I turn dials and fiddle with knobs to hone in on harmonic rotations
Joined Oct 26, 2011
4,121 Blog Posts

Remove Yourself From The Analysis


On losing days, my old routine used to be calling up some buddies and having a few beers, chalking it up as another hard lesson from the market.  I can always have this mentality because the money, I don’t depend on it.  I’ve always been told consistent profitability in the markets requires a low stress money situation.  I agree.  I absolutely can’t imagine being in a financial pinch and trading.  As for the jumpers, they’re simply cowards who can’t swing the poor life, thrift shopping and such.

Today really wasn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be, but frustrations were quickly compounded and before I knew it I was going ‘Full Gibson’ beating people over the head with rocks and such.  I played back the tape of my futures trading just now and the mistakes didn’t start until I made it about me.

I made it about me.  Not the markets, because some crazy shit went down that rattled me.  Let me explain:

I took planned trades, trades with statistical advantages.  The first two win.  Good start.

The second trade takes off as soon as I get it in, looking great, gets to my exit, prints my target a few times, I don’t get filled and it slams down and takes me out break even.

At this point things are looking REALLY choppy and moving REALLY fast.  For the next 30 minutes all hell breaks loose, Raul taking funky ass unplanned trades.  Good God, it looks like I fired a machine gun at the screen.

Funny thing is, my last trade, a long…something was still firing in the old noggin…my exit looks like the most beautiful short entry you’ve ever seen.  The floor fell out seconds later for five handles, then many many more.

This all happens very fast you see.  I lost sight of the market.  I started having a very real and very strong feeling that the algorithms knew exactly where my stops and targets were, and they were fucking me. That’s paranoia…fear based nonetheless. Me, me, me, that’s what my internal dialogue sounded like.

Recognizing this, I cut almost all my risk out and pressed my cash to 65 percent.

Some names I just couldn’t let go of.  Here they are, presented by size (biggest-to-smallest):


I also hold some cheap lotto tickets in HPQ weekly calls and NFLX.

My fate as a trader lies entirely on backing off when conditions don’t favor my style of trading.  It’s something everyone has wrestled with I’m sure.  It’s never hit me this hard in my life, even though I’ve taken much larger financial blows.  I was furious.

It’s a learning experience as always, but this one left a lasting impression.


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Raul Takes Up Talking to Birds

I’m feeling very, very angry right now.  Anyone who trades these markets, looking like a stoic, is either a psychopath or a studied philosopher.   I get happy when I follow my plan and make money, and I get raging mad when I deviate from it.

Let’s run down the moves, shall we?

Early on, I engaged the market repeatedly, and donated back my last two days’ gains.  Back to ground zero.  Kewl.  Avoid market rage, don’t engage.

–          I knew once this market made up its mind directionally, it would be big.  The morning built up a ton of energy.  I wasn’t there when the move happened because I was tossing my phone down the stairway.

FSYS, SNE, JKS, NBG – I cut them all, they all lost me money.  NBG never made sense to begin with, even with the 20 percent profit I scaled off.

LULU Lemon calls, purchased at the peak of the great spike of June the fourth, sold, at a loss of course.

Now listen closely: these above positions haven’t even proven themselves wrong yet.  I have proven myself wrong.  And I’m angry.

I’ll be going for a walk now, perhaps talk to some pigeons and see if they have a message from Nicola Tesla.  After such time, I will come back and reassess these markets with a more charged up mind.

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Early Weakness, Here Are The Key Levels

We’re not looking to strong in the S&P globex session, starting with the rock solid resistance overnight at 1630. It held on a series of three lower highs overnight and resulted in a snap of the 1625 level, if only temporarily.  Both of these levels are important today.

I zoomed back on the balance zone from about 1631 – 1622 to get some lower levels to watch in case we see a liquidation occur.

The next levels of potential support are 1618.50 a significant low and then 1616. Finally I see 1614 on my radar as possible.

I will use the following market profile chart to define upside resistance.  Note: I’ve split yesterday’s session essentially in half, where the conditions changed:




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Chasing, Leaving No Stone Unturned

Something is happening to me, something I’ve planned and worked toward all year long.  The budding ideas are beginning to bloom.  I’m becoming a multi-pronged trader.  The tape, it only needs to move, and I’ll be there, making money from it.

I do things, quite majestically.  Take for example my NFLX weekly option trade.  I bought two units early, scaled one off for profit during that precarious double top intraday, and held one through a bit of a drawdown.  This option now stands to make a great deal of money in the morning.  The profit taking gives the confidence to stomach the pullback, at least for me.

My Google runner, I sold it.  It was worth more, and it may rip tomorrow without me, but I avoided turning it into a loss.

This LULU long may still be a loser.  I’ll keep quiet about that seeing as I nearly top ticked it with 3 calls.  You’re never supposed to lose on the internet.

I made money in the S&P futures today.  I can’t post these trades live as they require 100 percent focus and risk management.

My swing portfolio lost money today mostly, but it boasts a large cash position and some green shoots.  Not just pure red.  NBG is my current biggest loser.  New longs include JKS and FSYS.  Cash resides at 33 percent.

New long JKS was practically a mechanical entry.  PPT upgraded it to buy, the hybrid score shot up, and it has a look I know and love.

The green Tuesday streak is over, but I still stand to make a great sum of money tomorrow.  The fade exhibited on my longs only serves as proof that the sellers are in fact afraid and behaving overly aggressive.

Notice: As fast as these buds bloom they can be chopped to bits by a careless lawnmower operator.  It would not be the first time I’ve had fresh ideas minced by the motored blades of the market.  No one ever said it was a safe journey!

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Morning Recap, Waiting For Clues

I only entered into the S&P futures once today, buying a pullback and attempting to inflict pain on the short sellers.  The trade earned two handles on two contracts but once the sellers defended their territory, the land north of 1645, I backed off the action and simply observed.

I had a trigger right at the open to go long, but I was distracted buying weekly calls in NFLX and LULU.  They’re both about flat currently, and I have the distinct feeling I may take some heat before these trades can play out.

I closed out that aching ACHN position, it could still pull off a Hail Mary bounce recovery, but I really don’t feel like sticking around to find out in this overall choppy tape.

I took a 1/3 scale in DANG up here near recent swing highs.

Now I’m essentially sitting on my hands, waiting for the market to play out.

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Morning $ES_F Analysis

The overnight session has so far done very little except drift a bit higher and shows balance.  As we continue to trade above this key support, it becomes increasingly important that price make a decision, whether to go higher or lower.  The migration and acceptance of value will build some clues.

Yesterday’s profile reflects an opening drive lower by the sellers which had follow through.  Then, what resembles a steady accumulation occurred, closing us out near the high of the day.

Early on, I’m curious to see if sellers can push us back into yesterday’s value from 1634 -1625 and if so, how the market behaves.

It still looks like we could run higher to 1640 then 1641.75 and ultimately 1646.50 to see if it brings the same selling tenacity into the market as we saw last week.

Here’s the levels I’ll be watching:


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Tap Dancing Through the Minefield

A couple of my positions came very close to stopping out today, but the late-day strength managed to buoy the share prices of SNE and ACHN above where I wanted them. This can either be seen as good or bad, considering my nubile derriere is now exposed to the ghoulish villains from cell block six overnight. So I’m either deferring a loss or avoiding unnecessarily being stopped out. Either way, we stick to the plan, yes yes?

I was reminded by my good friend @elizamae via twitter of this old post concerning a very significant price zone. A price zone we tested today. How quickly my mind forgets old thoughts, I blame the ADD. Nevertheless, it’s worth a reread as we swim in these waters.

A humble tip of the hat to you, good sir.

The only other action today was buying some GOOG weekly calls near the LOD. I scaled one off and the other is nicely green and held close to my chest overnight. It’s mine! You can’t have it. I bought Google because it’s a support play, much like we’re looking for these prices in the big indices to behave as support. Therefore, I can extrapolate the index behavior out to the stock and allow the large tides to assist in dictating my decision process when drilled down to Google stock. Cool right?

My swing portfolio was down 1.2 percent today and cash levels are near 40 percent.

Good Monday. Let’s string together a strong week.

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A Whole New World

It has been a choppy morning in the futures.  Choppy enough, in fact, to let me squeeze a little bit of profit out, mostly shorting.  What’s happening is I get my first scale and then have to scratch my second piece.  The market harmonics are hunting out that second piece and making me re-enter with higher risk of selling into the hole.

Anyhow, I’m done dabbling in the futures game unless, as always, a major development occurs.

18 trades, 5 losers and a small profit.

I’ve been stopped out on DDD, the net of my gain last week and today’s loss was a small loss.

I added back some shares of NBG this morning, near the HOD.  Developing…

Everything else is getting decimated.  The momentum rug is being pulled.  If the carpet is indeed magic, it needs to fly me out of this collapsing cave, and fast.

For now, I’m electing to eat something requiring two hands.

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How Far Can We Go?

It’s a beautiful June morning where the birds serve as the best alarm clock in town.

My plan going into today is simple, which in essence, is elegant.  I have very little expectation, but I want to see how high we run up the single prints of the LANDSLIDE.

The overnight session has been consolidation with a bullish hue since trade opened Sunday evening.  I came to my desk for the open because I wasn’t sure if the market would run the zipper while everyone was enjoying their Bible studies or what.  It started to make its move and continues to as I type.

The primary objective would be retesting 1640 where all hell broke loose Friday afternoon.  We’re already halfway there.

I’m not certain where this market is going to open up at because it’s moving rather rapid for the early birds, so I’ll simple define my levels of interest and trade accordingly.

Notice: I’ve split the change in conditions out of Friday’s profile which gives us additional insight into key price levels.


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Do you like the transient manner in which I avoided today’s AWK dump off?  After over two years of being invested in the name, benefitting both from the large coupon AND the capital appreciation, I simply cut it loose.  This type of thing happens all the time over here.

Is it luck?

I’ve always considered myself lucky.  I walked away from a pretty gnarly Cessna crash a few years back.

But it’s not luck.  It is marrying the knowledge that matters and hanging out with it every night.  It’s foraging through The PPT, aimlessly, for hours on end.  Reading everyone’s commentary here sure helps.  Pay attention.

Moving on to this landslide close, there’s your sell in MAY!  That was 30 handles from the high of the day.  I got stopped out of my NANO trade amidst the selloff, but my impunity in ES_F continued.  I just had to try the mean revision, and actually made a point and a half going LONG mid death spiral.

I’m telling you, I should buy some lottery tickets for real today, I have the Midas touch.

After seeing the selling pick up tenacity I covered and bought some TZA.  Who am I not to join gentleman RaginCajun on TZA?  On this birthday!?!  I had to.  Plus it’s like my Ambien for the weekend.  Quickly: Raul trusts no pharmaceuticals, hence his distrust for resident drug dealer @halfbloodpope. I’m really not sure why I’m talking in the third person, via my pen name.

Some of my stocks held up well considering the carnage.  New long ACHN didn’t chit the bed, which is sometimes expected of newborns.  DDD was ugly, but damn, I’ve seen worse.  I’ll probably see worse come Monday.

I have the China PMI to look forward to this weekend with HMIN and DANG.  And I have SNE.  I even have a dash of NBG.  I like taking my chips to another country and gambling elsewhere while the USA gets sold in May.

My cash rose to 30 percent.

It seems like June is going to whip about something awesome.  I hope so.  Enjoy your weekend, eat a good meal, make love to your wife, for we battle come Monday.

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