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CK's ES Journal
Started:August 18th, 2016 (10:23 AM) by Comeback King Views / Replies:2,590 / 82
Last Reply:November 14th, 2016 (05:47 PM) Attachments:40

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CK's ES Journal

Old September 22nd, 2016, 10:55 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Thanks man, good advice for sure. I had considered just not trading tomorrow and I might sit it out; I'll see how I feel in the morning and go from there.

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Old September 22nd, 2016, 11:15 PM   #52 (permalink)
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ES Plan for 9/23

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.0 - 55.0
44.50 - 46.50
37.50 - 39.50
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2172.75
pLo: 2164.25
pCl:2167.25

ONH: 2169.50
ONL: 2163.25

VAH: 2171.0
VAL: 2167.25

Most of the trading on 9/22 occurred between the 66.0 and the 71.25 zones I had marked. Looking at the volume I don't see anything to really change as far as my SR zones.

Friday AM is busy for me again at work but I should be free by 11:00. I've been quite frustrated all week so if I'm still in a bad mood tomorrow I'll consider skipping the day. I'm off work on Monday and taking a break from trading; I'll probably spend the day at the beach...one of the benefits of Florida living.

9:10

We drifted lower overnight but nothing spectacular. Unless there's a big move in the next 25 minutes we look to be opening around 66-67 which is right around an SR zone that I have, one that held prices pretty well yesterday. Going into the open things look mixed to slightly bearish. The market has had an up week so I would not be surprised to see some strength at some point today, possibly setting the weekly high above 2172.75.

I have a busy morning so I'll be able to watch the market but might not have enough focus to trade. I might take the day off, not quite sure just yet. If I do trade it will be after 11:00. I'll have to see where I'm at with work and whether or not I'm in a cranky mood and just go from there.

3:30

Busy day today in the morning but I did take 1 trade, no real problem getting into it. I did put an order in 2 ticks below the entry on the chart and got a fill. On my paper trade it ended up being a break even trade but I got 2 ticks profit because of the better fill.

I took a trade in the afternoon (below), it was a legitimate signal but it was higher than the initial one. I got a nice divergence signal at 14:04 at 2157.50. I had been stalking that area for a few minutes because it looked like it could be setting up for a great entry. I'll be damned if a minute before the signal flashed one of my mangers crashed into my office to tell me something that wasn't a big deal - but it couldn't wait. That's pretty much a summary of my week - just garbage timing all around. After a useless 10 minute conversation the price was 2 points higher. I figured there was a small chance of a nice pullback and another signal where I could get long. I did end up entering about 30 minutes after the initial signal at 2159.50, 2 points higher. That really wasn't moving at all so I scratched it; a little earlier than I should have though - so that's not great.

I added a couple of things to my charts. I generally watch buying and selling volume to gauge market internals and I'm working on writing a script for this, so that's new. The one I added isn't mind but I think it's similar so I dropped that on for now and will tinker with it over the weekend. I would prefer something on my chart so I don't have to switch to a separate tab all the time. I also added the TICK high and low below; I generally keep an eye on that but in a separate window. I figured adding it here would be better. I'm not sure how I like it on the chart so I might remove it because things are starting to be cluttered. I worked to remove a lot of stuff and adding more junk on there might be a mistake. They're things I like to pay attention to though.

Today was the most productive day this week for me personally, even though the ES behavior was not conducive to my trading style. While I didn't get the chance to trade all valid entries I did track them on paper according to my plan. All were scratches except for the one I was stalking before I was interrupted; that was the only winner on the day. I'm pleased with my overall attitude when entering the trades today. I'm still a nervous Nancy while the trade is on but I'm getting more used to being uncomfortable and using my tools to basically distract myself so I don't tinker too much. I definitely understand that I will always be uncomfortable while a trade is on. My hope is that I settle in with the feeling and get more used to it and use the tools (mostly things to distract my mind) on a more regular basis. My concern this week is that I was getting trigger shy when entering, which means I never get to practice the uncomfortable part. I wasn't trigger shy at all today, so maybe the whole thing was just me being busy and distracted and not trigger shy after all. I also stuck to my planned trades 100% and didn't start doing stupid things; I'm very pleased with that because that's progress for me.

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Last edited by Comeback King; September 23rd, 2016 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Afternoon Update
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 05:27 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Weekly Review for 9/19 - 9/23

Negatives for the week:
1. It was a generally crummy week and I was a cranky trader for the first 4.75 days. Actually, I'm still a little cranky but not as much.
2. I cherry picked setups earlier in the week when I should just be pressing buttons. I was not as aggressive taking setups as I should have been.
3. I was very distracted this week, which was unavoidable. I saw the trades I was missing and I got pretty pissed off on many occasions. I need to realize that this is going to happen and manage my emotions better.

Positives for the week:
1. I didn't do anything stupid (like trade the FOMC reaction).
2. I traded only trades that fit into my plan.
3. On Friday in particular, I got into trades and was not hesitant pulling the trigger.
4. I stuck to my plan of not being overly biased going into the open.
5. My trades on paper worked out very well this week, even though ranges were a lot tighter. This is important because as I continue to see the setups working I will continue to gain more confidence in just clicking buttons and letting go of the outcome on each individual trade.

On Friday I read a quote, I believe attributed to Peter Brandt, "I have no control over whether or not a trade will be profitable. My job is to enter orders. Nothing more, nothing less!" I wrote that down and have it in front on me. I have several that I rotate around, I don't want too much stuff hanging about. I will keep reading and repeating this, maybe it will sink in.

On Friday I also recalled a bit of a lyric from a Cypress Hill song, "I ain't goin' out like a spineless jellyfish". Certainly different context, but I'm determined to find my spine and ride the pain out and just follow my plan. I can accept failure, but only if I've given 100% effort.
5.

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Old September 25th, 2016, 02:58 PM   #54 (permalink)
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ES Plan for 9/26

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.0 - 55.0
44.50 - 46.50
37.50 - 39.50
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2166.25
pLo: 2156.0
pCl:2158.75

ONH: 2159.50
ONL: 2144.25

VAH: 2165.25
VAL: 2159.75


Last edited by Comeback King; September 26th, 2016 at 10:24 AM.
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Old September 26th, 2016, 05:18 PM   #55 (permalink)
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End of Day

I ended up working today and watching the market...not much trading to do. There were a few signals that I did play on paper, some after the fact but as I wasn't planning trading today I mostly just watched off and on. The paper trades produced 5 signals, 1 full hit, 1 full stop and 1 partial hit with the rest break even.

I did finish coding my bull/bear indicators over the weekend (I figured them out on Friday night) and did manual back testing over the weekend. It's not a red light/green light kind of thing but designed to measure overall strength in the market. One looks at aggregate throughout the day and the other looks at the bar by bar rate of change. At this point I've done back testing and observing but that's it. I might use the or I might ditch them. I've generally used 1 indicator (that's also customized) to help me see entries, looking for divergences or confirmations, and that's worked well. I don't want to go and be too indicator heavy but what I figured out on Friday and tested over the weekend looks at the market as a whole and not just the ES, so I think there might be room to use one or both of them. Either way, I'm pretty happy I figured out the code for them.

A final thought on the indicators...the code I figured out to create the new indicators; one of these was something I have been watching on a separate chart to determine underlying market strength. What I've done is taken that information and added it as an indicator to my chart and added a moving average to help determine context. For the other one, I've taken the data and reorganized it a bit to show shorter term moves. So while these are new things to my chart, they're not completely new in terms of me watching them...I've been paying attention to them just not all on one chart.

So...no trades today; I'll be back in normal mode tomorrow.

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Old September 26th, 2016, 05:39 PM   #56 (permalink)
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ES Plan for 9/27

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.0 - 55.0
45.50 - 47.50
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2149.50
pLo: 2138.25
pCl:2140.0

ONH: 2154.0
ONL: 2133.25

VAH: 2144.50
VAL: 2138.25

Range has tightened up a lot recently. From 9/9 - 9/15 we averaged 33.5 points of range during RTH, we're under 14.5 since 9/15. Most of the activity has been done overnight/pre-market leaving some gaps that are unfilled. I have been pleased with how I'm identifying my SR zones, price has pretty much respected them since I started focusing more on major zones and not worrying about leaving large gaps in between zones.

8:45

Nice range last night; the ES rally during the debates was pretty interesting. As I'm writing this the ES is dropping on good sized volume considering the time of the day and there are a lot of big orders on the T&S. It looks likely that we will either open in range and value or slightly below. There are economic reports at 9:00 and 10:00 but they are not major. The book is pretty thick for this time of day as well, that has me wondering if we're setting up for another slow moving day with a tight range. Looking at composite volume profile going back a few weeks we are right in the thick of the composite value area. Given the volume that has traded around this level, I'd expect a lot of chop unless we break higher above 2150 or so. We could certainly move to test the lower end of the composite value area which I see as 2117.50. I have a few SR zones marked between here and there as there are some low volume areas within the value area so I think there is potential to reverse or pause and chop before we get to 2117.50 if the ES is headed that way. I do think a move lower would be a little slower while a move up could go quickly. If we're moving down I'll look for more of a grinding day, similar to yesterday. If the ES wants to move up I will expect the same grind up to 50 but if we break and hold above there I will be on the lookout for quicker moves higher but also strong rejection at my SR zones.

10:45

Shorted at 10:20. The signal was strong, I got agreement with all 3 indicators. I put the trade on a very short leash because the trend was very strong to the upside. The signal was for a short at 2144.25; I was very tempted to wait for another touch of my SR zone at 2145.50 but I shorted at the signal.

I traded according to my plan. My plan in this situation says to not give the trade very much room to work. Even though the trend was up, my internals were bearish. Could/should I have given the trade more time? Looking back - yes; even though as I'm writing this price has not yet hit my 1st target. But I developed my plan over time, looking at these scenarios and deciding to scratch if the trade wasn't working right away.

In the end, I'm pleased that I got into the trade with no problems. I took heat right away but didn't get nervous at all, I just watched and waited calmly. When the time came to get out at break even, I did so. I didn't worry about missing out on profits or anything like that. So, in terms of sticking to my plan I did well.

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11:40

First mistake today. Had a valid setup at 11:01. I thought the logical stop placement was too far away (4.25 points) and didn't think the upside potential was there for a 4.25 move. Here's where I need to stop thinking and just trade my chart. The good trades are often times the counter intuitive ones, the ones that "seem" like they won't work. I know this, but I still gave into a bad habit - even though I know better. I did question myself for a few minutes and had a chance to get into the trade but I held off, again thinking that there was little chance of a solid move up.

Before I started developing a plan, back testing, etc. I was trading off of what I thought. That didn't last very long as I could see the white light coming toward me...my account would have been down to zero pretty fast if I'd continued to do that. I know better than to trade what I think, I just need to trade what I see. Mistake #1 today, I'll try to make it my only mistake.

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12:40

That one hurt. Paper traded it but didn't take it for real. Trading by plan this was a 15.75 point winner on 2 contracts. I really need to just trade my chart and stop skipping trades that I don't feel good about...those are always the good ones!

End of Day

Not much of an afternoon as far as good trades for me. I did get continuing internal weakness as we rode up near 53/54 but the longer we consolidated the less I liked the idea of shorting there. As of Monday I began putting this on my chart but I also still watch it on a separate tab/window and look for bigger divergence. The green line is one of my internal measurements while the blue line is the ES. Internals were getting much worse while the ES was holding in range. Normally I like to play a divergence but when it gets this extreme it sort of stops making sense. I have seen these situations produce nice gap downs the following day, but I don't have enough back testing to to prove that out and see if it is consistent. That's something on my list of things to do eventually.

On the day I took 1 trade early and skipped the big payout trade because I thought I was better than my charts. That was a ~16 point error. This is another area I need to work on for sure, trying to guess the market or thinking that I know the direction when deep down I know that I don't. I am recognizing it closer to the event at this point, so that's a positive. I also didn't step outside of my plan and take a trade today, despite missing out on a nice profit. There would have been a time when I chased those points. The way the ES was today chasing could have ground me up.

In the end it's another day and another lesson. I'm happy with how I managed the 1 trade I entered and I need to stop being picky about what trades I take and just take all of the signals that fit my plan.

Here's one of my internal indicators compared to the ES price.

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Last edited by Comeback King; September 27th, 2016 at 04:48 PM. Reason: End of Day
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Old September 27th, 2016, 05:18 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
 
Posts: 85 since Aug 2016
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ES Plan for 9/28

SR Zones I have marked:

Only a tweak to my SR zone in the 40's, the other ones either held price or were untested. I have been pretty pleased with these lately.

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.0 - 55.0
43.75 - 45.75
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2154.0
pLo: 2132.75
pCl:2153.0

ONH: 2158.0
ONL: 2147.0

VAH: 2153.75
VAL: 2143.25

8:35

8:30 news was a dud and the ES is trading pretty close to the mid of the overnight range which was 11 points. From a shorter term perspective, there is a nice drop in volume above this 50 area, so if we move up today I think it will be rapid. If you zoom out, back to July, then you get a different picture as far as the build. I tend to think that the volume in July has less of an impact than does the more recent September volume; much of this is based on my trading time frame though - I want to be in a trade for as little time as possible.

Assuming we open close to where prices are now, I will be watching my 53-55 zone. Yesterdays VAH is also within this zone and i think this area could set the tone for the day. If we can break above and hold, there's not much holding the ES back from moving higher quickly. If we fail in this area and move down, it will probably be a slower choppy day as there is a lot of volume down below. Yesterdays profile suggests we could or should retest lower soon.

There a lot of Fed speakers on tap today so a slip of the tongue could send the markets in either direction. There are Fed landmines from 8:45 until about 10:30 or so and then again at 1:30 and after the close. I will be extremely cautious this morning and around 1:30.

I spent some time reflecting on my mistake yesterday, missing out on the 15.75 point move. I think there are two parts to these types of mistakes, confidence in my charts and confidence in myself. I'm the one who set up the charts the way that I did; I look for SR zones, I set up the indicators to hunt for price confirmation or divergence, etc. I've back tested with good results in varying types of market conditions. I've paper traded it live with good results in varying types of market conditions. I've actually stuck to a few trades and seen good results but I still don't think that I fully trust what the charts are telling me. I don't know if this is normal and if time will convince me to trust them or if it's more than that.

I also don't trust myself to make the right decisions. This is something that I think is easier (not easy) to work on than the trusting the charts bit. I know that I will make some decisions that will end up being bad ones. My charts are not totally buy here, sell there - there is room for judgement. Yesterday, for example, I was getting sell signals just after noon. However, this was very close to the IBH and we had not yet broken that level. I know that either the IBH or IBL is broken so often that you could almost call it 100%, particularly on a day like yesterday. So, do I just follow my sell signal blindly and go short 4 ticks from an unbroken IBH? Hell no, the odds are definitely not in my favor. In this instance I made a good decision by ignoring a signal. But it's those types of things that I'm still working with, and a part of the reason I skipped the profitable trade yesterday - even though I have a plan that is mostly systematic I still need to make judgement calls based on conditions and context real time. I do think that as I continue to make both good and bad decisions I will continue to learn and be more confident in myself in terms of making good judgements at the appropriate time. I think part of this is a matter of screen time...quality screen time. I also would have learned a lesson by shorting right in front of the IBH yesterday because I would have been stopped out and gone back to re-evaluate the trade to see if it was an error. I always re-evaluate all my trades after the fact, sometimes several times, regardless of their outcome (sometimes winning trades are mistakes). So even making a mistake that ends up being a stop can be a good learning tool.

I have a pretty passive personality by nature and by practice. Switching that off to trade is definitely something that is difficult. Learning to be selectively aggressive or patiently aggressive will take time and it might be something that I never fully master. I don't think I need to fully master this skill to be profitable, I just need get improve from where I am.

Today I'm going to work on taking valid signals, but also be aware of the overall context. I won't short a few ticks from an unbroken ONH or IBH; I'll continue to work to see the signals coming and anticipate them. This will give me time to spend a few minutes evaluating the market context and going through a checklist of items to consider. If I can do this effectively, I will know whether or not I will take the trade if I get the signal from my charts before it even happens. If I do get a valid trade, I won't front run it, I'll be patient and wait for it to develop and be confirmed, but once it does I will be aggressive in my entry. That's my goal for today. I don't have any meetings planned so there should be minimal distractions not only today but the rest of the week.

9:35

Gap up open. There is a 70% chance that we do not fill the gap, considered as touching pCL at 53.0.

10:30 - Trade

Early in the morning I was looking for a reason to go long at or around 55.0, never found one. We broke below 53.0 and I was looking for a reason to short there and found a good reason at 10:20. That's pretty close to the oil number but I shorted anyway, looking for a quick move either to my target or far enough away from my entry for me to feel good about holding into the 10:30 news. Nothing materialized so I scratched it before 10:30.

The market is looking really choppy, the 40-minute range was 3.5 points and the 60-minute range was 5.5 points. Odds here favor a pretty tight day range wise, somewhere between 9 and 12 points I think. Maybe be loosen up a bit in the afternoon when there is a pause in the Fed speakers.

12:20 - Missed opportunity, too picky (not aggressive)

Had a nice long signal at 11:36 at 2146.0. I saw it coming and had been stalking it since the low at 11:07. Given the volume, candle type, distance from VWAP and momentum at that time I was thinking there was a good chance we had just seen the low - at least for the time being. As in these situations, I like to look for confirmation rather than just jump into a trade. I watched the market move off the low and start moving down for a retest. I was ready and everything kept looking like this was going to be the dip to buy. I got a good signal at 2146.0. So what did I do, I put a couple of orders in at 2145.75, looking for a fill at the top of my SR zone. Price dipped there but I did not get filled.

So far, price has exceeded my first target at 2148.75 (1R). It just missed my 2R target by 2 ticks, so on paper I'm holding the second contract for now, either until the second target is hit or until I get a clear short signal or my stop is hit which would be my entry price. So I've missed out on a nice move because I was trying to catch a tick...damn. I really am my worst own enemy.

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14:20 - Good trade, followed my plan but was still not aggressive on entry

Had a short signal at 13:47 at 2152.50. I did wait a bit to see if I could get a higher price to short (even though that burned me just a few hours ago) then realized that was not good so I took the short there. This is a trade where I will give it 20 minutes to move and then move my stop to break even or look to exit at break even if I'm offside. I started getting fidgety before the 20 minute mark so I got up and took a walk so I would not deviate from my plan. That worked pretty well. I did end up moving my stop to break even after 20 minutes and it did get hit. I guess oil news hit the wire or something because I stopped out at break even at 14:09 and 4 minutes later the ES was up 6 points.

Because of this late day news I expect the market to be quite volatile trying to find value. If I were long before the oil news hit I'd just ride it out but I'm no where good enough to try to pick an entry here. If we settle a bit and something obvious comes up near 15:30 I'll consider trading it but that's unlikely.

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End of Day

I'm pretty pleased with my performance today. I definitely need to stop trying to outperform my plan. If the signal is at X price, I just need to take it there and not try to wait for a better price. Maybe 50% of the time I'll get a better price but the other half I'll probably miss the move entirely. When I paper trade/back test, I don't take better prices, I take the price at the signal (or only if it moves 1 tick beyond when back testing, to guarantee a fill). A lot of my data is based on this, and it's profitable so I should just be happy with that and get my ass into the trade at the price on the chart.

I was pleased with my discipline today. I noticed this cool H&S pattern forming around 12:30 and my former self would have traded that, and got stopped out; this version of me noticed it but was content just watching to see what happened. I also stayed away from the late afternoon oil driven rally. I was getting short signals but I didn't think it was wise to short a news driven market. There were a few spots where I definitely could have made a few points but the risk of getting rolled over didn't seem worth it at that time and still doesn't seem worth it. I also considered hopping aboard the oil train higher but again, I've tried that before and jumped just as the train was reversing while I was laid out on the tracks...I didn't want that feeling again. One day I might be skilled enough for those types of trades but I'd rather just stick to my plan and use the whole deliberate practice thing to get better at that before folding more stuff in. I'd also like to be able to watch other markets like oil and gold and the NQ but that seems like Calculus level math and I'm just trying to get past pre-Algebra. Maybe one day.

So today I had 3 good signals, got into 2 of them and tried on the other but didn't get a fill. All in all pretty good; I just need to get better at sticking to the plan and not trying to beat it. I was VERY happy on my 2nd trade. I recognized myself getting antsy and wanting to fidget so I just took a short walk. Had I not done that I would have surely messed with the trade before I should have. In the end it was still a scratch but the next time I take a walk it might be a big winner, so I'll try to make that a habit.


Last edited by Comeback King; September 28th, 2016 at 05:09 PM. Reason: End of Day
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Old September 29th, 2016, 10:03 AM   #58 (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 9/29

SR Zones I have marked:

A few tweaks to a couple of my zones with an (*); overall Im still pleased with where they are now and most were untested.

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
51.50 53.50 (*)
44.0 46.0 (*)
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2165.25
pLo: 2144.0
pCl: 2163.0

ONH: 2167.0
ONL: 2157.50 (so far)

VAH: 2159.75
VAL: 2148.50

8:50

Overnight range was a bit more narrow than it has been lately but still not bad. The ONH is just above the top of one of my SR zones; I will be interested to see what happens if the ES makes it back up there today - could be a good selling opportunity. The ES has been basically moving up since 9/12 so it would seem that it's due for either a pullback or some consolidation soon. Luckily, we're in that July/August congestion zone so there's some reason to lean toward consolidation here. The ES did have 2 weak opens on Monday and Tuesday but overcame them both and has moved higher. I can't decide if this is bullish, as we've shrugged off 2 poor opens and moved higher anyway or bearish, because we've had 2 poor opens and there's a crack in the dam.

There was a bit of premarket news that was mostly positive but not overwhelmingly so. As of now the ES is moving off the 57.50 low and looks to open either just below yesterdays close or right at it and will likely open near or above yesterdays VAH but certainly lower than pHi.

Quite a bit of Fedspeak today and who knows was oil news there will be. I can definitely see the ES wanting to push higher, but how high can it go? We have the 9/22 highs in the lower 70's which was a lower high than in the beginning of September in the low 80's. There's a nice up sloping trendline in place from the 9/12 low but if we don't move above the 9/22 high it seems that we could be headed lower again.

I was very close to having an excellent trading day yesterday, just 1 tick away from perfect. I got greedy and tried to out execute my trading plan. Beating my plan really should not be my goal, it's not something that should even be in my mind. Executing my plan word for word, detail for detail is what I really need to focus on. All of my data is based on my plan, nothing more and nothing less. If I just execute my plan I should have the same results, which I would be pleased with.

So today my focus will be similar to yesterday. Yesterday I was prepared when my trade entry signals arrived; I was looking ahead and I saw them developing. As I saw them developing I looked at what was happening overall, the general context and decided ahead of time if I would enter a trade if I got the signal. There were a few times I decided against entering a trade, like late in the day after the oil news. While trading would have been slightly profitable, staying out of the market was a good decision. I'm going to try my best to take the same approach today...see the potential trade developing, review my pre-trade checklist, see where we are in relation to key areas like ONH, ONL, pHi, pLo, etc. and then decide if this will be a good trade to take. If I decide yes, I will have my finger on the mouse ready to enter my order right where my plan tells me to; nothing more nothing less. I will be patiently aggressive.

10:10

Looks like some Fedspeak is making the ES whippy here. I took a short trade at 9:39, I was seeing the ES lose momentum and got a short signal. I don't like early signals like this but it was a signal and I figured we could hit the ONL and get that stat out of the way. I took the short looking for a quick move. I waited 10 minutes and no move, just taking heat and what was looking like a loss up upward momentum wasn't turning into downside movement at all, just chopping higher. I took an exit at break even, which is what I should have done. 10 minutes after my exit the market rips higher, would have stopped me out for sure.

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10:40

Pretty tight opening range. I like the idea of shorting this 65-66 area but the ONH just outside has been keeping me away. I'd much prefer a break of that first, then I could evaluate a trade. I'm certainly not going to buy this area unless there's a break and hold above 66-67. From what I'm seeing on the profile, this is going to be a hard zone to bust through.

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11:10

That last dip was a 1.3x break of the IBL. ES has a less than 10% chance of now also breaking the IBH and that chance diminishes if we move lower. At this point (absent news) I think we either find a range or move lower. I will definitely be looking to short bounces. I would definitely like to trade long down around 51.50 - 53.50; there's a lot of good stuff that lines up at that area.

12:50 - Persistence and a perfect trade

Finally got a short to stick. I kept getting short signals and kept entering them but I was quickly scratching as there wasn't enough downside pressure. I thought it was stupid to keep trying to short but the chart was telling me that was the correct side. In the past, I would have eventually given up shorting until I missed the good one. This time I kept at it and got in the good one and held it. I told myself when I got filled that I would hold to a 2R target and then exit the trade; I would not exit before that and I would not get greedy and hold beyond that.

I would call this a perfect trade for myself based on where I am. I'm seeing prices at 2146 right now, so of course I could have had more profit if I'd held, but if I'd held price could have bounced back as well. I'm happy that I executed my plan and I'm happy that I did not give up on what my chart was telling me to do; I didn't try to outsmart my chart.

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End of the Day

I lost a little focus after the DB news and move. I really wasn't keen on trading much after that. I did see a setup later in the day for a short though I didn't see it in time to potentially trade it - was a few minutes late. I did go ahead and paper trade it and it was good. Not sure I would have actually traded it anyway because of the wild action after the news hit.

Overall I'm pleased with my trading today. I suppose it's one of those days where I could look back and wonder how I missed out on so many available points, but at the time I didn't know the market was going to puke; if I did I would have held longer. I was aggressive with my entries today, I was focused on my charts and I did not trade what I thought, only what I saw. I was persistent in shorting and didn't let getting several scratch trades in a row stop me from trading my chart, even though it was tempting. Man, I would have been really pissed if I didn't take that last short trade that paid.

Although I did miss a good trade, I'm also okay with sitting out the afternoon session. Yes, I could have picked up more points but where I am at the moment, it's best to just watch or do something else. P&L wise I grabbed 5 points today, so that's a nice bonus. Better still I did well getting into and staying in my trades for the 2nd day in a row.


Last edited by Comeback King; September 30th, 2016 at 09:34 AM. Reason: End of the Day
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Old September 30th, 2016, 10:04 AM   #59 (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 9/30

SR Zones I have marked:

Zones are unchanged, I'm happy with how price is reacting to each of these.

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
51.50 53.50
44.0 46.0
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2165.75
pLo: 2137.25
pCl: 2148.75

ONH: 2152.25 (so far)
ONL: 2135.75

VAH: 2165.75
VAL: 2147.25

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Looking at a longer term perspective, we had a sort of channel moving up from the 9/12 lows but made a lower high and broke through the bottom trend line yesterday. We're back up above that trend line and into the channel now. It will be interesting to see today if we can stay in the channel area or if we break lower. While ES did break under the trend line it has not yet made a lower low which suggests we could be consolidating and forming a bit of a wedge - I would think that's most likely.

The overnight range was pretty large on the ES and we're making new pre-market highs as I'm writing this. I'm wondering if we might be in for a wild day today. Yesterday's value area is huge so if the market is going to test the extremes today there will be many trading opportunities. I really don't expect a snooze-fest 10 point range day today.

From here it seems like the ES is getting a little too extended already so I would say continued movement upward is very unlikely. We're moving into the low 50's which has been a good SR zone. If we happen to open close to this area I will be watching to see how it's handled, do we break above and hold or do we fail and move down. Above the 54 area there's not much holding the ES back from re-testing pHi/VAH at 65.75; I think this is possible today. There also could be juice for downside to 35.75 and beyond, though I suspect we'd need to move, test and fail higher first.

Should be an interesting day, potentially news driven again as much of the week has been. I am very happy with how I have traded over the last two days and I'm going to make every effort to go into the weekend on a good roll. I want to again anticipate my trade opportunities coming, which I have done well the last 2 days. I will then decide in advance whether or not I will enter a trade if I get a signal, so there will be no last second decision making; I should have a good 5-10 minutes to review and analyze to make my decision before hand. Once I get a signal, I want to be aggressive with my entry. I will then be patient and focus on my plan and my charts and manage the trade based on those two things alone. If I can do these things, I will be pleased regardless of my P&L for the day.

I can say that this is really getting a lot easier. That's not to say that I've got the markets figured out at all, or that I should start trading 20 contracts today, but following my process and plan is getting much easier to do. I read a saying recently and have it up as a desktop background at the moment, it says "Just stick with it...what seems so hard now will one day be your warm up." I'm not there yet - probably really far away actually. But, I can definitely see the day when this would be true. If I can just stick to my plan and process things will work out fine.

10:45

No trades yet today. I was expecting a wild day and that certainly hasn't happened yet. The ES has defended moves lower so far but there's not been enough buying interest to push prices higher. Things are moving bearish as far as I can see but that can change very quickly so I'm not going to get stuck in that mindset. I still think we're a bit overextended to the upside and would like to see more pushes lower that are met with aggressive buying to move higher - I do think this is a possibility.

I have anticipated a few trades this morning as potentially setting up. I did a good job of looking at my pre-trade checklist and determining in advance if I was going to place a trade before the signal would have come. On each occasion I never got a good signal from my charts so I just stayed out of the market.

Here's what I'm focusing on now, "Stay with the market, stay engaged. You don't know what will happen when." I'm not going to let myself get lulled into thinking that we're just going to chop around all day. Maybe we do, maybe we don't but I need to stay alert and ready in case something does play out.

11:25

Well, I thought we'd have a chance at the low 60's if we held above 52/53 and here we are. Looking at my charts I missed a chance to go long at 2156.0. I'm not sure how I could have missed that. I was flipping around to different time frame charts and looking at internals; I was leaning short at that time so I think I just overlooked it completely. Looking at the signal even just as we were approaching the IBH I thought, "damn, how'd I miss that one". I suppose I just wasn't staying focused on what was in front of me.

So now we're up hear the VAH and pHi and I'm absolutely not buying this level. I did think we were a bit overextended and needed a move down first (maybe that's why I didn't see my signal to buy). I still think we're needing a pullback and we're now really far from VWAP. If we get another push higher I'll be sizing it up for a potential short there, seeing if I can ride it down to either the 53 SR zone or VWAP. If we happen to crack 66.0 and hold I'll just stand aside; I really don't like the idea of buying up that high and so far away from VWAP.

13:15

So much chop. I played short at 2163.0 a bit ago but scratched it as price was just mulling around is this HVN. I like the concept of shorting here but I need a good reason and I'm not really seeing one. We're quite close to pHi and it seems like the ES wants to test up there but I don't know if it can make it. I like the short idea better if we bounce off that area first; as it stands we're just shuffling around here.

14:15

Got a long signal at 14:02 when price was at 2164.0. I ignored this signal because even with the tightest stop possible (62.25) my 1R target was 2165.75. As I'm writing this price did move up to that area but I'm still glad I skipped the signal. This is something that I saw developing and I asked myself if, given where we were at the time, I wanted to be long here. Since I would be getting long just under my SR zone I chose to skip the signal and not trade. Given what I saw as a possible limited upside I didn't think it was worth the risk; I really don't want to be getting into a trade where I think getting 1R out of it is pushing it. Even if the ES blows up to 2170 without looking back, I'll still be glad I stayed away from a long here.

15:05

The ES is just not in a mood to go down. I'm getting a lot of internal selling and lots of short signals, many right around my SR zone. I shorted several times looking for downside movement; scratched a few and took a 4 tick loss on my last one because I could just tell that either I get out there or my stop gets nailed; I made a good choice taking the 4 tick loss and avoiding a bigger one. My broker has been the big winner so far today. On paper I'm doing better than I am for real because of that first long trade this morning that I whiffed on; that might end up being the 1 good trade for me today. I stop trading at 15:30 and I still can't see myself taking a long position here so it's probably done for the day for me, though I'll keep watching and try another short if I see one. I'll give myself credit for being persistent today. It didn't pay off this time but it did pay off yesterday, and it will pay off more often than not.

End of Day

I will count today as a good day, though not perfect. I took the signals that I saw that I thought were valid, skipped the ones where I thought I was in a bad spot on the chart. I would have been very well off if I'd woke up at 3:00, threw on a long position and slept in. I really didn't see a 12+ hour trend day coming but that's basically what we got.

I did miss the one payoff trade, not because I was scared to take it but because I just didn't see it...wasn't paying close enough attention. I paid very close attention the rest of the day, trying to short various spots. I really didn't see any other places to get long and nothing that I look at said this would be a grinder up day. In fact, the main internal indicator I use was moving bearish all day long. I have seen that go bearish/bullish and price just ignore it but that's not the norm.

I am happy I took the trades I saw. I didn't get chewed up too bad, just 4 ticks and some commissions which are cheap enough. All in all a good end to the week, though not the perfect day I'm seeking.

The first part of next week already sucks...lots of stuff on Monday and a bit on Wednesday mid day. On Tuesday I'm staying home and trading from there.

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Last edited by Comeback King; September 30th, 2016 at 05:03 PM. Reason: End of Day
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Old October 3rd, 2016, 10:19 AM   #60 (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 10/3

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
56.75 - 58.50
48.75 - 50.50
44.0 - 46.0
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2168.25
pLo: 2150.50
pCl: 2158.75

ONH: 2164.0
ONL: 2152.50

VAH: 2168.25
VAL: 2157.50

Trending lower before the open today so this has a sort of bearish feel. I have some overhead resistance starting at 56.75 so unless the ES moves back over that area before the open I'll be curious to see how prices react to this zone if the get up there.

I put A LOT of work in over the weekend reviewing my exit strategy. Currently, I have fixed exit points at 1R and 2R. I reviewed all of my trade entries (even the ones I didn't take but should have) and compared my 1R/2R strategy versus letting my chart dictate a logical exit. The logical chart exits produce a greater return (of course in hindsight) but I took a more mechanical approach to determining these exits. I've been pretty good about getting into trades over the last several days and I'm absolutely going to keep focusing on that. What I am going to try to do starting today is use my logical, chart-based approach to exiting trades. In general, this means that my trades will be on for a lot longer and I will not use a time stop - so that's much different. I think that if I can be disciplined and stick to this approach it will be much better for me, both P&L wise and mentally. On Friday I was hyper active and over traded; this was obvious after I wrapped up for the day and reviewed...it didn't take much time in reflecting to figure out that I had really over traded. Part of this is because I was exiting trades much too soon, then getting back in at a worse price versus holding a position based on what my charts were telling me.

So...that's the goal for today. Continue to work on being patiently aggressive and get into the trades that I see AND use a chart based approach for my exits.

I have an offsite meeting at 14:00 today that will last about an hour, so that will put a dent in my trading day but I will work to trade what I see prior to this. Given everything, I won't take any trades after 13:00 but I might put on a trade once I get back, if there's a setup.

12:05

Rough day so far with this tight range. I have entered 2 trades and the entries were good. The first I was away from my desk at the time the entry signaled so I placed orders where I should have and I got filled. I took heat right away and ended up moving my stop to break even once the trade went in my favor about a point. This is not part of my plan but I didn't feel comfortable. My break even stop got hit so I was out of the trade but did paper trade the rest according to my plan. I didn't miss much points wise but I did a bad thing by not following my plan start to finish.

I entered a short trade at 11:19; I was confident getting in and did not hesitate. Again, I immediately took heat that came kind of close to my stop, which sucked. About 25 minutes later price came back down and was in my favor by about a point again, so what did I do? Yes, I moved my stop to break even so I would not be able to take a loss. I got stopped out at break even and eventually the trade was a scratch anyway per my plan but I again made an error.

I'm not going to crush myself for messing up twice already. I've held a lot longer than I normally do and longer than I'm used to holding but I really need to get better with my discipline on my exits. I have not missed a big trade so far today but I know that if I keep this up I absolutely will and I will be super-pissed at myself.

End of Day

I was flat for the day today taking a couple of trades. The market didn't really have much momentum early today and that definitely does not fit well with my strategy. I was away from my office for a bit this afternoon in an offsite meeting so I didn't trade. Looking at the action when I got back there were a few trades that I could have taken, 1 stop and a couple of small winners. The stop was immediate and was only by a couple of ticks so that could be down to my stop placement rules and the winners were pretty quick to pay - nothing like this morning.

Tomorrow I will be trading from home for the day so that should be interesting; there won't be any distractions from work but of course there's plenty of things around the house to distract me. Wednesday I have a mid-day meeting so that is not convenient but so far Thursday and Friday are mostly clear. I suppose there's a high probability that as the week moves closer to the NFP number the quieter things will get. The range today (assuming we don't break it in the next 8 minutes) was pretty paltry at only 10 points. Even so, there was opportunity for me to trade, especially in the afternoon.

Tonight I will do a lot of thinking about my emotions and working to accept them but at the same time not let them take over the controls and spoil my trading plan. I'm quite happy that I am still getting into trades well but my intra-trade execution was way off today. I almost wish I would have exited early and there was a big move just after, so I could feel that pain again. It wasn't so long ago that I did such a thing so one of the things I'm going to do tonight is go back to that time and relive that moment. I want to really focus on how upsetting and disappointing that was so that I am less tempted to make errors tomorrow.


Last edited by Comeback King; October 3rd, 2016 at 05:10 PM. Reason: End of Day
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