Trade Aptitude

Results of Tuesday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Neither trade triggered. 

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (consider wider stops and less size in fast moving markets): 

Buy 4885.00 stop 4881.50. Short 4948.00 stop 4953.25

The World Index: (+100/-100) drops from +6 to zero with sentiment mixed worldwide on lower volatility. 

Catalysts: ADP Employment Change @ 8:15. Employment Cost Index @ 8:30. Chicago PMI @ 9:45. Crude Oil Inventories @ 10:30. FOMC Statement & Press Conference @ 14:00/14:30. 

Quick Tip: One Good Habit?

In his excellent book Atomic Habits author James Clear named chapter 20 The Downside of Creating Good Habits. Darn good title! 

Here’s the gist of it: once we practice something enough to become skilled and automatic we become less aware of improving it. We stop looking for the mistakes. After all, once it’s a habit you’re not thinking about it...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Monday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Shorting 4928.50 stopped out. Buying the breakout at 4931.00 ran for 25 points. 

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (consider wider stops and less size in fast moving markets): 

Buy 4922.50 stop 4918.25. Short 4919.00 stop 4923.25 if price retraces up from below. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) drops from +19 to +6 with sentiment mixed worldwide on lower volatility. 

Catalysts: Home Price Index @ 9:00. Consumer Confidence & JOLTS @ 10:00.

Quick Tip: Mastering Trading

George Leonard noted in his book Mastery that “Our culture has become hooked on the quick fix, the life hack, efficiency. Everyone is on the hunt for that simple action algorithm that nets maximum profit with the least amount of effort.”

Sounds like “Lotto Mentality.” And unfortunately, those are the kinds of teasers you read in your emails every day. Don’t...

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Trade Aptitude

psychology trade planning Jan 29, 2024

Results of Friday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Neither trade triggered.

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (consider wider stops and less size in fast moving markets): 

Buy 4931.00 stop 4927.75 if price retraces from above to enter. Short 4928.50 stop 4931.75. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) rises from +6 to +19 with sentiment mixed worldwide on lower volatility. 

Catalysts: Nothing on the economic calendar.  

Quick Tip: Risk/Reward 

Dan Campbell coached the Detroit Lions to their first championship game in decades. They came out on fire and whipped the 49ers in the first half leading 24 – 7. 

Then Dan forgot about his risk/reward ratio. He chose to go for it on 4th and short instead of kicking the 3-point field goal. While he still had a big lead! That failed. 

Still forgetting about risk/reward, he did it again. That failed as well. 

They lost 34-31. 

6 easy points missed would...

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Trade Aptitude

psychology trading Jan 26, 2024

Results of Thursday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Neither trade triggered, both levels remain on the chart. 

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (consider wider stops and less size in fast moving markets): 

Buy 4885.00 stop 4881.50. Short 4867.00 stop 4871.25 if price falls below and retraces back. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) dips from +13 to +6 with sentiment widely mixed worldwide.

Catalysts: Core PCE Price Index, Personal Income/Spending @ 8:30. Pending Home Sales @ 10:00. More China stimulus didn’t work last night. 

Quick Tip: Darwin the Trader

Traders can learn from so many great sources that have nothing to do with trading! If you think about it, trading is more psychological than mathematical. That means your ability to improve your results rests more on improving your behavior than your strategy rules. 

Here’s a great example: Charles Darwin said, “It is not...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Wednesday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Neither trade triggered.

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (consider wider stops and less size in fast moving markets): 

Buy 4885.00 stop 4881.50. Short 4867.00 stop 4871.25 if price falls below and retraces back. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) dumps from +50 to +13 with Asia Bullish and the west relatively flat. 

Catalysts: GDP, Jobless Claims, Durable Goods, Import/Export Balance @ 8:30. New Home Sales @ 10:00. Earnings season continues. 

Quick Tip: Ready to Retire?

You’ve probably heard or read the best ways to have a long and fulfilling retirement: Exercise regularly, sleep more, eat healthy, drink moderately, stop smoking, and minimize stress. 

Here’s one thing you might not have heard about: Connect with people who have the same purpose. It turns out that loneliness is a killer. 

Living in Florida I’m frequently asked...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Tuesday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Neither trade triggered.

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (consider wider stops and less size in fast moving markets): 

Buy 4885.00 stop 4881.50. Short 4882.25 stop 4885.75 if price falls below and retraces back. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) soars from +7 to +50 with most major world markets bullish on rising volatility. 

Catalysts: MFG & Services PMI Flash @ 9:45. Crude Oil Inventories @ 10:30. Earnings surprises (ASML kills it). China commits to stimulus. 

Quick Tip: Overbought?

Price soars way higher, it’s overbought. Price plunges way lower, it’s oversold. There are many indicators and chart patterns for verifying these conditions. 

The rub is these conditions can and do persist. Exiting too soon isn’t all that bad. All you did was make a little less profit. Entering the reversal too soon is trouble. 

The...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Monday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Neither trade triggered, levels stay on the chart.

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (consider wider stops and less size in fast moving markets): 

Buy 4870.50 stop 4866.25. Short 4867.00 stop 4871.25 if price falls below and retraces back. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) remains at +7 in a world of lower volatility and mixed sentiment. 

Catalysts: Richmond MFG Index @ 10:00. China is looking at a stock market rescue package. 

Quick Tip: Market States

Trading in harmony with the bigger picture trend is one of the golden rules. That’s only half your concern, though. The other variable you should consider is volatility. 

Combining trend and volatility you arrive at the 4 Market States: 

Trend with low volatility.

Trend with high volatility.

Ranging with low volatility.

Ranging with high volatility. 

Few, if any, strategies work well in all...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Friday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Neither trade triggered. 

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (consider wider stops and less size in fast moving markets): 

Buy 4870.50 stop 4866.25. Short 4867.00 stop 4871.25 if price falls below and retraces back. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) eases from +21 to +7 with China/HK dragging down an otherwise moderately Bullish world. 

Catalysts: Nothing important on the economic calendar. Presidential race gets narrower.

Quick Tip: Mindset

You probably noticed that the Turning Points shared here frequently don’t trigger. Sometimes a few days can go by without a trade. 

You may be thinking, “This is not enough action for me.” 

On the contrary, this strategy provides far more setups than are freely shared, we’re just trying to get acquainted! Add in the reversal and momentum strategies and there are dozens of opportunities every trading...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Thursday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Shorting 4797.50 ran for 27.50 points. 

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (consider wider stops and less size in fast moving markets): 

Buy 4811.00 stop 4807.75. Short 4808.50 stop 4811.75 if price falls below and retraces back. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) eases from +50 to +21 in a world of mixed sentiment. 

Catalysts: UofM Consumer Sentiment (Preliminary) & Existing Home Sales @ 10:00. 

Quick Tip: Limit or Market

Yesterday’s entry was perfect. In fact, it was too perfect. Price turned on the entry and that means you may not have been filled on the trade. 

Fortunately, this isn’t a common occurrence. But it does happen enough that you should have contingency plans in place. 

Here’s a couple of ideas: 

1. Place your reversal orders early. The futures market fills orders based on time of...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Wednesday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Neither trade level triggered. 

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (consider wider stops and less size in fast moving markets): 

Buy 4767.25 stop 4761.50. Short 4797.50 stop 4800.75.

The World Index: (+100/-100) soars from -86 to +50 with most major world markets solidly Bullish. 

Catalysts: Jobless Claims, Philly Fed MFG Index, Building Permits, and Housing Starts @ 8:30. Crude Oil Inventories @ 11:00. Fed’s Bostic @ 11:30. World Economic Forum in Davos (all week).

Quick Tip: Think Risk First

You might be thinking, "Aren't we trading for the profits?" Yes, however, in the long term a well-structured risk management plan should outweigh the short-term profits you stand to gain.

Why? Trading is a marathon, not a sprint. Your goal is not just to gain high returns in the short run, but to sustain profitable trading over a long period.

...

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