Daytrading E-Minis w/o Indicators

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by jasper6, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. jasper6


    I would be interested in methods people are using to successfully trade the ES/NQ without indicators.

    I have been trying to rid myself of as many indicators as possible since they seem to cause as much confusion as anything. And that's after staring at every conceivable indicator/settings combo bell to bell for two years straight.

    Anyone here successfuly trading pivots, SR, n-bar breakouts, etc.?

    I like the idea of drawing a "line in the sand" at the open as previously posted here (long above, short below), but haven't worked out minimizing whipsaws or retaining profits on those days the market goes up 10 points then retraces most or all of the gain.
  2. jasper, I was convinced 1129 to 1130 was a turning point for es. I went long at 1130 and short at 1129 maybe I don't know how many times. Enough times to finally make me think that was not such a good strategy. (I think it did finally turn out to be one of my better trades, but I had to watch it all night and still got stopped out late at night and again in the morning before it finally broke down.)

    Indicators have kept me in the game for long time. Especially the dmi.

    When I first started trading es I didn't use anything but the quote board. No charts No nuthin. I would like to get back there, But I went through a very bad drawdown and lost my touch and feel for the market, So I started using charts.

    Mostly all charts would do is keep me from making trades because I could already see how much I had already missed and why should I now buy way up here or sell way down here.

    I think it all comes down to the trend. When the trend is strong, everything from indicators to charts to gut instinct work well. And nothing seems to work very well when it chops.
  3. ddefina


    No indicators here, just price action on the ES. I trade the daily highs and lows as well as strong intraday reversal points. Average about 1-2 trades per day now. Much nicer than that short in and out stuff. :)
  4. jasper6



    Can you talk at all about your rules for trading highs and lows. Not just for entries, but for exits? Also, what do you key on as strong intraday SR. Do you use floor pivots, intraday highs/lows?
  5. jasper6



    I agree that just about everything works in a good trend. What would folks consider to be the most reliable trend tool? EMA, linear regression slope, longer period stochastic, MACD?

    Uh oh, this is already violating my hope to get away from indicators :D
  6. jasper6


    Other examples of indicator-less systems might be breakouts of the first hour range (on the assumption that the high or low is more often than not put in during the first hour) or volatility breakouts ala Tony Crabel.

    With floor pivots or Trade Prospector-type SR, I have always had trouble knowing exactly when to pull the trigger. I mean, when do you REALLY know that support or resistance has held or broken?
  7. jasper6


    Another system I have seen is RetroTrader on

    Anyone traded this? It's takes 15 min bar breakouts, but requires lots of rules to manage the trade and reversals.
  8. jasper6


    As another thought, if you could get 10 pts/day out of the ES on average (I'm not saying you can), would it be more likely making one trade for 10 pts or 10 trades for 1 pt each?
  9. ddefina


    I cut the day in large pieces, and trade the highs and lows of those pieces, as well as s/r that might form in-between the sections. As you know, the market can go down half the day, and reverse the other half, so trading daily bars is less profitable than cutting it up in smaller pieces (most of the time). The risk is your pieces are too small and you get whipsawed during the day. I use trailing stops if the gain gets past a minimum point, like 10 ES points for the current market, otherwise I just let it ride until a reversal point.

    Psychologically its hard to get used to 10 points stops sometimes, but my drawdowns have been smaller than when I did 15 trades per day with 2 point stops.
  10. jasper6


    As a further thought, people are always saying the big money is in swing trading. But the swing systems I have seen seem to net maybe 2 ES points/day on average.

    It seems like there are plenty of daytraders/scalpers that consistently do several multiples of that every day. This would lead me to believe that daytraders should be more profitable than swing traders.

    Any comments?
    #10     Sep 12, 2002