These 2 patterns play out the last day of the month over and over

Pre-market futures are slightly green as
“news” from the White House of planned release of strategic oil reserves paints
the tape.
I’m not sure how many day’s national supply will be released or which
below-capacity refinery will convert that to usable products at the pump.

I’ll leave that common logic conversation to
others who care… none of it is relevant to us. We merely play the technical
triggers on our charts, cut losses short and let profits run to their target.
Anything else has little to do with successful, profitable trading!

ES (+$50 per index point)

S&P 500 opened at pivot resistance, dropped
nearly -8pts from there and proceeded to swing thru that general range three
more times. The late-day comment about releasing oil from U.S. strategic
reserves (to what refinery now running below capacity?) squeezed lily-livered
shorts back up to its opening tick.

We caught +9.25 points per contract in the ES
yesterday and would have nearly doubled that had I taken the long 1204.50 signal
near 3:30pm EST. Oh well… plenty of +15pt to +20pt ES days in our future
straight ahead.

Early resistance will be 1211 for the S&P and
bullish above, while a break below 1205 off the open would be bearish indeed.
The 1207.50 level is a dual magnet of retracement cluster and should offer stiff
support if hit… could easily be lows for today OR highs of a swing move down
thru it and back up on retest.

NQ (+$20 per index point)

Nasdaq 100 has resistance near 1571 and then
green skies above into Monday’s high congestion. A very sideways 15pt total
range here is poised for directional break either way.

Not much more to opine here than that… a $300
total intraday range doesn’t merit much commentary for now. SHhhh… the NQ is
sleeping… let it get some much-needed rest.

YM (+$5 per index point)

Dow Industrial futures swung around in
generally lower fashion yesterday. 10440 is high level resistance today, 10380
important line in the sand for market bulls.

ER (+$100 per index point)

Russell 2000 futures posted a nearly perfect
“W” shaped session yesterday. It saw the most dramatic surge candles of any
symbol, more on that in the section below.

Today’s lines of 654.80 and 652.40 are
important support = resistance values for today. Price action above is generally
bullish, below is generally bearish should things turn directional for a change.

{Price levels posted in charts above are
compiled from a number of different measurements. Over the course of time we
will see these varying levels magnetize = repel price action consistently}

Changing Faces

There was a time when the NQ was most volatile = potentially
profitable symbol. It was the hot money playground, full of technology and high
flyers. Not any more… it is arguably the most stodgy of all emini symbols

I began trading the Russell 2000 nearly two
years ago when S&P 500 got real buzzy and noisy with growing levels of program
trading and retail scalpers churning the tape. If you look backward on your
charts a year or two in the Russell, you will see that it traded much more
methodically than the S&P. The low volume and open interest kept scalpers and
program-slammers in ES and NQ instead.

Eventually, those small-profit players
gravitated to the ER for the same reason swing traders did: the methodical
action and large intraday ranges yet unspoiled by scalpers and program slammers.
Not any more… the ER has changed behavior in very noticeable fashion since

Make no mistake, the Russell still usually
covers the widest intraday range of all mini symbols. However, it seldom does so
with little candles trending up or down the chart. Instead we see explosive
surge candles and sideways gyrations much more than in the past. Growing legions
of scalpers making money and often times blowing one another out on surprising
surge moves keep the Russell tape churning more than ever before.

I could likewise dial down to a 3min chart,
trade the first & last two hours each day and profit just fine. Or, as an
intraday swing trader I need to hold relaxed trailed stops and give each entry
more chance to breathe.

Yesterday I shorted into the irrational spike
following FOMC minutes at key resistance 653.90. When price action dropped to
652.30, I trailed stop down to entry and expected downside continuation. What
used to work back in the days of methodical action no longer does. Sideways
gyrations while the small-profit players churned around lifted into my stop,
took me out at par and soon dove +3.5pts in favor of that entry to session lows.

That would have never happened a year or two
ago, but is quite common now. The ES is actually more methodical in behavior
than the ER, albeit more muted in travel range. Slight adjustments in managing
stops is necessary for a distinctly changing Russell 2000 index.

Moral of the story? I am often asked by readers
how to mechanically manage stops and profit targets. Money is made on trade
exits more so than any other decision. Reality is, trade management is a dynamic
thing. Markets change subtly or dramatically over time. Same symbols, very
different underlying behavior. The necessity of changing initial stops, stop
management and profit exits will always be a state of flux rather than fixed
standard. When ranges and internal “noise” grow or lesson, stops and targets for
all players from one-minute charts to weekly charts must likewise adjust


Today is an end-month session… expect an upside bias as mutual
funds prop the charts in usual fashion. Could see a sell-off into the close as
often occurs during last day of month sessions. Above all else, we’ll trade the
clear method signals on our chart and let everything else fall into place from

Trade To Win

Austin P

(free pivot point calculator, much more inside)

Austin Passamonte is a full-time
professional trader who specializes in E-mini stock index futures, equity
options and commodity markets.

Mr. Passamonte’s trading approach uses proprietary chart patterns found on an
intraday basis. Austin trades privately in the Finger Lakes region of New York.