we open up and move through the 30.75 I'll be watching to see if we can hold that area. If we can, we could start moving higher. Targets would be in the 39 to 43.50 area. If I see strength early I will look to the buying side of things.

2) If we move lower off the open I will look for buyers to become active. We could well move down to the 13.75 - 15.25 zone before this happens, but I would not be shocked if it happens before that. I like the idea of getting long on an initial series of moves lower, where is the question. If we get to the 13.75 area I'll be more interested. If we don't, I'll have to see if something else sets up, but I'll be cautious and patient. Potential targets in this case would be 26.25 to 29.75 initially.

3) If we move higher first and reject around the 29.75 - 30.75 area I will likely put my bear hat on. If we can't move through 30.75 and hold above this zone I will look to short a nice bounce at some point today. I will be PATIENT and wait for the right opportunity. My initial target in this scenario would the SR zone at 15.25. If this is lost I think things could get ugly down to 5.75/7.75.

Yesterday I seriously overtraded in a market I should not have been participating in. My trading game is such a delicate balance, a dish that needs just the right amount of each ingredient. If I add too much spice, it's inedible. Yesterday I added waaay too much spice. While I need to be aggressive when I see a good entry into the market, I need to be patiently aggressive and TRADE MY OWN PLAN. Once in the trade I need to accept the risk, accept that it's a 50/50 proposition at best and just swallow and embrace the discomfort and pain that comes with having risk on.

My goal today is to be patiently aggressive. Stick to my structured plan. Don't take any speculative trades outside of my narrow view of what I'm looking for. Once/if I see an entry that fits into my plan, take it and ride it out. No matter what I do today, I won't blow up my account - as long as I stick to trades that fit my plan.

9:50 AM

Looks like #2 is starting to play out. Bias is bearish at this moment. Order book is pretty thing but price is isn't jumping around as much as yesterday. We just took out the ONL, so that stat is done. Only 25% do we take out BOTH the ONH and ONL, so odds are shorting bounces up to 29.75 will be successful. I'm definitely looking to be short on good bounces today, provided the market isn't to whippy.

10:45

So far I like the action I am seeing, not anything like yesterday. Yes there are fast moves but it's not schizophrenic today. Despite the push up I'm still leaning bearish. We broke through 30.75 but have failed to hold it. So far, I'm patiently waiting for a high probability entry. There have been some speculative ones that I may have played in my emotional state yesterday but have left alone today, which is what I really should be doing. So far I'm pleased with how the market looks and how I'm observing everything. I will consider shorting the next pop but will not do so blindly.

And so far, no Twitter and only a few quick checks into that chat room to look for news.

11:14

Trade #1, shorted 2126, got a break lower of a small consolidation range in conjunction with a lower low and an RSX signal that was also (slightly) lower. The RSX wasn't strong, so I wasn't expecting a huge move based on that.

I calmly entered at 2126, the bottom of the consolidation zone. The market kept kissing that price but it took a while to get a fill. I took only 1 tick of heat.

My stop was up at 2129, a tick above the last swing high of 2128.75. This was actually too tight given the market swings but I felt okay with it My 1R target was down at 2123.0. Target price was hit in about 3 minutes. I was tempted to stay with the trade to see if I could ride it down for a new low, but I knew that was greed. If I'd been in with multiple contracts, I'd have scaled out there and held the other, but since I sold 1 contract, I needed to respect my target and exit, which I did.

I'm very pleased with the execution here. I didn't take a profit of a few ticks. I didn't need a lot of patience since price bombed pretty quickly, but I was tested in terms of being greedy. It feels good to get some positive points on the board but it feels better that I stuck with my plan 100%.

13:00

Not seeing much really. Still bearish and looking to short bounces I've just not found any. Price touched the SR zone at 29.75 at 12:20, stopping at 2130.0 but I did not short here. Looking at it now, it looks a perfectly good short but price was grinding higher at the time so I didn't rate it. Had price re-tested I would have been tempted, or had price moved into and perhaps out the top of the zone and been quickly rejected, I would have been shorting. But, it was not this way so there was no trade for me to consider.

13:50

I had the right idea but the wrong execution. I shorted 2127.75 at 13:31, I put my stop at 2127.50, 1.75 points above my entry and 2 ticks above the most recent swing high. I seriously considered moving my stop a bit higher, maybe another tick or two just in case there was a false breakout or some stop running. But I kept it where it was. About 3 minutes later I got stopped out, right on the dot. The ES just now sold off to 2120.0, so my mistake cost me a bit. I felt that there was plenty of downside available, so moving my stop up even another point would have been fine in terms of a reasonable 1R target. I basically fell into the noob trap.

I knew that I was cutting it pretty close with my stop placement but I left it there anyway. I seriously considered getting back into the trade after I got stopped out, and of course looking at it now it would have been fine, but I was not getting back in for the right reasons. So I didn't and missed some profit but didn't revenge trade (no matter if it would have been profitable this time). Lesson here...listen to the voice in your head about setting stops too tight; this isn't August anymore.

14:15

So busy fussing about my misplaced stop that I missed a great re-entry on the continuation of this downside move. I had a great setup at 14:04, everything looked great and I just plain missed it. This trade, which I followed via paper, hit a 1R target for +3.75.

15:15

Got a nice setup at 15:03, a little bounce higher but there was underlying weakness and my bearish lights are still flashing. I shorted at 2119.75 with a nice 3 point stop; I learned from earlier. This put my 1R target at 16.75 which hit in 9 minutes. I must say when price stalled after 6 ticks I got that strong urge again to just bail at that point but I promised I'd kick myself in the balls if I did, so I stuck with the trade. I was also tempted to hold on for a home run, but my 1st scale for my trading plan is 1R and since I'm trading 1 contract that's the deal. Pretty happy with my execution today, the profit is just gravy.

End of Day Update

I missed a long trade here at 15:30, my usual trading cutoff. It was a strong signal but I wasn't in my office at the time, good for +2. I don't mind that so much since I did really well trading today.

All told I had 3 trades today, 2 were good and I had 1 stop because I misplaced my stop loss on trade #2. I could have chased the trade after getting stopped out, and I would have been profitable most likely but it would have not fit my plan and would have been more of a revenge trade, so despite giving up some points I'm glad I just took my lesson and moved on.

Now a few months ago getting stopped out on a mistake would have had me stop trading for the day; I would have been unable to enter another trade because at that time I had a profit on the day, and I would have been scared that my next trade would get stopped out and I would go from a profit on the day to a loss. Not today though. When I entered my 3rd trade the thought definitely came into my mind...Oh hell I could go from a little profit today to a loss! I just put the order in anyway since the setup was good. I avoided the urge to fiddle on my winners as well. 2 or 3 weeks ago today would have been a break even day or maybe a small loss, because my winners would have been ticks and not points. I would have been looking back kicking myself for not following my plan. Today I can be happy that I followed my plan well. It was not easy. Being patient and waiting for my setups was hard. Getting into other trades that could have been winners but were more speculative (lower probability and conditions I've not back tested and studied) was tempting, especially as I saw all of the points that could have been made. But I remained focused and and went back to my plan. I don't need to make EVERY trade, I only need to make a few trades that fit my plan.

Taking a step back, eliminating the noise (Twitter, the chat room) and really just being calm and focusing on my plan made the market slow down for me. Today was probably a really easy day to read and trade, but it's still they type of day I would have royally screwed up not too long ago.

I definitely hit my goal today. I really felt like I just needed 1 day where I just took my trades and stuck with them, I felt like that would give me a little boost of confidence that I needed. I think I got that today.

Tomorrow I will follow the same plan. I'm not going to get stupid or arrogant, I'm just going to eliminate the noise and be patient. I have plenty of other things I can do while I wait on the market anyway.

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Last edited by Comeback King; September 14th, 2016 at 05:11 PM. Reason: End of Day Update
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Old September 13th, 2016, 06:32 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Comeback King View Post

The action on Monday and Tuesday was nearly impossible for me to trade. I could not get a good read on the market and when I did it was always a minute and 4 points too late. I will be watching the action in the early going to assess what's happening before I decide to trade. If the market is going to put in 3 minute ranges of 5+ points up and down regularly I'll just do something else for the day...it's too stressful trying to figure out what the heck is going on and where to put an entry with a reasonable stop.

I see this with so many traders. This causes a paralysis of sorts.

You are so flustered about how to predict the future when it simply can not be done. You can't do it. It is a fact.

What you can do however, is pick direction and manage your trade from there.

Don't worry so much about picking the direction correctly. It doesn't matter. Read my post about asymmetrical returns for more on this.

If you pick to be long (bullish), then you either lose a little bit when it goes down, or you make a bunch when it goes up!

If you can manage your trades correctly, you only need to pick the correct direction ~30% of the time! Seriously! The direction you choose is meaningless if you can't manage your trade.

Do not feel like this is directed at you, because this affects all failing traders.

I hope this helps!

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Old September 13th, 2016, 06:56 PM   #36 (permalink)
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rocksolid68 View Post
I see this with so many traders. This causes a paralysis of sorts.

You are so flustered about how to predict the future when it simply can not be done. You can't do it. It is a fact.

What you can do however, is pick direction and manage your trade from there.

Don't worry so much about picking the direction correctly. It doesn't matter. Read my post about asymmetrical returns for more on this.

If you pick to be long (bullish), then you either lose a little bit when it goes down, or you make a bunch when it goes up!

If you can manage your trades correctly, you only need to pick the correct direction ~30% of the time! Seriously! The direction you choose is meaningless if you can't manage your trade.

Do not feel like this is directed at you, because this affects all failing traders.

I hope this helps!

Thanks man. Friday, for example, I was pretty comfortable with what the market was doing - which direction it was going. Monday and today not so much. I figured we were trending down but we had these huge bounces so it made me wonder. I have a few things I look for as far as trade entry and normally I can get a good read on the entry but not the last few days. I really didn't know, many times, whether the market was coming or going.

Today, there were times I knew we were going down but getting short was difficult. There were some spots but my stop would have been very wide, wider than I thought a reasonable target was. I haven't had a lot of these days as I just try to look for my specific setups and go from there. If the market is doing something but I'm not getting a signal then I don't really worry about it much. Today (and yesterday) everything was just mixed up.

I'm not too stressed because my entry and exit methods are not going to be clear in all market conditions. We have ranged a total of 115 points over the last 3 days. That's an entire week's worth at times (10 days worth in a few periods in August). I don't think this craziness will continue, and when it settles a bit and my signals get more clear I'll be in a better position to try to trade them.

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Old September 14th, 2016, 12:26 AM   #37 (permalink)
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So I just spent the last 3 hours going back through my trades over the last 7 weeks and looking at my charts, the market conditions at the time, why I traded those locations, etc. There was literally nothing about today that says I should have made 1 trade...I made 6.

In my quest to get into trades and stay with them to the bitter end I managed to over trade.

I have gotten into the habit of checking Twitter often during the day - that stops now. If there is a big pop or drop I'll go on to check and see if there is news but that's it.

I also belong to a chat group with a few other ES traders in there. I actually left earlier in the year because I was more concerned about what they were doing then I was focusing on what I needed to be doing. The room is helpful but I need to be more disciplined and manage my time there better than I am.

I also need to stop every 30 minutes or so and reassess the market, asking myself questions that I do premarket. I need to get a read on things so I can make smart trades.

There are some days I should be taking 3-4 trades, but really I don't need to ever be trading more than that. Some days (TODAY) I should not make any trades. I need to really just focus on getting into high probability trades and sticking to them, managing my stop/target according to the market action and structure. If I stop and try to get a feel for what is going on and I have no idea, then I need to step aside until I do. This was today. What I don't need to do is start getting into trades and trading too much, which is what I ended up doing today. Luckily I didn't break or blow anything up...luckily.

Another day and another lesson. It's all about learning.

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Old September 14th, 2016, 05:38 PM   #38 (permalink)
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ES Plan for 9/15

SR Zones I have marked:

53.75 - 55.25
48.25 - 50.25
43.75 - 45.25
39.25 - 40.75
35.0 - 36.50
29.75 - 31.25
21.50 - 23.50
13.75 - 15.25
5.75 - 7.75
01 - 03

I've got a little better on the zones at this point I feel; we've had some nice activity in a more reasonable range for me to find those LVN zones.

pHi: 2134.50
pLo: 2112.0
pCl:2122.0

VAH: 2126.50
VAL: 2115.50

ONH: 2124.50
ONL: 2107.75

Looks like a double distribution to me, closing below value. A bit of a bearish sign I suppose but the rally off the lows was a little encouraging also. Thinking really early here but I could see an open below value and range that moves lower quickly, maybe testing or breaking 01. That would sucker the most shorts before crushing their souls by moving hard to the upside. I could also imagine the same open testing up into value and rejecting, suckering a few longs at the same time.

Those would be the fireworks type scenarios. I could also see an open in value and a more lazy day floating between HVN's that were left today, filling in the rest of the profile. Or maybe an open below value that's slowly bought into value where we float around.

Or I guess we could open at 2150...anything's possible.

Premarket Update, 8:50

As I am writing this we are coming off the premarket/overnight high pretty hard. News was mixed to good IMO, poor retail sales great Philly Fed number and the other stuff was basically consensus. I don't like to predict how the market will digest all of this news but to me it's either a wash or slightly bullish. The market does seem to be operating on reverse psychology lately news-wise with the FOMC approaching; good news seems to be met with selling and bad news is bought up - I suppose it's all about the rate hike.

Overnight the market bounced at 2107.75 which is also the top of a support level I have, so I'll be paying close attention to that number. We also topped out just above the top of an SR level I have marked between 21.50 and 23.50, so that's also interesting.

Early on I will be working off the IBH/IBL stat, 95.7% of the time the market hits one of those levels during RTH. I would not be shocked to see the high and low of the day made in the first 1/3 of the day - before 11:45, big moves this morning in response to the wide ONR and morning news that dies down into the afternoon. There are a few more news items to be released, one at 9:15 (potentially big) and the EIA report at 10:30, though that generally is not a big market mover.

As usual, I'll be cautious off the open. I believe there will be good opportunities today that fit into my style and plan so I'll be patiently aggressive and wait for my opportunity.

Plans:

1) If we start dropping off the open I will be very interested at 07.75. I like that the market stopped here overnight, so I will be watching for buyers to be aggressive here. I like this area even more if we have not taken out 24.50 first. If we've pushed up to or past 24.50 first and are now testing 07.75 I will be much more cautious. I don't see great upside potential today, so buying 07.75 would be playing a range bound day.

2) As mentioned, I don't see great upside today. My belief is that we are either locked in a nice range or we drop lower. I believe the drop lower would come off a move up in the first hour that either stalls or spikes and traps buyers. I we are moving up off the open I will look for a nice spot to fade, but will likely do so after 10:15/10:30. I like this idea a lot if we have not tested or probed lower within the first 60-90 minutes of the day. If it's upside moves, I think it could be a great spot to sell. If this is happening I think the ONH is taken out, so I'll be keen in the 29.75 - 31.25 zone and will also be watching out for pHi at 34.50. If we don't get that far within the first 90 minutes, I think we will see pLo at 12.0 today and will be trading accordingly.

Here's a chart I started watching yesterday. I'm not generally big on channels but it's something I am paying attention to.

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9:40

Wow, the open is super flat and looks choppy. I missed the first 7-8 minutes as I was meditating but the candles don't look friendly. My thinking here is that we could range today so at this moment I am very much inclined to fade extremes higher if the market isn't stupid whippy like Tuesday; I'll be more cautious on extremes lower. Given the open I could also see a runner today if we somehow get above 37, which is unlikely. Also, if we break and hold below the 7.75 - 5.75 area I think we could see a huge down day.

I still like the idea of buying the 7.75 area but I won't be as aggressive with it. I very much like the idea of fading moves higher at this point.

10:15

I post a chart and it blows up...haha. So far #2 is in play. Internals are moving slightly bearish so I'm liking the fade higher even more. Where is the question. I'm going to play it patiently. No need to pick the top when I can catch the retest on a higher probability trade. I will be cautious if we hold above 37, that might change things into a trend day but I think this is very unlikely at this moment.

11:40

Slow grind higher. I saw a long opportunity at 10:45, it was a clear long signal but price had already run higher and I was leaning bearish so I skipped it. Looking back, that was a mistake - live and learn.

I'll be curious if we can get to 2142 at this point, I think that's a possibility. These grinding days are hard to get an entry going. Shorting seems dangerous and buying seems like chasing. Staying patient and looking for a trade but I won't push it. Internals are flat at the moment so I have no bias from that perspective.

12:30

No trades so far today. I've done a lot more looking at the trade from. I was too bearish biased at that time and looking at the things I look at for internals, etc. I should not have been. This was a nice setup and should have been taken. My mistake was being too bearish which resulted in me skipping the trade unnecessarily.

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14:20

I pretty much misread the market sentiment this morning, looking bearish and not waking up to the fact that it just was not going to happen. I do need to do a better job of stepping back and looking at the market during market hours. I believe I've improved in this but clearly I missed it today. The one thing I'm happy with is that I realized there have been no short opportunities so far today and I've not lost any money. There was money to be made on the long side though, so there's missed opportunity. I have to leave early today so I'll end with no trades.


Last edited by Comeback King; September 15th, 2016 at 03:25 PM. Reason: 14:20
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Old September 15th, 2016, 09:26 PM   #39 (permalink)
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ES Plan for 9/16

SR Zones I have marked:

53.75 - 56.0
44.25 - 47.50
37.75 - 39.75
29.50 - 31.50
13.25 - 15.25
05.75 - 07.75


pHi: 2144.50
pLo: 2114.50
pCl:2138.0

VAH: 2144.25
VAL: 2127.0

ONH: 2136.25
ONL: 2126.50

So we have 3 days where VPOC is shifting up. We have a few naked POC's above and I wonder if we're gunning for them...would not surprise me. I would not rule out a pull back first to the 15-30 zone, a lot of volume is building up in this area. Who knows about the overnight action but if we stay above 30 I'll definitely be looking for a test in that area. If we can bounce then I think we will see more upside tomorrow. Given where we are, I would think it would take a while to go lower if we break under 30 barring a news event. We do have a few economic releases tomorrow at 8:30 and 10:00 that could provide a catalyst.

I have a big gap in SR from 30 down to 15 because I just don't see anything in between that would cause a quick reversal of price, just a bunch of left over volume. Hopefully the overnight stays above 30 because I'd been keen to play that area tomorrow.

I have an extremely busy afternoon tomorrow so I will only be able to trade the morning session. With quad witching I'm fine skipping the close anyway.

Morning Update, 9:00

Not a bad overnight range and we're now testing up around the ONH off the CPI news. Premarket news trades are the one types of trades that I still felt pretty comfortable with when I got back into futures trading as the tendency is still basically the same a decade later. I've been getting to my screen later since school started but this past week things have gone smoother in car line so I've been able to get in front of my screens before 8:30. I played the CPI news but it was only good for 1 point...I'll take the point though.

Plan for the day, trading until about 12:30 due to meetings:

1) I still like buying a dip early on for another push higher, and I like the 31.50 - 29.50 zone. I won't just buy there blindly but I'll for sure be looking for an opportunity. I think price might test below that down to 26.50 so I won't short 29.50 right away if price moves below that area. If it holds below for some time and the internals I watch are bearish then I'll look for a short there. Generally though, I'm going in bullish on an initial move down.

2) As the shorter term trend is up, I will be careful selling into strength today unless internals are really bearish and even in that case I wouldn't really look for weakness until the afternoon. Not to say I won't sell into higher prices, I'll just be more cautious. If we reach yesterdays high and internals are not screaming bullish then that would be my ideal place to sell.

3) I kind of covered this in #1, but if we push down off the open and stall, breaking and holding below 29.50 I will lean toward more downside. Additionally, if we drop off the open and cannot recover above 29.50 I will look for lower prices.

13:20

Not a whole lot of action today so I actually wrapped it up late morning and took a lunch out. The last 2 days have showed me that I need to do some adjusting with my pre-market bias. Today I was really wanting to go long in the 29.50 - 31.50 zone; I was convinced that was going to be a good play. However, the market opened and dropped, internals were very bearish. Price kept moving into my 29.50 - 31.50 zone and kept failing. Over and over this was happening. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, "but this is where I want to go long, I can't short this". The charts were literally screaming at me to short here, yet I didn't because I really thought it would be a buying opportunity. I was unable to let go of my premarket bias and adjust after the open as conditions changed (or became more clear).

The trade below, a perfect short at 29.50, multiple opportunities. I also had a bearish confirmation signal/trade opportunity at 10:01 where I could have held or added or re-entered. Both high probability setups but buying was stuck in my brain.

So, I'm going to stop trying to predict the market and just play my levels. I study the premarket to make myself more aware of possible key levels, but I'll just observe price action around here instead of "look for a long" there. I can some insight with market internals and today was strong bear on the open so it really was a perfect setup for me to take.

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Overall today I grabbed 4 ticks on premarket news but missed the bigger and better trade off the open. I don't feel that I was scared or nervous at all, I was just distracted by my own premarket bias of wanting to buy the dip. When the market was telling me the opposite, I didn't listen. Another day and another lesson; I'm pleased if I can notice something and learn from it, particularly when it does not dent my trading account.


Last edited by Comeback King; September 16th, 2016 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Afternoon Update
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Old September 15th, 2016, 11:10 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Comeback King View Post
ES Plan for 9/15


I pretty much misread the market sentiment this morning, looking bearish and not waking up to the fact that it just was not going to happen. I do need to do a better job of stepping back and looking at the market during market hours. I believe I've improved in this but clearly I missed it today. The one thing I'm happy with is that I realized there have been no short opportunities so far today and I've not lost any money. There was money to be made on the long side though, so there's missed opportunity. I have to leave early today so I'll end with no trades.

Awesome stuff here as always @Comeback King!

I, like you, was bearish today. It costed me $600! However, the key is admitting when you are wrong, and cutting the losses short.

Like you said, sit back and re-evaluate.

When you saw the long setup, you should have taken it. Why? Because if you won, you made lots of money. If you lost, you lost a little bit of money.

I would take that trade every single time. Even if it was a loser.

Keep it up, you are already making progress

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