There's still the standard benchmarks for traders like the pivots that continue to provide valuable intraday reference points and, perhaps interestingly, I've noticed that the pivots appear to have become even more reliable as stop and reverse or stop and rest points than they have before. This may have to do with the nature of some of the preset risk management controls embedded in many of these HFT programs, because once the pivots are violated the volume surge typically accelerates substantially.
Now, you know me . . I'm always looking for a better mousetrap, or in this case an easier mousetrap.
I've been following the recent developments of my trading brother in arms the Clueless Q Trader, who shares my underlying fascination with the Qs as a trading vehicle. Clueless has now migrated a goodly portion of his daytrading over to the SSO and, as I pondered and examined this development, it's simple brilliance struck me.
I've often said that if I could just trade the NYAD, life would be a breeze. Of course the NYAD is just an indicator reflecting the relative NYSE advancers versus decliners. BUT, the SPY is a perfect mimic of the NYAD . . you'll never see any significant divergence between the SPY and the NYAD. Using the SSO just doubles the beta. . voila!!.
Thus my new trading platform setup as shown above to capture those SSO moves. This is the Schwab SSPro platform and includes just 4 charts . . SSO/VIX, VIX/NYAD, NYAD/VIX and TICK. In between the charts are 3 dynamic scrollers that display the new highs and lows count of the day for the NYSE, the indices and the Nasdaq. Below the scrollers are 2 watch lists. . one of the major indices, the other of the volatility indices plus a few wild cards. The Watchlists have an interesting Schwab feature that let's me turn on the real time tick for each item, so I can see at a glance whether the major or vol indices are in alignment.
I've been using this setup for just a few days, but am extremely impressed with it's reliability and ability to discern the market turns. The charts above are shown on 2 minute bars, but the whole display is fractal and can be set to 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 65 minute or daily bars.
One thing you might notice is the clarity of the VIX chart relative to the SSO chart. The dynamic ATR of the VIX 2 minute bars is surprisingly low relative to the SSO and this is the reason that I juxtapose the 2 setups side by side. While momentum might not be immediately clear on the SSO chart it's crystal clear on the VIX chart.
This is a work in progress and no substitute for a co-located server at the exchanges and a million dollar software program but as a discretionary trading tool it's the best thing I've found to date.