Trade Aptitude

Results of Thursday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: No trade triggered.  

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

Buy 5286.50 stop 5280.75. No short trade today. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) dumps from +43 to -14 with Asia Bearish and the West mixed. 

Catalysts: Fed’s Powell @ 9:00 and Barr @ 12:00. 

Quick Tip: New Paradigm

What are your beliefs about successful trading? How have you been taught? 

Technical analysis – “All I need is a good indicator or two to be a winner, history repeats itself enough for me.” That’s OK. 

Fundamental analysis – “Indicators are lagging, I want to study and KNOW the asset I’m trading to predict the future with confidence.” That’s OK too. 

Chart analysis – “Patterns on the chart are predictive...

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Trade Aptitude

psychology trade planning Mar 21, 2024

Results of Wednesday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: No trade triggered.  

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

Buy 5242.00 stop 5236.25. No short trade today. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) jumps from zero to +43 with most major world markets Bullish on rising volatility. 

Catalysts: Jobless Claims & Philly Fed MFG Index @ 8:30. PMI MFG & Services @ 9:45. Existing Home Sales @ 10:00. Fed’s Barr @ 12:00. 

Quick Tip: Consistency

Having taught over 4000 traders in the past 16 years the goal I’ve heard most often is the desire for consistent profitability. 

You know what profitability is but how do you define consistency in trading? Time enters the definition. Wanting a daily paycheck from the market is more challenging than a weekly or monthly paycheck. 

In Dr. Brett Steenbarger’s excellent...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Monday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Shorting 5236.75 picked the top of the session and ran for 26.50 points before closing the session +22.50. 

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

Buy 5184.25 stop 5179.00. Short 5221.50 stop 2527.25. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) plummets from +57 to -7 with major world markets mixed on lower volatility. 

Catalysts: Building Permits & Housing Starts @ 8:30. Waiting on FOMC tomorrow.

Quick Tip: Exit On Close

If you traded yesterday’s short suggestion (see chart) and let it ride to the close you had an awesome start to your trading week. 

However, watching that open trade all day would have been difficult given the swings and spikiness of the price action. Just about any trailing stop rule set would have limited your potential. 

There is one great trader I know of who...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Thursday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Buying 5238.00 only offered a 3.50-point scalp. Shorting 5233.00 ran for 45 points. Having a good week? 

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

Buy 5220.50 stop 5215.75. Short 5216.50 stop 5221.25 if prices falls below and retraces to entry. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) remains at +25 with most major world markets mildly Bullish with low volatility. 

Catalysts: Empire State MFG Index & Import Prices @ 8:30. Industrial Production @ 9:15. UofM Consumer Sentiment @ 10:00. 

Quick Tip: Contract Selection

Unlike the stock market where you have thousands of stocks to choose from, the futures market has dozens of contractsStill, diversification is good. The question becomes which contracts should you trade. Here’s a quick look at filtering for...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Wednesday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: No levels suggested. 

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

Buy 5238.00 stop 5232.25. Short 5233.00 stop 5238.75 if prices falls below and retraces to entry. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) jumps from -13 to +25 with most major world markets mildly Bullish with low volatility. 

Catalysts: PPI, Retail Sales & Jobless Claims @ 8:30. 

Quick Tip: Which Market? 

The word “market” can mean asset class: stock market, commodities market, currency market, etc. 

It can also mean “condition:” trending market, ranging market. 

Your strategy rules should be customized to a market condition. No strategy performs well in all market conditions. 

It’s commonly said that markets trend around 30% of the time. That leaves 70% for range-bound...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Tuesday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Buying 5183.00 picked the bottom of the session and ran 60+ points to the close. 😊

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

No qualified volume levels today. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) drops from +31 to -13 in a world of mixed sentiment and plunging volatility. 

Catalysts: Crude Oil Inventories @ 10:30. 30-year Bond Auction @ 13:01.

Quick Tip: ATR Exit

Yesterday’s buy was one of the best we’ve seen in years. It ran smoothly with a few pullbacks to form price pivots for a trailing stop that was never touched. 

One open trade management tool we have is the ATR extension. The black dotted line on the chart represents the 14-period daily average true range (ATR) added to the prior day session close. You can subtract it to get the ATR extension below as well. 

Price...

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Trade Aptitude

psychology trade planning Mar 12, 2024

Results of Monday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: No levels were presented. 

Today’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points (filtered out during CPI release): 

Buy 5183.00 stop 5177.25. Short 5177.00 stop 5182.75 if price drops below and retraces to entry. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) jumps from -25 to +31 with most major world markets Bullish.  

Catalysts: CPI @ 8:30. 10-year Bond Auction@ 13:01. 

Quick Tip: Slippage

One aspect of trading newbies don’t consider is order execution. At first glance you may think “How hard could buying and selling be? Click a mouse!” Getting your price is not always possible, though. 

For example, I was live testing a new process whereby the entries and exits were set at different prices and quantities. Scale-in, scale-out. There were significant advantages… less risk, potentially greater reward. 

My platform allows for most of the orders to be...

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Trade Aptitude

psychology trade planning Mar 11, 2024

Results of Friday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: Shorting the breakout from 5155.00 failed. 

No volume levels today due to contract rollover combined with an all-time high trading range. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) dips from +6 to -25 with Asia Bullish and the west modestly Bearish. 

Catalysts: Nothing obvious.  

Quick Tip: Confirmation

Many traders use a two-step process to enter their trades. The first is called a “setup.” Certain conditions appear ripe for an entry. The second step is called “confirmation.” The final evidence says pull the trigger. 

Here’s an example: Our trend strategy will signal that a trend is starting based on a chart pattern and current volatility. But that is not when the entry occurs. We wait for confirmation by looking for additional signals, then buy on a retracement to reduce risk and improve price. Simple enough. 

Last week a trade signaled...

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Trade Aptitude

Results of Thursday’s Best S&P Futures Turning Points: The short at 5142.25 stopped out and the breakout buy at 5238.25 only offered a 5.50-point move before failing. 

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

Buy 5113.75 stop 5109.25. Short 5155.00 stop 5159.00 if price drops below and retraces to entry. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) jumps from -44 to +6 with the world markets mixed within low volatility. 

Catalysts: Non-Farm Payrolls @ 8:30. 

Quick Tip: All-Time High

What is your plan? Stay long, hedge, go flat, or short? 

Evidence from an analysis of stock market returns since 1926 done by Schroders.com might help: 

1. Of the 1,176 months since January 1926, the market was at an all-time high in 354 of them, 30% of the time.

2. 12-month returns following an all-time high being hit have been better than at...

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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 5142.25 stop 5137.50 if price rises above and retraces to entry (breakout). Short 5138.25 stop 5143.00. 

The World Index: (+100/-100) plummets from +31 to -44 with most major world markets Bearish on rising volatility in Asia. 

Catalysts: Day Jobless Claims @ 8:30. Powell @ 10:00. Fed’s Mester @ 11:30.

Quick Tip: Ask Yourself

Earnings season is over. Generally, stocks that beat expectations will rise and vice versa. Your portfolio will likely have winners and losers. If all you look at is the total value you’re missing opportunity. 

You should be asking yourself how you’re going to manage each position. Being proactive and planning will get you the calm confidence to execute with no doubt. 

...

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