4:00pm Quite the choppy and highly illiquid late afternoon as ES frustrated many PM breakout traders before the VIX finally got off the fence and helped push ES up into the close. At this end, I gave back some of the AM profits as getting a solid afternoon entry was like trying to catch a greased pig (I just missed a prime late day entry, but rarely ever chase and let it go), but still managed to retain about 80% of earlier day gains and end with a respectable -- albeit not spectacular +$15K on 1,248 x 2 trading. Suffice it to say it's unlikely I'll ever be a strong trader in the last hour!
In terms of today's earlier action and charts, 1st pullbacks remain the highest -- and sometimes only paying trend entries as the market plays out its current range game, and the shorter timeframe the better. 850 seemed to be pivotal several times in today's ES trade, as it went back and forth between resistance and support several times during the session. In the meantime, the ADX on all major trends including 15, 30, and 60-minute continue to drop.
It will certainly be interesting to see how this month ends from a personal performance perspective, in part because I'm really taking somewhat of a mental break in terms of not trading Europe aggressively (if at all on many days), while continuing to trade ES rather modestly during the U.S. session.
As I mentioned last week and in the video over the weekend, the "fire in the belly" just isn't what it was one ... two ... eleven months ago as we approach the end of this 365 day marathon. And if you caught Michael Phelps' interview on 60 Minutes on Sunday, there's an interesting continuing parallel in that he confessed he had very little left in the tank before and during his final races.
And while I can certainly ramp up both the intraday interest and focus when needed for particular sequences (I took an excellent stop on the post Beige Book short covering rally back through 850), I'm finding I just can't keep it up for prolonged periods as I could for much of the last 11 months -- and especially the last three. I suppose such are the temporary scars of "going for it" when the market shifted into its Sep-Nov overdrive for traders. As a result, I'm trading far fewer liquidity-providing wholesale trades and passing on scalp opportunities I might have taken when the market was more fertile.
I have no doubt my prolonged bouts of sharpness will recover, yet in the meantime I continue to play a rather protective game throughout the month as I as I continue to consider any December gains a performance bonus of sorts, or perhaps more appropriately, final leaves on the Chinese Bamboo to keep our year-long analogy in tact.