The setups I include on this blog are used in conjunction with the 3/10macd and the criteria I ascribe to it as a way to alert me to an existing condition of price. The key concept to take away from this blog is that I try to anticipate what will happen on the higher time frame by using a faster time frame to trigger the trade setup. I do not trade a "system" I use two indicators to clue me in to price conditions. Please read the Disclaimer located in the sidebar of this site. I can be contacted via email at
I am always open to questions, comments, or suggestions on how to improve this blog.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Where are we...

....and what is price trying to do?
How did the week end for AMZN?  A slightly lower low doji where price tested/bounced at the 50% retracement.   We're testing the consolidation alley (between 38.2% & 61.8% Fibs) but a first test of $186 below (provided $190 is broken) could give a good bounce, while overhead gaps above could be in play if sentiment runs bullish.

It's important to keep perspective in this game.  For short-term holding periods we only really need the past few weeks of price information above and below current price to help keep the current flow in perspective.  For day trading purposes we may keep an intraday chart with an overlay of the weekly bars to gives us a sort of spatial feel for the broader picture, for instance, take a look at AMZN over the past month:
  The above chart shows 60-min bars with outlines of the weekly candle.  From here we want to get an idea of where price broke out to give us an idea of potential support/resistance.

Next we may take each weekly bar and apply fibonacci levels to them to not only get potential S/R levels, but also give us an idea of what portion of the previous week we're trading in.  So, to start with the left side of the previous chart and going forward it may look like this:
 With the above chart we had a previous momentum week, while the following week (05/02) price was supported at not only a breakout point but at the top extreme of the previous week.  Essentially consolidation following a momentum move.

Going forward; The next week, price opened right at the previous week's 38.2% retracement and made a follow-through move that later in the week reached a 50% projection from the prior week's momentum candle:

Moving on...
The week of 05/09 saw selling into the close on Friday (seed wave outlined).  I kept two Fib. lines on the chart below;
1) Low of previous week (05/02) to high of the following week (05/09)
2) Low to High of week 05/09
Price opened the week of 05/16 under both 50% fib levels and sold off the entire length of the previous week within half the day.

So, we had a sell-off, price reversed just shy of our original support from the breakout point (teal box) on a seed wave (outlined in black) and retraced 50% of previous momentum.  Price then opened the week (05/23) under the seed wave's breakout point and under the previous week's 50% level:

From here:
  Currently weekly price is a doji candle (indecision/sideways price behavior) within the 50% range of the previous 4-weeks and within the previous week.

I'll update this tomorrow to see how we closed the week and how the support/resistance levels acted.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


More examples based on the previous post with a method of keeping price in perspective.  Only this time, using faster time frames.  A daily candle overlay on 15-min charts with S/R levels indicated (dash green or red lines, longer-term using solid lines) as well as the previous day's Fib. levels, unless there are a number of inside days where I'll usually combine highs/lows.

 CSX - Big momentum day yesterday.  Opened right near support and wicked the Fib. levels.  Do you see the seed wave?

SPY - S/R levels aligned well with the day's Fib. levels.  W-bottom breakout to $133.22 resistance (from 05/17).

 POT - Just keep plowing ahead.  Opened at the previous day's 38.2& Fib. level and wicked the 50%.  Taking out resistance level after resistance level.

 GS - Included the extremes for the past 3-days high/low, 50% retracement held and corresponds with a support level.  Intra-day inverted H&S breakout failed at resistance.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


One of the bullish indications of the 3/10 macd criteria is that of the 1a, where the Slow Line and Fast line are moving higher in unison.  In order to anticipate the potential 1a criteria there are only a select few 3/10 macd combination's that can precede this criteria.
For instance, in this example of DIG these past two days; yesterday we had a big momentum move within the first 30-min followed by oscillation for the rest of the day (but didn't attempt to test below the open).  So, the previous day (Monday) was setting up the 1b condition (15-min chart turned 1b on the last few bars, otherwise it was condition 3b) and the open the next day triggered the 1a condition.  However, if you didn't enter on the open, or within the first 15-min, you would be looking for a pullback later on that didn't materialize into the continuation you might have hoped for.  A clue to this weak follow-through was given on the 5-min chart with the 3/10 slow line turning red (condition 2) before rolling over negative for the rest of the day.
Today, however, was a different story.  Into the close yesterday we had a 2b pullback (15-min chart).  On the open we had a lower price low on a higher momentum reading (buy divergence), while the pullback seen on the 5-min chart showed a steady green slow line and a perfect 1b to 1a long setup.  This agreement between the two time frames is what you would prefer to see:


Another 3d setup.  Was anticipating the potential for this move into yesterday's close.  Noticing the indicator setup is secondary, look at what price did in this example:
15-min chart price gaped down, rallied to fill the gap, and closed within the top 1/3rd of it's candle = bullish momentum.
While on the 5-min you have a pattern that resembles a morning star pattern.  A gap-down green hammer candle after a trend move down (remember, "trend" is relative) followed by a gap up bullish momentum candle leading to a seed wave.
So, once we have momentum prove itself you look to enter on a pullback, in this case a seed wave.  Entry was just above vwap and exit was ahead of the 100% projection at the previous day's breakdown point.  The two up arrows on the 5-min chart indicate possible trigger entries.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2b entry

Since I've been posting nothing but 3d setups seemingly, how about the reverse of the 3d?  The 2b short setup.
Note: The arrow on the 15-min chart below shows the fast line ticking down only after that long range red bar closes.  Anticipation of this setup is why I laid out the 3/10 criteria to begin with; so you can anticipate this setup before it triggers on the higher time frame and take action on the faster time frame.  The only two realistic probabilites for the 3/10 are for he fast line to continue higher (2a) or lower (2b), and being that momentum is waning the 2b criteria begins to present a favorable risk:reward setup.   

Later in the day AGU set up a nice long trade off of support with a number of bullish markers going for it; hammer candle at the IB-low, on a buy divergence, followed by a seed wave.

I'm starting to think that when I see a seed wave my entry should be the 50% retracement with a stop near the lows.  It would have been the difference of 15-cents in this case.

OXY was a trade that just looked good basing at its highs.  Volume was strong and I especially liked the little shake-out candle prior to the breakout.

The initial breakout had a steep retracement and I should have drawn support/resistance levels before getting in as I would have seen the following resistance band:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

OpEx week

Mixed bag this pre-OpEx week.  Strength in POT today, showing a great example of trend alignment; bullish Moving Averages, 3/10 macd slow line trending all day long with barely a negative fast line print, while the 5-min chart shares the same qualities.  Trend day in a mixed market of mostly weakness.
ANR - got dick-wicked and didn't get back in :/
AGU - came later in the day and didn't amount to much
AAPL - THREE 3d setups over the course of the day, 2 of which didn't have an adverse move against entry

Monday, May 16, 2011


The mirror setup of the 3d long, is the 2b short criteria:


I'm beginning to think I should add another 'D' to my name being that I've practically been blogging the '3d' setup almost exclusively.  Anyway, a number of stocks on my watch list were setting this criteria up into Friday's close so I was anticipating a trade-able bounce.
First two that I actually traded:
ANR - forgot to include entry candle- entry was two bars before the second up-arrow (5-min chart) at vwap.  Exit was the 50% projection $49.6
AGU was not a 3d setup, rather 3a criteria, simply a break of range resistance.

I was really disappointed to have missed EWZ as I was expecting this bounce and the flag setup was ideal.

Other 3d setups included:








Thursday, May 12, 2011


yes, another 3d setup.
Endured a lot of chop, but entry was good enough to take some heat.  Target was the previous day's breakout point.  Breakout points tend to be LVN's to target (as mentioned in previous post).  However, it was helpful (psychologically so) that the 100% Fib. projection aligned with this area as well.

A closer look:

No perhaps not all breakout points are LVN's, but it's a reasonably reliable indicator of such.

Much like yesterday's SPY setup, there's the 4d setup today in VXX.  The 3/10 is just there to help take away some of the noise of price charts.  Often-times these setups just highlight an A-B-C wave (bull/bear flag).

Oh, and where did price come back to test?
Previous breakout points:

Low Volume Node

As Volume Profile goes, Low Volume Nodes (LVN) are important levels to keep in mind for prospective targets or entries.  If throughout the day a dynamic move occurs during the auction process leaving a rejection of price we want to remember that price in case we come back to test it later.  This LVN can be witnessed simply by looking at a chart of the completed days auction and noticing where price broke out from and noticing the volume and whether price ever re-tested that level again throughout the day.  Yesterday was a perfect example of that in the SPY.
  First eye-ball the chart and look for areas which began a dynamic move out of a range, especially if that dynamic move was never really tested:

Yesterday's auction left us with a few breakout areas which were never fully tested:

Take a look at the volume in these areas, all levels of low volume, perhaps b/c orders may be placed below the base as triggers for entry.  Whatever the reason, higher prices are being rejected hence the discounting process (sell-off). 
Giving us these price levels:

Looking closer to maybe tweak our levels we can see these low volume points as price begins to break out quickly followed by higher volume:
And now a look at today's auction with the LVN levels retained, all price has left to do is auction the prior day's gap:

And the point of all this??  Even without volume profile charting capabilities (or even 10-second bar charts for that matter) you can still find levels of importance to target and/or fade.   As LVN's represent areas of price rejection, moves at or into these levels can be quick.  So to start with try finding areas where price broke out (on any time frame) often these are good areas to target or fade.

On the other side of this coin is the HVN (High Volume Node).  These are more obvious as you can quickly eyeball a chart and pick out levels of price overlap to tell you that there was acceptance built into that area, and if price is perceived as fair at a level, like it is in an HVN, then it may take time (chop) to auction higher/lower out of these levels.  Perhaps I'm doing a disservice to Volume Profilers by simply highlighting areas of price overlap and calling them HVN's.
My intention is to give an example of how one might pick out levels of potential support/resistance or places in which price may stall without having access to special charting software or even for on-the-fly live trading.  I'm well aware that just because price spends a lot of time in an area doesn't mean it will have high volume node.  In which case, perhaps I should just call them a POC (Points of Control) or acceptance range.

Often an acceptance range from the previous day can act as resistance/support coming into the following day.  Notice how the late afternoon session yesterday acted as overhead resistance today, while this morning's 10:45 pullback found support at the acceptance range from the early morning:
However, POC/acceptance range and HVN do tend to be close enough.  Yesterday was a double-distribution day, so we have two large nodes of acceptance at two ends of the trading range, which is evident in the bar chart above with the highlighted rectangles in the early morning and later afternoon:

The gist:
  - Look for breakout points, as price likes to return to these levels to see if there is unfinished business to do.
  - Where once was congestion (price acceptance) there may be again

bear flag

A 4d setup (4d anticipate 4c continuation) on the SPY from yesterday.  Actually it happened across the board on a lot of stocks:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Today's SPY with modified TICK.  The only substantial negative TICK was registered on a higher price low.  The Fib. projections are based off of the PDC measured to the days Open:

The trend is your friend.  The last two moves off the March lows (how many "March lows" have been bought since '08?) have retraced 50% before extending higher.  There's a confluence of Fibonacci projections/extensions at the $139.31 level and beyond that at $140.70-ish.