Thursday, March 10, 2011

Failed breakouts

Today's entry represents the center square of the nine transitions. The trick to trading failed breakouts is to only trade them in trading ranges and when previous strength in your trade direction is proven. Trying to trade fBO in trends is disastrous, wait for overshoot or trendline break first.

Today's open bar was large and any large bar (3+ points where an average bar is around 2 pts) and large bars near the open are trading ranges regardless of the size of the opening gap. Since b1 is a trading range, it can be traded as a trading range. You can sell a breakout pullback of b1 by selling below b5 or buy b14 as a second attempt to fail the breakout. Note that if we did not have the strength of b4 and b11, this would be a low probability trade.

The move to b43 can be seen as a trend move from b14 to b31, its trendline break on the move to b37 and a move to a nominal higher high. This is a trend termination and possible reversal. b46 was a second attempt to fail the breakout after b44 and therefore a high probability trade.

A first attempt can be taken if the signal bar is very well formed such as a reversal bar on overshoot. If not, its very likely a poorly formed first attempt will fail and possibly stop you out. A cursory glance at today's action will illustrate the importance of taking only well formed signal bars. Shorts below b16,20,24,27 all failed because they were essentially doji bars. Shorts below b31,b46 and b63 fared much better since they were trend bars. Lower bar quality is tolerable for the first hour and second attempts as illustrated by b14 and b73.

In summary, to correctly trade a failed breakout, you need at least two of prior strength, a great signal bar, an overshoot and second entry. 

No comments:

Post a Comment