For those of us wo trade for a living, navigating the market day is what it’s all about.  You’re always watching the clock, in fact, the clock watching starts Sunday night, as futures open up.  And usually, depending on the previous week, especially the previous Friday – that Sunday morning couldn’tcome soon enough.

Generally, my day starts with my first pot of coffee – yes pot, not a cup… I grind my Dunkin Donuts beans, load up the coffee maker and I’m good to go.  Well, once I feed my cat…  And here’s the clock:

6:00 am – CNBC’s squak box starts.  I join Joe, Becky and the new guy.  This is when I do my research on the markets.  I think best when the markets are NOT open.  Once they’re open, the brain enters a different state.  I call it the trading state.

CNBC is the Ring Master in this sircus we call the markets.  If you’re looking for a read on the emotion of the market, just turn on this show.  And learn to do the opposite of almost everything they say…  Except for Art Cashin, he’s all right…

8:00 am – The premarket technically opens.  I don’t recommend trading the premarket.  The volume is light.  But if you have to, make sure there’s liquidity to do so.

8:30 am – this is normally when you get a slew of economic reports.  There’s not much you can do about   reports that come out at this time.  They’ll usually set the tone for the open.  But be careful, hoe markets open, is normally not how they close.

9:30 am – US Markets Open up.  The markets are open for 6.5 hours.  So they are closed a lot longer than they are open.  This is an important consideration.  Volume is usually in the shape of a barbell, meaning higher at the open and close, quiet in the middle.

10:00 am – (or 9:55) this is when you normally get another slew of economic reports.  This creates the 10am pivot, basically look for a counter trend move to initiate around this period.

11:30 am – European Markets Close.  This can be an important consideration, depending on what’s happening over there.  Also keep an eye on these markets before our open.  If they’re down 1-2% – look for our markets to follow them – and usually match them.

2:00 pm – Gold/Metal Futures close

2:30 pm – Energy (oil) futures close.

3:00 pm – Bond and currency futures market close.

4:00 pm – US Markets close – remember, the most important part of every market day is the close.

6:00 pm – Jim Cramer’s Mad Money comes on.  My kids can’t stand when I leave this show on.  They’re generally a good judge of character…

Now between 5 and 7 most of the futures will have to close for 30-45 minutes to settle.  These are 24 hour markets, except that they have to close at some point during the day to mark a closing and open price.

8:00 pm – Post market trade closes.  Asian Markets open.

3:00 am – Asian Markets close.  European Markets open.

And there you have it.  So just remember, for every global market, they have their own economic reports that could move our markets – depending on market conditions.

Click here to learn more.

Here’s an excerpt from my article this morning – Understanding And Trading Market Data is what Investment Research Group is all about.  You can access our indicators and get my interpretation every day on what you should be buying and selling now.  Click here to access our stock market timing research.

There’s a balance in the market of stocks going up and stocks going down.  There’s also a balance of stocks making new highs, and stocks making new lows.  When more stocks make new highs, that’s a bullish thing.  But we’re now at the bottom of that relationship, where there are more stocks making new lows.  That’s bearish.  The key here is that we hold this level for a few days as prices move lower.  That means there’s nothing structurally wrong with the market and will set up the next advance.  If we materially break lower here on this indicator, something is wrong with the market that may not be realized by popular media such as CNBC.  Andusually once it becomes apparent to them, we should be near a bottom.

Also note the potential symmetrical move that could arise.  If we get that type of action, it’s where the barometer system really shines…

Nasdaq New Highs and new lows