What do you consider to be 'scalping'?

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by brownsfan019, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. I don't really consider myself a scalper, but in talking with people and explaining what I do, some refer to me as a scalper. I didn't think that I was and I realize that this is subjective; but, what do you consider to be scalping in futures?

    For me, scalping is taking 1-3 ticks and then out. I usually go for 6-8 ticks on the ES for example which translates to 1.5-2 points. Maybe that's it, as soon as I can translate it into points, I don't consider it to be scalping per say.

    Just curious to hear some ideas on how to define scalping vs. intraday trading.
  2. I think scalping is taking any amount of ticks/points intraday on quick moves. Some prefer to call scalping when you are taking a few pennies on a stock or grabing a few ticks v. a few points but it might be semantics.

    If you are in and out in the same day in a short period of time I would assume that is scalping. If you hold all day for 3 points, it would still seem to be scalping in a sense wouldn't it? Just taking a little here and there throughout the day.

    Honeslty we call can define it anyway we want and I am sure many people have many definitions for what is truly scalping.
  3. I personally never understood this concept. The vast majority of moves (that are worth taking, at least) are worth much more than a handful of ticks. Once you get out, and the move is still valid, do you just get back in again? Or do you wait until the move becomes invalid and wait for the next setup?

    I just get in the move and stay in it until it's no longer valid by my own criteria, so I never understood this concept...

  4. lwlee


    Holding all day is not scalping. Anything held less than 20-30 minutes could be considered a scalp. The classic scalp is the stock scalp for 1-3 ticks but I don't think that style works for index futures. The next step is what the OP (I do the same) does. Looking for short term momentum moves.
  5. Rough - I see your point, but here is how it works for me - I do not have large stops by any means. I have found that in order to keep my stops where I prefer them, my profit target(s) must be reasonable and likely to be taken out before any type of retracement that could lead to my stop being taken out.

    Now, I will re-enter as soon as I get another setup, if another one appears.
  6. Scalping to me is not letting a trade go against you. That is, you play the swing up or down and then get out, i.e. you don't hold through the retracements. For example, exiting a long trade as Ticks approach its upper limit before it starts heading down again. In scalping, I would expect to only trade using one timeframe only (no bigger picture trades). Scalp trades definitely don't last very long, but can be played for ticks or points depending on how long the up/downswing lasts. Anyway, that's what I consider scalping, FWIW.
  7. I don't use stops. I'm in the market all the time, and if I find myself on the wrong side of the market, I will simply reverse my position.

    Sometimes this way of trading leads to being chopped up, but overall I have found it to be the optimally profitable, at least for me.

  8. sulli


    looking to grab x amount of ticks or points within z amount of time, otherwise out of trade.
  9. Being in the market all the time is an interesting way of trading. I've never found anything that would work for me, so stops are necessary.

    It looks by some of the posts that I am a scalper though! Time for some new business cards... Professional Futures Scalper, Provider of Very Brief Liquidity, Futures Whore (I am in and out in no time!).... LOL :D