Trading Tips, March 22.

An Excerpt from the Timely Trades Letter. Horizontal support and resistance levels should always be considered when selecting potential trades. Since stocks often consolidate, or bounce near support and resistance the distance between the entry point and support (for shorts) or resistance (for longs) is an important consideration when deciding whether or not to take a particular trade. I want to find trades with ‘room to run’ as the stock pulls back and approaches support. Trading is based on being positioned to profit if the stock, or the market, does the usual thing in a given situation. Since stocks often bounce from support, candidates with a larger distance to support from the entry are more attractive because they have more ‘room to run. When a trading pattern occurs near support it may just drop to support and bounce, thereby limiting potential profits. I also apply the same concepts of support, resistance, and accumulation to the market itself to determine if trading is appropriate. If I am trading shorts and the market is approaching support I become cautious. The reason is that the market often bounces or bases near support and thus shorts would be less attractive. When the market is clearly trending and well away from support I will use larger position sizes in my trades than when the market is approaching a support level. I cannot influence what the market does, but I can react to it and reduce my risks by taking smaller position sizes when the market is approaching a support level. Someone usually asks the question, ‘yes, but what if the market had broken below support, would it not have been better to hold onto the short positions’?

I trade based on what the market usually does, not what I hope may
happen, or what sometimes happens. Since the market often bounces when retesting important lows I will stop taking new shorts and take profits on existing ones when the market approaches support. The market has two choices when it approaches support. It can bounce or it can break bellow. If the market bounces I will not incur potential losses from new shorts and will have the profits from the positions I closed. If the market breaks below support I will have the profits from the positions I closed and can easily take new positions to get back in the game. There is less risk in taking the profits when the market approaches support. It is tough to go broke taking profits. It is easy to go broke by holding on too long.
Things to do each evening: Look at the price and volume action on the NASDAQ. Where are support and resistance levels? How is the volume on recent up and down days. Given the recent daily range, how many days would it take to reach support or resistance? Look at each of your positions for the same information listed above. Where are your stops, and do they need to be adjusted? Do you have any stocks that are extended (consider profit taking) or ones that are breaking trend lines or support (consider exiting)? Review your watch list of interesting patterns and make a list of the best set ups to take a look at tomorrow. Review the watch list for patterns that are no longer valid and delete those stocks from the watch list. Learning to trade with the Market is a key part of taking investment results to the next level. It’s harder than it sounds, and takes some experience. I haven’t met many traders who got the experience by paper trading, the pain of losing is what causes people to spend thetime and effort to review their trades and learn from the mistakes.Don’t just write off losses, learn from them, they are part of the tuition you pay to learn how to trade.
Learning to sell as the Market approaches resistance takes some practice, since after a nice run most people want to put more money in.
I generally place a protective stop immediately after entering the trade. The stop is normally under the previous day’s low, or the low of the pattern. Remember that the protective stop is just to keep you from having a bad loss. If you leave the stop at its initial protective value and use it as your only exit you will lose money. Generally set the initial protective stop at the point where the trade set up would be invalidated, then watch the behavior of the stock and the market to determine when to get out. I also make sure the stop is not at a round number, or something that ends in 5 since this is where most people place the stop. Instead of 23.00, I would place the stop at 22.95. Instead of 18.95, I would use 18.84.
Steve Palmquist a full time trader who invests his own
money in the market every day. He has shared trading
techniques and systems at seminars across the country;
presented at the Traders Expo, and published articles in
Stocks & Commodities, Traders-Journal, The Opening Bell,
and Working Money. Steve is the author of, “Money-Making Candlestick Patterns, Backtested for Proven Results’, in which he shares backtesting research on popular candlestick patterns and shows what actually works, and what does not. Steve is the publisher of the, ‘Timely Trades Letter’ in which he shares his market analysis and specific trading setups for stocks and ETFs. To receive a sample of the ‘Timely Trades Letter’ send an email to Steve’s provides additional trading information and market adaptive trading techniques. Steve teaches a weekly web seminar on specific trading techniques and market analysis through Power Trader Tools.
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