...Latest update October 2014...
The information presented here comes with no strings attached. There are no
sign-up pages, no ads, no hidden agenda and I do not track visitor's addresses.
...Blog navigation notes...
Links are in orange text and should open in a new tab or window. Comments, charts and topics are
usually dated when content is added. Clicking on any chart will open a larger view in slideshow mode.
If a chart is still too small to see the details, right click on it then select "Open in a new window"
or "New tab" and use your browser's zoom control.
REVERSALS RULE !
My basic premise : In the markets, what goes down must go up.
I have observed that price seems to do more oscillating ↓→↑→↓→↑ (link) than trending, even when it can be seen to be moving in one over-all direction for an extended period of time. I have developed methods to take advantage of very short term price oscillations.
They work whether the longer term trend is down or up...
Don't be put off by the 'busy-ness' of the charts included on this blog...most of the annotations
were added after the snapshots were taken. I draw a lot of trend lines on my trading charts
throughout the day but I do not add the notations shown when trading.
( click on any picture to view it's details - i.e. a larger view )
What goes down must go up...In up trends or down
Here are links to more examples supporting these statements:
1) Long trades in a down trend 2) H&S suggests a down trend beginning 3) Heavy session selling but LONG trades were still presented
Note that I see reversals as a matter of course...my T/A bias is always bullish.
Granted, I'm more successful when the overall markets are in bullish mode. Being aware of my bias'
helps me restrain my trading when things are not going my way.
Applying them (or an inverse of them) for taking short trades does not seem to work as consistently, although there can be exceptions to this rule. See my Comparative Trade Scalping Method page for a way to get around this limitation using Bull/Bear ETFs.
Although most of the examples here are showing tick based e-mini Futures charts, the methods, patterns and signals work just as well when using time based charts of stocks and ETFs.
You may as well stop reading at this point if you are not interested in counter trend reversal trading. Conventional wisdom suggests that "picking bottoms is a fool's game" and that "trading with the established trend" is the only way to be consistently successful...For most traders, listening to conventional wisdom may seem to be the most logical and surest way to approach the markets.
Since most traders are not very successful at this vocation...
How valuable can the conventional wisdom be?
The following charts present an overview of some of the recurring events that are mentioned throughout this blog... i.e. repeating patterns. My intention is to explain how to take advantage of them via trading, day in day out...
PRICE ACTION & DEFINITIONS
The examples above are my bread-and-butter trade patterns.
In its simplest form, my method uses Price Action and Trend Lines to identify price reversals :
...direction changes from down to up...
The price patterns on the charts may all look the same but note that they are showing different markets with different time frames and were all 'snapped' on different days at different times of the day.
These types of patterns happen many, many times every day... AND they have been happening ever since price charts were invented.
Thus my premise as stated above:
In the markets, what goes down must go up.
If you are excited about the possibilities that easily recognisable, repeating patterns may present for you that's good...but don't let your initial excitement go too far...It's not easy...there will be days when you see no signals, poor signals or good signals that fail resulting in nothing but stop-outs on the trades you take.
What I do is simple and repetitive :
It gets very boring watching squiggly lines on a chart all day !
I suggest you find a way to temper your initial excitement and direct your trading with the above caveats in mind. If you are able to get through this "Home page" and are interested in learning more about all the stuff that is listed here, I suggest you study the other pages that are listed on the right hand side - they are numbered by what I consider to be their level of importance to the learning curve.
At this point, I want to stress the absolute necessity of keeping accurate trading records & statistics AND understanding their implications to your trading bottom line. I realise that this part of "trading for a living" can be the most tedious part of the entire business. But neglecting this aspect will prevent you from excelling at this vocation. Some of the reasons "why they are important" are listed on the page linked below:
---Ignoring your statistics will lead you to ruin---
This blog is primarily for my benefit.
If the reader can get something to add to his bag of trading tricks, that's OK too. If you have comments, constructive criticisms or questions feel free to contact me by e-mail (see my profile)
Although I am aware of market news and fundamentals, I endeavor to keep from being overly influenced by the constant barrage of "financial news" stories published by market news organizations. Most financial news writers cater to a need that people seem to have for "understanding WHY" the markets did what they did...As entertaining as the presented rationalizations may be, they can not be relied upon as trading tools. I especially avoid listening to market pundits who present their expert opinion about what "WILL happen" in the markets going forward...IMO, it is somebody's expert opinion that gets us into any and every mess in the first place...
I trade primarily using the relatively simple technical methods that are described here. These methods are combined with my"feel" for market actions.
Recurring Price Action, Patterns and Signals
It should be obvious that most of the charts on this blog were hand picked by me for illustration purposes. Of course they were. They usually show a plethora of patterns and trade signals on each example. Although multiple, confirming signals do occur quite often everyday, you must understand that these things don't always occur simultaneously. Also be aware that the types of signals I'm pointing out do not occur before each and every price reversal...
Good trade opportunities do not require waiting for 'perfect' sets of signals to happen...
Most of the earlier charts on this blog are one minute intervals showing stocks and ETFs. As I migrate toward concentrating on the e-mini futures I find TICK charts more useful. Tick charts often present patterns that may not be quite as apparent on time based charts...(click here for another example). Tick charts are also particularly good for studying the 24 hour session price-action of the e-minis.
4/01/2014 "Perfect" Signals for entering long positions
Sometimes multiple signals happen to print simultaneously...on some days, good trading signals print more frequently than they do on other days...
Rarely will good signals fail to print for an entire day...There will be days that good signals print but fail to precede good reversal runs - that's what STOPs are for...
8/9/2013 Signals and Patterns that continually repeat
The following is my description of what the chart below is telling me...
it is how I read charts :
P/A (price action) was in a down trend with LL's & LH's (lower lows and lower highs) ... 2xD (two indicator divergence) then developed, alerting me of the potential for an imminent change in direction*... price then broke the TL (Trend Line)** and made a new HH before retracing back toward the level where it broke out***... P/A then printed a HL MOF (money on the floor) with the MACD EMAs trending up at this point...P/A began to print HH's & HL's, describing a new up trend...
How I take positions based on the Signals and Patterns that are described above :
*1st long entry order signal - Market order - try to enter just below the TL level
**2nd long entry - Buy Stop - placed just above where price would break the TL
***3rd long entry - Limit @ the TL break level, for a TL break re-test entry.
3xD Buy STOP+TTO at the Trend Line trade
TTO = Threshold Trade Order a.k.a bracket order
This is a 60 tick chart
3/14/2012 2xD Divergence can be powerful too...
A Limit+TTO order relies on a retest of a break-out point and is sort of a late-to-the-party trade relative to using a Market+TTO order immediately after divergences below the trend line are identified. But on most days they will provide good fills with reasonable stops. It is not always easy to to place 'perfect'
under-the-trend-line-early-entry orders, especially on very active days.
Below is a 120 tick chart which draws price bars much slower than the 90T, 60T and/or 45T charts I usually use when trading the YM...but so far on this day, trade activity had been at a far greater pace than on average.
This chart shows where to place "late" limit orders...The solid lime line crossing the teal down trend line (circled area) is the trend-line-break level. In this example, both 2xD plays would have been filled on retests, without price coming near a tight 6 tick stop...you might even have gotten a better fill by a tick or two, if the order was entered while price was dipping...
5/3/2013 2xD followed by 2xRD
Also on the chart above - price printed a HH after making the Trend Line Break...it then retraced back
to test the level where it broke out (TLB Re-Test) and printed a HL. This particular HL is also known as
a Money-on-the-Floor pattern...Note that a Slingshot pattern is developing on the
stochastic indicator at the same time.
These two patterns help to identify and to confirm the reversal, from down to a new up trend...
They are both described in detail on my Money on the Floor page.
4/25/2013 2xD followed by 2xRD
I include this 120 minute-per-bar chart to demonstrate that price action works very similarly, regardless of the time frame you may choose to view.
In this example, over a month's worth of the DJIA e-mini sessions are included.
Viewing multiple 'time frames' can be helpful in confirming 3xD trade signals and more. Here I'm using both 90 & 120 tick charts for the NQ e-mini futures. Divergence is apparent on both charts, suggesting an imminent trend reversal. The yellow, gray and red diagonal lines in both studies clearly show the divergences on each indicator. The aqua vertical line marks the point where the divergences can first be identified - that's when to place your orders.
The 90T allows you to optimize your entry and suggests where a reasonably tight stop-loss order can be placed...The 120T chart gives a better perspective for determining how much of a reversal you might expect from the divergence in order to set a reasonable target...
Comparing Histogram DivergencesNotice that the 90T on the right has a MACD histo and a TRIX histo in the study panes...Both are trend indicators and work very similarly - its just a matter of preference as to which to use (see the next chart for further comparisons)...The 180T chart also shows Stochastic divergence.
Its not unusual to have divergence on one time frame but not on the others.
The following chart is for comparing the TRIX histogram with its EMAs to the MACD histogram and EMAs.
It also highlights relationships with the yellow Stochastic slow %D line and with price action.
You can see the similarities as well as differences easily...
Another comparison of differing histograms
Other combinations of trending and oscillating indicators can work just as well as the ones shown above.
Most will show very similar shapes & patterns ...
In the charts above, the scales for the TRIXh, the Awesome Oscillator and the MACD (with it's EMAs) are on the left while the Stochastic is on the right. The actual scaling numbers are not that important to me. I'm more interested in seeing the relationships between the indicators with price. If my software would allow it, I would turn off all the left hand scales.
In my view, the stochastic and each of the histograms are oscillators...BUT the TRIX EMA lines and MACD EMA lines indicate trending attributes of price.
I do look at over-bought and over-sold positions of the stochastic line within the study pane...and although I use MACD EMA crosses, I do not concern myself so much about whether they occur above or below the center line.
This set up gave three ways to make an entry...
(for immediate entry)
(entry order would be activated if or when price broke-out)
(requiring a re-test of the break-out level for entry)
All three types of orders could have been deployed. After the 3 indicator divergence set up was spotted there was at least a minute to place the orders.
I didn't see it until after the trend line was penetrated but was able to participate on the move because shares happened to retrace to .01 below my limit @111.97 as price re-tested the breakout point.
The indicators in the study panes on these charts use a Stochastic ( 9,2,3 yellow line), a standard MACD without a histogram (aqua and red lines) and a TRIX histogram (light blue bars). The other Stochastic (12,3,3) listed in the pane is used to create the black background for the study. It covers some background lines but is otherwise hidden. The last number (1) listed within the parenthesis next to some of the legends for the indicators is the chart interval...
Another example of a three indicator divergence scalp trade allowing an entry before price action makes the breakout of the trend line.
Entry signals - Divergence vs. Trend Line break retest
The chart below illustrates the power of 3 indicator divergence and the relative safety of this trade entry vs. playing a trend line break and waiting for a re-test of that point for entry.
Normally I would have cancelled order # 2 after three to five minutes since there was no immediate retest after the TL break, rather than leaving it live for the 15+ minutes as shown on the chart.
There is always another trade
Avoid second guessing your trade decisions - Learn from losing trades and yes, analyze stop-outs to determine if your entry reasons were valid...
But DO NOT second guess yourself or engage in coulda-woulda-shoulda thinking. These things will cloud your abilities and interfere with successful trading.
Talk about what second guessing and coulda-woulda-shouldas can do to you...