Chop Chop Til You Drop

I’ve had a mini epiphany today just browsing through my universe of charts across bonds, equities, the futures, and even forex. In plain simple words – we are in the midst of a high volatility sideways market period right now. And that means that directional campaigns simply won’t work. You may get away with grabbing a good entry but just as you’re ready to reap the benefits the tape turns on a dime and stops you out. This has happened across several campaigns over the past two weeks but the incident rate is increasing. Which means it’s time to adjust our trading to the tape. In this particular case it means keeping entries to a bare minimum – personally I get extremely picky and reduce position sizing to a minimum during these types of market periods.

2015-04-20_spoos_update

So let’s look at some evidence supporting my outlandish claims. You guys have seen this chart on several occasions and I’m not going to explain it again. Clearly we are in a sideways range. A few days ago it looked like we may defy gravity and take off but it wasn’t to be. At this point the only context worth its salt is the 25-day SMA and even that one is way too precarious to afford us swing entries. I am staying the heck out of this one for now. If we push to the extremes I may take an inverse entry with a small position size. But I’m really not obsessed with having to trade equities frankly – happy to let this thing play out and revisit in a few weeks.

2015-04-20_GBPUSD_update

Cable – part of the story for sure – just look at the daily panel on the right. That’s one nasty trading range with a lot of long wicks. Meaning stop runs galore and only recently have we seen a bit more directional tape.

2015-04-20_EURUSD_update

The EUR/USD has gone nowhere fast int he past month. Thus far it seems like the 1.05 mark may wind up a long term low but the fat lady hasn’t sung here just yet. This is starting to resemble a real low however – the next few days should be interesting, but for now I’m not taking entires in the middle of the ongoing trading range.

2015-04-20_gold_update

Gold – just peeking at the ST panel is making me dizzy. The daily ain’t much better – once again we seem to be stuck in a sideways range below the 100-day SMA. However, the 25-day is now on the rise and if I see decent ST context in the morning I may be convinced to take a long position here.

2015-04-20_ZB_update

Bonds – just nasty – don’t even ask me when this thing is going to resolve. No interest in participating here.

2015-04-20_crude_update

Crude is the one exception which in the context of the ongoing LT campaign is extremely promising. We got really lucky here when taking our entry and I’m rather conservative with advancing my trailing stop.

2015-04-20_GBPJPY_update

Early morning setup update: GBP/JPY was one of the few charts that actually triggered and didn’t hit its stop shortly after. However I’m long inside a downside trend on the daily chart – my expectations here are extremely low and I’ve advanced my stop to the break/even point. It’s a small position anyway but alas.

No new entries for the day – time to hunker down and keep one’s powder dry.

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SPOOS2K

Welcome back to the jungle! Equities are still dangling by a thread here and the short term chart shows us a binary entry opportunity on the spoos which I intend to throw 1/4R at (I’m still short as you recall).

2015-02-02_spoos_briefing

I think the 2k mark on the E-Mini is our big line in the sand now. If you want to be short then you’ve got the 25-hour and a NLBL  at 1996 just above you. If that’s breached and held then I think we’re sending the monks on yet another ride around the roller coaster.

2015-02-02_events

By the way, watch out around 10:00am EST this morning as we’re getting the ISM numbers for January. Should be good for a little jolt or two.

I was able to dig up two more short term setups this morning but am keeping those for my intrepid subs:


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You have been briefed – now have fun but keep it frosty. See you guys later this afternoon.

Cheers,

The Last Bear Standing Is A Bull

The annoying thing about late stage bull markets and in particular the formation of long term tops is that they take forever to play out. Navigating increasingly volatile swings accompanying the final throws of a dying bull cycle takes considerable amounts of patience, discipline, as well as skill. Like Bob The Horse reminded us the other day: Bear markets go out in a bang and bull markets go out in a whimper.

Now the dirty little secret about early stage bear markets is that the last bear standing is usually a bull. Yes, you read that right. Traditionally it’s not weak handed bears who take down a bull market, it’s simply a lack of buyers. Guess what – all those snarling bears who were printing some mighty coin in 2008 are long gone, wiped out during their persistent attempts to call a top when there was nothing but green candles ahead. I myself have seen their (virtual) faces disappear right here – one by one they simply vanished. The few who survived the ravages of one of the most significant bull markets in history relented and changed their approach just in time before their accounts had melted away like late winter snow in the glows of a spring sun.

Arguably this has been one of the most hated stock market advances in history, rife with controversy, bail outs, and market manipulations. But let me assure you that in retrospect – many years from now – you all will miss it. Because it was just too sweet and too easy while it lasted. Your children and grandchildren will look at those monthly charts and ask you how in the world you managed to fail banking a fortune in five years of such bull market extravaganza.

And I’m not talking about fairness – you all know how I feel about QE and Fed/ECB interventions. But from a trading perspective – boy – it was pure manna from heaven and it won’t ever come back – not in our lifetime at least. What awaits ahead won’t be as directional and it won’t be as easy. If you thought trading was difficult in the past five years then you ain’t seen nothing yet.

2015-01-29_spoos_briefing

Now as you may recall I managed to squeeze in an ES short at 2040 yesterday morning and I consider myself extremely lucky as it went straight down from there. Now we’re basically hanging by a thread here and I’m not going to claim that we won’t see yet another FU rip higher, killing a boat load of shorts in the process. But that’s part of our existence as traders – not knowing. You don’t have a crystal ball and you basically just have to pick your battles as they present themselves. The war never ends and the goal is to simply keep winning more than you are losing. Choosing to be a trader is a bit like being born into European royalty in the medieval ages – there’s always a war on and participation is mandatory. And if you win enough you get to pillage ;-)

Anyway, if you take out shorts here then put your stop above ES 2040. Yes, it’s a huge range but that doesn’t matter – if this thing really breaks you’ll need that range anyway not to get shaken out. And if it bounces here and breaches 2040 then the bears are dead in the water (again) and we are painting new highs. Alea iacta est.

2015-01-29_EURUSD_briefign

EURUSD – I’m long here and I hate it. Stop below 1.1251, very much hope it’ll get touched but as you know I’m a lowly expat who earns in Dollars.

2015-01-29_DX_briefing

The Dollar index however is looking pretty solid here and I’m long with a  stop below 94.6.

More short term goodies below the fold…


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You have been briefed – now have fun but keep it frosty. See you guys later this afternoon.

Cheers,




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