Inflection Point

Alright, things are getting a wee bit out of control here, especially on the equities side. I’m all for letting winning positions run but the odds for a temporary pullback now seem nearly insurmountable. Given the lack of context on our daily or long term charts the hourly panel speaks the loudest right now.

2014-09-03_spoos_hourly_briefing

What we have here is a very ordered advance which climbed the 25-hour for a few weeks, with rare and only obligatory touches of the 100-hour. In the past week velocity decreased and volatility increased a bit. Note that each ‘poke’ outside the 100-hour BB lead to at least a touch of the 25-hour. We are now at a make-or-break point – meaning the BBs/SMAs are pointing almost sideways – which again means that a breach outside this range will require a violation of the recently established ‘play book’ if you will.

In plain English I’m saying that we either pull back here – most likely touching 2000 or perhaps even 19990 – or we bust higher and leave any top callers in the dust. Which scenario will transpire I do not know but that does not keep me from properly managing my positions, given the new evidence:

2014-09-03_NQ_update

As you may recall I have been enjoying a fine ride here and until now have let my stop trail at a wide berth. But after 5R in the bag it was time to take partial profits earlier this morning. I am leaving the remainder (50%) in play with a top at the 5R mark. If we drop below that then I’m certain we’ll find new entry opportunities next week.

2014-09-03_DX_update

Quite frankly the DX trade has gone out of control – nearly 8R at this point and the chart above shows you some of the steps along the way. Again it was time to take partial profits but I’m leaving a few lottery tickets in play for a possible pop  into 83.5 – wouldn’t that be nice…

2014-09-03_spoos_briefing

Most likely this chart isn’t valid anymore by the time you read this but if you manage to catch the spoos near 2010 then it’s time to tell Hal to grab a short position.

2014-09-03_hal

Damnit Hal – I told you SELL SELL SELL!!! &@^!%!

Alright, we’ve got some very juicy short term setups to attend to – please meet me in the lair:

2014-09-03_soybeans_briefing

Soybeans have been whipsawing around lately but I do like the current configuration as it’s facing triple resistance above. Worth 1/2R with a stop right above the resistance cluster (~ 1028.4).

2014-09-03_EURCAD_briefing

EUR/CAD – we can’t be sure but this thing may just break through that upper 100-hour BB. Very nice BB compression and if it manages to defy gravity I think we may have a short term runner. Watch that daily NLBL near 1.444 however.

2014-09-03_GBPJPY_briefing

GBP/JPY – there’s a lot to like about this setup, on the daily and hourly front. I’m long here with a stop below 172.7 – sometimes you simply see a setup and realize that it’s a go. Stop below the recent ST lows – and you’re good to go.

Have fun!


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Cheers,

Zoning Laws

After an exhausting topping pattern equities finally resolved to the downside last week. And as always it is magnitude and vehemence of the follow up bounce that determines what happens next. But it’s not as easy as waiting a session or two and then declaring a winner. Sometimes those bad boys are trying to fake us out. So when caught inside a sideways guessing week without the proximity of any significant technical context I often resort to zoning in order to structure my approach.

Clearly the volume hole near 1935 is the gateway for the bulls and it also demarks bearish from bullish potential. Anything beyond 1940 is still part of the obligatory bounce we have been expecting – remember the 25-day SMA sits right there to block the way (shown below). If the bulls advance above it then we are in the high bounce area, which does not completely kill the bearish case but puts it into serious peril. And obviously anything above 1965 shifts the odds back to the bulls.

On the downside we have the guessing zone in which we’re currently stuck. Being short here is actually not a bad spot to be in IF you grabbed your shorts near 1940 (i.e. yesterday). Otherwise there is nothing of interest down here until we drop below 1910 – if the bears manage to drop the tape this low we could easily see acceleration lower. However IF we do it’s still possible that the bulls stage a late f-u rally higher.

What to do? 1) you are already short since 1940ish – don’t do anything and put your stop to break even. 2) You can get short right now but only with 1/2R – then build your position as it drops lower each 1/2R increment – your stop would be above yesterday’s highs. 3) Going long near the lows is possible if we approach 1910 – if you are short already then I would simply hold them and monitor the situation. 4) Be long above 1940 with a stop below – this is not expected to be a long term campaign unless the bulls start ripping this higher.

I know – complicated but as Scott mentioned – this is going to be a shitty week on the equities front.

Here’s a wee bit more context – the SMA/NL  chart shows us a support trifecta sitting below. There’s a NLBL at 1923.5 – the 100-day SMA at 1911 and finally a NLSl below 1900. A breach below that one puts us solidly into bear territory.

Now on the long side I would not play the spoos – I would go with the NQ instead. Technically we are painting an RTV-L today and if we get that bounce (yellow and green in the zoning laws above) then this would be my instrument of choice.

On the short side however… well, more about that below the fold and a few more goodies for my intrepid subs:


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Honorable mention:

Gold – courtesy of Darth Mole. If you saw this one last night you may have played that break out higher. And that wasn’t the only one today: EUR/GBP, crude, soybeans, bonds – significant jump in volatility. If you haven’t signed up for Darth Mole yet – it’s FREE all through August. Have fun!

Cheers,

Friday Morning Briefing

Welcome to our morning briefing. Here we are reviewing short term setups ahead of the NYSE opening bell. If you are a scalper or swing trader then these setups may be of interest to you. As usual keep in mind that these are short term setups although they could be used as early entries for more longer term positions.

For some reason we’ve hit the motherlode on the setup front this morning – everything is coiled up and ready to rip. But careful – it’s quadruple witching Friday and that means you need to set your stops particularly generous today – add at least 25% to your common distance. But before we get to the goodies let’s talk about price action on the equities side. We’ve popped quite a bit higher and then pushed sideways all day with minimal participation (see the Zero indicator flat lining) in a common ramp & camp fashion. What does that mean and where do we go from here?

Well right away that is the wrong question. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ when it comes to inherently flawed mindsets related to trading. You simply trade according to what *at the current time* is the most probable outcome – and sometimes that includes both directions (I can literally see heads explode here right now).

Let me give you an example. I have a chart on which price has reached an important inflection point based on your ‘lens’ (it’s all mental models anyway). How about a 100-day SMA plus we throw in a 25-week SMA nearby for good measure. PLUS the daily Bollingers have compressed and I suspect a big move is coming. Now based on prior history price usually has either bounced back or breached and then pushed higher very rapidly. Both trades could be profitable so I would get positioned short first with a stop above that inflection point. I expect to be stopped out of course (you always do) and once that happens I flip positions to be long with a stop below what now is tentative support. May I get whipsawed once or twice? Sure – can happen but in this particular case it doesn’t matter to me as I expect increased volatility to make up for some of the early losses if they appear.

Does this example always work? Of course not – but it’s an adaptive approach that over the long term has a positive edge. Now note that I spent a maximum of 5 minutes looking at my charts as the TA should only occupy 20% of my trading day. The other 80% are 20% campaign management and finally the most important and largest aspect of trading: self management, which is 60% of trading.

Too many of you guys confuse swapping directional opinions with trading – to me it’s merely mental masturbation. If that offends your fragile egos then GOOD – you are way too comfortable with your entrenched approaches. Trading is all about persona development and if you get settled/comfortable in a path that answers easy answers then the market will hand out instant punishment. Which btw, is why I love the trading racket – unlike in politics, the law, or religion it is not up to interpretation or opinion. Your acceptance of reality has no bearing on its validity – if you’re positioned incorrectly you will lose. In essence your job as a trader is to manage loss as best as possible.

Now let’s talk about the chart above – let’s just look at the price action. After touching and successfully retesting the 100-hour SMA the SPX is now back at the upper 100-hour Bollinger which has nicely contained price action over the past weeks and months. We may get scenario A or we may get scenario B – each direction is completely plausible as price has not yet told us that it’s ready to turn. Going short here right now is tempting as we ‘have not breached the new highs’, right? Well, yes and wrong – the assumption is that breaching the new highs has any meaning whatsoever – I mean we could breach it and then fall back like a rock! Maybe – so let’s look at how price usually moves:

This is our daily volume profile chart on the E-Mini futures – all based on trading volume concentrations. When we touched that 100-hour on the SPX we were near a volume hole and as you can see the big move up (and the prior move down) was exploiting an ‘easy move range with plenty of participation. Where are we now? Near a veritable volume chasm and that means we should be prepared for a pull back – but we can’t just go short without evidence. If there isn’t any on the daily (i.e. as in right now) then we look at the hourly panels instead for patterns. So let’s do that!

And there we have two Net-Lines opening the door to both directions. We are also seeing a bit of BB compression and if you curious as to what that means then look no further than to what happened on the 18th around 15:00 EDT. So we could get a big move here shortly – if you manage to get positioned early on the hourly then you can build your position up as the tape continued to push your way. And that means you may get an early entry into what turns out to be a daily or even weekly campaign.

And that is how professional traders approach it – it’s imperative that you remain nimble and continue to assess what the tape is telling you. How does that compare with simply drawing a line and saying – I’ll go short here, no matter what because the tape ‘is supposed to fall from here?’

On to the setups – crude looking at a lot of resistance here and I’m short with a stop above the 100-hour SMA.

AUD/NZD – coiled up like a clock and I’m long with a stop below 1.077.


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Here’s a new service I dug up the other day – dukascopy has a lot of negligible content but if you’re an Forex trader (and most of us are) then the daily spread monitor is very good medicine. So if you see spreads you can drive your car through it may just be your broker ripping you off.

Be careful if you’re trading the CAD crosses around 8:30am EDT – event risk. See you guys later today.

Cheers,





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