Tues Apr 30 Trades & Journal

Long 1 YM 14702, -7
Long 2 TF 936.4, 936.6, +1.0, +0.5
Long 2 TF 936.5, 935.6, +0.5, +0.5
Long 1 TF 936.5, +1.7
Total YM -7
Total +4.2

Trading around the news can be tricky. But the important lesson regarding pre- and post-news positioning is to remember that the markets will eventually play out their intended trend regardless of the news; that the news does not change the underlying trend. It may exaggerate the reaction the trend intended all along, or it may initially nullify some of the power otherwise gathered beneath, but eventually the underlying trend will have its way. Period. Keep your eyes on your methods and trade what's in front of you, not what you think the market is supposed to do. The 1st hour lows today were a great example. The action was whippy, and taking longs into those lows in the TF contract could take a moment of breath away, but the concepts were solid, and eventually paid off. Stay focused. Keep to the plan. The trade plan will take you in and out at the right places, regardless of your feelings about the markets and the news.

Mon Apr 29 Trades

Short 2 TF 936.4, 936.2, +1.0, +0.5
Short 1 TF 937.1, -0.5
Short 1 YM 14681, -5
Short 1 ES 1582.0, -1.0
Short 2 TF 940.6, 940.7, +1.2, +0.5
Short 2 YM 14722, 14725, -2, +6
Long 1 NQ 2861.5, -0
Total YM -1
Total ES -1.0
Total NQ -0
Total TF +2.7

Fri Apr 26 Trades and Journal

Long 2 TF 933.2, 932.8, +0.5, +2.0
Short 1 NQ 2839.25, +2.0
Short 1 NQ 2839.25, -0.5
Short 2 TF 936.9, 936.7, +1.2, +0.5
Short 1 TF 934.1, +1.0
Short 2 NQ 2833.75, 2833.75, +2.0, +5.0
Total NQ +8.5
Total TF +5.2

What a difference a day makes... An investor long in stocks would certainly have appreciated yesterday better than today. Yesterday's Persistent Trend Up requires nothing but a casual glance at the numbers if you're long in your 'portfolio'. But e-mini traders don't have 'portfolios'. We need volatility, and don't particularly care which way that volatility trends.... both directions is actually preferred. And today was just the recipe for a good trading day for us intraday swing chasers. Today, the plan was neat and tidy, even while the trend was not. Stay with the plan. Most days are not grinding slow trends with feeble breakouts and shallow pullbacks. We'll leave those for the investors. Most days have plenty of swings in the stock index futures, and that's what Serial Sequent Wave Method is best at, deciphering the wave reversals. Cya next week.....

Thurs Apr 25 Trades & Journal

Short 2 TF 936.4, 936.2, +1.5, +0.7
Short 1 TF 937.2, -0.5,
Short 2 TF 937.8, 938.2, -1.4, -0.5
Short 1 TF 939.6, +1.0
Short 1 ES 1580.25, -1.0
Short 1 ES 1582.0, -1.0
Short 2 NQ 2847.0, 2847.75, -2.0, -1.0
Short 2 TF 940.8, 940.8, +0.5, -0.5
Short 2 YM 14969, 14969, +7, -0
Short 1 TF 940.6, -0.4
Short 2 ES 1585.25, 1585.25, -0.5, -0.0
Short 1 TF 941.1, -0.5
Long 1 TF 940.0, -0.7
Total ES -2.5
Total NQ -3.0
Total YM +7
Total TF -0.8

The Persistent Trend Day Up/Down is the most challenging of all day models to work with. Sometimes there is no early trigger and no 1st frame pullback to jump on board with. This leaves you fading the market only to see it grind through your stops and eventually onto the next resistance and structure sequent for another fade opportunity....always counter trend. Luckily, this model only accounts for a few days out of every month's worth of trading. Try to keep the losses small, well within the parameters of offsetting no more than an average day's gains, and keep the rest of the proverbial powder dry for other trading days' opportunities. Stay disciplined.

Wed Apr 24 Trades & Journal

Long 2 TF 925.2, 925.3, +1.5, +0.5
Long 2 NQ 2830.25, 2830.75, +2.0, -1.0
Long 1 NQ 2829.0, -1.0
Long 2 NQ 2829.5, 2829.5, +2.0, -1.0
Long 1 TF 929.3, -0.5
Long 1 TF 926.6, +1.2
Long 1 TF 926.6, -0.0
Long 1 TF 926.9, -0.5
Long 2 TF 926.1, 926.1, -0.5, -0.5
Long 2 YM 14628, 14628, +7, +12
Short 1 TF 928.0, -0.5
Short 2 TF 929.0, 929.0, -0.2, +1.2
Long 2 TF 925.7, 925.5, +0.5, +1.0
Long 1 TF 925.5, +1.1
Total YM +19
Total NQ +1.0
Total TF +2.9

The second trend of the day tends to be more impulsive than the first. It also tends to be the truer trend. Today's two-sided trading tends to defy that a bit, with a 3rd trend coming to the rescue of the 1st. But just taking that concept of the 2nd trend for consideration of breakouts still can be more fruitful than buying breakouts to the 1st trend. ...at least on the majority of days. Today was no exception to that. And after getting sucked into a TF bull breakout that stopped me out quickly at the early highs, I got mentally blocked about using bear inflection breakdowns to capitalize on the short opportunities that produced those nice plunging spike lows in the NQ and TF a short while later.

Trading with Serial Sequent signals brings an objective and mechanical way to bring floor traders techniques to the screen. It tells you where to enter the stop-n-reverse plays, assuming you can get past the mental blocks these trades can put up. And nothing reinforces a mental block about a breakout play than freshly coming off just such an entry in the opposite direction that failed, and left you feeling stupid and humiliated for buying a top, or selling a bottom. The problem in trading is not the mistakes that you make taking your trade plan, it's in trading your plan immediately after it causes you a mistake. Stay focused. When a trade is over, put it away mentally. No use still trying to prove yourself right about that trend direction if the signal failed you. And all the more so that a failed signal in one direction should quickly move your rally cap around backwards telling you that the true trend is really in the opposite direction. Have a plan for such things. Use methods that identify such things with trade models, and then trade that plan. There are no perfect days. There is just the plan.

Tues Apr 23 Trades & Journal

Short 2 ES 1568.75, 1568.5, -1.25, -1.5
Short 2 NQ 2828.25, 2828.75, -0.5, +2.0
Short 2 YM 14632, 14635, +7, +10
Short 2 YM 14637, 14636, -4, -5
Long 2 YM 14642, 14642, -4, -4
Short 2 NQ 2832.5, 2832.5, +2.0, -0.5
Short 1 NQ 2832.5, +2.0
Long 2 NQ 2833.5, 2832.5, -2.0, -1.0
Short ES 1572.5, -0.75
Short 2 TF 924.9, 924.8, +1.2, +0.4
Total ES -3.5
Total NQ +2.5
Total YM -0
Total TF +1.6

Some days seems would have been better spent fishing... but it can't be great every day, can it. Was reminded of one thing today. It's much easier taking breakouts when the chances of success are actually worse. Why is that...? Mostly, I believe, because things a much calmer, and this sense of tranquility draws you in. On days when the action really pops, and you have to be on your toes to react quickly at the stp-n-rev junctures, you can have a tendency to freeze up, at least if you're breakout shy, as I am in my trading. I took several breakouts today. One in the NQ and one in the YM. The YM breakout was clearly outside my plan. I don't use it for a breakout leadership role, but today, possibly because it just stopped me out from a short at resistance, I flipped and bought the breakout to 'get even', only to see it belly-flop right back down in my face. This is a discouraging aspect of breakout trading. Breakouts can hook you so badly, and nothing feels worse than shorting a bottom or buying a top. All in all, when the action is choppy and the pullbacks shallow, keep the losses small, and if nothing else, let the gains help you tread the water on a day that's not really good for trading.

Mon Apr 22 Trades

Long 1 ES 1548.0, +1.5
Long 1 NQ 2779.25, +4.0
Short 1 TF 898.5, -0.5
Long 1 ES 1547.0, -1.5
Long 1 ES 1545.0, +2.0
Short 2 TF 898.3, 898.9, -0.0, +1.2
Long 1 ES 1545.0, -1.0
Short 2 TF 899.0, 899.3, -0.7, -0.3
Long 2 NQ 2774.5, 2774.5, +2.0, +4.0
Long 1 YM 14409, -2
Long 1 TF 900.6, +0.7
Total ES +1.0
Total NQ +10
Total YM -2
Total TF +0.4

Fir Apr 19 Trades

Long 2 YM 14416, 14414, -6, -4
Long 2 TF 895.4, 895.4, +0.5, +2.0
Short 1 NQ 2759.5, -0.5
Short 1 TF 903.1, -0.1
Short 1 NQ 2763.5, +3.0
Short 1 NQ 2765.75, +3.0
Short 1 TF 905, +1.0
Total YM -10
Total NQ +5.5
Total TF +3.4

Thurs Apr 18 Trades

Trade Summary
Short 1 TF 903.5, -1.0
Short 2 TF 905.6, 905.9, +0.7, +2.0
Long 1 NQ 2760.75, -2.0
Long 2 NQ 2759.0, 2759.0, +0.5, +0.5
Long 1 TF 899.6, -1.0
Long 1 TF 896.3, +2.0
Long 2 ES 1536.5, 1536.25, +3.0, +1.5
Total ES +4.5
Total NQ -1.0
Total TF +2.7

Wed Apr 17 Trades

Long 1 ES 1552.75, +1.5
Short 1 TF 912.3, -1.0
Short 2 TF 913.2, 913.2, +0.7, +1.4
Short 1 TF 906.8, -0.5
Long 1 NQ 2791.0, -2.0
Long 2 NQ 2788.5, 2288.75, -2.0, -1.0
Short 1 TF 906.0, +1.2
Long 2 TF 903.6, 903.6, -0.3, -0.5
Long 3 TF 903.3, 903.2, 903.4, -0.5, -0.0, +0.5
Short 1 TF 902.8, +1.2
Long 2 TF 900.6, 900.0, -0.0, +1.8
Long 1 NQ 2774.75, -2.0
Long 1 TF 899.5, -0.5
Long 1 NQ 2773.75, -1.0
Long 2 YM 14514, 14515, +7, +10
Long 1 TF 895.8, +1.7
Total ES +1.5
Total NQ -8.0
Total YM +17
Total TF +5.2

Tues Apr 16 Trades

Short 2 TF 913.3, 013.2, +1.4, +0.5
Short 1 TF 910.1, +0.5
Long 1 NQ 2805.75, +3.0
Long 2 YM 14618, 14616, +7, +10
Long 1 YM 14623, -4
Long 1 YM 14612, -5,
Short 1 YM 14608, +5
Total YM +13
Total NQ +3.0
Total TF +2.4

Mon Apr 15 Trades

Long 2 TF 931.1, 930.8, +0.3, +1.4
Long 1 TF 928.5, -0.7
Long 2 TF 925.7, 925.9, -0.7, -0.5
Long 2 TF 922.9, 923.0, +0.7, +1.5
Short 2 NQ 2841.5, 2841.75, +2.0, +3.0
Total NQ +5.0
Total TF +2.0

Fri Apr 12 Trades

Long 1 NQ 2848.25, -0.0
Long 1 TF 939.0, +1.9
Long 2 NQ 2844.5, 2844.25, -1.25, -0.75
Long 1 NQ 2843.25, +4.75
Short 1 TF 937.0, -0.0
Short 1 TF 936.8, -0.2
Total NQ +2.75
Total TF +1.7

Thurs Apr 11 Trades & Journal

Short 2 TF 943.7, 944.0, -1.0, -0.6
Short 2 TF 945.3, 945.2, -0.5, -0.3
Short 1 TF 946.4, +1.2
Short 1 TF 947.1, -0.1
Short 2 YM 14784, 14784, -4, -5
Short 2 TF 947.6, 947.7, -0.4, -0.3
Total YM -9
Total TF -2.0

Very seldom do you get two Persistent Trend Day Ups in a row. Today was no exception, but the first frame of the day didn't seem to think so, and unlike yesterday, reversal levels offered no real pullback profits for counter trend shorts. And like yesterday, the buy signals that came at the initial, early Low-of-Day went unfilled by my orders, and both by just a few ticks. So I never caught the bull blast launch pads. But whether by a few ticks or many points, such things happen in trading. Since the first trend direction of the day is usually false and a setup for the true trend in the opposite direction, missing a fade of that early trend means you're left looking for trades into or as the 2nd trend, the true trend, is already underway. Either you fade that true trend with counter trend entries-- very carefully, like accomplished yesterday-- or you go with that 2nd trend at subsequent breakout levels. My trade plan includes those breakout levels, but my heart doesn't always get the message. ...and even less so today than yesterday would I have gone with bull breakouts as the 2nd Persistent Trend Day up in a row... but there it was...exploding upwards again without me into the deep blue sky of Dow Jones Indust'ls all time new highs. So today, I castigate myself much less for not having taken the bull breakout signals, and shrug my shoulders at having missed the nice YM buy signal entry a few ticks shy at the very Low. The week so far 2 days winners, 2 losers, for about a wash. New term for today's highs in the TF: Serial Climax.

Next week is new blood, and that is just another reason I love day trading so much. I don't hold positions overnight nor over the weekend. Every day and every week is a fresh start. Stick to the plan, and construct all self criticisms around whether you fulfilled plan parameters or failed them. There is no other yardstick for self improvement. You can't improve 'intuition'. It's a disintegrating asset in trading. ....an issue with which I apparently disagree with Mark Douglas' concept of finding 'the zone'. For me, the zone is the plan. The plan is not in my head. It's very nature is to lie outside of one's head and ability to tape read or intuit the here and now. The plan is the only here and now. And once in place, a plan is modified with only slow and incremental improvements. ...never on the fly. Good trading to all....

Wed Apr 10 Trades & Journal

Short 2 TF 931.2, 931.0, -0.3, +0.5
Short 2 NQ 2820.75, 2820.5, -1.5, -1.5
Short 2 TF 933.0, 932.8, +0.5, -0.7
Short 1 ES 1573.25, -1.5
Short 2 NQ 2833.0, 2832.5, -1.25, +1.0
Short 2 TF 935.6, 935.4, +0.5, +2.0
Short 2 YM 14697, 14695, +7, -3
Short 1 TF 934.5, +1.0
Short 1 ES 1576.5, -1.0
Short 2 TF 936.8, 936.6, -0.4, -0.0
Short 2 TF 936.6, 936.8, -0.4, -0.2
Short 2 TF 939.6, 939.6, +0.5, +1.6
Total ES -2.5
Total YM +4
Total NQ -3.25
Total TF +4.6

It's easy to have a mental predisposition as to the trend direction in the larger daily time frames. We just can't believe it can go any lower or any higher... Right now, for me, I suffer a disbelief in this bull market extension. ...and probably for good reason... but that really has no meaning down in the lowest time frames where we trade index futures. Our world view is only the first hour and half of the day. That's the 1st frame. And in that frame, the market can do anything... and usually does. Today, there was a valid bull breakout trigger in the earliest going for the TF contract. But I just couldn't be a buyer. Part of it was the lingering affect of looking at the previous days charts as preparation for today, and seeing the total bull collapse at the close, suggesting gains can't held. Part of it was that prejudice of disbelief in the bull market extension referenced above. But in any case, thereafter, there was really nothing left to do with the rest of the frame than to use the sell signals that appeared as short entries, if I was to have any trades in this grinding bull at all. And those in the TF did pay off well, erasing my losses earlier. But a clear mind as to trend reference and the market's ability to extend to any height it wants is the proper frame of reference for the trader. Clear the mind. Accept the outcome. The market is its own authority on value, not you. Trade your plan. The rest will take care of itself.

Tues Apr 9 Trades & Journal

Long 3 TF 928.3, 928.5, 928.0, -0.7, -0.3, -0.4
Long 1 TF 927.4, -0.7
Long 2 TF 926.7, 926.7, -0.5, -0.5
Long 2 TF 926.2, 926.2, -0.3, -0.3
Long 2 TF 925.3, 925.3, -0.4, -0.4
Total TF -4.5

'Be careful what you wish for....' as Goethe warned. Volatility is the lifeblood of traders. And on many days, it seems our trades are squeezing what lemonade we can from a stone. But on other days, volatility extends impulse waves in both directions right through support-resistance zones and right through our stp-loss orders. However, it can be fairly said of my trading that I was a bit impatient to find the first Low-of-Day to the initial sell-off. The reversal was sharp, and the reaction took price all the way back up to a new High-of-Day, more than I could have hoped for had my early longs survived the deep over-entension. So perhaps my eagerness had some justification. The ingredients for a sharp reversal were all there. But the market rules and we must bend. The best that can be said of one's trading on such days is that a plan also includes loss quotas, and reaching a loss quota curtails one's behavior. There is nothing to do but fold up the tent, no matter how right you almost were.

To get back in the game on the same day after reaching a loss quota, my trading plan allows for taking a short series of paper trades in simulation mode. For this, I must get 2 out of 3 trades profitable before I am allowed to take another trade with real money. I took this exercise today, but lost on the first 2 paper trades. Hence, I'm done for the day. A winning day yesterday, however, keeps me well in the realm of a profitable week. Tomorrow is always 'new life' for a trader ....but only if he curtails any losses so far in the week to within a manageable level. Otherwise, he faces a losing week. A losing week could mean it will take one winning week to make up in the month, and that leaves only 2 weeks left in the month with which to show a monthly profit. Don't let the losses stack up too deep before kicking yourself out of real money trading and back on the simulator. The desire to 'get even' usually does far more damage than the earlier losses themselves. Control your behavior. Have a plan before you ever start trading to curtail your losses after so many losers in a row, so much loss per day, so many days in a row or a week, etc. If you can't perform with consistency, step out of cash and onto a simulator. Find out what's wrong. Respect your capital. It's your primary tool.

Mon Apr 8 Trades & Journal

Long 2 TF 919.8, 920.1, -0.1, +0.5
Long 2 TF 918.4, +0.5, +1.3
Long 1 TF 918.5, -0.6
Long 1 TF 918.2, -0.4
Long 1 TF 916.7, +2.0
Long 1 TF 917.9, -0.7
Total TF +2.5

The underlying structure of market action is fractal sequents. These sequents can be codified so that hitherto unrecognizable chaos can be converted to structure sections of an unfolding trend. These sections elicit trade entry signals that can be worked into a trading plan along with an accompanying support/resistance grid, and a momentum system that is wave and time independent from the structure itself. Together, signals arrive in the confluence of these disparate elements, in what we call an Event Concept. With this understanding, even today's seemingly chaotic moves make sense. But you still have to manage your trades, and position your entries with stp-loss orders that accommodate the surprise thrusts of unexpected and sudden volatility. Within the trend parameters of these turn signals, we have opportunity. Defining these potential turn parameters with specific, individual labels gives us a trade plan. Trading within a plan frees us from 'tape reading' and intuition. Trade the plan, not your intuition, and let the market unfold as it will. There is plenty of profit potential if you stick to your plan. ValhallaFutures offers all this education--and the software that codifies it--in a 10-session training course conducted online in virtual meeting rooms. Send us an email and we'll sign you up for the next lesson rotation starting sometime in April.

Fri Apr 5 Trades & Journal

Short 1 NQ 2746.75, -1.0
Short 1 TF 912.4, +1.4
Short 2 TF 915.2, 915.1, +1.1, +0.5
Short 1 TF 915.4, +1.0
Total NQ -1.0
Total TF +4.0

Huge gaps like today's inspire the crowd into the 'Gap Play'. It's almost a cliche. However, we're in the universe of real leverage with index futures, and early gap closing attempts usually fail. So it's the pullback to new lows that should inspire interest, where initial traders are getting stp'd out. From the Douglas Corollaries: "If most of the money that is lost in markets is lost by traders who thought they knew which way the market was supposed to go, then most of the money to be made in the markets is made at the places where most traders are being stp-d out and proven wrong." Unfortunately, even though I knew this, I still couldn't find long entries near the lows that fit my trade plan. I could smell the turn, and in the chat room was repeatedly calling for longs on lower breaks successively in the ES, YM and TF. But those lower lows that fit my entry models never came, and eventually prices turned back up without me. But counter trend trading is not outside my trade plan, as long as the precise models for those entries are fulfilled. Stay with your plan. There are so many trading opportunities using index futures. Wait for yours to appear at the right edge of the video screen. Trade within your plan, not where you think the market is supposed to go. ...a good weekend to all.....

Thurs Apr 4 Trades & Journal

Long 1 TF 915.5, -0.6
Short 1 NQ 2790.0, +2.0
Short 2 TF 917.2, 917.6, -0.7, +0.5
Short 1 TF 917.7, +1.0
Short 1 TF 918.6, +0.9
Long 1 TF 915.4, -0.2
Long 1 YM 14481, +19
Total YM +19
Total NQ +2.0
Total TF +0.9

Sudden volatility spikes are always a challenge. Today, both the European Central Bnk Pres Draghi and our own Fed Chief Bernanke were providing background energy for market swings. But there's an internal structure to the market that many are aware of but few are able to codify. It plays itself out regardless of the news, but often with just a lot more volatility. You can always reduce your trade size on such days. And in order to get the best fills, you have to balance three internal elements to your trade plan. One, you have to have models that codify the reversals and the breakouts. Two, you have to have patience until the signal really fleshes out. And last, you have to be ready to strike with and entry the moment that model flashes its presence. It's often compared to baseball. You have to be calm while you wait for the ball to be hit, and when it is, you have to react with lightning speed with a plan you already have executed in your head for just that contingency. In other words, you have to recognize what element in your plan has been triggered, and execute. Stay discipline.

Wed Apr 3 Trades & Journal

Trade Summary
Long 1 YM 14565, -2
Long 2 TF 929.4, 928.8, +.5, +2.0
Long 1 YM 14556, -4
Long 1 NQ 2810.5, -2.0
Long 2 TF 923.5, 923.2, +1.0, -0.0
Short 1 TF 925.7, +1.0
Long 1 TF 922.5, -0.0
Long 1 NQ 2805.00, -1.5
Total YM -6
Total NQ -3.5
Total +4.0

Nice swings today at the turn signals, although YM and NQ entries were early and suffered small stp-outs. I followed my rules regarding stp trailing and that kept me from being stp'd out for the 1st TF trade, that went slightly against me after my initial 1/2 position exit. I was late on several other TF entries, but was given fills on retests. This waiting can often mean you miss the trades, for markets do not always retest turn turn levels initially. It has to remind us that getting a good fill is always a bit of luck and a lot of practice. In too soon, or waiting too long out of caution when trying to decide on your entry price. You can't have it like Goldie Locks, not too hot nor cold. The best you can do is just get in the trade and manage it within your stp-loss distance and your stp-loss order trailing rules. Make a plan, and then stay with it...

Tues Apr 2 Vacation Day

Mon Apr 1 Vacation Day

Good Fri Mar 29 Market Closed

Thurs Mar 28 Vacation Day