Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Sunday, 04/20/2003

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The Option Investor Newsletter                   Sunday 04-20-2003
Sunday                                                      6 of 6

In Section Six:

Stock Picks: DOW, JCP
Traders Corner: Money Management Part I
Options 101: Special Delivery From The Easter Bunny – A Basket of
Futures Corner: Extreme Stochastics

Note to our readers:  This email is comprised of the articles
that were left out of the Sunday Email Publication.  We apologize
for the error.

Stock Picks

Where is the Dow Going?
By Steve Gould

I have a friend who is a chiropractor.  She is considered one of
the leading experts in the chiropractic technique that she uses.
She told me that she would attend literally hundreds of seminars
and after enduring 12 hours of her weekend time, should would come
away with one jewel.

I recently had an experience like that. I was at a stock trading
seminar not long ago.  We had an excellent speaker.  He was very
knowledgeable about his subject and had a great rapport with the
audience. He said one thing that was my take away jewel.

He was analyzing a stock.  He pointed out all his indicators and
explained why the stock was headed higher.  He spent about 10
minutes discussing all the indicators and why they signified that
the stock was headed higher.  Then he made this brilliant comment.
He said, "And then the stock will go higher...unless it doesn't."

Chart: Dow monthly 4/17/2003

Above is a monthly chart of the Dow as of 4/17/2003.  We can see
that the Dow has traced out a classic wave I with a very distinct
5 wave subpattern.  In late 2002, the Dow retraced with a wave II
and has since been in a wave III down.

According to this chart, the Dow is headed down even
further...unless it goes up.

Without being facetious, I say that because the Dow could still go

One of the criticisms of Elliott Wave theory is that you don't
know the exact wave labeling until the wave is complete.  Well,
duh!  If I knew exactly what a stock would do, I would be trading
from a lounge chair in the Caribbean while sipping Mai Tais.

As we watch a wave unfold, we have to keep in mind at least two
different counts.  Each count carries a confidence level.  The one
with the highest confidence level is called the preferred count.
We trade off of that one.  However, we keep the other counts in
mind, because we could be wrong and we need to account for the
other possibilities.

If the Dow continues its present course of unfolding the III wave,
then we would expect the Dow to behave in the following fashion.

Chart: Dow 4/17/2003 monthly Preferred Count

What this chart is saying is that within the III wave, we will see
a 5 wave basic pattern.  So far, wave 1 and wave 2 have traced out
and we are just starting wave 3.  Within wave 3 we will see a 5
wave basic pattern.  It has so far traced out the (1) wave and the
(2) wave and is just started the (3) wave.  If this pattern
continues we will see a downward thrust until the end of wave (5)
of wave 3 and then see a substantial wave 4 retracement.  In other
words, we should see a bear market rally, probably during the
summer, and then the 5 wave drop around the fall to winter.

Unless of course, it doesn't.  (I really like that expression.  I
think I am going to adopt it.)

What would the alternate count be?

Chart: Dow 4/17/2003 monthly alternate

In the alternative count, the Dow has not yet completed the II
wave up.  The Dow is undergoing a much larger A-B-C correction and
is in the beginnings of a c wave of the C wave (III, C, c).

If this scenario plays out, then the Dow could go as high as 9350
(62% retracement of wave I) before heading back down.  We will
know this scenario is playing out should the Dow breach the top of
the a wave at 8522.

The next couple of days are going to be critical.  We will not
know which way the Dow is headed until one of the two scenarios is
confirmed.  I personally believe the preferred count is in effect,
but should the Dow breach 8522, it ain't.

In either case, the Dow is heading down.  It is just a matter of
what time frame are we looking at.


Elliott Play Update
By Steve Gould


It doesn't get any more classic than this.

Chart: JCP 4/17/2003

On 4/11/2003, I predicted that JCP would fall a bit more before
retracing and then continuing back down to complete the 5 wave.
This is exactly what JCP is doing.

Note the first three waves of a 5 wave basic pattern.  Within the
1 and 3 wave, we can see a subdivision of a 5 wave basic pattern.
This is classic Elliott Wave.

Over the next week or so, JCP will retrace to about the 18.50
level to mark out the 4 wave before continuing back down on the 5

If you haven't already done so, exit the trade and chalk one up
for the win side.

”If you haven’t traded options online – you haven’t really traded
options,” claims author Larry Spears in his new compact guide book:

“7 Steps to Success – Trading Options Online”.

Order today and save 25% (only $15) by clicking on PreferredTrade
and clicking on the link to the book on its home page.



Money Management Part I
By Steve Gould

One of the biggest problems I see in traders is money management.
You had best have a plan and stick to it, otherwise you are going
to get caught up in the emotion of the trade and fall into the
fear and greed black hole, never to be heard from again.  (Guilty,
guilty, guilty.)

Ya, sure, you could have made more money had you let your trade
ride and ya, sure, the set up was absolutely perfect and the stock
is going to turn around any day.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.

The people who make money aren’t necessarily the best stock
pickers, although it helps.  The people who make money are the
ones who make a plan and stick to it.  Period.  If you have a
plan, you can be wrong a lot and still make money because your
stop loss will minimize your losses.  Let me state the obvious.
If you lose all your capital you can't even step up to the plate.

The hardest part for any trader is to take a loss.  Get over it.
It is the cost of doing business.  Take the loss and get on to the
next trade.

I want to present some money management techniques.  There are
many different types.  The important thing is to find the one that
works best for you and stick to it.

The first one is a standard technique that works well for a lot of
people.  It is based on the premise that you want to make a
certain percentage off of each trade and are willing to risk a
certain percentage to achieve it.

A typical risk/reward ratio is a risk of $1 to make a reward of
$1.50.  Let’s see how that works mathematically.

Let’s say that you place 100 trades over the course of a year.
Let’s also say that you are wrong on half your trades.  Doing the
math using the above ratio yields

50 trades X  $1.50 =  $7,500
50 trades X -$1.00 = -$5,000
100 trades            $2,500

What the math is saying is that if you started with $10,000 and
made $7,500 but lost $5,000, you ended up at the end of the year
with $12,500.  Not a bad return.

What would happen if you increased your profit target to $1.75?

50 trades X  $1.75 = $8,750
50 trades X -$1.00 = $5,000
100 trades           $3,750

Now your return is $13,750.

If your profit target is $2.00 then your return would be $15,000.

What would happen if you used a $1.00/$1.50 risk/reward ratio but
increased your percentage correct to 60%?

60 trades X  $1.50 = $9,000
40 trades X -$1.00 = $4,000
100 trades           $5,000

Now your return is $15,000.

Gee, what if my profit target is $5.00 and I am correct 75% of the
time?  WAKE UP, WAKE UP.  You are dreaming.

Set a reasonable target and stick with it.  One person I know sets
a target of $2.00 but as soon as he makes 80% of his target
($1.60), he takes profits.  Not a bad strategy, because from the
above discussion, you can see that if you can somehow increase
your percentage correct just a little bit, you can increase your
percentage return quite a bit.

Let’s see how this strategy would work on a stock option.

XYZ stock is selling for $47.00.  The Sep 50 call sells for $5.00.
If we expect to make $1.75, we would exit the trade when the
option sells for $6.75.  If we are wrong, then we would exit the
trade when the option loses $1.00 or sells for $4.00.

This scenario does not give us a lot of wiggle room.  We could be
out of this trade in 10 minutes if we timed the entry wrong.
Let’s try using percentages instead.

If we expect to make $1.75 for every $1 we risk, then our profit
exit point is

$5.00 * $1.75 = $8.75

and we would earn $3.75.

Our stop loss would be calculated like this.  If $3.75 corresponds
to our $1.75 profit, what does the $1.00 risk correspond to?  The
ratio would be  (SL = stop loss)

1.75        3.75
----   =    ----
1.00          SL

Doing the math we get

$1.75 * SL = $3.75
SL = $2.15.

In other words, if we profit $3.75 we would risk $2.15.

Subtracting $2.15 from $5, our stop loss would be $2.85.  Exit the
trade if the value of the option decreases to $2.85.

DECREASES TO $2.85.  Sure it may turn around.  You can always
reenter the trade. On the other hand, the option may decrease even
more.  Stick to the original plan.

A variation on this technique is to expect to double the value of
the option as a profit target and the stop loss would be a
decrease of 50%.  This is the same as the above risk/reward ratio
technique using a profit target of $2.00 for every $1.00 at risk.
It is just that the math is a lot easier.

Let's look at an example.

XYZ stock is selling for $47.00.  The Sep 50 call sells for $5.00.
We would exit the trade when the option sells for $10.00.  If we
were wrong, then we would exit the trade when the option sells for

This obviously is a lot easier to do the calculations.  If you
combine the 80% partial profit rule (yes I know it throws the
ratios off), you would take at least some profits when the option
reaches 80% of the $10.00 target or at $9.00.  ($5.00 * 1.80% =

Although this is a very popular money management technique, it
does have its flaws.

The most obvious flaw is how do we know that the option is going
to double in value?  Depending on the option that you buy, you are
going to have to see about a 20% move in the stock for most
options to double in price.  So, for a $40 stock, there must be an
$8 move in the price of the stock for the option to double.

In part II, I am going to explain how Elliott Wave analysis allows
you to target your profits as well as precisely define your risk.
Elliott Wave analysis lets you know exactly when the stock is
moving against you and that it is time to get out.  Elliott Wave
analysis will also tell you how far a stock will move so that you
can calculate the amount of profit attainable and compare that
against the risk.  You can therefore make a more informed trade
decision.  And if that were not enough, statistically analysis has
shown that by entering trades at the two sweet spots, you increase
your accuracy to 80%.


Special Delivery From The Easter Bunny – A Basket of MONEY!!!

By Mike Parnos, Investing With Attitude

How do we account for an incredibly profitable month for the CPTI?
Hell! It's becoming S.O.P.  Perhaps we're just damn good.  Perhaps
we're just damn lucky.  Who cares?  We've got money to count –
lots of it.

We began tracking our CPTI portfolio in the November, 2002 option
cycle. Through March we had accumulated $16,010 in profits.
That's an average of about $3,200 per month for five months on a
trading account of about $50,000.

This option cycle (April) we're proud to add a whopping $6,100 to
our stack of dead presidents.   It doesn't get much better than
that.  The new total is $22,110 (for six months).  Ever notice how
dead presidents always seem to function better than live

April CPTI Portfolio Results
Position #1 – OEX Iron Condor – closed Thursday at $453.71.
We created an Iron Condor with a 70-point range of 420 to 490 for
April.  The objective was for the OEX, at April expiration, to
finish anywhere within the spread – and that's exactly what it did
(bless its little heart). The total credit for the Iron Condor
position is $2.35.  Profit: $2,350.

Position #2 – BRCM Short Straddle – Closed at $16.60.
This month we sold 10 contracts of BRCM April $15 calls and sold
10 contracts of BRCM April $15 puts for a total credit of $2.60.
Our safety range is from $12.40 to $17.60.

BRCM is schizophrenic.  Personally, I didn't care for any of its
personalities.  It was like being married again.  We were on a
roller-coaster ride most of the month. A week ago Monday, we were
presented with an opportunity.  The market spiked up.  BRCM traded
as high as $13.90.  To buy back the $15 put would have cost $1.60.
When BRCM moved down to $13.80, we bought back the $15 put for
$1.65.  We had taken in $2.60.  Our profit is $950.

Position #3 – MMM Iron Condor – Closed at $129.98.
We created an Iron Condor with a 15-point range $115 to $130 for
April.  We were able to take in $1,550 for our 10-contract
position.  The objective was for the underlying, to finish
anywhere within the spread.  The market has gone up too far and
much to fast.  Did calmer heads prevail and return MMM, to a more
reasonable level?  Did Fibonacci come through for us?

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.  Well, I can't
complain.  It looked like we were going to get a spanking (and not
the fun kind) on our MMM Iron Condor position.   Then, Wednesday
morning, the skies opened up, the sun shined and a very nice
fellow at J.P. Morgan came to our rescue by downgrading MMM.  The
market reacted and sliced $5 off the price.  Since stocks have a
tendency to rebound the day after a big move, I closed the MMM
bear call spread by buying back the $130 short call for $.45.   We
took in $1,550 when we initiated the position.  It cost $450 to
close the position.  Our profit was a very hefty and very
fortunate $1,100.

Position #4 -- QQQ ITM Strangle – $26.82.
This is a long-term position we created four months ago.  We own
the January 2005 $21 LEAPS calls and the January 2005 $29 LEAPS
puts.  We sold 10 contracts of the QQQ April $28 the QQQ April
$22.  Our cost basis for the position was $5.30.  We closed this
four-month position with a $400 profit.

Position #5 – OIH - Diagonal Calendar Spread – $55.63.
We felt there was a great deal of uncertainty built into the price
of a barrel of oil.  When, and if, the war is resolved, the price
of oil would work its way down.  We bought 10 contracts of the
July OIH $55 puts and sold 10 contracts of the March OIH $50 put
at a debit of $3.85.  According to plan, the March $50 expired
worthless.  Our cost basis was now $3.15.

On Thursday morning, OIH traded down to $53.15.  It was just too
tempting.  We had bought back the April $50 put for $.05 and today
closed out the rest of our position by selling the OIH July $55
put for $4.50.  The amount taken in was $4.45.  From selling near
term options over the last three months, our cost basis had been
reduced to $3.15.  Our profit was a delicious $1,300.

New CPTI Portfolio Positions for May

New Position #1 -- SMH Baby Condor.
SMH is the Semiconductor Holder Trust.  It's basically an index of
semiconductor stocks.  It seems that semiconductor stocks have
moved up a little too far and too fast.  My crystal balls are
telling me:  a) people who live in glass houses shouldn't expose
their crystal balls, and b) semiconductor stocks could very well
pull back for awhile.  With SMH trading at $26.43 lets:
Sell 10 contracts of SMH May $25 puts for $.70
Buy 10 contracts of SMH May $22.50 puts for $.25
Sell 10 contracts of SMH May $27.50 calls for $.80
Buy 10 contracts of SMH May $30 calls for $.20
Total credit of $1.05

Our maximum profit range is $25 to $27.50.  Our safety range is
$23.95 to $28.55.  We're only exposed for the 2 1/2 point
difference between the strikes ($25/$22.50 or $27.50/$30) less
what we've taken in ($1.05) = $1.45.  Our potential return on risk
is 72.4%.  Maximum potential profit is $1,050.

New Position #2 – BRCM Short Strangle
I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment.  BRCM took us for quite
a ride last month.  It ended up profitable, but wasn't without a
little concern.  BRCM had a monster day on Thursday due to
earnings and upgrades.  With BRCM trading at $16.62 lets:

Sell 10 contracts of BRCM May $15.00 puts for $.50
Sell 10 contracts of BRCM May $17.50 calls for $.75
Total credit of $1.25

Our maximum profit range is $15 to $17.50.  Our safety range is
$13.75 to $18.75.  Both of the sold options are naked, so it's
imperative that you be attentive to the position.  It's a nice
wide range, but there is still significant risk.  Maximum
potential profit is $1,250.

New Position #3 – SPX Iron Condor
The S&P 500 closed at 893.58.  Since I believe the market is a
little ahead of itself, we're going to put our money where our
mouth is.  Lets:
Sell 5 contracts of May SPX 825 puts for $3.60
Buy 5 contracts of May SPX 800 puts for $2.10
Sell 5 contracts of May SPX 950 calls for $2.35
Buy 5 contracts of May SPX 975 calls for $.90
Total credit of $2.95

Our maximum profit range is 825 to 950.  Our profit range is
822.05 to 952.95.  This is a huge range and the market would have
to really go nuts to violate this range.  But our exposure is
substantial – 25 points less the $2.95 we took in = $22.05.
That's why we're only doing five contracts. 500 X $22.05 =
$11,025.  Our maximum potential profit is $1,475.

In entering the position, my calculations include stealing an
extra $.20 out of the posted spread for the 950/975 call spread.

New Position #4 – MSFT Menage-A-Qua.
Microsoft just came out with respectable earnings and
unenthusiastic guidance.  There's no reason to believe it's going
anywhere for awhile.  So let's have some fun and try an
experiment.  With MSFT at $25.50
Sell 10 contracts of MSFT May $25 calls for $1.15
Buy 10 contracts of MSFT May $27.50 calls for $.25
Sell 10 contracts of MSFT May $25 puts for $.65
Buy 10 contracts of MSFT May $22.50 puts for $.20
Total credit of $1.35
Our maximum profit occurs if MSFT closes right at $25.  Our profit
range is from $23.65 to $26.35.  Our risk is only $1.15 with the
potential to make $1.35.  Maximum potential profit is $1,350.


Are You A Believer?
Like good Easter Bunnies, we're going to be trying to reproduce
(profits, etc.) this month.  And since April showers bring May
flowers, it's possible we'll have to deflower May along the way.
We're on a roll and there's no end in sight (but we're keeping our
eyes open for a shapely one).  Some months will be better than
others, but I don't recommend you bet against the CPTI.  It's
something you can believe in.

Are you a new Couch Potato Trading Institute student?  Do you have
questions about our plays or our strategies?  Feel free to email
me your questions.  An excellent source for new students is the
OptionInvestor archives where we've been discussing strategies and
answering questions since last July.  To find past CPTI articles,
look under "Education" and then click "Traders Corner."  They're
waiting for you 24/7.

Happy trading! Remember the CPTI credo: May our remote batteries
and self-discipline last forever, but mierde happens. Be prepared!
In trading, as in life, it’s not the cards we’re dealt. It’s how
we play them.

Your questions and comments are always welcome.
Mike Parnos
CPTI Instructor


Extreme Stochastics

Most traders who use the stochastic use the crossovers of the %K
and %D as their trading signal. Last week I discussed the concept
of stacking multiple stochastics settings to create a single
indicator, using rollovers/crossovers as potential trading
signals.  I've also mentioned that trendlines can be drawn along
the tops or troughs of the stochastic oscillations, and that
breaking above or below these trendlines can be useful signals as

To complete the discussion of stochastics as an indicator, we will
look at one more way to view the information that it presents us,
and, along the way, bring up another method of trading the

Traditionally, when stochastics crosses the upper or lower
boundaries, traders tend to view the underlying stock as entering
overbought or oversold extremes.  Yet, another often mentioned
aspect of trading is how indicators like the stochastic can stay
overbought or oversold for long periods of time while price
continues to print higher highs or lower lows.  Let us consider
the concept of actually using the entry into these extreme areas
for trading signals.

For example, let us say that you have a stochastic setting of
(14,3,3), with bands set at 75 and 25.  The idea is to actually go
long when the fast line crosses the 75 level, and to go short when
the fast line crosses the 25 level.  When the stochastic lines
cross, you exit the trade.  On the chart below, you can see how
once the 5 minute bar closed with the stochastic crossing the 75
horizontal line, a long is taken at 881.25, and when the
stochastic lines crossed back down, it signaled to sell at 883.75.
A fairly decent scalp off of a 5 minute chart.

Stochastics Extreme Chart 1:

Using this level to enter a trade long or short most likely goes
against much of what you may have learned about stochastics, and
grates your nerves like nails on a chalkboard, so let's take a
look at another example.  The chart below shows four more trades,
three long and one short, using this same method where a trade is
initiated when the extremes are crossed.  The results end up
positive by 2.75 points.  Half the trades worked, the other half
did not, which is close to what I had expected when I started
looking into this idea.

 Stochastics Extreme Chart 2:

Now that we have a potential idea, let's try and refine it to try
and see if we can improve the results.  The first thing that I
tried was lowering the extreme lines from 75/25 to 65/35.  In
addition, instead of getting out as soon as the stochastics cross
over, why not wait for the lines to re-cross that same extreme
line before getting out of the trade.  The theory is that although
you may end up with more small losses, you end up catching those
longer trends while stochastics chop around inside the extreme

In the following NQ chart you can see how, in the first pane where
extremes are set to 75/25, there are four signals to go long, but
all of them were false (losing) signals.  On the bottom pane where
I set the stochastic to a slightly tighter value of (14,3,2), the
extreme lines are set to 65/35, you can see that signal (A) to go
short was a 3 point loser, the next two signals, (B) and (C) gave
over 19 points in profit.

Please Note: The second pane where stochastics shows a setting of
(27,9,4) is a labeling mistake.  The actual stochastics setting is

Stochastics Extreme Chart 3:

Looks much better, and the longer moves were captured nicely.
However, what happens when price is indecisive and there is no
trend, or, momentum is attempted but continues to fail, creating a
lot of fits and starts that go nowhere.  This atmosphere gives you
a chart like the following.

The red boxes show where price crosses the extreme lines and then
crosses again, causing multiple small losses.  In between there is
a nice profitable trade, but those results are negated by all the
small losses.  So, although we've identified a potentially useful
way of trading, it is highly dependent on a fair amount of
momentum to give decent overall results.

Stochastics Extreme Chart 4:

For another example, let's take a look at the ES 5 minute chart
from  April 17.  The normal extreme boundaries shown in the first
pane aren't even worth marking as they would have given poor
results.  The second pane shows four trades, three of them losers,
for a net gain of 4.5 points.  Not too bad for a very simplistic
trading strategy.

Stochastics Extreme Chart 5:

Let's take a look at the NQ chart from April 17.  The NQs were
much more bullish than the ES on this day, and from the chart
below you can see a single trade dominated the day, returning +22
points, with two losses adding up to -4, the total for the day
would have been +18 points.

Stochastics Extreme Chart 6:

While the results are acceptable, we still want to increase our
odds of a successful signal to trade.  Using the extremes to enter
a trade may look nice on a marked-up chart, but what this article
is aiming for is to ADD a tool to our trading methods, not to
create a standalone system.

Let's take a quick look at an 5 minute ES chart that shows us
entering a trade when the stochastics lines cross the centerline,
and exit the trade when the stochastics lines cross each other
(against the direction of the trade).  The following chart shows
stochastics set to (14,3,3) and the extreme lines back in their
normal 75/35 area.  This day of trading returns +6 points from
three winning and two losing trades.

Taking trades on a centerline crossover is more commonly accepted
as a valid signal, and here you can see that it moves you into a
potential change of trend sooner.  Taking a trade at the extreme
crossover catches a point or three from stronger momentum moves,
and occasionally allows you to ride that momentum for even better

Stochastics Extreme Chart 7:

There is also the idea of entering a trade when stochastics
crosses the extreme line in the reverse direction.  Meaning, if
price is above 75 level and crosses below that level, then go
short.  If price is below the 25 level and crosses above it, then
go long.  This will also give some mixed results, sometimes good,
sometimes bad, just like the first few examples from this article.

So if centerline crossover is an acceptable strategy, and extreme
crossings have their value, then why not combine all three ideas
into a single trading method.  The following chart shows how well
this methodology can work.

Stochastics crosses from below 25 to above 25, and you go long a
third of a position (a).  Stochastics then crosses the centerline
and you add one third position at (b).  Stochastics then crosses
over the 75 line and you add a third contract long (c).  As soon
as the stochastic lines cross, you exit your entire position.  An
alternate way to trade this, is to exit two-thirds of your
position when %k and %D cross, but to let the last third go until
stochastics crosses back below the 75 line.  In this instance, it
crosses over the 75 line rather quickly, but if the move had
extended into a high momentum, long term move, that last third had
the potential to catch a larger piece of it.

The red text shows the same tactics we just saw, except with a
short trade.  From here I'd like to point out two important items.
The lower red arrow shows that we go long again when stochastics
moves above the 25 area.  I would not take this trade because the
stochastics are giving this signal due to a gap up at the open.
While some gaps hold, and others fail, I prefer not to take any
technical trades that are triggered by a gap.  Just wait for the
second signal after the gap, and in this case, it would be going
long as the stochastic crosses over the centerline.

Here is the other item I'd like to point out: the upper red arrow
points to where stochastic closed when it crossed the upper line
at 75.  You can see that the crossover of the 75 line was done so
that stochastic finished at a value of 90, much too high to safely
take another contract long on top of the one taken at the crossing
of the centerline.  Therefore, there is a caveat to the Long-over-
75, Short-under-25 scalp trade entry:  don't take them if the
crossover is so strong as to put stochastics into extremely
overbought/oversold levels as it is not worth the risk.

Stochastics Extreme Chart 8:

Here is another example.  Long one contract when stochastics
crosses the centerline (a) and long another contract when it
crosses 75, trade (b).  You then exit one contract as soon as
stochastic %K and %D crossover at 823, and hold on to the other
contract until it does one of two things:

1. Crosses back down over the 75 line
2. Crosses below the last lows that the stochastics made.

In the example below you can see where I drew a red horizontal
line at the previous stochastic low, and as soon as stochastic
fell below it, this was a signal to get out of the long trade.

Stochastics Extreme Chart 9:

Another example below shows how two long positions are taken at
(a) and (b), but not when stochastics crosses over the 75 area
because  it closes that bar at a value over 90, and is too extreme
for adding a third contract.  One contract is closed out when the
stochastics cross over.  However, there is one more thing that you
can do when trading off stochastic:  if you see that price
momentum is high, when stochastics cross over in the direction of
the trend, add a contract, as was done at (c).

Stochastics Extreme Chart 10:

Putting It All Together

As interesting as all this is, it is just one of many tools
available in analyzing whether we should take the trade or not.
So, putting what we've seen above in context with other technical
indicators, we may be able to verify or ignore the signals that
see. The chart below has a 78 period regression channel with
standard deviation of 2 (purple lines), moving averages of 7ema
(blue) and 13ema (red), and RSI(10) with a moving average of 21 of
the RSI data (pink).

You can see that we take stochastics crossing up at (a) as a long
signal because the RSI verifies this with a crossover above its
moving average.  A second long signal at the centerline is
verified by the 7ema crossing over the 13ema.  The third long
signal is given at (c) and the RSI is still in a strong uptrend
and the moving averages are still diverging, showing no weakness.

You don't need to get the stochastics crossover to exit at least
part of your long trade because you can see price has pierced the
upper regression channel, a good sign that price may be topping
out.  A second push above the regression channel produces a
negative divergence, and this should be your sign to get out

The short trading on the way down is nearly a mirror image of the
trade long, with RSI and the moving averages verifying the
stochastics signals.  When RSI reaches a strongly oversold extreme
by moving below the 25 level, price is hitting the bottom of the
regression channel, two strong signals to get out of any shorts.

Stochastics Extreme Chart 11:

Here is an ES daily chart showing how trading with the various
tools can help bolster your signals, or make you wary of the
signal.  You can see how the last third of the long signal is not
taken because stochastics crosses the 75 level just as price
reaches the upper regression channel.  You can also see how the
short should not be taken when stochastics crosses back below the
75 level because RSI is not confirming because it is still well
above the moving average.  After 3 more days of price trying to
move up, RSI crosses below its moving average giving a sell signal
and the 7ema crosses below the 13ema, also bolstering the short

Stochastics Extreme Chart 12:

That about wraps up everything and anything that I have to say
about using stochastics as a trading tool.  On its own, it can
work well.  The false signals can be reduced by using other tools
like regression channels, moving averages and RSI to verify or
question the signals that one gets.  As always, I urge you to play
with the stochastics and RSI settings.  Use your favorite moving
averages and any other tools that you prefer like Macd or CCI, and
see how well they complement some of the above ideas.  Experiment,
and find the path that works best for how you like to trade.

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