Run The Stops

It took the entire session on Friday for price action to hit the LABD stop @ 18.96.

It’s the way it happened, that defined what happened next.

Since we don’t have access to the order book, we can only conjecture where stop orders had accumulated.

The market’s interested in transactions, not levels. Wherever there’s a preponderance of orders … that’s where it goes.

Martha Stokes, CMT, put it well when she said (paraphrasing):

‘The Market Makers don’t know you are there; they’re not interested in your tiny little stop order.

If your order does get taken out, it’s because too many small traders put their stops at the same location.

There’s an order imbalance. The market’s response is essentially automatic … take out the stops.’

While the original LABD 18.96, stop may not have been a popular location for the small (and maybe big) traders, price action throughout the day could have ‘pumped’ the stops to that location.

Case in point is the huge block trade just at the 1:00 p.m. EST, mark.

At that point, 31,500 shares went by (on the tape) at price 19.10 … which equates to over $600,000 in one transaction.

So, where are you going to put your stop for that position. Below the market, right? Maybe at 18.95 let’s say? Especially so ,when price action instantly rallies away from that entry; all the way to 19.78, intra-session.

The stop would appear to be tight but well positioned.

However, if there was a stop for that huge block and it was too close to the market (with other stops accumulating), it would act as a magnet for price action; drawing it back to that level to get the transaction (hit the stop).

Of course, it’s all conjecture and we won’t ever know for sure.

If the LABD market opens significantly higher (IBB lower) on Monday, then our assessment looks correct.

A lower or unchanged open, signals us to get out. If that happens, then IBB is likely to be heading higher.

As you may have guessed by now, the response to all this kabuki was to re-position the stopped-out order.

The table below has the summary:

Note:  Posts on this site are for education purposes only.  They provide one firm’s insight on the markets.  Not investment advice.  See additional disclaimer here.

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