Time & Sales

This is a discussion on Time & Sales within the First Steps forums, part of the Reception category; I need help in trying to figure out how Time & Sales can help me day trading GG on a ...

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Old Jun 6, 2008, 12:04am   #1
Joined Nov 2006
Time & Sales

I need help in trying to figure out how Time & Sales can help me day trading GG on a 5 minute chart. Please advise on what to look for when viewing Time & Sales.

Thanks, -- george
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Old Jun 6, 2008, 4:32am   #2
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George,

Briefly,

Look at the speed at which orders are going through - fast or slow?

Which predominates - buys or sells?

What sizes of trades are going through - large or small, and on which side are they?

If buys dominate, are the sizes larger than the sells (there may be more buys, for example, but the sizes may be small compared to the sells - this suggests a more bearish bias).

Also watch the DOM to see the interplay.

It's late so that will do as a starter. Ask more questions and I'll try to expand.

Grant.
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Old Jun 6, 2008, 8:52am   #3
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Originally Posted by glebecki View Post
Please advise on what to look for when viewing Time & Sales.
Hi George,
Just to add to Grant's comments . . .
Be aware of - and beware of - fluctuations in the spread. In a slow moving market these are likely to be minimal, but will become more noticeable in a fast moving one. You will observe that one half of the spread often remains static while the other half moves away. For example, suppose price has tested a key level of support and the indications are that there's likely to be a breakdown. The bid drops, but the ask remains where it is and the spread widens dramatically. One of two things are likely to happen next: either the bid will rise back up and the ask remains firm and / or it starts to rise itself (i.e. the breakdown fails) - or, the ask 'pops' down as sellers realise that the can't get the higher price that they wanted. Taking advantage of all of this is difficult without direct access and Level II skills. The bottom line is to be very wary when you see the spread widening as it can snap shut very quickly and, when it does, the resulting move can be equally fast. Very nasty if you're on the wrong side of it! I tend to watch from the sidelines until things settle down a bit.
Tim.
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Old Jun 6, 2008, 12:48pm   #4
Joined Nov 2006
Time & Sales

glebecki started this thread
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Originally Posted by grantx View Post
George,

Briefly,

Look at the speed at which orders are going through - fast or slow?

Which predominates - buys or sells?

What sizes of trades are going through - large or small, and on which side are they?

If buys dominate, are the sizes larger than the sells (there may be more buys, for example, but the sizes may be small compared to the sells - this suggests a more bearish bias).

Also watch the DOM to see the interplay.

It's late so that will do as a starter. Ask more questions and I'll try to expand.

Grant.
Thank you, Grant, for taking the time to write down the very helpful information regarding Time & Sales. I will begin looking at GG's Time & Sales today keeping the information you have provided me in mind. I now feel that I have a focus: speed, size, do buys or sells dominate.

Please explain what DOM is. I don't know. thanks again, -- george
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Old Jun 6, 2008, 1:14pm   #5
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Time & Sales

glebecki started this thread
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Originally Posted by timsk View Post
Hi George,
Just to add to Grant's comments . . .
Be aware of - and beware of - fluctuations in the spread. In a slow moving market these are likely to be minimal, but will become more noticeable in a fast moving one. You will observe that one half of the spread often remains static while the other half moves away. For example, suppose price has tested a key level of support and the indications are that there's likely to be a breakdown. The bid drops, but the ask remains where it is and the spread widens dramatically. One of two things are likely to happen next: either the bid will rise back up and the ask remains firm and / or it starts to rise itself (i.e. the breakdown fails) - or, the ask 'pops' down as sellers realise that the can't get the higher price that they wanted. Taking advantage of all of this is difficult without direct access and Level II skills. The bottom line is to be very wary when you see the spread widening as it can snap shut very quickly and, when it does, the resulting move can be equally fast. Very nasty if you're on the wrong side of it! I tend to watch from the sidelines until things settle down a bit.
Tim.
Thank you, Tim, for adding to Grant's comments regarding the fluctuations in the spread. You have made the Time & Sales issue a lot more subtle than I ever imagined.
I will watch GG's Time & Sales today keeping in mind what you have written. I would like very much to see all of what you and Grant have told me in action on GG's Time & Sales - I mean be on top of what is going on - before your responses I had no clue. I will tread carefully at first and try to make some paper trade predictions to gain confidence.
thanks, -- george
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Old Jun 6, 2008, 7:40pm   #6
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George,

Here’s something to consider when you are about to open a position.

Assume sizes all levels on both sides (bid and ask) on the DOM are showing 100. A few trades go through on the offer (someone is buying). Now the offer is showing only 5 lots . You have a sell signal and sellers are adding pressure. Given only the information above, would you sell now?

I would wait until that 5-lot on the offer is lifted (bought) and the price ticks up. This may be a temporary blimp and your analysis re selling is still sound. But regardless of the direction of price, and large sizes at every level, 9 times out of 10, that small lot will be taken even if all the pressure is on the opposite size with large sizes traded. So you save a tick – big deal. But if you’re scalping, it’s significant.

Another example. Let’s assume the current price is 100 offered. You’ve identified a good entry point/price to buy at 105. Again, all levels including the inside market (current bid and offer) price are showing size of 100. Do you enter a buy at 105 with 100 lots offered? No. Similar to above, wait until the size starts reducing to say, 10 lots. The smaller the size, the more likely it will be lifted (bought).

By using the two approaches above, your closing side is already at breakeven as opposed to the usual 1-point loss (or whatever the difference is in the spread).

Further, this avoids a premature entry especially where sizes are large – by the time half the contracts have been bought/sold, the market could be heading in the opposite direction and your on the wrong side.

The reverse of above also applies to sells and exiting positions

You could lose out if the market suddenly starts trading in large sizes and a number of levels are taken out faster than you can respond– you miss your entry. So keep an eye on Time and Sales for changing sizes, bias or speed.

Grant.
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Old Jun 7, 2008, 10:23pm   #7
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glebecki started this thread Thank you, Grant, for your very thorough response to my question. -- george
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Old Jun 8, 2008, 2:10am   #8
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George,

Re DOM. This is the “Depth of Market”. Please refer to the attachment.

This is a typical DOM. There are slight variations between programmes but they all have common features.

The figures at left are the size of trades taken from Time and Sales. This is usually separate from the DOM. Ignore these figures.

The numbers in the central column - 113.71, 113.70, 113.69, 113.68, etc – are price levels (in this example for the German bund contract traded on Eurex).

The figure in the middle column (113.69) corresponding to the top blue figure in the left column (115) represents the best bid price, ie if you sell, this is the price you will receive. For example, you would sell 10 lots at 11.69.

The figure in the middle column (113.70) corresponding to the bottom red figure in the right column right left column (2) represents the best offer or ask bid price, ie if you buy, this is the price you will pay. For example, buy 1 lot at 113.70.

The figures in blue represent the bid side/short side/demand side of the market. They are the buyers – they buy from you/you sell to them, hence you sell at the bid (or hit the bid). The figures themselves are the quantities they are looking to buy, eg there is a buyer of 155 (lots or contracts) at the price of 113.69 (middle column). So, if you were looking to sell 155 contracts or less, you would receive 113.69 (assuming there were no trades before yours). If you wished to sell more than 155 lots, eg 200, you would sell 155 at 113.69 (leaving zero lots available to sell at 113.69), so the remaining 45 lots would be sold at 113.68. As each level of supply is sold out, the price falls to the next price where there is demand (the blue figures).

For buying all this is reversed (I couldn’t be bothered writing it out) including ‘buying’ or ‘selling’.

The figure highlighted in yellow represents the last trade and size of the trade – in this example, we can see 15 lots were bought at 113.70. We know it was a buy because there is no quantity of lots available below the 2 in the right column. However, it could also have been a sale of a remaining 15 lots at 113.70 and the price has consequently fallen. When demand (on the bid) has run out it will either be replaced by new demand or if not, the price will fall and the gap will be filled by supply (right figures in red). The top figure in the Time and Sales at extreme right confirms it was a buy (blue); red would be a sale. This is where also watching Time and Sales is a great help.

The figure in green shows I sold/I’m short (indicated by the minus sign) 1 contract.

Grant.
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