We’re now well into our 7th year (YEA!) day trading Crude Oil, the E-Mini S&P,
Gold, and the EuroFX, where we shoot for $300 to $400 a day in a LIVE! Trading Room — sometimes more — and (hopefully) help others reach their goals of financial independence and security.
But it took awhile to get here. I started trading stocks in the 1980s and diversified into commodity futures for the first time in 1994. Because of a bad experience with someone who “managed” my account, I started learning everything I could about swing trading.
Then the day trading bug bit and since late-1999, I’ve been a full-time day trader and continuing student of the markets.
I don’t think you ever stop learning since the markets are constantly changing.
And I’m still amazed at how precisely you can often enter these computer-driven markets . . . sometimes to-the-tick!
What can trading do for you? Well, it’s the perfect “job” — either a new career or a steady second income. And that’s sometimes critical in the current economy! You can work the hours (or even days) you choose — and do it from anywhere in the world with reliable broadband Internet. It can quickly build (or re-build) your retirement or your kids’ college savings accounts. It can get you out from under crushing debt. And it’s fun!
You might ask, how did I come to call trades in a LIVE! Trading Room? Well, I was asked by a couple of friends to step-in and host their newborn trading room 7-years ago — only for a few weeks — but I enjoyed it so much when they quit, I kept going, and the rest is history! It’s still hard to believe the LIVE! Trading Room is older than my granddaughter . . .
But I’m glad you found us — and I hope you’ll join in!
Last Updated: August 30, 2916:
A friend suggested I post more so people know I’m here calling trades and talking about the markets in the LIVE! Trading Room every day.
So I will. Starting today: August 30, 2016.
The Pre-Market Session has been consistently good this Summer — even on days when the Morning Session was slower and whippier from the massive computer trading (and little other volume).
By the way, I just read an article that confirmed volume was as bad as I’ve been saying since June. In fact, it’s as low as it has ever been the last 30-years! Wow!
Anyway, here’s a screen shot from this morning’s Pre-Market Session:
And we did nicely in the Morning Session too . . .
It says everything you need to know about the nature of this market that last Wednesday’s 11-point swoon in the SPX felt like a proper downdraft. If you’ve felt that this month has been unusually quiet, you’re not alone- and with good reason. As of last Tuesday’s close (8/23) there have been only five prior times in the last 45-YEARS where the 30 day historical volatility of the SPX has been lower.
US markets are hardly alone in experiencing a decline in volatility, of course — realized volume throughout global equity markets has also tumbled this Summer. And although futures volume is reportedly higher, many of those trades are basically wash trades that have been “legitimized” by special definition.
Computers trading with themselves to move price a few ticks this way then a few ticks that way.
What happens when volume dries-up for the futures markets we day trade every day in the LIVE! Trading Room is simple.
Price lacks consistent (if any) follow-through and so we lower our Profit Targets and do what I call Summer Scalping.
I’ve been preaching and preaching that as soon as the E-Mini S&P (ES) came off the ALL-TIME highs it was trading near for, what, 6-WEEKS — then volume would start coming back. And it came down a whopping 25-points and volume started coming right back like clockwork.
The Hedge Funds had already seen historically high withdrawals in 2015 and the first half of 2016 — and were scared to death. Do they buy near ALL-TIME highs? Do they sell a market that is levitated and will not sell-off? Or do they sit on their hands?
When volume returns even more — hopefully next week right after Labor Day — we expect to be able to return to bigger Profit Targets and even better trades!
And here is some of what we’re doing in the LIVE! Trading Room. I try very hard to be THE most transparent Trading Room available. We show each and every trade live — contrary to another who claims they’re the only one who does — and we actually do call each and every trade out in advance!
We’re still day trading some of the historically most volatile and profitable futures markets: the E-Mini S&P (ES), Crude Oil (CL), Gold (GC) and the EuroFX.
I try to teach, among other things, putting in solid screen time each morning, sticking to your Trading Plan (that we develop together if you want to), hitting your Daily Profit Target and stopping for the day. The longer inexperienced traders trade the more likely they will make a mistake. Why throw-away hours of hard work due to forcing “just one more” trade? You make a living when you do the same work and add size (2x, 3x, 4x . . . 10x . . . or more). Trading is a lifestyle — and I believe you should enjoy it!
And, yes, you can earn while you learn to trade!
In August we welcomed Ashley, Frank and Thaine!
* * * * * * * * * *
OK — Here are some charts showing some days. [NOTE: More coming soon]:
August 1: We got the new month off to a GREAT start — done before 9:30 a.m.
August 2: Too many trades! By Rule, once I see too many trades, I stop for a given length of time (as explained in more detail in the LIVE! Trading Room). This is especially important when I’m missing profitable trades (as I did this day) by 1-2-3 ticks in the ES, Gold and EuroFX markets.
August 2: Still on August 2nd — once I resume, my head is re-set and maybe my view of the markets a little clearer, nailing a few nice trades seems easier. Still a lot of whip (price going nowhere) in the ES, Gold and EuroFX.
August 3: Price still working back to a little more normal. Still too many trades. But persevering we got the full Daily Profit Target — even missing a full winner in Gold by (mistakenly) re-explaining charts to a latecomer — and me giving away a nice trade in Crude Oil (CL).
This is a chart from the afternoon of August 3rd with notations that are important. Especially regarding the Crude Oil Report — which is not nearly as easy as it sometimes looks — and SOLID support and resistance levels that can pay-off time after time, as in the case of the ES here. These black-dashed levels are what I call “intermediate” and develop more quickly — and usually shown on the chart before we start trading and are always good for at least the rest of that day. The blue horizontal S-R Levels on other charts are stronger and are good for longer times . . . sometimes for the week . . . sometimes several. The markets DO have a memory it seems and these are worth the price of admission by themselves!
NOTE: The black-dashed levels on the Crude Oil chart we placed especially for the Crude Oil Report. BEFORE the Crude Oil Report. I normally don’t trade the Crude Oil Report in the LIVE! Trading Room but have more often in June and July when times were slower. Trading is a marathon and not a sprint. So is trading the Crude Oil Report. That’s one reason I try saving it for One-On-One students. Some Crude Oil traders I know trade only the Crude Oil Report.
August 4: Crude Oil (CL) whipped as hysterically as it has the last 3-weeks — and cost us 7-ticks on a small loss close-out. But Gold was very good to us and the ES gave a nice add-on that we milked for about as much as it was giving.
If you have any questions about these charts — or anything that isn’t covered on the FAQ Page — send me a quick e-mail. My e-mail address is given at the end of every video on the site!
And remember, if your results aren’t like this, especially in such tough markets, don’t worry — you can join us tomorrow!
As we’ve been saying in the LIVE! Trading Room for the past couple of weeks — these are extremely challenging markets right now. E-Mini S&P (ES) has been in a range for over 3-weeks in a row — at or near the all-time highs. Crude Oil (CL) has been whipping, sometimes hysterically, then spiking (up or down depending on the computers). Gold has been a little better — bu taking off at times. And the EuroFX has been as unreliable as I can remember (but that was before the C.M.E. ruined it by going to 1/2 ticks for the HFT crowd).
It has been a very challenging time to learn to trade price action because price action has been so un-natural.
True, they are getting a little better. This week (August 1st-5th) has seen trades as nice as the last 2-weeks combined. That’s mostly because we’re seeing signs of follow-through (so not as many BEs).
But they didn’t get dead overnight and they won’t recover overnight.
Last week we had the FED “announcement” and this week we have Non-Farm Payroll. And we have the normal Summer slow-down . . . but Summer Scalps usually take care of that. Often, we can’t even get Crude Oil (CL) to go 10-ticks!
But after Non-Farm Payroll Friday, the pressure should be off and price moving better with more participants besides the overwhelming HFT computers that whip price, often hysterically, going nowhere. So I look for the end of August and into September to have plenty of opportunities.
But just how hard have the markets been?
I saw something recently from a site that specializes in “mirroring” people’s trades — for a fee each month, or each week.
Their hottest flavor-of-the-month system — one of a very few making money now — is impressive at first glance. But it should be observed in context.
True, it’s out-performing most other systems and the S&P right now — although not out-performing our little LIVE! Trading Room — but if you traded it in 2013 or 2014 or 2015 you probably wouldn’t have an account in 2016 capable of trading it.
Yep . . . the hottest system available for auto-trade has LOST money for years and years and is just now making some.
That’s because the markets are acting so un-naturally.
Keep that in mind as you do battle each day!
And if your results aren’t what we’re getting (with better days to come) in the LIVE! Trading Room — you can join us tomorrow!
Last Update: August 4, 2016 . . .
Every year during the Summer months we start our Summer Scalps.
Most of the rest of the year we’re focused on bigger trades with larger Profit Targets (see “April Trading . . .” post below) as we day trade mostly the E-Mini S&P (ES) and Crude Oil (CL) and sometimes now the EuroFX and Natural Gas (NG) futures in a LIVE! Trading Room.
During the Summer months of July and August — into the times when most other trading rooms telly you they stop trading — we’re taking our Summer Scalps.
We started just this week . . . after the July 4th holiday. We maybe should have started sooner but I kept waiting on some of the moves into Friday’s Non-Farm Payroll Report.
Anyway, here are a couple of videos I put together of July 7th when we started:
And here are some more recent days:
July 11th: Summer Scalping continued. Markets were definitely in their slow-down mode with little follow-through but we worked-away, battled some trades that had to be scratched, and finally got an Add-On Trade in the EuroFX which, added to nice scalps in Crude Oil (CL) and the E-Mini S&P (ES) gave us the full Daily Profit Target PLUS!
July 12th: We took a full loss in the EuroFX today when it spiked against us. No way to avoid those occassionally. But we still got the full Daily Profit Target in the Morning Session and the Daily Profit Target PLUS in pre-market!
July 13: Here’s one of today’s trades — a 50-tick per contract Crude Oil Report Trade:
Remember, if your results aren’t the same, you can join us tomorrow!
For more information, just check-out the LIVE! Trading Room page.
Update: The last 2-weeks of July saw price die a little each day. There was a major FED Meeting and all the issues in Europe and especially Turkey — and that meant Big $$$ stood on the sidelines, waiting. We weren’t hurt but we also didn’t burn down the barn either. I try to show only good, positive habits and when price isn’t moving, it’s hard to justify taking trades that are little more than 50-50 gambles. So we tightened up and took fewer trades. Some don’t appreciate that — some are looking for action — and that’s OK. They’ll probably never make it. You can’t dictate when and exactly how much the markets will move for you on demand! And if you’re trading for action — for the rush — you’re trading for the wrong reason(s).
[EDIT: I’m leaving this up so you can see charts and some comments from a pretty typical month. Not January — which sometimes starts out slowly . . . and not March — which was the best month of 2016 . . . and not June — which had its slow weeks. Trading is a marathon, not a sprint. So you can’t really get a good handle by just looking at a single month. February was OK and May was OK, but wanting to show something, here’s what I posted a couple of months ago.]
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We’re now into April.
It’s hard to believe! This year has flown by so far.
I’ll try to keep more current with what we’re doing in the LIVE! Trading Room by posting some daily Recap Charts here in-between the occasional video.
In April, we welcomed MARK, WAYNE, BHAVIK and TONY to the LIVE! Trading Room where where we day trade some of the most volatile and profitable (and potentially dangerous) futures markets — mostly Crude Oil (CL), the E-Mini S&P (ES) and the EuroFX.
April 1st was Non-Farm Payroll Report Day. I don’t trade that in the LIVE! Trading Room and, instead, reserve the day for One-On-One students and others by special arrangement.
April 4th through 8th was a tough week, with a lot of whippy price action. You can trade that — and I teach you how in One-On-One training — but I usually don’t call those scalps in the LIVE! Trading Room. With such whippy price, it’s easy to get chopped-up with loss after loss. We didn’t suffer that . . . just took longer to make what profits we could scratch out. Here’s what we did:
April 4th: ES was pretty whippy but we didn’t have to worry about that market since we got the Daily Profit Target PLUS from Crude Oil trading alone.
I skipped a sell in ES since it wasn’t as good a set-up as I wanted — but price took out the lows like we thought it would, at least eventually.
April 5: We got the Daily Profit Target plus in the LIVE! Trading Room and were done before 10:30 a.m. Today we traded Crude Oil (CL) both long and short and used a channel in the E-Mini S&P (ES) . . .
On April 6 Crude Oil (CL) was trading in about a 20-tick range and put-in a V-Reversal. As noted on the chart, about 80% of losses in the LIVE! Trading Room happen with V-Reversals. The Daily Profit Target was nailed on Early Trades but during the U.S. Session we gave some of it back. That happens. Nobody can make money 100% of the time! But we look to (mostly) trade with the trend. Sometimes after a retracement but sometimes counter-trend to catch the retracement. And sometimes we take counter-trend trades when a move is ending. It was tough to get much of anything on April 6th after the HFT computers were turned on . . .
April 7 saw a partial Daily Profit Target and at least three missed trades: two I didn’t see until too late — focusing on the E-Mini S&P (ES) and one in the ES that spiked through our entry level and never came back. Still, not a bad problem to have: a profitable morning with three other winners slipping by.
April 8 ended a whippy week with a whippy day — four BE trades. Still a profitable week but a slow start to another month. I guess it’s like golf — when I struggle for par on the first hole, my round usually turns out a lot better than when I birdie #1. I wish I knew why.
April 11th – 15th was a better week. Here’s what we did in the LIVE! Trading Room:
April 11: We nailed the Daily Profit Target PLUS in the LIVE! Trading Room but had to work for it! The markets moved a little better, allowing our day trades a chance to hit their Profit Targets, support and resistance weren’t as solid and unforgiving — but it took an Afternoon Session to overcome the shut-out Morning Session.
There was no trading on April 12th — I had to take my granddaughter to an appointment. I make these missed days back through Add-On Days or a special Afternoon Session, if necessary.
April 13 was an Add-On Day — mostly with small winners. You take what the markets are giving.
On April 14th I was just out-of-sync with the markets and we lost 3-4 small trades and stopped (according to my Rules established years ago — the hard way). We don’t make money every day. Like I’ve said over-and-over: Nobody can. But what you can do is hold your losses down and hold total losses to a point they can be re-captured with a single trade, maybe two.
So April 15th came and we were still nicely profitable for the week — even with a Losing Day on April14th. On April 15 we got the Daily Profit Target in an Early Trade and then battled-away more small-range, whippy price action. I explained the importance of Fridays — and we stopped with another profitable week.
Then April 18th through 22nd came — the best week of the year (so far)!
April 18th was a long day. Since I knew I would miss April 19th, I traded the Morning Session, did rare Lunchtime Scalps, and held a special Afternoon Session. We got the Daily Profit Target PLUS in all three sessions! This is what you can do too day trading these volatile and profitable markets. Imagine finishing One-On-One training and being able to identify and take trades like this almost any day you choose. I only call somewhere around 1/4 to 1/3 of available trades in the LIVE! Trading Room and once you learn how to read price action, you’ll see set-ups frequently. Not all will be for 25-ticks or more. Some will be for 5-ticks (which I don’t call at all in the LIVE! Trading Room), some will be 10-ticks and some 15-20 ticks. Some are designed to catch the extreme(s) and can be held into the close . . . or trailed like I also teach — to squeeze out almost every tick available when you catch the HOD or LOD to within a few ticks. Anyway, here are the three sessions from April 18th:
No trading April 19th, like I mentioned . . .
On April 20th we had another fantastic day! We got an Add-On session with Early Trades, then the Daily Profit Target PLUS again in the U.S. Session. We traded through the release of the Crude Oil Report — which we normally don’t trade in the LIVE! Trading Room — but were already long and so with a 20-tick stop we targeted 50-ticks and 60-ticks and max’d-out the report spike.
But we weren’t finished. During the Top Down Analysis, I told everyone the levels of 2110 and 2090 would hold on the first test and to fade the first for a 10-POINT ($500 per contract) trade in the E-Mini S&P (ES). 2090 got tested first, entry at 2090 took two (2) ticks of heat and gave the full 10-POINTS in about 40-minutes. I stayed with the LIVE! Trading Room until the trade was at +1 (a free trade) . . . and recorded it for posting to my YouTube channel. These bigger day trades are available at least 2-3 days a week on average and are extras for Members of the LIVE! Trading Room. Like I said in the video, this one single trade, trading just one single contract, would pay for almost 2-months of the meager subscription cost all by itself.
April 21st was a tougher morning — with volume and volatility coming back into the markets. We got the Daily Profit Target PLUS again but had to take a partial fill on the second Crude Oil (CL) trade.
On April 22nd we ended the best week of the year (so far) with the Daily Profit Target PLUS — but not without having to work for it. Again, Friday rules were in effect and the markets were a little whippy.
But just like April 20th, we weren’t finished. I gave two key levels of support-and resistance and a longer-term day trade which was filled to-the-tick (entry 1-tick ahead of the S-R Level) and, this time, good for more than 10-POINTS. If exited at the lower S-R Level, you would have collected a sweet 13-POINTS on the trade — with a 2-point Protective Stop!
After such a GREAT month, we would be entitled to take the last week off — maybe fly somewhere on a nice vacation using whatever profits were banked — and enjoy the lifestyle trading offers. But I’ll be back calling trades in the LIVE! Trading Room for those trying to build-up their accounts, or gain the confidence necessary to take counter-trend trades, or beginning their One-On-One training.
Looking back, these kind of results are hard to imagine . . . unless you know how price moves. We take the markets as they are, every day. We take what price action is telling us the markets want to give, one day at a time, one trade at a time, work it with the best entry possible, solid money management, and then move on to the next trade.
You can find out more about the LIVE! Trading Room here.
And, remember, if your results aren’t what you hope for, you can join us tomorrow!
The first quarter of 2016 is in the books and March came in like a lamb and went out like a lion, to flip an old saying.
The Federal Reserve’s F.O.M.C. announcement in January was important but the one in March seemed even more so. Markets have loosened-up and are moving a lot better. So we’re taking advantage of it while we can. I like old sayings: Make hay while the sun shines!
Anyway, I’ve gotten some e-mails asking how we’re doing, if we’re still trading and can you join us in the LIVE! Trading Room?
The answer is YES!
You can find out more about what we do in the LIVE! Trading Room — where we shoot for a reasonable Daily Profit Target, per position, and then stop trading to enjoy the rest of our day.
Just hop on over to the LIVE! Trading Room page.
I’ve already made and uploaded a recap video showing what we did in March and will add some more specific days that give a good example of the kinds of trades we take and, more importantly, how we manage a trade after entry.
And remember, if you’re not seeing the results you want from your trading . . . you can join us tomorrow!