Archive for the ‘Thinkscript’ Category

A Look At a Few Charts: Revisited

September 3, 2019

As a follow-up to the charts I posted before my annual August hiatus, here’s what happened for each of those names. The yellow line in each of these charts is July 17, when I posted the charts before.


The broad market ended up having a big drop as August started, but mostly recovered since then. If you tried to trade breakouts you got chopped to pieces. If you tried to fade breakouts you had to take a lot of heat during the chop for not a lot of benefit. This chart is textbook for how I used to give away a lot of my gains for the year by forcing trades during this time. I’m happy I sat this out. Things seem bleak for the markets going forward with global slowdowns and recession indicators flashing. I’m leaning toward taking more defensive long term positions here.


Earnings were good, AAPL spiked and then sold off all the gains. Then it dropped, and shorts got burned in that chop. In the end, it’s at the same level today as it was when I posted the chart before. Nothing but pain in August.


ROKU was the exception to my August rules. After some contraction before earnings, it popped and didn’t look back. If I weren’t sidelined by rule, I would have gone long on the Swing VWAP breakout at about $135. I have liked ROKU all year and in this case, breaking my rule would have paid off. Missing things like this and accepting it are important to having the right trading mindset. There have been so many good setups in ROKU this year, and I’ve been able to catch a few of them. It’s ok if I don’t get every one. Greed is a killer, as is fear of missing out, and begrudging any moves you may have missed.


TSLA ended up being pretty volatile with the earnings report and different news stories during August. Any of my typical setups would have lit me on fire. Lots of chop, lots of heat whether you traded breakouts or faded them. The only edge was in knowing the news and earnings beforehand, which is basically impossible unless you are cheating with inside info. Another good chart to watch rather than trade.

Going into the fall, I’ll keep an eye on any setups that may occur. I’m biased toward the bearish side, but we’ll see how things pan out.

SwingVWAP trade: $BYND

July 25, 2019

Here’s another trade I just closed out as I’m unwinding for my August shutdown. I went long $BYND on a close above the upper SwingVWAP on July 16 at the yellow line. My stop was the low of that breakout candle at the red long-dashed line. Two days of sideways and then it took off. On July 23 (the date this chart was made), the breakout to new highs followed by a big collapse that went back below the open got me to cash out. Good trade, right?

On the next day, $BYND held there, and then, of course, today happened:

As I keep preaching, things like this ruined me in the past, and ruin newer traders. Yes, I missed a big chunk of the move. If I were blinded by greed, I’d be upset that I didn’t get all of the move. If I were driven by fear, I’d be afraid of missing out on more if it keeps running. I’d chase here, and probably get blown up. Going into August, I’d give back all I made on this trade and then some I imagine as I would press and chase and look for things that aren’t there as revenge for missing out on all of a good move.

There’s so much opportunity in the markets when things are moving. Taking parts out of moves in spots that make sense is the way to consistent profits over time. Manage your risk and take some off the table. Go ahead and leave some, and be content with that.

A Look at a Few Charts Right Now

July 17, 2019

Going into August is the time I have historically lost the most in my trades. I overtrade and try to push something through when the markets are in a choppy, listless environment. So one of my rules is that I don’t trade from the end of July through Labor Day.

That said, here’s a few daily charts I’ve been watching and what I think my indicators are telling me. I’m mainly looking at the ProSwingVWAP and the Multi-Divergence Indicator v2 on the RSI(20). Also plotted in a gray line is an indicator I’m working on called AdaptiveSuperSmoother. I prefer it over moving averages. More on that later. On to the charts:

$SPY (S&P 500 ETF)

The broad market. As far as divergence, there isn’t any. No hint of weakness on a longer timeframe. The lower Swing VWAP is far below, so no definitive trend change. Since the middle of June we’ve broken the upper Swing VWAP 6 times. Today’s weakness doesn’t look good for continuing that streak, however. This looks like a textbook chart for sideways chop. This tells me take August off.

$AAPL (Apple Computer, Inc)

I am always and everywhere a big Apple fan. Slightest of slight bearish divergence. Nothing compared to what we saw at the end of April. I’d ignore that here. The upper Swing VWAP points are barely grinding higher, so no real bullish drive. Not near the recent high in May. The lower Swing VWAP is well below the current price, so no likely trend reversal indicated yet. All signs point to blowing up your account overtrading it in August.

$ROKU (Roku Inc.)

Roku has been a monster all year. Into June, a large bearish divergence showed up as it pushed above $100. We got a 10% drop after that, and the divergence ended. In the first part of July there was an upper Swing VWAP breakout at about $95. I most recently went long there at $97. Pushed back up to new highs where we are now. The drop today seems like a rejection of that newest high. The lower Swing VWAP is down at $100. Below $100 I’d look for a trend change to bearish. It would take strength above $114 to look like a continued uptrend. Another sideways chart, though I see more of a downside risk here. I’m still long here but wouldn’t add at this time, and will watch $100 closely.

$TSLA (Tesla Motors, Inc.)

Tesla is interesting here. A bullish divergence back in early June signaled a potential trend change upward. Tesla demolished upper Swing VWAP’s from that point onward. The lower Swing VWAP from that big reversal has still not been tested. Strong uptrend. The latest weakness today after another upper break doesn’t inspire confidence, and we are far from the Adaptive Super Smoother “average” price. Kind of extended. It looks like Tesla’s bull trend is still intact, but this isn’t the time to get on board, especially with the broad market likely to languish for a while. The upside target would likely be about $290 resistance from the April highs, but I wouldn’t expect that to happen until the fall. With earnings coming up between now and then, it’s a wait-and-see chart here.

So it’s a whole lot of nothing out there. Sit on your hands or play with Bitcoin pinless hand grenades. Crypto is making biotech names seem like investment grade. With the yield curve inverting and possible recession looming, the end of the year should be interesting.

ProSwingVWAP Chart: $SPY

November 20, 2018

At Friday’s close, the $SPY closed below the short ProSwingVWAP level (see 1 in the chart below). Today, it gapped down big (2 in the chart below). This is the kind of thing I’m looking for, and I’m studying if there’s an edge there and coming up with a trading strategy for it.

ProSwingVWAP: Combining Swing Points with volume-weighted prices to define trends

November 19, 2018

Hello, it’s been a long time.  Life finds a way to get you off track.  I’m trying to get things here up and running again.

This is something I was working on a long time ago, and I just re-visited it this last week.  I think it’s interesting, so here it is: ProSwingVWAP.


A VWAP is a volume-weighted average price.  I talked about VWAPs more here.  The idea for this indicator is to use Swing Points to define the period where we start tracking the volume-weighted value.  The chart above shows it in action.  I like using a VWAP as the price input, so you get a running volume-weighted total of each bar’s VWAP.  Kind of a VWAP squared.  You can use close, high, low, etc. as well.

Once a swing point (white dot) is charted, that swing point becomes the first value for that SwingVWAP.  From there, the price value you choose to average for the VWAP is volume-weighted on each bar and the running VWAP is adjusted.  This is done for swing highs (green dots) and swing lows (red dots) separately.  As long as a new swing high / low hasn’t been made, that long / short VWAP value will just continue to build.  A new swing high or low will reset the VWAP and start again.  I added optional paintbars to show green when a bar close is above the swing high VWAP, red if a bar closes below the swing low VWAP, and grey if it closes between them.  I also hide the VWAP value if bars close beyond them.

Because swing points need to have some future values to know if it really is a swing, there is a delay in this indicator.  The more forward bars you require to decide if a swing is in, the longer it will take for the data structure to be confirmed.  If you set the “FlagEarly” input to yes, then paintbars are yellow during this unknown stage.  The fastest reaction is if you use a value of 1 for Swing Forward, but you get more false positives this way too.  I usually use a value of 1 or 2.  The more bars back you look (Swing Back), you get fewer swings but they are bigger ones.  I mess with this value based on the timeframe and the particular name I’m working with, but I’ll usually use 8 or so.

I’m still in the research phase of this one, so I haven’t decided exactly what to do with it yet.  I like how it defines trends.  A bull trend is present when price is closing above the long SwingVWAP, and a bear trend when price is closing below the short SwingVWAP.  I also like the way it shows when a pullback is on, and when the trend resumes.  On the chart above of $SPY, the period from June to October is a prime example.  The market bottomed out at the end of July and then started an uptrend.  When a new swing high was in, the long SwingVWAP (green dots) told us when we were still in the pullback. Once price closed above the long value again, the trend was back on.  The short SwingVWAP kept trailing along below, reminding us that we were in a bull trend.  Then, as October started, we closed below the short SwingVWAP very dramatically, and the correction was on.  Now we seem to be right back in the middle of the two in a holding pattern.

For now it’s a just a context indicator rather than a trading signal, but it looks like it has some potential.  You can get ProSwingVWAP in the “Donors Only” folder in “Released Thinkscript Studies” at my Google site.  It will work on desktop or mobile, but paintbars only work on the desktop platform.

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