Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Notes - No Style Points

4:15pm Well, week #47 certainly wasn't my best effort of the year, as I felt slightly out of tune much of the time, including portions of today which was essentially a scratch until I eked out a +$7K win on the late-day short squeeze (more on that later). Yet as was the case with Tuesday's comment on Monday's trade, I could easily rank the week's net trade fairly high on my 2008 list in terms of -- to use a pitcher's analogy -- getting a "W" when I clearly didn't have my best stuff.

So somehow and in some unexplained way, I managed to grind it out and scrape together enough good performance to offset the bad for a 19th consecutive weekly chip gain. The scoresheet will show +$64K with the daily box scores of -$6K, +$21K, +24K, +18K, +$7K, but again, my "stuff" wasn't all that great at times, and that should keep me far away from any hint of overconfidence heading into the final 5 1/2 weeks. Good thing the market doesn't grade us on style points.

In terms of today, I felt the overnight Europe and early ES action was a bit rough despite a somewhat textbook ES overnight pullback toward its 15-min short trend support, with the clearest morning 1-min trigger of the day coming on the 11am ES range break and pullback (see chart; click to enlarge) which finally helped push my day's chip gain into the green.

On the other hand, a similar 2pm breakdown attempt didn't have the same follow-through, which I also took and stopped. At that point I stopped looking for short trend trades as it was clear there wasn't enough volume or interest to push the market lower.

That data -- and cost of the stop -- ended up being useful later, when stuck shorts got squeezed after 3pm and I was able to avoid the wrong side (and nibble on the right side) of it. In fact the post-3pm trade was about the best pace of the day with decent volume as the market had been coiling hard for the previous few hours.

This was also a good example of where I often feel it's easier to feel a market current if you're "swimming" in the river vs. watching it from the shore, as no one can feel a possible squeeze better than a trader who took a strong short entry which stopped.

As noted in the second chart, ES certainly didn't like trading below 750, which led to the path of least resistance being up.

One of the areas I need to watch heading into next week is that I've seem to have been forcing things a bit when the volatility dies down -- e.g. suspect breakout & pullback attempts -- as well as clipping too quickly on solid entries. Essentially I was playing CME market maker for much of the week ... not a bad thing of course, yet when there's room to run, the leash can be lengthened. So we'll work on the old patience meter over the weekend, perhaps by sitting at a cash poker game for 12 hours folding 95% of the hands until that perfect trapping hand comes to take the monster pot.

And so it's onto a short trading week next week, followed by the final December push to the finish.

In 40 days we'll finally measure the full Bamboo height and the yardstick and ladder will be ready.

Until then, much more cultivating remains.

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