Trading Nasdaq E-Mini (NQ)

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Wonderduck, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. Hi All,

    I suppose this should maybe go under Futures instead of Trading, but it seems more people read Trading.

    In any case,

    Background Info:

    I've been trading in various ways for a few years, but professionally (for someone else) for only 3/4 year. Most of the time at work I am busy one way or another, but occasionally I get a few hours where I can trade for myself, which I do from time to time, to help develop my skills, learn other strategies (that are not in use at the office), and generally to increase my personal risk tolerance. (I think it's important to increase my personal risk tolerance, as I, like most people, am more sensitive to it and get more personally involved when it's my own money.)

    I've got a stock and futures account w/IB, and use qcharts for basic market data, charts, and Excel integration.

    The company I was last at, as well as the current one, do mostly arbitrage of various sorts (convertibles, stat arb, risk arb, basic options stuff, and ADRs -vs- ordinaries). These are mostly fine strategies that have served the company well. However, the general mindset of most of the people there are that these are the only real kinds of trading, and anything else is basically "screwing around", and doesn't have much chance of being successful.

    I've been moderately successful in doing some equities pairs trades (on my own), but trading equities takes a lot of money (generally), and that sort of strategy almost requires that you be around to watch the things all the time, and that you hold positions overnight.

    In my current situation, I am happy with my job, and don't have any plans of leaving any time soon. However, I'd like to build my skills and learn something I can do for sure on my own.

    On many days, the major indices (NDX in particular) make some decent moves that one should be able to capitalize on, it seems. I have focused on riding momentum in indices for two reasons: 1) it's easier to follow them than many individual stocks. 2) because of my limited timeframes , I prefer a strategy I can execute fully in a single part of a day (1/4 to 1/2 max, except on rare occasions).

    The NDX tends to have larger swings than some of the others. So for awhile, I monkeyed around with the Qs. I had some success, but then switched to NDX E-Mini (NQ) to make better use of limited cash (about $20k right now).

    NQ's been okay, but it seems very choppy. I haven't been trading the thing for very long, so I was curious if this has been typical. Most of the times I've had time to work with it, it's sort of waffled around in a 12 point range. However, with a 5+ point "wiggle", that's not a lot of breathing room. Marking and tracking support and resistance has generally been more successful for me than just going with the flow, except Monday afternoon's nice little selloff, which was nice. :) Sadly, I missed yesterday's rallies.

    I tried to see what I could do a little more this afternoon, but basically ended up in "scalp mode", grabbing a few (1.5 to 3.5) points at a shot.

    Any suggestions, about anything I've said here?

    Thanks much!