Lack of Movement in the Crude Oil Market the Norm

Crude oil futures did yesterday what it commonly does lately: a lot of sideways volatility, one real directional swing in the final hour of its pit-session of trading. 93 to 92.30 was the 70-cent range of containment until past 2pm est when price finally dropped into the close. Other than that, no ocsillations or swings of any relevance… just v-turned churn.

The great advantage CL trading used to offer versus all other symbols was its dynamic daily ranges and oscillation swings. We lived with the spikes and chop, not concerned about a handful of stop-outs in between big-run trades. But once those big run swings dried up, all that’s left is the spikes and chop, with occasional oscillation swing.

Not that there is anything wrong with trading CL… it is perfectly fine. Just that the one key advantage it used to offer above all else is now dried up and gone. CL is at best equal to eminis or currencies to trade, and that’s all.

Up until recently the NQ was usually more orderly and deliberate than other emini symbols. Lately it’s been racked with random algo-spikes and deep counter-trend pullbacks more than I ever recall. It too spent the majority of session wedging sideways and struggling to find traction. A definite resistance to selling, but could not limp any higher than yesterday. And like crude oil did, it made the one lone directional swing into its pit-session close.

Ditto the ES, except for a more deliberate ebb upwards without the sideways spiky noise. Same as yesterday… ES was smoother up than NQ by far. I don’t think there’s any more to that whole thing than which symbol is taking it turn with excessive algo churn on any given day. There is no market or symbol that is absent that type of program trading influence. What we see is what we have to work with, which is perfectly fine.

This afternoon I turned on the camera and recorded some ES trading action, such as it was. If you watched those productions, you’ve seen that my final trade exit for +2pts preceded the closing-bell swoon which landed about +10 points lower than where I actually closed out. Ceste. My primary objective each day is to remove something from the market… I stopped caring about trying to remove too much from the market long ago.

At this point in my trading career and life, I’m very content to sit back, work one to three key action zones on a chart per day and then busy myself doing something else in the meantime. Nobody on earth makes $1,000 day flipping one lone futures contract… but a lot of people make $1,000 day flipping five or ten contracts. I personally don’t have a preference for trading ES or NQ, not opposed to trading them both which requires a somewhat slower setting on charts to aptly follow along.

Other than that, steady as she goes. Markets remain low volatility, which means they are mostly straight sideways or straight directional sessions. Pops and drops can be sudden, abrupt and out of nowhere at any moment in time. But overall our task remains the same: catch a respectable amount of what’s offered, and repeat that simple process daily.

For more daily updates from Austin, visit his blog at Coiled Markets.