I am new with futures but have traded stocks for awhile. I have been experimenting with initial stops and trailing stop for trading ES futures because I have found them to be a different beast then stocks. With stocks I am able to read the specialist to help determine exits or initial stops. However with futures it is a little different. I have an excellant strategy for picking trades for the index futures which is more of a intraday position trading style or basically a nonscalping approach. My winners will have targets from 2-8 points or so, depending on the trading conditions. My initial stops have been 1.5 points and a 2 point trailing stop. However I am trying to find a better method for both. What has happened is that when I lose I end up losing 1.5 points but then some of the winners get stopped out before they really move for me. For instance it will go up 1.5 points from my entry, pull back and stop me out for a .5 point loser then move up another 5 points. In part because of my strategy, I will be in a trade when it is just breaking out of a congestion zones, but the action can still be choppy at these times and I don't want to get stopped out before the real move. Lately there has been moves where I am right I direction but the move itself is choppy so I have a harder time sitting in the trades with out getting stopped out. What are some other trailing stop and inital stop strategies being used by some experienced futures traders here that might be more intune with prevailing market conditions? Do the stop amounts vary depending on the present volatility or current volume levels or are they a ridged amount? I am trying to come up with the best method of course to minimize loses, but allow me to stay in my winners for the longest time until they hit my target or change course (hitting trailing stop). Also any ideas on where to look on this topic for other ideas would be great.