So far this morning, the market has been very orderly and the volatility is well reduced. I suspect that the closing of the floor has contributed to this, but the increased margin is likely pricing out all but the bigger players. If you are unaware, there is only electronic trading going on now, as they have closed the trading floor due to the virus. 80% of all trading is electronic now anyway, but it may still have some effect on things.

There is some news out of Europe that could also be calming the market. Normally we would care less about news, but these are unprecedented times and while we know better than to try and trade the news, we still need to pay attention to it until things are back to normal again, as any important news item could spook the herd, good or bad.

The reduced 25% margin rate sounds good, but when you factor in that 100% margin is over $10,000 per contract, then 25% margin is still over $2,500 per contract and that prices out a lot of the smaller players, or at a minimum, it reduces their ability to trade more than one or two contracts at a time. These two moves may or may not have anything to do with the lull, but this is one way to keep people out of the markets without shutting them down completely.

Even if you are not trading live, you should at least sim trade as much as you can to gain that experience and screen time, as that is what helps you to learn and get better at this trade.

Stay guarded if trading live, as things will likely pick up steam as the day progresses, and a single news item, good or bad, could possibly send prices screaming off in either direction. Make sure you always have a safety stop in place to guard against the unknown.

For now, the overall bias is somewhat sideways this morning. Prices have been trending higher for the past 45 minutes, but that trend up could be playing out as I am typing, so just follow the price action and let it take you where it wants to go.

Mack’s Mid Morning ES Price Action Chart for 03-19-2020.

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