The Daily Market Forecast... What You Did Right

Friday’s Results: The suggested short @ 4116.25 was only good for a 7-point “scalp.” The breakout long even less at 4.75 points.

Quick Tip: What You Did Right

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that documentation and review of all your trade setups (taken or not) is essential to improving your results.

It’s easy to skimp on this work by focusing on the losers. Your instinct is to understand why you lost. Was it something you did wrong? Could you discover a changed to your trade plan that is beneficial? Or, was it meant to be as a natural part of the win/lose paradigm?

An excellent method for reframing your attitude positive is to focus equally as much attention on what you did right. It’s too easy to ignore this. The trade worked. You were profitable. Why explore that? Because reinforcing through review and thoughtfulness what you did right will cement those good habits.

Whatever you feed your mind is what you’ll get in return....

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The Daily Market Forecast... Filter or Not?

Thursday’s Results: Neither suggested trade yesterday triggered.

Quick Tip: Filter or Not?

Are there market conditions that your strategy performs better or worse in? Probably so. Price is either trending or not and volatile or not. These are very different conditions and knowing with evidence how your strategy performs in each of them is important.

Why? Because you’ll be able to filter out trade setups in conditions that are not ideal. These filters become rules in your trade plan, which is a living document requiring this very type of updating.

You’ll need to document hundreds, even thousands of trades with several data points to find the evidence. One important data point to capture on every trade (taken or not) is the average true range (ATR) of your higher time interval. This tells you how volatile price is.

For example, our team day trades the S&P futures using volume profile (one of several strategies they can access to choose trades from). The best...

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The Daily Market Forecast... Working a Drawdown

Wednesday’s Results: The short @ 3970 stopped out, the breakout from there as well. 

Quick Tip: Working a Drawdown

All trading strategies have drawdowns (a protracted losing streak). The challenge is trading through it. You can’t stop thinking that it may “never come back” or churn for an extended period. Then you get FOMO and think if you stop now it will roar back and you’ll miss the gain. Obviously, these thoughts are destructive. Don’t go there. 

What you should do is have drawdown management rules to follow. These are rules that tell you when to stop trading the strategy and when, if ever, to start up again. This will take the emotion out of the process. Apply these rules to the performance of individual strategies, not your whole trading account. 

Here’s an example of a rule set: 

1. Track the equity curve of the strategy (this can also be generated from a back-test). 

2. ...

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The Daily Market Forecast... Best Breakout

Tuesday’s Results: The suggested buy @ 3902 only bounced 4.75 points, but the breakout was good for a 25.00-point run. 

Quick Tip: Best Breakouts

Price is either trending or not. If you’re trading a reversal strategy during a strong trend you’ll likely lose. If that same reversal strategy has rules to “flip” to breakout and join the trend, you have a good chance of covering the reversal loss and if the trend is strong, net out a winner. This is exactly what happened yesterday with the suggested buy. 

Keep in mind as you follow the performance of the Blog levels every day they are both reversal and breakout setups. 

Caution is required, though. Not every breakout opportunity has edge. You need to know the historical performance during various market conditions to "filter" in or out these powerful continuation setups. 

Today’s Best S&P Turning Points:

Sell 3970.00 stop 3974.25. 

Buy 3870.50 stop...

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The Daily Market Forecast... How to Predict

Monday’s Results: Neither trade idea triggered. 

Quick Tip: How to Predict

Prediction is imperfect. But there is a logical method to framing what action to take based on the likely outcomes. Let’s use a simple two-outcome example, a trade. Your trade plan should have a stop loss and a winning exit rule(s). Simplistically, you’ll either win or lose. 

Before you start your trading session play the “What if…” game. 

What if the trade fails? 

What if the trade wins? 

What are you going to do next? Wait for the next signal? Reverse direction? Take the same signal on a second attempt if available? Quit? 

It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. You should plan for the outcomes and know what to do. If your trade plan already has rules for what you do after each trade, you’re good. If not, you should do the research to determine the best action possible. 

How? Ask “What...

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The Daily Market Forecast... Reversals Become Breakouts

Friday’s Results: Buying 3898.50 stopped out.

Quick Tip: Reversals & Breakouts

The high-volume price levels formed by the accumulation and distribution of big lot traders are simply at “fair value.” Think about it this way: there was a buyer and seller for every contract traded. This means they AGREED the price was fair.

Once price strays OUT of the fair value level it becomes attractive to a trader who is either bullish or bearish. This allows you to trade both reversals and breakouts around the volume levels.

For example, looking at the price chart from Friday the highest volume price level from Thursday was 3895.50/3898.50. That buy failed immediately and the breakout was a monster continuation of the down trend.  

What about legacy high-volume levels? They work the same enough of the time for an edge. Note the temporary reversal at 3838.50.

Keep in mind as you follow the performance of the Blog levels every day they are both reversal and breakout...

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The Daily Market Forecast... Math Meets Psychology

Thursday’s Results: The short at 3920.75 ran for 39.50 with only 1.25 points adverse.

Quick Tip: Math Meets Psychology

Much has been said about the similarities between trading and gambling. Much is true. All is not. A fabulous book you should read about this topic is A Man for All Markets by Edward O. Thorp, an accomplished mathematician, author of Beat the Dealer, and acclaimed hedge fund manager.

When Thorp tested his blackjack card counting system in the real world, financed by two wealthy (and greedy) millionaire businessmen, he uncovered a significant “edge” that you can and should apply to your trading.

His backers wanted him to bet big right from the start. Thorp opposed this idea. He was logical and methodical. Betting big before having confidence didn’t make sense to him. He started small and slowly worked his way up to the big bets. His backers were annoyed but Thorp insisted.

The system was a success in the real world. Afterward, Thorp wrote this:...

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The Daily Market Forecast... Bear Market Recoveries

Wednesday’s Results: The buy at 4008.50 stopped out.

Quick Tip: Bear Market Recoveries

The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 indexes are deep in bear market territory, down 30%. The S&P is flirting with a 20% drop this morning (that being the definition of a bear market). You can learn something from recent history. Going back too far, prior to the computer age, will consider human emotions but not the massive technology change, which affects the speed at which price moves.

2000 Bear: Down 50% in 31 months, 60 months to recover.

2008 Bear: Down 57% in 17 months, 49 months to recover.

2020 Bear: Down 35% in 2 months, 5 months to recover.

2022 Bear: Down 20% (so far) in 5 months, recovery unknown.

It’s obvious that the drops and recoveries are happening faster. This is important to know. Planning how to handle the volatility gets a little easier.

If you’re a buy-and-hold investor you’re probably not worried at all. It will come back and most likely quickly given the...

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The Daily Market Forecast... Art in Exits

Tuesday’s Results: The suggested short ran for 17.50 points with only 1.50 points adverse.

Quick Tip: Art in Exits

Dozens of different methods of trading can be profitable. If you doubt this statement you need to read any of Jack Schwager’s “Market Wizards” books.

In each book he interviews top traders from around the world. Dozens of them. What you’ll find is that almost every trader has a different take on how to trade. Some use technical indicators successfully. Others focus on algorithms. Still others use fundamentals and macroeconomics. Some are systems traders. Others are discretionary. The list of differences between them is long.

What they ALL have in common is profitability.

If your belief system has you stuck trading one way because your guru told you it’s the only way then this book series will open your eyes and mind. Enjoy it.

After reading his book series I began to look at my trade setups with a new view. Who will be on the other...

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The Daily Market Forecast... Focus on This

Monday’s Results: Neither suggested trade triggered.

Quick Tip: Focus on This

Novice traders focus on how much they are winning and losing. Every entry, hoping for a winner. Every stopped exit, wishing it didn’t happen. This is incredibly destructive behavior. You’re teasing your emotions, begging them to overrule your common sense.

Here’s how to stop:

  1. Get a rule-based trade plan (if you help, take this free mini-course Ultimate Trade Plan).
  2. Document every trade opportunity including the trades you didn’t take.
  3. Create a rich database of evidence with hundreds of trades, maybe thousands.
  4. Calculate the win/loss percentage of your strategy.
  5. Calculate the average winning and losing trade in dollars.
  6. Calculate the net gain and divide by the total number of trades.

Now you know the amount of money you make every time you click to enter regardless of outcome. That is what your mind should be focused on when a trade setup triggers. Not winning or losing. But...

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