Home > Lessons from the trading floor > $SPY in a tough trading area

$SPY in a tough trading area

Trading the $SPY for the last 7  days long has been relatively easy. Technically speaking it is text book. Large range days with good volume on rallies. Significantly lighter volume on days with small price ranges.

We rallied into the 200SMA on the daily chart last week @$111.78 and paused, with everyone looking at the same charts this created a lot of indecision. (again, perfect technical structure)

Keystone traders went home Friday with a game plan with two scenarios; what do I trade if the 200SMA holds as resistance and what do I trade if buyers some back strong and this significant level gets taken out?

Based on the light volume pause for the better part of 3 days (after the violent momentum rally) we expected a bullish day (this was not a guess it is technical analysis 101). However if we did get the bullish stampede there was an even bigger level to be aware of in the SPY at just over $113.

This $113 is the level that excites the sellers to come off the sidelines, it has been the trigger since just after the flash crash in May.

Now here is the situation you are faced with as a trader: long (being a buyer) is the correct trade, but there is limited upside potential to the trade taking into consideration this mornings gap to the upside.

What do you do? This is the zone where a lot of money is lost. The buying ideas are still valid but have less profit potential but there are not that many solid short sale scenarios.

I will ask again, what do you do?

Most inexperienced traders who feel the longs are not following through will put out short sale probes or actually in allocate capital to a full short sale position (because longs seem to have used up all their energy).

The correct play here is to be patient on the longs for new levels or better risk reward (from lower levels, which would be a flag on a daily chart) or do nothing. Doing nothing is the hardest thing to do.

Remember, not wanting to be long is not necessarily a reason to be a short seller.

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