One of the hardest types of market conditions to trade is the range day. Many new and experienced traders can get chopped up and spit out and end up leaving the trading session with there tails between there legs and a bruised ego. We've all been there when we get our favorite go to entry and end up taking a loss because we were too focused on the tree ( the entry) and instead we should of been looking at the forest(the market) , but it is easy to cherry pick what trades you should of taken or should of skipped after the fact. Lets take a look at what you can do!
Sit on your hands
This should be the most obvious option, when the market is slow and range bound sit on your hands or turn the computer off and walk away! Now many of us agree this is what we should do but the majority of us, including my self don't always do this. What could be the reason behind not following this simple advice? The first issue is we might not have any rules on when not to trade, if your rules say your not to trade a 10 point range then don't do it! For me I don't like to trade anything under a 15 point range on the E-min S&P 500. After back testing I found that I end up having more losing trades when I trade a 15 point range. Even though I might get my favorite entry in a tight range I MUST sit on the sidelines are wait until we break the range.
If you're having problems with this then take a look at your journal and see what type of ranges you have the most losses in. Find the average and add this to your list of rules when not to trade. Once you do this you will know for sure what you should and shouldn't be doing, now all you have to do is follow them!
Find a trade able range
Now this might sound like I am back peddling on what I said above but hear me out. Many times the market will go into a large range. This could be a range from 50 points up to a few thousand points, what you need to do is find a range that fits your rules. Yes we are talking about rules again but that's what trading is all about, get used to it! Once you find a trade-able range you need to first identify the highs and the lows, once this is done start looking for trends within the range. Many times we will see both bullish and bearish trends within the same range and even in the same day. After finding these intra-day or intra-range trends, fall back on all of our entry types from the price action course and simply wait until you see what you are looking for.
Increase your time frame
Yep you heard me, when the market starts slowing down its time to increase your time frame so you can see the bigger picture. Many times traders will get suck trading a lower time frame when if they looked at a higher time frame such as the 15 minute or 60 minute charts they would get a better idea of whats going on. If you are trading a 5 minute chart and the market goes into a range, switch to the 15 minute chart and look to see if you can spot the overall trend. If you fail to see what the trend is or levels you can exploit then simply keep increasing your time frame until you get and idea what the overall trend is.
Many of us get stuck trading these range days, it can be hard to walk away after a few losing trades from your go to entry signals. If you put in the work to add these rules to your trading and rules on how to handle these situations you will be doing your self a huge favor! Remember that you never HAVE to trade and if you do get stuck in a range simply walk away and enjoy your day!