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i've tried everything and nothing works

  1. i've been trading for about 2 years. i've made money overall, but lately i've just been going nowhere to slightly losing money. i've read all the books, tried all the indicators, tried no indicators.... i know about money management and position sizing (which probably saved me from doing worse), but i still can't seem to get anywhere.

    here's a trade i exited today for yet another loss.

    PSC, daily chart, the stock is at a low point of an overall uptrend. i bought it 9/18 because of the move it made the previous day. i used money management and position sizing to determine the number of shares i would buy based on where my stop would be (under the previous day's low)... i usually either do that or at the end of the day i check to see if it is closing under that low. well sure enough, today it went under the low and also closed 7 cents below it. i know that isn't much but i had to stick to my plan and sell...watch it go up tomorrow.

    can anyone here see any problems with this strategy?

  2. dg

    As someone who has also had difficulty using traditional trading strategies in recent months, I am probably not the best qualified to tell you what you are doing wrong, but here are some comments.

    Recently I have noted that very few of the traditional strategies are working. The old momentum strategy of wait for a pullback and then buy /sell 1 tick past the previous high/low keeps failing, with major reversals just as these points are reached.

    You should note that we are in very unusual times right now and a lot of the traditional rules are broken. This has been compounded with the recent events of 9/11. I have been strictly doing short timeframe intraday scalping (.30 to .75) for the last four weeks with some success, but my preferred trading method of 3 day swing trading is not working right now (except on the short side). Given the impending possibility of war any day now, I am also wary of holding overnight.
  3. Try using buy and sell stops at the previous days high and low. PSC started dropping on August 28th, 2001, and has been dropping for a couple weeks, with a couple small reversals. On your trade, you could've put a buy stop above 9/10's high of 26.70 say 26.76. You would have been filled there (+/-) and then placed a stop loss at the previous days low, adjusting it each day. Today your protective stop at 26.69 (below yesterday's low), would've been hit and you would be out at small loss and then flipped your position to go short at the same price. You would then be in the money roughly 70 cents. Usually if you don't make ground going one way, you will going the other, so if you flip your trades, you can usually come out ahead. Also, if you sell half your shares at a 5-7% profit objective, and let the rest ride, you can hold trades longer psychologically. It appears this stock is in an intermediate term uptrend, but in a short-term down trend. It's hard to predict trends so I don't try, but good luck if you think you can do it.

    I believe Larry Williams said that "Hope is for Dopes, but Spinners are Winners."
  4. hey man =)

    hang in there.. the market will get better..

    about your psc play.. personally, i dont see any reason to trade it today, especially considering that its in an uptrend and the mood of the market is down.. the nearest play that i see on the daily chart is the pivot on the 17th near the 50day ma.. a buy would have been triggered over 26.70.. but i probably wouldnt have gone against the market then either..

    i recommend that you consider reviewing your trades to see if you have been trading against the markets trend..

  5. thanks everyone for your posts. my strategy was to only trade stocks in uptrends. i know the markets are in downtrends, but i figured that i could still play the long side as long as i stuck to uptrending stocks. i know many of you might recommend to just do the reverse of what i'm doing, but to the short side, and go with the market..but i hate shorting. in the past when i shorted, i usually had a list of stocks to short at the end of the day and when it came time to enter the trades, i had to sit there and enter the orders over & over hoping i wouldn't get a downtick...the uptick rule annoys me. on top of that, my account is right at the $25,000 level and with the upcoming new SEC rule, i don't even know if i'll be able to have a margin account to short with. what a great new rule by the way... (sarcasm)
  6. If I were you, I'd get a little more money and still try to short. We may have 6 more months of down markets and you'll be at a real disadvantage going against the trend. The uptick rule is a pain, but not impossible. I use market stops and don't have too many problems, but I haven't traded that stock either. I think an unbiased approach to the markets is the best long-term plan.
  7. If youve been trading for two years and are ahead you should be proud of yourself. I've seen a lot of pretty good traders taking a beating lately. If nothing works, stand aside for awhile. If you cant short this market your better off in cash.:)
  8. One general key that has allowed me to consistently profit is to distinguish between trading during a bull market and a bear market. Having traded in both and witnessed a lot of intersting things, here are a couple of observations:

    In a bull market

    --Supports tend to hold better and resistances tend to be weaker
    --Morning gap open highs tend to be taken out more easily and gap downs tend to fill in better

    In a bear market

    --Supports tend to be weaker and resistances tend to be stronger
    --Morning gap open lows tend to be taken out and gap ups tend to pull back more easily.

    As an example, today I shorted IMCL, which gapped up $6 then promptly pulled back to only up $3 for a quick 3 point profit. In a bull market my strategy would have been different. I would have waited for the morning gap open and any subsequent pullback, and bought the stock as it crossed its morning opening high.

    Making a clear distinction in stock tendencies based on a bull or bear market has worked extremely well for me. Hope this helps.
  9. If you must play momentum, look to those stocks that are truely strong. Pep made a new high yesterday. I tried to buy some calls on the pullback today, and wasn't hit on the bid. Momentum still works, you just need to find where the money is going. That stock that you liked, looks like it's in the process of rolling over honestly.
  10. Geeee, really??? nothing works??

    What a shock ! :D :D
  11. dg:

    From my own experiences I've found that certain stocks work well with certain trading strategies, while others do not. I have extensive experience trading PSC as I was a former trader for a Small Cap money manager, where we were one of the top three holders of the security. PSC is very illiquid as it usually trades less than 80,000 shares per day. Establishing or exiting a postion in this stock (anywhere between 500,000 - 1,000,000 shares) would literally take me a month to complete. Stocks like these are almost always "supply and demand" driven. When I was buying or selling, the friction costs were always about 10%. All it takes is one institutional buyer/seller to ruin a good trading strategy in a stock like this. Perhaps trading a tier 1 or 2 stock might be better suited for that particular momentum strategy. I rarely trade thin stocks now, but when/if I do, good old fashioned tape reading is my best tool.

    Lately I've been trading CSCO almost exclusively and the TA I've been using has worked well enough for me. In the beginning it did not though, until I learned the valuable lesson that zboy has previously emphasized; which is identifying the type of market I am trading in, and then being flexible enough to adapt to it. Hope that helps...

  12. Deeman- Wow!! I really am incredibly interested in the strategies you used to move that type of size in such thin issues. I trade semi liquid stocks. 200-600k nyse names usually, and I am always trying to get in the mind of the guy who's trying to move a million shares. Generally, I'm moving 3-15k or about 1-5% of the daily volume when I'm trading. I have enough trouble with liquidity then. Can you please share with us all anything at all, or any anecdotes or anything interesting you have. I really want to know what your experiences are and how you'd move size like that. Do you just go best offer all day, or do you do market orders, or do you pound it for a few days, and then take a few off to let it bounce? Anything at all.
  13. Good posts - nice to see some 'trade mechanics' being shared... excellent... thanks... I always like to hear new trading strategies that are working. keep em coming...
  14. dg2000: Trading is difficult. I suggest that you do the following

    1. get a program such as MetaStock or TradeStation. Code what you want to try. If you cannot make your system produce a profit on paper, it will definitely not work in real time.

    2. understand that trading is a "game of statistics". No single trade is important. You should try to look at each day, week and month and set profitability targets based on your system. If you can execute your system and get profit characteristics close to your simulation you're doing well.

    Personally, I do better when I have a mechanical approach I can codify. Others may disagree.

    Hope the above was of use to you.
  15. dg2000,

    I agree with some others regarding the liquidity (or lack thereof). This makes it difficult and forces one to have wider stops since the swings may be more arbitrary, and likely. The reversal off the 50 day ma would have been a good buy point. However, if you missed buying on the 50 day ma and buy much higher you're buying into a deadly cross of the 9 & 18 day ma's. In my experience, you should wait until it traded above the 18 ma to ensure that the supporting 50 day ma will hold. Instead you'll notice that it reversed off the 18 day ma, never really getting above it. Looks like it's going to test the 100 day ma next. Also, the CCI (commodity channel index) is negative; usually it's a good indication to wait for it to go positive before going long.

    Hope this helps.

    Good Trading!

    PS - DeeMan, I too would like to get some insights into how the big money gets in and out. Thanks.
  16. hy,

    i would like to know if somebody of you trades nasdaq stocks with an avg daily vol about 1-2M. it seems that these stocks do not move so nervous like the popular heavy traded ones with volumes of 10M and more. what do you think?

    the spreads on the thinner stocks tend to be pretty wide for most of the time? how do you handle these wide spreads? is it worth to trade such thin stocks - do they have the advantages that i suppose? or is it overall much better to trade stocks with more volume (8M, 15M, 20M)?

    if one of you trades the thinner stocks via ib - where to route? BEST or BEST_ECN or what?

    thanks for your answers!!
  17. The only nas stocks I ever trade are teh ones that trade under say 800k. I prefer those around 300-500k. I can just read things much better. I really am poor at nasdaq trading, and prefer the slower speed, and teh ability to play my own games with the mm's. The more liquidity, the more jumpy it is.
  18. p2 - and what about the horrible spreads of those thin stocks??

    where do you route your orders?
  19. Ehh. If you know when to buy, the spread isn't that bad... I don't mind paying up 30c or so, and usually end up having to cause I want at least 3-5k. Look for the seller and snet him.
  20. p2:

    When you need to buy/sell a large amount of an illiquid stock, the first thing you do is make some calls "upstairs" to the trading desks on the street, in order to find a "natural" (another institution willing to buy/sell your stock in decent size) Most stocks have an "axe" - firms that always seem to be a good part of the volume - even if it's a listed stock. It's important to learn who trades what as it can save you a lot of heart ache (and money) in the long run. Another point is that you can't call too many firms, or everyone on the street will know there's a large buyer/seller out there. (Actually, the proper etiquette is to only talk to one firm at a time, and give them a chance to come up with the other side of the trade.)

    Let's say for example that I need to sell 500,000 shares of PSC. The first thing I need to know is why. If we're selling because we just had a conference with management and the analysts think they may miss their number, then I need to get out before they report earnings, whenever that may be. But if we're just reducing our postion to free up cash, then I might have more patience.

    Now I make my calls, let's say Smith Barney and Goldman. I talk to the traders and let them know I've got 25,000 for sale and maybe more behind it. (Never tell your size until you absolutely have to) They'll immediately ask for a working order, and in this case I would say no - I'm looking for a natural and I don't want any stock for sale on the floor. They will now make calls to other large holders of PSC. You can get that information off Bloomberg, but all of the sell-side trading desks have "focus lists" from their institutional clients, which is basically a list of all the stocks in their portfolios, which is more up to date. If they can drum up some interest, they will call me back and the game starts. In illiquid stocks, the buyer almost always has the advantage because he doesn't have to do anything. He can always walk away whereas the seller has to eventually sell. If PSC is around $27, I might get a bid of $26.50 for 100,000 shares. If the buyer wants 200,000, I might get a bid of $26. The larger the print the lower the price will be. If I'm able to sell the whole block the buyer will want to know if that "cleans me up" - meaning have they taken me out of my position or am I done selling the stock. This will also affect the price of the transaction. No body wants to buy 500,000 shares of a stock and then watch the price go down another 1 or 2 dollars over the next few days, as I continue to sell. Mind you - I could lie about it and sell more afterwards, as there is no law against it, but my reputation would be ruined and no trader would ever want to deal with me again, thus hurting my chances to execute trades in a favorable way in the future.

    Let's say however that there doesn't appear to be any naturals out there. Goldman will still ask to work my order (meaning they will give it to their guys on the floor, who in turn will just give it to the specialist) all of which will cost me a minimum of 5 cents per share to Goldman. Therefor it makes more sense to call our own floor broker (most large institutions use a two dollar broker or have their own) and work the order myself (and pay around .6 cents per share - commisions are determined based on yearly volume). A stock like PSC will NOT have a crowd around the specialist. On any normal day the specialist will keep the spread fairly wide and just sell small lots on the offer and buy small lots on the bid. But today is different and I give my floor broker 25,000 to go but only show 10,000 at a clip. He then gives the specialist my order (no floor broker needs to stand there all day) who in turn will want to know what the full picture is (if there's more behind it). I personally am not too fond of specialists. Obviously they are out for their own interests, as we all are, but letting them know your true picture can be disasterous. I often have seen stocks like PSC trade down a dollar on a few hundred share lots and there's nothing you can do about it. And remember - the specialist almost always makes money. If he's willing to buy my stock I almost always refuse (unless I'm desperate), because I know he'll have more behind it. He'll only buy for his own inventory when he is most certain that the stock will go up.

    Anyway, once the specialist has a decent size order (like 10,000 in PSC), he'll do the same as Goldman did, which is look for buyers. Here the specialist has an edge because he knows who the most recent buyers are and he can contact them immediately (they will be other floor traders reperesenting various firms). These traders will contact their clients and see if there's any interest. Usually the interest is in smaller size, but occasionally you get lucky and catch a large buyer in which case you negotiate the same as you would with another firm. The only difference here is that the specialist will want to buy some stock too, especially if he knows that it cleans me up.

    But if there are no large buyers out there, you just have to pick away, and let the specialist find any type of buyer, all the while protecting me in the book (just in case a dot order comes in). If the volume is 60,000 for the day, in a stock like PSC I can expect to be about a third of that, thus selling about 20,000 shares. Sometimes you can be half the volume, but unless you put up some block trades, you won't be more than that. If the specialist is good, the stock will only drop slightly, but more often than not in this example it would be down probably 25 cents or so (obviously other market factors can help determine this, but this is usually how it goes).

  21. Let's assume this happens for the rest of the week. I've now sold 100,000 shares and the stock is down $1.25. This is why a discount bid right off the bat is a more attractive proposition. But, there's nothing I can do about that, so at a certain point I have to lay off for a while (as you mentioned earlier) and most times the stock will start to rise on light volume. Unfortunately it never seems to go back to the level from where I started (barring any news, market conditions, etc.), so I start the process all over again.

    I also forgot to mention that limits are a necessity. Giving a large market order to a specialist is crazy. Many times I tried giving medium sized orders (25,000 - 50,000 shares) to the specialist and tell him he's "not held" (meaning he can use his discretion as to how to execute the order - similar to a market order but he is not held accountable if stock trades and I am not included). But most specialists don't like that kind of responsibility (maybe because it involves thinking), and in turn treat the order like a market go-along (or a market participate). That means that anytime a seller comes in and hits the bid I will sell the same amount as the other party and split the print. You can imagine how fast a stock can go down on only a few thousand shares trading using this method. That's why limits are essential in stocks like these.

    Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for you), not every institution handles their orders like that. Some really do give market orders for fear of missing out on a print, thus not seeing the big picture. One thing to look for are those double prints on the tape heading in the same direction, especially near or on the bid. Two (or sometimes three) lots of 1500 shares of PSC trade at $26.90. A few minutes go by and then two lots of 1200 shares trade at $26.80. Next comes two lots of 2600 at $26.65. This let's you know that there are two sellers out there, and their fear of each other will probably push the stock down harder and faster than it needs to be. The problem is that neither seller knows how much size the other trader has, and does not want to miss out on any prints. In those situations though, I would cancel the order off the floor and see how the other guy reacts. If he keeps going and the prints get larger I'll have to get involved again. But many times the other trader will sell a little more, and then realize he's all alone and try to let the stock lift. Once he decides where he wants to sell some more stock, I'll join him with the same amount of stock for sale, with the same limit - sort of a "gentleman's agreement" where we both realize it is to our mutual benefit to cooperate with each other. Of course, it doesn't always work this way - sometimes (very rarely though) one guy will take advantage and that's when the fun begins. Once the "rules" have been broken otherwise normal stocks start trading all over the map.

    One word of caution though - identical prints of 500 shares or less are rather useless in my opinion since small retail dot orders get executed all the time. Anything over 1000 shares is preferable...

    Another probably obvious thing to look for is size on the offer, but even if it disaappears. I can't tell you how many times I gave an order of 25,000 or 50,000 shares to a specialist, specifically telling him not to show it, and then punching up the ticker and seeing 50,000 shares just sitting on the offer. This was almost a daily occurrance. Specialists are human and make mistakes. Many mistakes. I would then have to call the floor and rant and rave, and have him remove it, with the damage already being done. When you see size offered on an illiquid listed stock and then it disappears, it most likely is still for sale. Yes specialists DO type in an extra zero sometimes, but the clue there is watching a 50,000 share offer turn into a 5,000 share offer. In that case, you probably need to wait to see what happens.

    A typical pattern to look for in this example, is when an illiquid listed stock sells off on decent volume, where the offer is constantly being refreshed at let's say at least 10,000 shares. Then a larger print goes up at a new low, say 20,000 shares or more. You then see another 10,000 shares offered at this new low, and then it just disappears. As an institutional trader, you're more likely to take a brake after a big print goes up, so after you get your report you tell the floor broker to lay off for a minute to let it lift. Meanwhile the specialist still has more stock to sell for you in his book. It takes a minute for the floor trader to tell the specialist to lay off, and then the offer disappears. The spread will now widen, and most likely the stock will lift on smaller prints (this gives the buyer of that last print a warm fuzzy feeling). When the stock lifts enough, or volume starts to get a little heavier, you give the order to the floor again and we see another 10,000 to go at a higher price. If this offer stays out there and nobody's buying, now is a good time to go short. Eventually the seller will get impatient and start hitting bids. Remember, the seller has already sold a significant amount of stock at a lower price, so he will have no problem selling it down. The buyer on the other hand is less likely to step up and pay higher prices, especially when he knows that the seller is willing to sell at a lower price, since he did it before. Obviously this is not foolproof (nothing in the market is), but I have seen this happen over and over again.

    Hope this helps...

  22. thanks for the posts deeman.. interesting to see how things work.

  23. Great question even better answer. If you have any insight into nyse bigger caps I am always seeking to improve my education thanks.

  24. jem,

    I sent you a private message here on elitetrader. Could you take a minute and look at it?



    P.S. Thanks Deeman for the great posts. Those are probably two of the most informative posts I have ever read...
  25. DeeMan--This is just great material. I thank you for sharing it with us and I look forward to hearing more of your knowledge. It's extremly difficult to find information on specialist behavior and misbehavior. This inside info is golden man. This is the stuff that will make us better traders. Welcome to Elitetrader.
  26. Deeman, that's gotta be one of the best posts I've ever read. Can I review your book before it is published? :)

  27. DeeMan,

    Great post. I'd love to hear more about how buy-side firms buy and sell their positions. Very helpful indeed.

    -- Punter
  28. Wow Deeman, I am in awe. This answers tons of questions of mine. This is most likely the best post I've ever read on these boards. I truely appreciate it, and welcome to our home here. Please feel free to share any other floor behavior that you know of. Anything would be useful.
  29. DeeMan, sorry if I missed this, but where do you fit in the trader scheme of things (i.e., educational background, kind of position you now hold, advantages and disadvantges you might have relative to other traders, nature of funds being traded, etc.)? Thanks for any info like that you can provide us about the context of your great post.
  30. Thanks DeeMan, One of the most informative posts I have read here!!
  31. Originally posted by DeeMan
    because it involves thinking), and in turn treat the order like
    a market go-along (or a market participate). That means that
    anytime a seller comes in and hits the bid I will sell the same
    amount as the other party and split the print.

    DeeMan, just so I understand how this kind of order
    works, does that mean if someone hits the bid with
    1200 shares, you will also sell 1200 shares, and two prints
    will appear on the tape (perhaps at different prices)?


  32. Thanks for all the positive feedback. If I can help in any way I'd be more than happy to contribute to this group.


    I first worked for a Large Cap money manager for about five years, and then I moved on to a Small Cap firm for another four years before deciding to go on my own. So now I am trading from home as probably many of you are. As far as any advantages go in properietary trading, I don't think I have as many as people may think. My experience is with institutional trading, where the goal is to save money through decision making and executions. Proprietary trading's goal is to make money, which is a very different thing. I have known many traders in the last few years who left the business to trade on their own, only to get wiped out within two months. Their egos and confidence in their experience led to poor decision making and money management. Hopefully I can use my experience as a foundation to become a good daytrader, but only time will tell.

    My goal here is to learn as much as I can from you guys, who have much more experience in this type of trading than I do. Lurking around for the past few months I have picked up many useful ideas and tips, and have been able to confirm some of my thoughts about the importance of discipline and proper mental attitude over systems and styles of trading.

    Thanks to everyone who contributes...

  33. vitajex:

    In that example, if the specialist is protecting me and there's a bid for 1200 shares and someone comes in and tries to sell 1200 shares at the bid price, he will only be able to sell 600, and I will sell 600 along with him. Kind of sucks for the guy who thinks he's going to be able to hit the bid for the full amount, but that's the way it works.

  34. When I first took up trading I was worried because all these experienced traders were out there teaching everybody and their brother how to do it. I figured it wouldnt be long before there would be so many traders out here, nobody would be able to make a buck. All of this before I ever made a dime. I laugh when I think about it now because I know how difficult an undertaking it is. There will never be too many traders. Your post about those guys with all the experience in one phase not making it in another brought it all back to me.:) Wishing you the best.
  35. Hi DeeMan,

    Thanks for the background. With all those years of experience, did you zero in on a trading platform/broker/software when you first started trading from home, or are things changing so fast that you're trying a lot of new stuff like many of the rest of us?

    BTW, if you're interested in an all-encompassing solution, the latest deal that TradeStation has looks pretty good (I haven't seen this described on ET, so will take opportunity to do so here):

    - to open account: $30,000 for stocks, or $20,000 for futures
    - requires minimum of 10 trades per month (5 round trips)
    - $5-7 per futures trade
    - direct access trading from within TS
    - free TradeStation software (a lot of stuff!)
    - free stock quotes (real-time and historical), free Level II
    - E-Mini quotes are free for first 6 months, $10/month after that
    - must have 2 years of trading experience
    - must have annual household income of at least $50,000

    Someone correct me if any of this is mistaken.
  36. This is somewhat off-topic but I was curious if anyone knew anything about this website?


    I took the free trial, but I'm still a little confused what they are trying to do. If anyone has any thoughts, they'd be much appreciated.


  37. www.shortboy.com

    the stickman's been consistently making money since June '99, even during the bull market. If you tried everything and nothing works, you haven't tried shortboy.

  38. dkamp:

    I started with cybertrader, but soon realized that the commissions were just too much for a person trying to develop a trading system. Also, while all the bells and whistles are attractive, I really wasn't utilizing any of it. Too much information can be a bad thing at times, and too many indicators will have you second guessing yourself constantly. As soon as something doesn't work it becomes too easy to go off in another direction and try a new method and I wanted to avoid such behavior.

    I then switched to IB (which I learned of through this board) and I am very pleased. It has exactly what I want; low commissions and fast and direct order entry (especially on options). For charts and level 2 I use Window on Wallstreet. It's basic but it does the job for me for $89 a month.

  39. First of all, you're trading illiquid stocks. Even though you may be using sound mgmt. rules and stop discipline, the illiquidity makes it easy to gun for those stops, including yours.

    Today, the stock did 145K and that was a heavy day! Go for the liquid stocks, reduce your size to 100, or even 50 shares, to the point where you're not trying to make money, but trying to get into a groove. Focus on the liquid issues, like top 50 Nas, SPX and top 10 Dow stocks. Or even focus on the DIA's, SPY's, and Q's.
  40. typo
  41. I have been saying it for years you must trade liquid stock the more liquid the better.

    Wait for the trade to come to you.
    Sit out of the market until you see a chart set-up that really gets you exited make sure you are trading in the direction of the market.

    I trade very little but do intra-day trade. When I first started I overtraded and lost allot of capital. I then came back into the market 1/2 a year later and swore I would only play the best set-ups even if a had to stay out of the market for weeks.
    Since then I have stuck buy it, definitely the best thing I have done.
  42. DG2000,

    Two things really stand out to me in your 1st post....

    >i've been trading for about 2 years. i've made money overall, but lately i've just been going nowhere to slightly losing money.


    >i know that isn't much but i had to stick to my plan and sell...

    You are ahead of 80% of the world out there already. By staying alive through your 1st 6 months, then the first year, you prove that you are not falling prey to many of the gamble traps that wipe out so many would be traders.

    Next, you sound like you have a clear structure for your trade management, and have the discipline to stick to the plan....Even if you just "know" the stock will go up tomorrow. Congrats, you have some of the key elements in place that many never can execute.

    The flaw I see in the PSC trade is that you bought the stock after a significant price extension. The 18th was a wide range bar, and after a move like that, markets usually take a break and correct either through time or price. If I were following PSC, I'd be stalking the pullback, looking for 20sma and 40sma support on the daily chart ($23 area). This allows the selling pressure to be reduced, and lowers your risk for the next possible swing long.

    Hang in there... This market has just been very cruel to the classic T/A setups. Rinse and repeats abound as the stock sets up, then takes out the stops under the swing lows before resuming the trend. The deeper timeframes have been more orderly, but it has been a challenge to pick out the best stop placement levels. Look for areas that are NOT classic T/A hide your stops in strange locations, and you will avoid most of the rinses. (intraday, 10 cents under prior swing lows, use arbitrary stops etc...)

    Another thing that really helps when in a funk. Just back away from the market. Spend a week watching, you will be amazed at what your eyes will see when not involved with the trade.

    Good luck and good trading