Level 2

FTSE Beater

Experienced member
Hi all.

This question really is aimed at Naz, but any information would be great. :)

Is there a cheap but accurate level 2 data supplier - I'm looking into the "Dark Arts" :D and wondering where's best to start.

I've heard that the NASDAQ level 2 is better than the NYSE level 2, is this correct?

Thanks in advance :)
Hi Ftse beater

Its great to hear that you've started looking into Nasdaq level 2.You are correct that the Nasdaq is the best.

I still am at an absolute loss as to why more UK traders havent followed your astute thinking and checked it out as it can be anything the trader wants it to be.Adding t/a to it gives an added dimension.The direct access tools are just a dream,any UK trader who tried them out would just jaw drop at the executions and flexibility.

Managing and taking your trade becomes so much easier.Finaly you realise that you are not blind and only seeing something after its happened the potential next move is evolving before your eyes and you are capable of jumping on it in the blink of an eye.Stops can become tighter safe in the knowledge that they can be executed against.This gives better risk reward ratio's on your trades.

The best start is to trade the stock with t/a but notice how the level 2 screen responds in advance to it.Slower moving stocks make things easier to watch.Then slowly move to faster moving stocks.The only thing missing is the direct access tools and only a live account will truly give those to you.Taking it slowly is the key,this is not something learnt over night.

Level 2 data can be supplied as an add on for about $10/month to any esignal or tradestaion customer or try www.quotetracker.com
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Rogan Labier has written a book The Nasdaq Online Trader (£17)

Although I have yet to read it this is about the only book I have seen previewed about Level Two.

I think it is easy to understand the principles of Level Two but tactics remain something of a mystery. I think there is a gap in the market here.

Are there any other sources of information ?

That site you were sorting out with live and delayed L2 feed.
Is it still on going/viable? (Had a clean wipe of the system (forced) so lost most of my links).


Hi Naz.

Thanks for the link to quotetracker - completely free and it looks like it gives me an insight into the world of level 2. :)

The reason most people don't look into level 2 (I believe), is because they see it as a replacement of TA, but as you pointed out, it just adds another dimension to TA which is what I'm looking for. :)

Thanks again

That site you mentioned is on hold at the moment whilst they add on other trading tools.I havent used quotetracker but i'm told its not bad.See what it offers.

Once again FTSE Beater you are astute enogh to realise that yes level 2 Nasdaq does add another dimension when looking at your t/a on Nasdaq stocks.If of course you know what youre looking for.But if it works for you dont forget the direct access part,this adds yet another extremely strong arrow to your bow.

Watch what is happening.Not just for an instant but over a period of time.The more you follow one stock the better you get at reading the moves.Many times an underlying story unfolds.So that day by day you build up a picture of how the stock is played.Then one day by instinct you know the next move.You now need the direct access part to work your order.You should have practiced this so you know exactly how to use it to your own advantage.

Once you get the hang of it you smile and realise how disadvantaged others are who never took the trouble to check it out.IMHO, no matter how anyone trades using their charts you are trading with one eye shut and being robbed every time you open or close a trade,if you dont embrace this way of trading the Nasdaq.Lets remember also that Nasdaq stocks are more volatile than most giving the short term trader more profitable oppertunities.

To others reading this.We are talking about Nasdaq level 2 only and not the UK.Your US broker supplies level 2 direct access and a charting package for free.One day Nasdaq level 2 direct access courses are held in London regualarly by two or three companies.email [email protected] for details.

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As a Level II ‘student’ I am always particularly appreciative of Naz’s offerings on the subject – all gems I reckon for anyone considering graduating to Nasdaq L2 trading.

While I save up my $25K+ to start a RealTick (or similar) account, I’ve found the following useful learning tools :-

. At http://www.mbtrading.com and http://cybertrader.com you can download a full Level II package to free test drive for as long as you like, but the data is not live – in fact its probably 6 months old – still useful to play with though! More useful are the free testers from http://www.realtick.com. Go to the brokers link and download the software from a brokers site and they will email you the login info and give you an time allocation for your tryout over 1-3 days. This is superb software incorporating multiple level 2 screens and charts and the data is live – they give you $100,000 or so toytown dollars to trade with so find out if you’re a winner or loser without losing your shirt!

· You can sign up for a live (but non-interactive) Level II screen at http://www.money.net for $29.99/month, also very useful is ChartStream - live streaming charts in several formats including candlestick at $9.95/month. Also worth a look is the ‘Screamer’ - streaming real-time stock quote system @$14.95/month. All these are available on free 14 day trial. The live data from these tools gives your ‘paper’ trading the cutting edge. They cost a bit but you’ve got to invest in your training.

· Take a look at http://www.tonyoz.com. Tony Oz is a competition winning Level II Nasdaq trader who also writes books and makes CD’s about daytrading. The thing I particularly like about Tony is that he tells about all his losing trades as well as his winners and sometimes he has more losers than winners but still makes megabucks! It makes you understand that the concept of small losses and large profits is the thing that really makes it work. On Tony’s website you can order his books and CD’s and there is loads of trading info and free tools you can download. Tony is a founder member of DayTradersUSA. See http://www.worldwidetraders.com - a useful site.

Regards, TS

25k is not totally necessary. I have a Cybertrader account and you can have a non pattern day trading account open and operating for 10k. When you do this you then have access to their live demo platform which is exactly the same as the live in nearly every aspect accept that its not real money.

Be aware though you will be paying the fees for having the account if you do not carry out enough live trades a month (cant remember how many)

btw hi Naz hows it going? You been banned from CNBC or something?
No Slurge,they phoned me up to do some things but i've been to busy with trading projects. One has to make a living and you dont get paid appearing on there.

Great thread...

Been trying to gather as much info about Level II screens and software as I can. The kick start was Naz's seminar on TA and Level II last week.

I wasn't aware of just how many different software patforms there are out there. They all seem to hover around a similar price though.

Many brokers will give you FREE software including Level II, but then you have to make a certain number of trades each month - which pushes you into Pattern Day Trader territory.
I am basically coming to the conclusion that $100 per month is what you will have to spend to get good Direct Access Level II software (and not be a Patt D/T).
I am not sure whether or not the charting capabilities of this software is any good though... which is more money.

Your input would be helpful everyone. Any experiences? Costs?

Like FTSE, I am keen on just watching and learning for now!

Following on from lat week's day session with Naz, I have downloaded the demo s'ware from Investin.com who seem very helpful. Tons and tons of moving parts and flashing data take a bit of getting used to but as Naz and others have said the s'ware and execution speeds and drag & drop and all the other functionality is pretty outstanding. I feel I am back in the wild west again, this is the real real thing (sorry for the messianic tone but it's true). Get the move right in MSFT & INTC and the rest follows, sometimes on a lagged basis which can point to potential trades in related names in both uk & us.
One question which needs time and effort is whether to go for a PDT account (note new acronym) ie 25k or so, or as Lawman says spend monthly cash (100 a month sounds a lot - how do you get to that sum btw?) to learn the system and how to trade using L2. What about IB for dealing and a monthly L2 feed? Tradesmart what are the charts like on Chartstream and can you get L2 prices there as well? It would be sueful to have a regular interchange of ideas - once the systems are set up - on stocks that we are using and having success with , set ups, views on the market (esp the Nasdaq of course), probably ongoing comment on the 2 biggies as mentioned above. the Godfather (alias Naz) can look over the chat from on high and perhaps give a steer - or three!!
Here's one link that may be useful: towards the bottome of the nasdaq.com page see the pre mkt heat map and also useful is the ETF heat map. Looks like the telco tech names are bid up as they were yesterday.
Hi Pollux

I agree... it would be good to exchange ideas and info as we go along. I think it will save a lot of time in getting set up etc.

The $100 is just the general figure I have seen... like, using e-Signal is just over $100, but free with some brokers IF you make a certain number of trades. Similar with EXPTrader I think...
I am sure there is another, cheaper route. I just haven't found it yet. Haven't looked at IB much due to rumours of bad phone support, etc.

It is not so much the Level 2 screen that costs, it is the whole thing that adds up (incl quotes).
L2 Data feed

I have also been looking everywhere for data sources and also brokers who provide the software. I think as Shaun says you are going to have to pay around $100 per month for L2 software which you can trade directly with from any of the brokers. They do offer a discount depending on how many trades you make and it even drops to zero when a certain threshold is met. I have looked at IB with level 2 and cannot decide if I am prepared to risk $79 for a month as I am not confident of the telephone backup that may be needed from IB in the event that something goes wrong. I do have an account with them now and you can be on the end of a telephone for a while which is no good if you need to get out of a trade in a hurry. I have also not been able to get an information from them on the L2 platform that they offer in spite of asking several times for it and this bothers me a lot. In addition to the L2 datafeed I also think that I am going to need an independent datafeed for just the charts and I am keen to know others view on this. At present I am able to get 40 realtime Nasdaq stocks using the IB feed which costs me just $10 per month but I have established that I need at least 67 stocks that will meet the criteria I am looking at to trade. I am looking at esignal as they do a deal if you are an IB customer and getting L2 may also be easier with them.

I am interested to hear how anyone else is getting on.