iBankCoin
I turn dials and fiddle with knobs to hone in on harmonic rotations
Joined Oct 26, 2011
3,904 Blog Posts

Not out the Fed trap yet // here is Thursday NASDAQ trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into Thursday down a quick -60 after an overnight session featuring extreme range and volume. Price was balanced overnight, balancing along the lows of Wednesday’s range until about 7:45am when buyers stepped in and pressured the tape lower. At 8:30am GDP data came out in-line with expectations and jobless claims data slightly better than expected. As we approach cash open price is hovering down near last week’s lows.

On the economic calendar today we have 4- and 8-week T-bill auctions at 11:30am followed by a 7-year note auction at 1pm.

Yesterday we printed a double distribution trend down. The day began with a gap up in range that sellers drove down into at the open. Said selling erased Monday’s conviction buying and probed down into the Friday-to-Monday gap a bit before discovering a strong responsive bid. That bid sent price higher in a campaign that successfully recovered the mid and much of the territory lost during the early sale. It could not, however, make new session high. Instead sellers reclaimed the mid and after chopping along the bottom-side of mid for about an hour began a campaign to go range extension down. Range extension down happened around 1:15pm then after a pull back sellers became initiative and drove lower into the close, eventually closing on session low.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for buyers reclaim Wednesday low 12,787.25 and work a gap fill up to 12,801.25. Buyers continue higher, taking out overnight high 12,859.50. Look for sellers up at 12,875 and for two way trade to ensue.

Hypo 2 buyers to work into the overnight inventory and trade up to Wednesday low 12,787.25. Sellers reject a move back into Wednesday’s range and two way trade ensues.

Hypo 3 gap-and-go lower sets up a liquidation down to 12,600. Stretch targets are 12,500, 12,479.75 then 12,400.

Levels:

Volume profiles, gaps and measured moves (note how VPOCs are still concentrated right along the pre-FOMC levels):

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Still stuck in the Fed trap // here is Wednesday NASDAQ trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into Wednesday up a quick +90 after an overnight session featuring extreme range and volume. Price was balanced overnight, balancing along the bottom-side of Tuesday’s midpoint until about 4:20am New York when buyers initiated a rotation higher. Said buyer sent price up through Tuesday mid but not beyond the Tuesday high. As we approach cash open price is hovering about +15 points above the Tuesday mid.

On the economic calendar today we have more testimony from Fed Powell and Treasury Yellen at 10am, crude oil inventories at 10:30am, a 2-year note auction at 11:30am followed by a 1pm note auction at 1pm.

Yesterday we printed a neutral extreme down. The day began with a slight gap up inside range. Sellers quickly resolved the open gap after an open two way auction. Sellers could not take the conviction buying zone printed Monday however. Instead a weak double low formed before we set off to probe beyond the Monday high. This probe higher put us into a range extension up but was quickly faded back to the mid. After several hours chopping the mid sellers pressed to a new low of day late in the session and closed down on it.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for sellers to work into the overnight inventory and close the gap down to 13,029. Look for buyers down at 13,000 and for two way trade to ensue.

Hypo 2 buyers take out overnight high 13,145.25 on their way to closing the FOMC gap up at 13,189.

Hypo 3 stronger buyers trade up to 13,272.25.

Levels:

Volume profiles, gaps and measured moves:

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Stuck in the Fed trap // here is Tuesday NASDAQ trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into the second trading day of the week with a slight gap up after an overnight session featuring extreme range and volume. Price was balanced overnight, balancing along the top half of Monday’s range. As we approach cash open, price is hovering about halfway between the Monday high and the mid.

On the economic calendar today we have new home sales at 10am, a 52-week T-bill auction at 11:30am, congressional hearings from Fed Powell and Treasury Yellen at 12pm, then a 2-year note auction at 1pm.

Yesterday we printed a double distribution trend up. The day began with a gap up and drive higher, driving up to 13,000 then briefly pausing before continue to trend back up into the reaction spike we saw last Wednesday after the FOMC announcement. Buyers couldn’t quite manage to resolve the gap that we left behind last Wednesday. Instead price slowly rotated lower during late-afternoon trade, eventually ending the day about 30 points above the mid.

Of note: Since the FOMC announcement last week no real price discovery has happened. First we spiked higher and found our top bracket, then lower through Friday to find our bottom bracket. It seems the market is waiting for more information before leaving this balance. Perhaps earnings from major NASDAQ component Adobe, due out after-the-bell could be the catalyst.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for buyers to work up above overnight high 13,105.25 and continue higher, taking out overnight high 13,157. This sets up a run to close that Wednesday gap up at 13,189 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 2 sellers work into the overnight inventory and close the gap down to 13,078 then continue lower, tagging 13,000 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 3 stronger buyers trade up to 13,270.25 before two way traded ensues.

Levels:

Volume profiles, gaps and measured moves:

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NASDAQ up a quick +90 into final full week of March // here is Monday trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into Monday gap up after an overnight session featuring extreme range and volume. Price worked higher overnight, first by taking out the Friday high around 10pm New York, then after several hours of balance along the Friday high by continuing higher. As we approach cash open price is hovering in the upper quadrant of Thursday’s range.

On the economic calendar today we have Fed Chairman Powell set to speak at 9am, existing home sales at 10am and then 3- and 6-month T-bill auctions at 11:30am.

Last week was choppy. Buyers drove higher through Tuesday. Wednesday markets gapped down then marked time until The FOMC announcement then shot higher. Thursday through Friday morning saw sellers erasing the Fed move. Then buyers resumed control into the weekend with a mellow rotation higher. The last week performance of each major index is shown below:

On Friday the NASDAQ printed a normal variation up. The day began with sellers making an early try down below Thursday low. This selling was reversed before the first hour was complete and a sharp excess low had formed. From then on it was buyers in control. Buyers reclaimed the mid then defended a check back to it, ultimately leading to a tight balance along the daily high and into the weekend.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for buyers to gap-and-go up to 13,000 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 2 stronger buyers trade up to 13,093.75 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 3 sellers work into the overnight inventory and close the gap down to 12,829.75. Look for buyers down at 12,800 and for two way trade to ensue.

Levels:

Volume profiles, gaps and measured moves:

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Almost ready for battle

Was surprised this morning to see that we are already heading into the final full week of March. Options have expired, the sun is out, and I am still bogged by this kitchen remodel.

The only work I am contracting out is the counters. The installer scheduled himself to come out Tuesday and take measurements and then he’s running two-to-three weeks out. Yep. I cannot install the back splash, range hood, upper shelving until then. I haven’t had a kitchen sink for nearly three weeks and it is going to be three more until I do. Same with the dishwasher. I have no idea how people live long-term without a dishwasher.

So much of my strength and ability to help others comes from my kitchen. Even when I am trading, I often place my trades, work to neutralize the risk on a position, then head into the kitchen to let my runners work while I monitor from a distance, via the 70-inch sammy, whislt listening to tunes and frolicking to-and-fro from the garden to the kitchen. Making tasty health foods, the real medicine of the good life, for myself and familia.

The kitchen is where I consult weary travelers and apply salves. It is where I do much of my reading and writing. It is so essential to everything I do.

Now I’ve been ‘work-from-home’ for nearly nine years. What has been new to many of you is modus oporandi over here. I’ve been developing Mothership as a place of business this entire time. I usually have every inch dialed in and could tell you from memory where anything (ANYTHING) is. Losing the kitchen has been eye-opening. So many of my projects are off the rails. I can hardly remember to pay my bills on time.

Thankfully I have my office. I’ve managed to put down some good trades. Good enough to keep the lights on and pay for all the dang carry-out I’ve been eating.

The Mothership updates are likely to elevate my game to a new level. Along with the kitchen modifications I have big plans for the fields this years. I’ve expanded my working land significantly. I have three different non-gmo corn strains I am working with this year along with a variety of other foods. But the big show for me is corn. Being of Italian decent, I am the first of my people to take corn seriously. They’re too busy growing pomodori and basillico and frijolis. For whatever reason, they never made the leap to american agriculture aka corn babay. But look at me. I am the captain now. The elders are taking it easy these days and rightfully so. They’ve earned it. They’ve built more in the last 50 years that most of yous could ever dream. They are TIREDT. Not me. I shall take the reigns and continue our legacy.

Moral of the story? If your clan has been in america for more than 50 years and you are the patriarch, and you’re not holding shit down, sewing the land and operating a state-of-the-art kitchen to keep yourself and your family as happy and healthy as possible, you are going to fall behind those of us with the immigrant hustle embedded in our bones.

Okay back to work.

I am bullish heading into March. Time to do nothing with the accounts. They should have been added to back on the Bunker Buster. I am the captain now.

Raul Santos, March 21st, 2021

And now the Strategy Session. Be sure to check out the notes about concentrated money flows. They are telling a story.


Stocklabs Strategy Session: 03/22/21 – 03/26/21

I. Executive Summary

Raul’s bias score 2.95, neutral. Powell works price higher through Wednesday, then look for third reaction to GDP and jobless claims data due out Thursday morning to provide direction into the second half of the week.

Major NASDAQ component Adobe Inc. is set to report earnings Tuesday, after market close.

II. RECAP OF THE ACTION

Choppy. Buyers drove higher through Tuesday. Wednesday markets gapped down then marked time until The FOMC announcement then shot higher. Thursday through Friday morning saw sellers erasing the Fed move. Then buyers resumed control into the weekend with a mellow rotation higher.

The last week performance of each major index is shown below:

Rotational Report:

Energy slammed lower and continues to trade independent of the rest of the market. Otherwise mild sell rotations across the board. Slight green shoots from Healthcare and Staples.

slightly bearish

For the week, the performance of each sector can be seen below:

Concentrated Money Flows:

Don’t forget the major buy flows two weeks back. We have not seen any follow through on them yet, nor have we seen any selling of a magnitude that would expect us to doubt upside follow through.

Check out last week’s flows — most of the selling was seen in energy industry groups which we’ve already established trade independent of the overall market.

Median return on the week was right around -1% and volume delta over the last 30 days is essentially flat.

Money flows are slightly bullish.

Here are this week’s results:

III. STOCKLABS ACADEMY

Three month oversold signal is useful

On Thursday, March 18 Stocklabs flagged oversold on the 3-month technical and hybrid signals. You may notice I never include any 3-month signals in the Weekly Strategy Session, but lately I’ve been giving it more consideration.

There are two bits of data from the 3-month oversold signals that are slightly better than 50/50 odds. The 5-day return on both Tech and Hybrid is around a 58% win rate with an average return of about 25 basis points. And the 10-day return of the hybrid algo. It has a 59.26% win rate with an average return of around 33 basis points.

This is useful, especially since we can draw statistical significance from the 10-year back test due to having at least 50 samples.

Note: The next two sections are auction theory.

What is The Market Trying To Do?

Week ended searching for sellers.

IV. THE WEEK AHEAD

What is The Market Likely To Do from Here?

Weekly forecast:

Powell works price higher through Wednesday, then look for third reaction to GDP and jobless claims data due out Thursday morning to provide direction into the second half of the week.

Bias Book:

Here are the bias trades and price levels for this week:

Here are last week’s bias trade results:

Bias Book Performance [11/17/2014-Present]:

Semiconductors still show balance, Transports could launch

Markets fluctuate between two states—balance and discovery.  Discovery is an explosive directional move and can last for months.  In theory, the longer the compression leading up to a break, the more order flow energy to push the discovery phase.

We are monitoring two instruments, the Nasdaq Transportation Index and the PHLX Semiconductor Index.

Transports clearly are in a continued discovery up phase. We can see how steep the ascent is. This is likely, at some point, to resolve with a sharp move in either direction to break from the wedge. My primary expectation is for a blow off buy move higher, but the break could just as well happen to the downside. For now, discovery up continues and is bullish.

See below:

Semiconductors have a head-and-shoulders pattern printed but more importantly we have a clear range to work with. Balance is the call until one of these edges cleanly breaks.

See below:

V. INDEX MODEL

Bias model is neutral for a third week after signaling Bunker Buster three weeks ago and being neutral for the thirteen weeks prior to that. No bias heading into next week. Here is the current spread:

VI. QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

“Of course I deprecate war, but if it is brought to my door the bringer will find me at home.” – James A. Garfield

Trade simple, be ready

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No news to report // here is Friday NASDAQ trading plan

NASDAQ futures are heading into monthly option expiration day gap up after an overnight session featuring extreme range and volume. Price was balanced overnight, chopping along the Thursday low until about 2am New York when sellers made an attempt down and away. This revealed a strong responsive bid and since then price has rallied about +180 off the lows. As we approach cash open price is hovering about -50 points below the Thursday midpoint.

There are no economic events scheduled for today.

Yesterday we printed a double distribution trend down. The day began with a gap down reversal of the Wednesday afternoon Fed driven rally. Price held a tight range for the first few hours of the day while taking out the Thursday low early on. Then after many chops across the daily midpoint sellers began a campaign lower around 2:30pm and continued to sell right into the bell—action which eventually took out last Friday’s low. Of note, the daily VPOC never shifted down to the low.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for sellers to work into the overnight inventory and close the gap down to 12,816.25. Look for buyers down at 12,800 and for two way trade to ensue.

Hypo 2 buyers take out overnight high 12,898.25 setting up a tag of 12,927 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 3 stronger buyers trade up to 13,000 before two way trade ensues.

Levels:

Volume profiles, gaps and measured moves:

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NASDAQ gives back Fed pump // here is Thursday trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into Thursday gap down after an overnight session featuring extreme range and volume. Price was balancing along the upper quadrant of Wednesday range overnight until about 3:30am New York. From then onward it has been all selling, with sellers effectively erasing the entire rally that formed after the FOMC annoucement and Powell press conference, a press conference that is being touted as Powell’s best. The selling campaign worked price down into the lower quadrant of Wednesday’s range. Then at 8:30am jobless claims data came out worse than expected and Philadelphia Fed data much better than expected.  As we approach cash open, price is hovering in the lower quad of Wednesday’s range.

Also on the economic calendar today we have 4- and 8-week T-bill auctions at 11:30am.

Yesterday we printed a normal variation up. The day began with a gap down below Tuesday range. After an open auction outside range buyers worked higher but were rejected from re-entering the Tuesday range. Instead price fell back to the mid and eventually down through it. Sellers worked back down near the daily low but were unable to break down through it. Instead price was choppy down below the mid for the hours leading into the Fed announcement. Then price shot higher, reclaiming the mid and going range extension up within one minute of the data. There was a bit of back-and-forth along the high before a strong rally sent price up through most of the Tuesday range. Buyers eventually tagged the Tuesday VPOC before falling off the high a bit into the close. Of note, value never shifted higher yesterday afternoon. Instead it remains where it was before the Fed announcement.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for buyers to work into the overnight inventory and tag the Wednesday VPOC 13,000 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 2 stronger buyers work a gap fill up to 13,189 and continue higher, up through overnight high 13,267. Look for sellers up at 13,300 and for two way trade to ensue.

Hypo 3 sellers gap-and-go lower, tagging 12,852 before two way trade ensues.

Levels:

 

Volume profiles, gaps and measured moves:

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Retail sales data comes in soft // here is Tuesday NASDAQ trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into Tuesday up a quick +60 after an overnight session featuring extreme range on elevated volume. Price initially drove higher overnight, pressing up beyond last week’s high until about 3:33am. Since then we have been in balance along last week’s high. At 8:30am retail sales data came out well below expectations. Price has not shown much reaction to the data and as we approach cash open price is hovering above last week’s high.

Also on the economic calendar today we have industrial production at 9:15am, business inventories and housing market index at 10am and a 20-year bond auction at 1pm.

Yesterday we printed a neutral extreme up. The day began with a slight gap down. Buyers resolved the down gap during an open two-way auction in range and after a small try lower buyers drove up beyond last Friday’s high. Price was choppy for the next several hours, walking all over the midpoint and eventually pressing a brief range extension down around 11:35am New York. This was met with a strong responsive buy and by a bit after 12pm buyers had reclaimed the mid and by 2:20pm we were into a new high of day and a neutral print. The rest of the day was all buying, with the steady campaign effectively closing the gap left behind last Thursday. We ended near session high.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for buyers to gap-and-go higher, tagging 12,200 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 2 stronger buyers squeeze up to 13,253.50 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 3 sellers work into the overnight inventory and close the gap down to 13,073.75. Look for buyers down at 13,000 and for two way trade to ensue.

Levels:

Volume profiles, gaps and measured moves:

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Gap down in range ;-) here is Monday NASDAQ trading plan

NASDAQ futures are coming into the week with a slight gap down after an overnight session featuring extreme range and volume. Price was choppy overnight, trading up beyond the Friday high for a bit, up to about the Thursday midpoint, before chopping back down into the Friday range. As we approach cash open, price is hovering about 10 points below the Friday high.

On the economic calendar today we have 3- and 6-month T-bill auctions at 11:30am.

Last week we saw buyers in control all week long everywhere except the NASDAQ. The NASDAQ saw a hard sell Monday then sort of chopped higher for the rest of the week.

The last week performance of each major index is shown below:

On Friday the NASDAQ printed a neutral extreme up. The day began with a gap down below the Thursday range. After an open two-way auction outside range buyers made a try back up into the Thursday range. Sellers rejected the move, sending price down through the opening swing and into an early range extension down. This move also served to close the open gap left behind Wednesday. From then on it was buyers in control. First they reclaimed the mid then the sprung up from it, pressing into a neutral print. Buyers defended a check back to the mid and eventually pressed neutral. The buying managed to reclaim the Thursday range but not really explore it much. We closed on session high.

Heading into today my primary expectation is for buyers to work into the overnight inventory and close the gap up to 12,925.75. From here buyers continue higher, tagging 13,000 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 2 stronger buyers trade up to and close the Thursday gap 13,051.50 before two way trade ensues.

Hypo 3 sellers press down through overnight low 12,862.50 setting up a run down to 12,700.

Levels:

Volume profiles, gaps and measured moves:

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Slightly bullish // ready for June

Lads one thing I’ve always loved about being an index futures trader is the quarterly nature of our dear derivatives. Last Thursday most active traders rolled forward from the March contract to the June. I always wait until the weekend to do so, even if I am actively participating, which I most certainly was not last week. But I’ve spent the better part of this morning refreshing and rebuilding my charts for the June contract which inevitably leads to warm thoughts.

Try as I may to finish installing a new kitchen at Mothership quick enough to hightail it west for one last romp in the snow, that likelihood decreases with every passing week.

Sometimes the project seems to be moving along nicely. Other times I go to move a plug and make a real horror show of a mess of the drywall. I am not handy. I come from a long line of builders but I build out of necessity not passion. My passion is gardening and earth keeping and gathering natural resources.

Now I may be just a humble speculator, by trade, but I don’t let the challenges of installing a kitchen get me down. If I can understand high level physics books then I can most certainly install tile and plumbing. Moving water is one of my specialties, waste or otherwise.

And while I’d rather be building fountains I want a big ass farm sink for processing all the dang food I grow. So here we are.

The upcoming week is likely to be full of shenanigans. There is a FOMC annocement. The gambling halls down in Chicago are placing one hundred prercent odds that the Fed will leave the benchmark borrowing rate unchanged a 0-0.25%. There is still likely to be an EKG burst reaction around 2pm Wednesday. And as participants digest the language coming out of Powell’s Fed during the 2:30pm presser, we ought to gain a decent idea where the market is headed into the second half of the week.

What most of my peers don’t seem to realize is my approach to trading allows me to make 600-900 fiat american dollars real quick. And I do that a few times a week. I don’t glue myself to the terminal, addicted, going after trade-after-trade-after-traded. That is no way to live. I secure the bag then I go and enjoy life. If I cannot see all the stars aligned for me to become active, it makes money, long term, for me to do anything other than trade. Literally sitting completely still, in the yard, listening to birds, makes me more profitable than engaging my edge all the heckin’ time.

I never took up speculation for the sake of speculation. It was a means to a lifestyle I desired—one where I am free to do as I please. No one’s master. No one’s slave. Cooking tasty food. Swimming. Drinking hootch and being the rock of my familia. That’s it.

So while there is always the opportunity to go after more.MORE.MOAR…I ask myself, “at what cost?” Right now I work too hardt. This heckin’ kitchen has me stressin’. And if it’s not wrapped up by about April 20th, then it’s going to start to infringe on my outside work. My passion.

We cannot have this.

Therefore I must focus on making incremental progress on the Mothership kitchen even if it means falling behind on my speculative finance work. I do not apologize if this leaves any of you hanging.

I’ve never promised to feed any of you fish. At my best, I am a resource for generating your own ideas on how to fish. That way, when I am gone, you don’t cease up. Psychologically you are unchanged and you make your way just fine, emotionally convinced that you can handle your own self business.

At my worst I am just a heckin’ distraction.

I will likely find time to trade the opens most days this week. But my screen time will remain limited until this dang kitchen is back operational.

Raul Santos, March 14th (Pi Day!), 2021

And now the 329th edition of Strategy Session. Enjoy:


Stocklabs Strategy Session: 03/15/21 – 03/19/21

I. Executive Summary

Raul’s bias score 3.58, medium bull. Continued upward momentum early in the week. Then look for third reaction to the FOMC announcement Wednesday afternoon to dictate direction into the second half of OPEX week.

II. RECAP OF THE ACTION

Buyers in control all week long everywhere except the NASDAQ. The NASDAQ saw a hard sell Monday then sort of chopped higher for the rest of the week.

The last week performance of each major index is shown below:

Rotational Report:

Rotations higher across the board. Slightly risk averse to see Utilities as the second best performers. The lagging Tech sector also not suggesting a clear bullish week ahead.

neutral

For the week, the performance of each sector can be seen below:

Concentrated Money Flows:

Industry flows were heavily buy side, performance wide. Nearly seven pages of industries with returns over +3%. Median return was an impressive 5.74% while 30 day volume delta skewed negative, perhaps due to accounting for the recent sell off several weeks back.

bullish

Here are this week’s results:

III. STOCKLABS ACADEMY

No signals

Scanning through the various OBOS signals for the Stocklabs algo quickly reveals we have no statistical backing from the software heading into the week that we can use to form a bias. Nothing from IndexModel either. Therefore being neutral, the focus is on only taking high quality trade set-ups and only for scalps. No reason to press winners in this environment.

Note: The next two sections are auction theory.

What is The Market Trying To Do?

Week ended searching for sellers.

IV. THE WEEK AHEAD

What is The Market Likely To Do from Here?

Weekly forecast:

Continued upward momentum early in the week. Then look for third reaction to the FOMC announcement Wednesday afternoon to dictate direction into the second half of OPEX week.

Bias Book:

Here are the bias trades and price levels for this week:

Here are last week’s bias trade results:

Bias Book Performance [11/17/2014-Present]:

Semiconductors come into a choppy balance

Markets fluctuate between two states—balance and discovery.  Discovery is an explosive directional move and can last for months.  In theory, the longer the compression leading up to a break, the more order flow energy to push the discovery phase.

We are monitoring two instruments, the Nasdaq Transportation Index and the PHLX Semiconductor Index.

Transports in a clear discovery up phase.

See below:

Semiconductors appear to be in a choppy range. The Fibonacci retracements above and below current prices are broad areas where I expect price to bracket and work sideways.

See below:

V. INDEX MODEL

Bias model is neutral for a second week after signaling Bunker Buster two weeks ago and being neutral for the thirteen weeks prior to that. No bias heading into next week. Here is the current spread:

VI. QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

“All cruelty springs from weakness.” – Seneca

Trade simple, be kind

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