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Day Trading the Index Futures - How to Judge Good Entries

QUESTION: If the SP futures fall through support and go straight down for another two points, and I want to get short, should I a.) enter immediately, b.) two points below support, or c.)should I wait for a pullback and then try to get short?

You've got to be patient enough to wait for entries that have two things: first - a high probability of immediate gain, and second - a small potential for loss if the worst happens and your hard stop gets hit. This principle applies to all entries, and it's useful to think about it when you're trying to decide whether to enter on a pullback or a continuation of a move.

Entering on a pullback offers less dollar risk than chasing the market because you can place your hard stop on the other side of support or resistance and risk only a point or two. (Of course, this doesn't mean you're going to hang around and let the market hit your hard stop if things go wrong.)

Entering on a pullback also gives you a better chance of gaining a point or so in the first 30 to 60 seconds of the trade. This is important, though very few people seem to be talking about it, perhaps it's a well kept secret.

I rarely (almost never) chase the market. Here's why. Usually, if you chase the market for your entry, you'll get filled about the same time the crowd's emotion is exhausted. The market will pull back and you'll have to get out immediately (if you're smart). On the other hand, if you're stubborn and you don't get out immediately, you'll have to suffer through the pullback and *hope* that the trend continues before your stop is hit. If the market gets close to your stop, you'll be tempted to move the stop away just a little bit. Once you give in to the temptation, you've got an expensive trading habit that may eventually take you out of the business.

Whenever you find yourself *hoping* that the market will come back and get you out of a bad position, you really have to head for the exits *now*. Don't even think about the commission, or all the time you spent waiting for the setup. just get out.

QUESTION: What if there is no pullback?

If the market breaks through support and keeps going down without a pullback, you just have to be a pro and let it go. All the lost opportunity in the world won't take your account balance down, but chasing high-risk, low-probability entries will cost you.

Mike Reed is author of TradeStalker's RBI Trader's Updates. He has been trading the Market for 23 years. His support and resistance numbers have been published on the internet since 1996. Mike's nightly support and resistance zones are specific and incredibly accurate. He offers an unlimited free trial of his nightly TradeStalker RBI Trader's Updates. Copyright 2005 Mike Reed


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