Mastering Crude Oil Intra-Day Moves – The Regular USA Market Open Provides Significant Range of Trade and Opportunity for Profitable Day Trades.

This in depth article series looks closer at trade strategies oil traders can use to gain an edge. We are currently coding these specific set-ups to our machine trading software.

Mechanical (human) traders can also learn from this process and use the methods in day trading, trend following and swing trade planning.

We hope to produce one article per week in this series.

Article Structure (Part 1, 2, 3…).

Each article will cover a specific oil trading strategy (set-up) and will include at least 3 parts.

  • Part 1 – Public facing unlocked post that outlines the general trade set-up and generally how the set-up can be traded (in most instances this will include some conventional charting, the chart links for live chart sharing are included in Part 2).
  • Part 2 – Premium member post (locked) that will explain in detail the technical set-up on conventional and algorithmic chart models and how to specifically execute each trade to gain an edge (timing each trade entry, sizing, trimming and adding to positions, technical indicators and more). We will also look at the week to come and how to plan your trading.
  • Part 3 – Each trading strategy will include at least one follow-up article to review real world trading examples from our live oil trading room (live video examples with voice broadcast from our lead trader, chat room logs, live alert screen shots, order sizing, profit and loss and more).

Specifically in this article we look closely at the regular USA equity market open and how to day trade momentum during this important time in crude oil trade.

A List of Common Strategies Used to Day-Trade Crude Oil (Point Form).

There are a number of ways (strategies, methods) a trader can use and refine to gain an edge when trading crude oil. Some examples include and are not limited to;

  • Trend Following / Swing Trading within trending price of oil on various charting time-frames within trading channels. For example, the price of oil has followed a channel on larger time frames (4 hour, daily, weekly etc) since December 24, 2018. The price of oil followed the channel from lows of 42.44 on December 24, 2018 to highs of 66.64 on April 23, 2019 (charted on FX USOIL WTI below). On Friday oil closed 61.69 to end the week. Price has been consolidating / moving sideways over the last week.
  • Price Range Trading. Be prepared to take long trades near oil chart time-frame lows and shorting near the price range highs.
  • Price Reversal Trades (Snap-Back Trades). Crude Oil Intra-Day Sell-offs offer a great opportunity for a reversal day trade long (with significant opportunity for gains intra-day, as do intra-day tops in price). The key is knowing how to trade this set-up.
  • Technical Chart Trading – Conventional and Algorithmic Models. This may include trading Fibonacci levels, VWAP, MACD, Stochastic, Candle Stick Patterns, structured Algorithmic Models and much more.
  • Day Trading Time-of-Day Trend Inflections during market event timing such as when regular equity markets open around the world. Specifically in this article we look at the USA regular equity day market open. There are other examples such as other global market openings, EIA at 10:30 AM Eastern on Wednesday (the crude oil inventory report), API report at 4:30 PM Tuesday, daily 2:30 EST settlement, 6:00 PM futures open and more.
    • crude, oil, sell off, market open, trade

      Tues May 7 crude oil price sells off at regular market open over 80 points to reverse more than 100 points intraday.

  • There are many other examples such as; inventory levels, summer driving season, tanker movement, Geo Political events, market sentiment and more.

Example – Day Trading the Regular Market Open Momentum Strategy. Lets Start with Reviewing Oil Trade From Last Week.

On Monday May 6 (to start the week) crude oil market open momentum set-up sees crude oil trade from 61.24 at 9:27 AM – 61.90 at 10:17 AM, a progressive increase in price from overnight futures session after a late week sell off the week prior. A 66 tick early day move in price.

The opportunity was a 66 tick move on a long side trade at open and then the retrace was as big of a move and then price ran after that through the rest of the regular trading session.

Just the open momentum trade and retrace (lasting just over an hour) was an opportunity for over 100 ticks. That’s a serious opportunity, and it isn’t unusual. In real dollar terms with one contract in CL that equates to a 1,000.00 USD (approximate) gain at market open (if you can learn to trade it predictably).

The one minute oil chart below shows the trade action at market open.

daytrading, crude, oil, strategy, market open

Monday May 6 to start the week crude oil market open momentum has crude oil trade 61.24 – 61.90.

Monday morning was a long trade until 10:17 AM, the momentum started right before open at 9:27 AM, it was (in general on an intra-day time-frame) a follow-through momentum trade from overnight futures the night prior. Sunday night trade melted up after a sell-off late the week prior.

The overnight trend trade strategy will be dealt with in detail in a near future post. For now, the main takeaway here is to follow the intra-day trend until it breaks (generally speaking your bias should be toward trend).

In this instance, price then (after the overnight move and the market open move) went on to trend up through the regular day session for significant gains.

market open, trade, strategy, trend

Monday morning was long crude oil trade follow-through momentum from futures the night before.

How to Trade It – Indications to Confirm Trading Crude Oil Long at Regular Session Open.

Lets look at some conventional charting indicators and then in the follow up Part 2 of this article we will take a close look at our algorithmic model indications that can help confirm direction of trade, sizing, range and more.

  1. Trade In Direction of Intra-day Trend. As above, intra-day trend was for a long bias in oil trade in to open.
  2. Chart Indicators. Conventional chart indicators for day-trading crude oil – Stochastic RSI, MACD, SQZ MOM, Volume, Momentum, Moving Averages, Candle Stick Patterns etc. The one minute chart provides perspective / confirmation of how difficult it is to day trade crude oil with only conventional indicators and conventional charting. The indicators and charting can help, but the indicators (such as Stochastic RSI, MACD, SQZ MOM) can also hinder bias. You’ll notice the selling retrace prior to open that started around 7:00 AM that the Stochastic, MACD and SQZ MOM all confirmed properly that price was selling off (albeit they are trailing indicators) but when price started to trade up they were at best indecisive. And when the regular market open came and price continued to trade up the SQZMOM was turning down, the MACD was indecisive and the Stochastic RSI moved up. Bottom line, it is not easy to use these simple charting indicators. Volume came in progressively in to open – that was a bullish signal and price was upside of all the moving averages (a positive sign for a short term bullish bias in a momentum scenario). All-in-all bias should have been to the long side, but it was no easy trade. Structured charting (conventional and algorithmic) provides a better road map with detailed support and resistance levels so that you can direct your trade accordingly. You can weigh important support and resistance against intra-day trade, sizing and various other decisions. Also of note, the candle sticks did provide some clue, like the long wick prior to selling, the double bottom and top candlesticks and so on. But they only provide clues and should carry little weight on a one minute time-frame.
  3. The Psychology of Round Numbers and Time of Day Trading. When price turned down at around 7:40 AM (nearing that time of day when traders start looking toward the US regular market open) oil was trading at 61.62 (which is just north of 61.50 and doesn’t provide for optimum range at open), optimum range is a full 100 ticks, 40 ticks isn’t consider a great open range and 50 ticks isn’t ideal so “lets sell off to 61.00 for a move to 62.00” is the general mentality of the mass. Yes, it can be this simple. Simple, yet difficult to execute. Then as 9:00 AM nears the price is now nearing 61.00 as it slowly sells down (trading at 61.09) and like magic you get two solid candles and the sell down stops. Trade then struggled with the 200 MA and also as it neared the previous premarket highs as the regular market open neared and then at regular session open price and volume drove the price of oil from 61.41 to 61.89. 61.89 is nearing 62.00 and selling pressure starts. Then price sells off and returns to the session open range once again. This is not an easy premarket, run in to regular market open, market open momentum and topping trade. Experts can trade it (especially with sophisticated models), but not easy even for an expert.

    conventional, crude, oil, daytrading, chart, market open

    Conventional chart indicators for daytrading crude oil, Stochastic, MACD, SQZ MOM, volume, moving averages, candle sticks etc.

  4. Sentiment. After a brief pull back, crude oil then trades from 61.40 – 62.90 on short term geo political and market sentiment. 150 tick move.

    crude oil, daytrading, sentiment

    After a brief pull back, crude oil then trades from 61.40 – 62.90 on trade war sentiment and optimism. 150 tick move.

  5. Range of Trade. Be aware of the near term historical range of trade. You can see on the 30 min chart below that crude oil trade found support at a key horizontal historical support and diagonal trend-line. and ran to a key price range resistance.The chart used is derived from the long term trend line chart shown below this one.

    crude, oil, trading, range

    Crude oil trade found support at a key horizontal historical support and diagonal trend-line. and ran to a key price range resistance.

  6. Trading Price Channels. Below is the long term chart trending channel that has been consistently trading since Dec 24, 2017 and more recently come under pressure.
    crude oil, channel, trend, swing trade

    Swing trading channel trends, price of oil has followed a channel since December 24, 2018. FX USOIL WTI CL_F USO UWT DWT

    Another example is this simple 15 minute channel trend chart. This 15 min oil chart shows the move in Monday trade from the channel support to just over channel resistance.

    crude, oil, channel, chart, trading

    This 15 min oil chart shows the move in Monday trade from the channel support to just over channel resistance.

  7. Chart Structures. All of the various charting provides trading structure clues for range of trade to weigh trade risk sizing against various support and resistance. In Part 2 of this article we look at the algorithmic chart models and other conventional charting for last week and the week to come.


Having a good handle on the charting for the specific time-frame you are trading is important. Conventional and algorithmic charting can be used. Also having a good understanding of market sentiment, general trade trend direction, market timing and more can help you win.

In Part 2 we dive deeper in to how to day-trade the regular session market open momentum. It will be sent to premium Oil trading bundle and stand alone newsletter members before regular session open Monday morning!

Further Learning:

If you would like to learn more, click here and visit our Crude Oil Trading Academy page for complimentary oil trading knowledge – posts from our top crude oil traders that includes learning systems, blog posts and videos.

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Curtis Melonopoly (@curtmelonopoly) is rated Top 250 Stock exchanges authority, covering also Mathematical finance and Economy of the United States

Article Topics: Day Trading, Crude, Oil, Trading, Futures, Strategy, Signals, USOIL, WTI, CL_F, USO, Market Open, Momentum



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