Monday, July 18, 2011

Trading Screen Configuration

HCPG trader screens are more or less configured in a similar fashion — emphasis is on a layout which  gives us a quick idea of what is happening in the market in terms of sector strength and breadth.   Let’s take a detailed look:

The following configuration can be done with 3-4 monitors, our ideal size.  We’ve basically had this configuration for our entire trading career (and have sent versions of it over the years to our subscribers).   It’s basic, and it works for our style.

On one monitor we have our trading broker and a  range look on an Interactive Broker page with some of our favorite trading stocks/etfs gives us a quick read during any time of the market:
We use E-Signal for our charting platform.  Even though HCPG hammered out a  partnership with E-Signal in May  (HCPG subscribers who transfer over to E-Signal are eligible for significant discount) we started using E-Signal even before that date as they are the best charting service that we can find for our trading needs.
We follow our “core” stocks in loose sector groups in one monitor.  Note that we have different pages on E-Signal that we flip through — but this is the main one.
On another monitor we have different time-frame charts of any stock we pull-up.  Note that we use 20EMA, 9EMA   and pivot points.  These are the only intraday indicators we use and find them invaluable to our style.
We follow 3 min, 5 min, 15 min and 60 min.
On another monitor we have our StockTwits desktop and Tweetdeck.
We’d like to thank everyone who sent us screenshots of their configurations — included below.  Enjoy.
@joeyfishface     I mostly employ a VWAP reversion strategy, supported by OHLC, Volume, T&S, and Volume Profile.
I have been doing a lot of trading lately on a laptop. It’s not a big laptop either. 11.6″ screen, running at a resolution of 1366 x 768. When I started day trading full-time back in 2005, I had 6 monitors going. Over time, I have found it to be more of a distraction than anything else to have so many screens. I do have another computer that I use for net browsing, TweetDeck, etc..
My setup is simple, Esignal and my broker platform. The broker platform is mostly hidden behind Esignal. Starting on the bottom left there is my position monitor, showing symbol, position size, and avg price. Then to the right, I have two order entry windows. All the rest of the windows are from Esignal.
 This screenshot shows the daily chart in front, behind it are two intra-day charts. One for 60-min/120-min charts that is zoomed out pretty far so I see a lot of data, and one for lower time frames (1-min, 2-min, 5-min, and 15-min) that is zoomed in closer. Switching the bar interval in the Esignal 11 is simple. When a chart window is active, just type the interval number you want, then press enter. For example, if I’m currently viewing a chart with 2-min bars, and want to see 5-min bars instead, I just type 5 and then enter.
To the right of the charts are my quote/alert windows, called “Watchlists” in Esignal 11. I’ll start with the first column to the right of the chart. On top is my Focus List for the day. These are the stocks that I’m most interested in for that session. Below this is my Alert List.
All of my Watchlists that are for alerts have the following columns.
  • pPrice = shows the price of my alert
  • ExtHtsL = last traded price for that symbol
  • %Ret = how far the last price is from my alert price (this is the field that the Watchlist is constantly sorted by)
  • Vol % = shows the current days volume as a percentage of the average of the past 30 days volume
The final column of Watchlists contains 4 different windows. On top are my support long alerts, and directly under are my resistance short alerts. Like all of the other alerts, they are sorted by distance to the spot. The third Watchlist down shows my Key Stocks. Just a group of about 20-30 stocks that I want to always keep tabs on. I also sometimes switch this Watchlist to display my ETF sector list. The bottom most Watchlist contains the 3 index ETFs that I follow, SPY, QQQ, and IWM.
That’s pretty much it. Keeping my setup simple helps me maintain calm and focused while trading.”
I’m not sure how best to capture it cleanly because I have limited screen space so with many charts open at the same time, I tend to just move charts to the forefront when I need to look at it.
I always have the following open:
- IB option trader
- IB charts (ES, NQ (two days and one month timeframes), and about 12 other names I trade regularly displayed in the 2 days, 5min bars configuration), other charts I need I would open and close as needed.
- Tweetdeck
My Screen Real Estate has changed over time but here is what I am currently watching on a daily basis:

Center Monitor:  Upper Left is my main QuoteTracker Window that shows my core watch list for the day.  The columns in all my watch lists are Last Price, Net Change, % Change, stock’s current % within daily range, % of average daily volume. Just underneath that is a list that is populated from stocks that may have fresh news that morning that pop onto my radar and below that is a watch list of index and sector ETF’s.

Next to those are my futures charts (NinjaTrader Platform) for the 3 main Indices- They are usually set on 5 minutes but can be changed easily.  Those charts contain 8 and 34 Ema’s along with a parabolic SAR.

I also have ThinkorSwim platform open with two quote windows (Indices/Futures) and charts for the TICK and Advance/Decline Line.  The red and green dots on the AD Line chart are for extreme tick readings.

The remaining ThinkorSwim Charts on this Monitor are USD futures, TLT, TNX or /ZN and Copper Futures.  All of these are 5 minute charts with 2 trading days of data.

Underneath those are 3 Quote tracker charts are for the 3 Sector ETF’s that I watch most closely- IYR, OIH and IYT.  All my quotetracker charts contain the 9/21/34 EMA’s, VWAP, Pivot Points and the prior day’s Hi/Low/Close.  I start the trading day using 1 minute charts, switch to 3 minutes around 9:45 and eventually sync them all to 5 minutes as the day goes on.  In late afternoon they are sometimes changed to 10 minute candles.

Left Monitor: Upper Left is a Notepad where I do my best to write down some thoughts on entries and exits which help me with my trade review and journal.

Next to that are 4 quote windows each containing approx 20 tickers: Retail/Casino’s/Misc Momo, Tech, Financials/REITS/Industrials and Commodity.  Several come and go but probably 70% of these tickers will typically stick around with the most change coming from the left most watch list.   I also have one “bellweather” quote window (12 stocks) for giving me a quick read of what I consider the markets key stocks.  I also have one list for levered ETF’s and for Alerts

Below the watch lists are room for 6 equities charts that I am keeping an eye on at that particular moment and one space for one random Futures chart (/GC, /SI, /ZC)

Right Monitor:
Ninja Futures charts for Euro and Crude
ThinkorSwim 6 window linked Multi-Time Frame Grid (5 min, 15 min, 30 min, hourly, daily, weekly)
Browser with FreeStockcharts and Stocktwits
Chatroom from @gtotoy’s daytraderbootcamp, where I hang out during the trading day.
GChat windows for traders that I rap with throughout the day.

Laptops: On one laptop I run my Lightspeed Trading Platform.  It has 4 separate linked windows for order entry, level II and Time and Sales and on my other Laptop I have a newsfeed