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Key to Successful Trading

Key to Successful Trading

During these uncertain market times, market direction during any one given market session, can be questionable. Economic data can play a key role during a market session, as to overall market direction. This direction issue can affect not only the Stock Market but also Futures Market and Forex Market. The key to successful trading is to recognize a move in market direction and attempt to utilize that information.

While not all stocks will react to either negative or positive economic data released during any market trading day, all day traders must consistently remain vigilant as to sudden reversals in any stock. Failure to pay attention when holding an open position can result in losses and some of these losses can be extreme. Traders and day traders should make it a point of reviewing upcoming economic data for the then current market session, prior to the start of trading. Knowing what economic data is scheduled to be released for the day, should be a guide for all traders. Traders should review the Economic Calendar for upcoming scheduled economic data, for the week.

The awareness of scheduled economic data should enable more decisive entry decisions for traders. For example, if a trader or day trader becomes aware of data scheduled for release at a particular time during a market session, they may wish to remain cash on the sidelines, until the data is released.  Not all economic data will have an adverse reaction in the markets. Time and experience by a trader will improve their ability to ‘know’ what will or will not move the markets.

Economic data related to unemployment or jobs, generally move all markets as they tend to relate as an economic indicator. Jobless Claims provides the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time and normally, moves the markets. Increasing (decreasing) trend suggests a deteriorating (improving) labor market.

Release of home sales data will generally move home builders, as an example. Construction Spending includes the dollar value of new construction activity on residential, non-residential and public projects. Data is normally available in nominal and real (inflation-adjusted) dollars. Pending Home Sales index provided by National Association of Realtors (NAR) developed the pending home sales index as a leading indicator of housing activity. Pending Home Sale is a contract was signed but, not yet closed. Normally it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

Release of news related to the Federal Reserve will no doubt create a stir in market action, across the board. FOMC Minutes are minutes of most recent meeting.

Consumer Confidence data pertains to consumer attitudes on present economic conditions and expectations of future conditions.

Producer Price Index (PPI) measures a monthly fixed basket of goods by stage-of-production, industry and commodity. Stage-of-production organizes products by degree of fabrication into three broad groups: finished goods, intermediate materials, supplies and components plus crude materials for further processing. PPI measures prices at the producer level before they are passed along to consumers. PPI is considered a precursor of consumer price inflation and profits. If the prices paid to manufacturers increase, then businesses are faced with either charging higher prices or reducing profits.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) includes services components which are more stable than goods. CPI is the price index with the most impact in setting interest rates. Wages are a larger share of costs at the retail level. Commodity prices generally react more quickly to supply and demand.

The producer price index for finished goods is the most widely quoted of the various indexes, but as financial market participants have become more sophisticated, they have begun to monitor the indexes for the earlier stages of processing -- intermediate goods and crude materials -- as predictors for the finished goods index.

Import and Export Prices are compiled for the price of goods that are bought into the United States but, produced abroad and the prices of goods sold abroad but, produced domestically. Prices indicate inflationary trends in internationally traded products.

For traders playing the Futures market, Crude Oil Inventories provided by Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides information on petroleum inventories in the U.S. The level of inventories assists in determining prices for petroleum products.

January 2009


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