Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Out of UPRO Pre-Market

Update: Unfortunately UPRO rose much higher after I sold it. However, I met my profit objectives for the day, so that's all that matters to me. What I've learned from other seasoned traders is to not get overly greedy. Focus on how much you'd like to make and try to make that every day. If you get in a hot position, let it run, by all means, but protect your profit with stops. I explain below why I exited, and I still feel it was a decent decision.

There was a small pop in the pre-market trading already for my UPRO position at 170.10 (about +0.78% where I bought it), so I'm booking profits before trading begins.

Rationale for exiting:
  • There is some data coming out at 8:30 AM EST. No need to see all my gains evaporate if there is a surprise there. True, the market could rise further, but greed is not acceptable with a scalping strategy like this.
  • This is a counter-trend trade as defined by my three signal methods on the left side of my website. The vix is above the BB, the S&P is trading below its forward moving average, and CPCE is trending higher. When trading against the trend, focus on scalping or hedging, not a position you want to hold for long.
  • I could always re-enter if the market moves into negative territory at some point today. It's highly unlikely the market gaps up and runs away to the upside.
  • Cobra made a compelling case for a low today below yesterday's low. It's reason enough to be quick to book profits on any pop today. Again, my model has a 90% success rate of getting something the next day, but not so good a success rate at getting those gains at the close (only 75%), and furthermore, I have no lens to see how much upside is possible today. I do see a possible wedge breakout that could go up to SPY 119.60, but I'm not betting on that being hit. 
  • Every day is a new signal. Why bother trying for more today? I plan to just wait for today's data to see if there's an edge for Friday, either long or short. 
  • I'm leaving on a vacation. I don't want to think about trading today. :-)
Conditions for staying in (what would have needed to happen for me to stay in this position):
  • If there was a much larger gap up, it would afford me a good stop limit level to lock in profits. That didn't happen. (Update: Well, not at the time I looked.)
  • If the market was down at the open and my stop of 1.5% on the cash index was not hit (in that case, hold till the close or until I was profitable)
  • If the trend was clearly up in the market. If the trend were up and an up day were predicted, I'd be more willing to hold to the close. Since the trend is down, I'm quick to jump out of a long position.

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