Are people looking at your stops?

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by jinxu, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. jinxu


    I've noticed on a multiple occasions when I place tight stops on the ES, it would get hit and then immediately reversed. The first time I thought it was just coincidence. But then it kept happening over and over again. It's as if someone is intentionally trying to hit my stops so I would be shaken out. I thought it was just limit orders that can be seen. Can people see your stops also? I only trade one contract and was told by my broker that it wouldn't matter much.

    Am I being paranoid? If not should I stop placing electronic stops and use mental ones? Or maybe use wider electronic stops? Who is able to see your stops?
  2. Move your entry to your stop.
  3. I believe the rules for GLOBEX futures are that the "dark" side of the order book is indeed invisible to everyone but the computer. So no, no one can see your stops.

    That said, if you showed me the chart and told me your entrance point and that you had a "close" stop, how hard would it really be for me to predict the stop price to within a tick or two? Probably not very hard. If I could do that, would I really need to see the dark side of the order book to hunt your stops?
  4. jinxu


    No it's not that tight. The stops are 5 to 10 ticks from the entry. And it's reversing at exactly the stop price. That's what making me suspicious.
  5. Yep, 'they' are after your 1 lot. Day in and day out.

    Or... maybe your stop placement needs help. A random 5 or 10 tick stop placement makes zero sense. The market does not care how much you are 'comfortable' risking.

    Place your stops in places unlikely to be tagged by little shakes and then you might see different results.
  6. 5-10 ticks is NOT that far.

    How are you setting the stops? Off previous features of the chart plus a tick or two for "safety"?
  7. There are stop-hunters out there but they're not after you, per se. They are trying to trigger the big block orders of 500+ lots. You might just be in the wrong place, wrong time.

    Maybe you should trade a two lot and stagger orders.
  8. Certainly in ES no one is hunting 1 lot stops. It takes roughly 300 contracts per tick to move the ES price during regular trading hours (depending on market conditions obviously). No one's going to take on a 1500 contract position just to move the price 5 ticks to hit a 1 lot stop. That would be retarded. If your stops are getting hunted, it's either because you're trading big size (in which case you should quit because you don't know enough if you're asking this question), or because your stops are at likely stop locations along with lots of other stops.
  9. They can read mental stops, too. I have tried everything from not thinking about the number to a conical tinfoil hat, and nothing works.
  10. Well, when there are 500 1-2 lot stop orders all around the same price it is a different story. His problem is that his stops are bunched up with other orders at an obvious level and he is getting swept out along with the rest. It is not paranoia but is an indication that where the stops are placed is the problem not that they visible or being hunted. Welcome to trading, no one said it would be easy.
    #10     Jul 8, 2010