The Daily Market Forecast... optimizing targets

Thursday’s Blog Results: The long level triggered and popped for 4.25-point scalp. Did you stop out or get dinner money?

Quick Tip: Optimizing targets.

Stops are so easy. Pick your risk number. That gives you position size. Hit enter.

Targets are elusive. The Trading Gods made it that way, I think. And it gets worse if you’re a day trader and watching the chart!

If you ask yourself what would be the best stat to know when you enter a trade, eventually you’ll come to the answer that matters… how far in my direction will it go? This is called Maximum Favorable Excursion (MFE). We’ll never know this but we can use probabilities to help our target placement.

Here’s how: Based on your rules for entry and exit, log the MFE for every trade starting today. You should do this for every trade setup your strategy presents, whether you took the trade or not. If you have the ability to go back and add this to prior trades, spend the whole weekend doing it.


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The Daily Market Forecast... move stop?

Wednesday’s Blog Results: The short never triggered and the long was a… problem. Here’s why. The blog arrives around 8AM ET and a whole lot can happen between then and the open. The suggested long was invalid at the open as price dropped well below after the economic news. 

The team had a level that ran for 13.75 points, but price was very spiky all the way, so the gain really depended on how they managed their trailing stop, if any (see chart above).

Quick Tip: Stops… move or not?

You’ve heard both, I’m guessing. I know very successful traders that have opposing views on this subject. It’s no surprise that you heard conflicting advice.

The correct answer is not simple, though. You must take it in context. You need to know their trading style and risk tolerance to truly understand their answer.

Trader A enters momentum moves and adds to her position as price goes in her direction. She trails her stop based on chart features and...

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The Daily Market Forecast... do something.

Tuesday’s Blog Results: Neither suggested level triggered.

Quick Tip: Do something.

Yesterday was “Do nothing” today is “Do something,” what’s going on?

There are many trading styles to choose from. Saying one is the “best” is foolish. It may be the best for someone, but no trading style is best for everyone. While yesterday’s quote came from Jim Rogers suggesting you do nothing between great trades it is his style (very long term). “Doing something” works too.

Out team of traders share best practices for multiple strategies. Volume Profile, Breakouts, Volatility Reversal, Supply/Demand, Directional Options, and Spreads. Not everyone trades all the strategies. You should find the style of trading that resonates with your personality and risk tolerance and stick to it.

But if you have the ability to trade multiple styles (strategies) here are the pros and cons:


  1. More trading opportunities. When one strategy is...
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The Daily Market Forecast... do nothing.

Monday’s Blog Results: Neither suggested volume level triggered. Team members saw price reverse on a former high-volume level running for 37.25 points.

Quick Tip: Do nothing.

Successful trading skills are very different than how we’ve been conditioned to behave.

Here’s an example via some advice from arguably one of the best traders in history, Jim Rogers.

“I just wait until there is money lying in the corner, and all I have to do is go over there and pick it up. I do nothing in the meantime."

Who was taught this concept growing up? Did Dad ever say, “Do nothing?” Mom? Your boss?

OK… I’m taking literary license here because we all know Jim didn’t vegetate between trades. But what IS important is he didn’t trade. Research? Sure. Study? Yup. Plenty of productive tasks we can do while waiting for the “money lying in the corner.”

Get comfortable with the idea of being a trader who can “not trade.”


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The Daily Market Forecast... F.E.A.R.

Friday’s Blog Results: The suggested short caught the top of the day session and ran for 41.75 points to the next volume level. Team members knew about the 4174 level and saw that bounce 15.75 points.

Today’s Lesson: F.E.A.R.

Trading breeds emotions. It’s all about the money and most of us have emotional reactions to money. While greed is a killer, fear of loss is also serious problem for unskilled traders.

There is an acronym for “fear” that is important here. F.E.A.R. stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.

The chart above shows a good example of this. Looking at price soaring straight up you might be fearful of taking the suggested short at 4515.75. Your fear would have kept you out of a 41.75-point runner. Not good.

You might be thinking “What’s so false about this rally? It looks very real!”

The fact is strong moves in one direction will usually correct in the opposite direction rather violently. Scan hundreds of charts and see...

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The Daily Market Forecast... anticipation

Thursday’s Blog Results: The CPI report crashed the market and the open was well below the suggested buy level. After all, you get this blog around 8AM ET and lots can happen in the meantime. One of the entry rules we follow is taking breakouts if reversals fail. The chart above shows the result.

Today’s Lesson: Anticipate.

So much of your time is spent waiting for a setup. Be productive and plan your next or other trades. Anticipate.

Looking at the chart above you’ll see the failed short entry. Price moved fast through the volume level and gave you no chance to consider the long breakout in real time. That decision needed to be made in advance.

Another good reason to anticipate is psychological. The short entry failed instantly and that means you lost the maximum you allocated for the trade. Experienced traders are accustomed to losing so there is rarely an emotional reaction. Newer traders will experience angst over the loss and that could affect your decision to...

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The Daily Market Forecast... abundance

Wednesday’s Blog Results: The suggested short level @ 4575.00 ran for 16.75 points with only 1 tick of adverse move. Don’t you feel more confident when you’re on a winning streak? (Careful…)

Today’s Lesson: Abundance.

Success starts with your orientation toward life. In Larry Wilson’s book, Play to Win: Choosing Growth Over Fear in Work and Life, he reveals the two orientations that you must choose between.

  1. Play to win.
  2. Playing not to lose.

What’s the difference?

People who have a positive attitude packed with a view of abundant opportunities willing to overcome challenges, grow and risk for gain are “Playing to Win.”

Conversely, people who need to remain in their comfort zone, looking for the “easy way,” have a skeptical, negative attitude and don’t see opportunities clearly are “Playing Not to Lose.”

Successful traders Play to Win. One key component of their formula is the mindset of...

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The Daily Market Forecast... exit here.

Tuesday’s Blog Results: Another runner yesterday… 17 points. But this one was different. Here’s how the buy level was suggested:

“Long Level: Buy 4371.00 stop 4367.25 which would require a ton of patience. Consider buying 4500.25 stop 4494.50 IF price trades above and retraces back. 

Nice bonus idea, eh? Join our team and get these every day.  

Today’s Lesson: Exit here.

Every trade you exit only has two outcomes once you’re filled.

  1. You left money on the table.
  2. You got out just in time.

Those two outcomes are packed with emotional response. “Damn… I got out too soon” (anger). “Holy smoke am I on fire today” (elation).

Do you think your emotional reaction might influence your next trade?

Curtis Faith, one of the original Turtle Traders and author of Way of the Turtle, summed it up succinctly: “Winning traders think in the present time and avoid thinking too much about the future. Being right...

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The Daily Market Forecast... "real" courage

Monday’s Blog Results: The suggested buy level @ 4476.50 delivered a 38-point runup. How much did you keep?

Today’s Lesson: How to get “real” courage.

Hopefully you’re following a rule-based trade plan (if not, get one or stop trading). If so, you’ve probably experienced that trade setup that just didn’t look or feel right. The rules say “BUY” and price is plunging fast. All you can think about is that stop getting filled instantly and you’re underwater again.

On the chart above, notice the price action just before the level was touched. Just before entry. The steep and fast move down. And you’re supposed to buy at this number that some guy (me) told you was a good turning point.

Would it take “courage” to enter that trade? Being courageous sounds too risky to me. I get mental images of danger ahead and I’m supposed to plow right through and prevail… without pain?

Confidence is the...

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The Daily Market Forecast... near wins.

Friday’s Blog Results: The suggested buy level @ 4454.25 offered 8.50 points before reversing. The suggested short level failed by only 5 ticks and then plunged 32.25 points to the close.

Today’s Lesson: Near wins.

As you review the trades from Friday you’ll likely pause on the short entry, which failed by only 5 ticks before offered a sizable winner.

Was the stop too tight? Was the entry too soon? You’re thinking about how you could have gotten into the trade.

Now if you’re a discretionary trader with no evidence of edge, just intuition and experience, that may be the correct review process.

Our team is rule-based. We work with statistically relevant evidence to make trading decisions. Pondering the reasons how we could have “made” it a winner is a waste of time. Specifically, we know that our entry and stop were correct probability-wise.

The review process then becomes “reframing.” Taking a negative and making it positive. Ask...

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