Oct 15, 2008

Futures and hiatus

Been busy with futures and I'm convinced trading futures is where I want to go. Kinda like having a set watchlist but with only 3 stocks every day. The trick for me is to remain patient and pick the best time to enter. Hasn't been working for me for the last two days but I made some technical mistakes today that cost me from having a very good day. Mistakes as in buying when I meant to sell and not realizing it for 20 minutes. 

As for the hiatus... I don't know, been meaning to do it for awhile. Just need a break. I mean, the 3 people who comment might miss it... but the 200 other folks may not. 

Who knows, I may blog again tomorrow when I'm in a better mood.


bl said...

Check out Trader X: looks like he's trading Q futures, but imo when the volitility goes away so might trading the futures and back to indiv stock gap plays. I'm going to combine the diff stock groups into sectors WL: finance, commodity, technology, retail with 150-200 stocks ea. 1)Get a premkt feel via MktWatch(today it was decrease in oil demand, and recession stuff), 2)go to the commodity WL, 3)take the top 10 % gap stocks 5-10min after the Open, 4)chart them up on 5/15 min charts, and 5)observe. Today's: tin cenx dig sid clf hero chk exm rio aauk. Good luck with NQ's

OONR7 said...

bl: you may be right about the volatility and futures, but there have been plenty of days when stocks don't move either. I'm not leaving stocks behind but the volatility is wreaking havoc on gappers. I need to be able to trade in many different markets if I want to do this for many, many years. Looking into a set WL of stocks is another step but I'm not ready to do that yet.

TraderAm said...

hello oonr.

What am I going to read once I've finished my blog write up ????

Funnily enough, I've been thinking the same thing with respect to futures. Mainly because cycling thru all the stock charts is tough mentally. I really don't know how people do it on 5min charts, I have enough trouble with 15min. So I may look into trying to reduce my WL. As you say, with futures you can have 3 or 4 charts and just watch them.

I agree with bl that once volatility goes, then stocks may become easier to trade the gaps. Who knows though in this market.

At the moment I look at indices and paper trade them with occasional live trade and they do seem much easier. But then I look at how I've done this year on stocks and think I should stick with that thru these difficult times. After all this rambling, I'm kinda saying, I don't know :-)

Anyway. What I should say is that I have always enjoyed your blog and it was one of main inspirations to startup mine this year. So thanks and hope it's just au revior and not goodbye. (is that the right way round ?)

OONR7 said...

traderam: thanks... not really going anywhere but just wanted let folks know there may not be posts for a bit. You're 100% correct when you say that you shouldn't stop trading stocks if you're doing well... which you are. I've just always found it tough to trade my style in really crazy market times and I'd like to find another avenue to turn to.
I'm betting I won't be gone too long.

Tyler said...


I just took a long weekend in Atlanta and it was definitely nice to get away from the computer and charts. However, now that I am back I seem to be struggling just looking at charts and not even trading.

I hope your break refreshes you and hope to talk to you soon.


QQQBall said...

hiatus is good. i just took the Summer off from work, & now i'm enjoying work again & i feel dialed-in... of course, investment portfolio haircut also makes me feel like working too. :0

also taking a break allowed me to go on long walks, adjust my diet & kinda balance things a bit... im in my 50s, so i need to exercise, walk, etc - just take care of myself a bit more.

about 7-10 yrs ago, i was so burnt out i cuddn't see straight... i dont think i ever got over that...

take a break... dont set a time to come back... i emailed you a trading thread that deals with futures... that will take you a month to read anyway!

good luck

Anonymous said...


Would you mind sharing the link to futures thread. I have just started looking into futures.


I read you blog daily but seldom comment. I am sure there are many others like me who read your's, traderam, Jamie blog regularly but never comment. Your posts will be missed by many readers, and not only those who comment :). As traderam said, hope it's not a goodbye.

Eyal said...

Like you guys I've been thinking and wanting to go the futures path on and off for quite some time now. Made good progress but somehow it's tough to really make the switch completely.

I think it requires letting go of almost everything you're involved with in stocks on day to day basis and just doing the new thing with 120% focus and commitment over a significant amount of time till it becomes the new habit. It's not easy both mentally and financially.

Enjoy the hiatus, you don't owe anyone anything, just do whatever feels best to you. In any case, hope to see you back at the blog as well.

TL said...

Looks like many traders are moving to futures lately. I'm sure many will miss your posts, but I wish you all the best with your futures trading.

PRD trader said...

Hi buddy,
Why don’t you try forex, its easier then trading future? If you want I can help you personally, just send me an e-mail (prdtrader@ymail.com ).I have some suggestion if you are open to it about intraday stock trading.

PRD trader

OONR7 said...

thanks for all the great comments... I don't think it's goodbye but Eyal summed up my feeling right now with the thought of having to give up equities for awhile as I concentrate solely on futures. I still don't even know if I want to focus just on one future or possibly 4 (NQ, YM, ES, ER2) although I don't believe I can trade ER2 right now.
I do hope to be back sooner rather than later as I have come to enjoy my little 'blogging' community of daytraders.

bl said...

Check out the Airline stocks Thr and Fri: uaua gol lcc amr skyw alk dal cal nwa rjet jblu luv. Talk about some coin.
Good luck

Anonymous said...

with futures it is lot more money at stake. 1 lot of ES is 20k..are you ok w/ that

OONR7 said...

anon: ES isn't only available in lot sizes. You can have 1,2,3 contracts or however many you want. A contract doesn't cost anything.

Dinosaur Trader said...

How's that hiatus treating you? This market has been nuts... you surviving? Prospering?


OONR7 said...

dt: I'm somewhere in the middle but it's mostly because I'm lacking the cojones to let my winners run. What's been happening is that I get in the red early then I hit a nice run to breakeven and say.. 'screw it, I don't want to take anymore losses' and my winning position continues to make great gains. If I had cojones (of which I am slowly building some) I would have been having some of my best days ever. I've drastically changed my trading style. I'm now focusing on the heavily traded ETFs (QQQQ, DIA, SPY) along with their e-mini futures counterparts. I really like how SPY trades and I think I'm able to find consistent opportunities. My only question, and I've been meaning to email you on this since you trade it, is given the nature of this crazy market I've seen some really nice intraday moves on these ETFs... I'm wondering if I can count on these moves on a week-to-week basis. Any insight on that? I mean, I know there will be slow, low volume days but if I can get a couple days each week to provide some nice intraday moves I will be happy.
Anyway, I made these changes to a) make money when the gappers aren't working and b) simplify my watchlist of stocks. I do like trading gappers but at times the candidates just seem so random.
I hope to be back to blogging soon... as soon as I'm comfortable with the new trading style.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting... I check your blog daily.

Dinosaur Trader said...


Well, I only begun trading SPY more recently, really in the last month. Often, I use it as a hedge. So I can't really say if the smooth trading will continue. It does have loads of volume... however, I'm sure the wild swings will eventually subside.

I've also found that going "market" with SPY is normally disasterous. I've been scaling into positions based on e-mini levels with limit orders. I start small, and sometimes don't get my full position. However, if I don't that just means I was right early.

Anyway, good luck. Keep swinging.


OONR7 said...

dt - do you have a standard set of etfs or stocks you look to trade everyday? What about the RO?

I'm trading off the 1-min chart right now so 'market' is the only way to go for me. Although, sometimes price just explodes at where I want to enter which sucks.

Richard said...

The path I started on was to go to futures + a small watchlist of stocks that I generated in the premarket. But, my early futures trading was very hit-and-miss and I stopped trading stocks to get a handle on it. Seems like everyone decides to do that, I guess. But in my case, once the futures were going well, I decided stocks were too much trouble to bother going back to them. I will be interested to see what you think.

As for how many markets to watch... I started out trading several, I think because I was used to that from stock trading. But, I eventually decided that ES was all I needed, and that the ES, NQ, ER2, YM are usually so correlated that it's practically like one chart anyway. At some point I do plan to see if I can add Gold and Oil, though... as they have decent sized markets and often move differently than ES does.

You know, before, I had strategies that worked ok for stocks, but were based on the quirks of the illiquid stock market and their deceitful MMs. But trading futures forced me to become a much better trader, I think. Now, I regularly show how the same charts I use on ES work quite well on stocks, too. So, even if you go back, you may find you've learned a lot along the way.

Good luck!

OONR7 said...

wow, Richard... that last line you wrote is almost verbatim to what I was talking about with greytrader yesterday through email. I've had an interesting journey and will be blogging again soon. A lot of the points you make are absolutely spot on and it seems like we may have taken a similar path - albeit with different feedback.

Dinosaur Trader said...


No standard set... just whatever is moving. Of course, I have certain sectors on my screens for months now since they've been so active, including reits, coals, oils, ferts...