The S&P roadmap: Trading the S&P 500

March 28th, 2024

In the recent NinjaTrader Ecosystem webinar “The S&P Roadmap,” Justin Givler, founder, The S&P Roadmap, shared how he plans for trading the S&P 500 market open by mapping out charts and planning trades for the day. Pre-market planning session is important because it can help you:

  • Develop a set of conditions to trade within for the trading day.
  • Find the trouble zones for the bulls and bears (strong support and resistance).
  • Establish high-frequency trading (HFT) context and signals for bias and direction.

When you look at your charts before the market open, they are calm and straightforward. Then the market opens and volatility begins, the market begins moving, and you may find yourself reacting in a way you didn’t intend. Letting the market movements rule your emotions and impact your trading plan—which you created from the onset—is not advisable for sustained trading success.

Craft your plan before the market open, then stick to that plan regardless of what unpredictability the trading day may bring.

Trading the S&P 500: Preparation is key

Your pre-market open planning checklist should include:

  • Mark the times of announced news events on your structured trade finance (STF) charts
  • Read and interpret what the daily and weekly candlesticks are telling you
  • Identify and mark the most relevant HFT and medium-frequency trading (MFT) signals
  • Map out the larger Fibonacci legs
  • Map out the relevant levels: price structures (scaffolding) and major swings on the 60-minute chart
  • Jump down to the STF charts to map out any relevant signals for the open or whenever you decide to start trading that day

Once you have all your levels and signals mapped out, a bias and plan are created for the direction you will want to trade based on the market fluctuations. Because the market is constantly in flux, you must adapt to new conditions and trade accordingly.

You should plan for what you expect to happen and for what to do if the unexpected happens and/or new conflicting information comes in.

Givler said, “Remember that all trading is a series of if/then statements. If this level holds, then you do this. If that level does not hold, then you do this.”

Givler goes in depth on trading the S&P 500 in the full presentation, which you can view here:

Interested in more futures trading tips?

Enter Email for Updates