Follow this quick guide to duplicate my Emini charts with the ‘Better’ indicators.
The instructions below are for TradeStation, my recommended charting platform, but should be helpful if you use NinjaTrader or MultiCharts instead.
Use these data feed settings
For Emini day trading you need to be subscribed to TradeStation’s real-time Emini data feed. I subscribe to the CME Real-Time Data Package #1 that costs $40 per month (as of February 2014). All data subscriptions are controlled by logging into your TradeStation account online and selecting “Software & Data Subscriptions”.
Then I use the @ES TradeStation symbol that plots the Emini continuous contract. For tick charts (e.g. 1,500 tick chart) I plot both day and night sessions – the TradeStation symbol is @ES. For minute charts (e.g. 135 minute chart) I plot just the day session – the TradeStation symbol is @ES.D. The Format Symbol settings for all charts are:
- For volume use “Trade volume”
- Time zone setting is “Exchange”
- Under Properties make sure you’re using “Regular Session”
In addition to the real-time Emini data I also follow a number of other markets and indices. I subscribe to real-time data for S&P, CBOE, Russell and PBOT Indices, NASDAQ, NYSE and OPRA. Plus delayed data for CBOT, COMEX and NYMEX.
Real-time Forex data is free on TradeStation. Most of these other data feeds cost $1-2 per month. My total monthly data feed charges are $55. It’s a cost of doing business and part of the entry fee for being an Emini trader – so I live with it.
Use these ‘Better’ indicator settings
‘Better’ Indicators on an Emini Chart
Each chart has exactly the same indicators, with exactly the same settings:
- Better Momentum: UseUpTicks = True, OffsetMulti = 1.5, ProSignalExit = True, FirstDiv = True, Diverg = False, Flush = True; Better Momentum 2: UseUpTicks = True
- Better Pro Am: ProAm = True, RAMBO = True, NoD, ProfitTake & StoppingVol = False, ProColor = Blue, AmColor = Yellow, BullishText & BearishText = Yellow
- Better Sine Wave: BreakOut = False, PullBack = True, EndOfTrend = True, SupportColor = Red, ResistanceColor = White; Better Sine Wave 2: None
- Vertical Line Time: Marks beginning of day session at 8:30am CST (free code below)
(Note: Indicators update at close of bar, not intra-bar. Better Pro Am replaces Better Volume. Format Window settings include: General > Bar Spacing = 4; Status Line > Show Status Line & Symbol/Interval only; and Style > Show Session Breaks.)
Click the button below to download the TradeStation EasyLanguage code for the “Vertical Line Time” indicator that marks the beginning of the Emini day session.
Use these multiple time frame Emini charts
Emini Multiple Time Frame Charts
I use 3 Emini day trading time frames and set up my tick bar charts side-by-side:
- 4,500 tick: Used to determine trend
- 1,500 tick: Primary time frame for signals
- 500 tick: Detailed chart for timing entries and exits
In addition to these 3 charts I also have a set of higher time frame charts that I occasionally check during the day session (labeled “Emini LT” in the image above). The charts are also side-by-side and consist of 40,500, 13,500 and 4,500 tick charts. As you can see, the 4,500 tick chart is duplicated in both groups.
What if my charts don’t match yours?
There could be several reasons why your charts don’t match mine:
- Tick data feeds don’t match between different platforms and data providers. Unfortunately this is just a fact of life. You can find more information and the reasons why at the bottom of the Tick Charts article here.
- Corrupted or compressed historical data saved to your cache. Data feeds can go down, data can “burst” during quick markets and saved data can be corrupted or compressed. Deleting the data cache and re-loading data should help.
- Different time zone or session times settings. Tick charts start counting afresh at the beginning of sessions. This causes differences, particularly in longer time frame tick charts. Stick with the exchange time zone and default session times.
What settings should I use for NQ, YM, TF & EMD charts?
Tick Chart Settings for NQ, YM & TF Charts (4:05)
This video shows you how to determine tick chart settings for day trading the mini-NASDAQ (NQ), mini-Dow (YM), mini-Russell (TF, formerly ER2) and mini-S&P Midcap 400 (EMD) contracts. In short, all other settings as above but I’d suggest using these time frame charts:
- NQ (mini-NASDAQ) – 150, 450 and 1,350 tick bar charts
- YM (mini-Dow) – 100, 300 and 900 tick bar charts
- TF (mini-Russell) – 100, 300 and 900 tick bar charts
- EMD (mini-S&P Midcap 400) – 25, 75 and 225 tick bar charts
I prefer to trade the Emini (ES) because of the higher volume and more Professional activity. You might consider taking signals off the Emini (ES) chart but placing orders on your preferred index futures (NQ, YM, TF or EMD).
What settings should I use for Forex charts?
Rather than charting the “cash” Forex markets, chart the Forex futures, traded on the CME Globex exchange, instead. Volume data is included in the CME data feed but is not available for the “cash” Forex market.
There is a detailed video on how to use the ‘Better’ indicators for Forex trading here.
For the “cash” Forex market, here are the chart setting changes I’d suggest making:
- Use minute charts and for volume use “Tick count”
- Better Momentum: UseUpTicks = False
All other settings as above. I hope you found this article on Emini charts helpful.