Before the success of Globex trading, everything was at the right place and in the right order. There was the opening price, the closing price, and the world was quite orderly. Then suddenly everything has changed: from pit trading we went to electronic trading, from the ancient world to the new one. And traders were forced to adapt their trading methodologies. What is the difference from the past ? Everything. If during the regular session you had a strong trend, during the Globex session you will have the retracement. If during the regular session you had the retracement then during the Globex one you will have the strong trend because of the Asian markets.
Ultimately the new rule is that there are no rules. And mechanical trading suffered the biggest impact: once for example the open price was one of the most important prices of the day. Opening range breakout, opening fading, open counter trend trading strategies, how many methodologies we deviced in order to beat the markets ? Thousands. And today ? Nothing, the impact of the open price is quite reduced, still a viable piece of information, but nothing so much sensible as before.
There were traders once that went to the office 4 hours before the others fellow traders, when the sky was still dark and the night deep: they were a strange race of warriors, they where the “open traders”, those guys whose job was very easy: at the opening bell they were looking for an open price much different from the closing one and then traded in the contrary direction. If the gap was up they were shorting the stock. If the gap was down they were buying the stock. If they were wrong sitting on the wrong side of the market they were quick to take a little loss. That’s it !
Easy job. Open traders made everybody envious because from outside it seemed an easy job: just go to the office 5 minutes before the opening, check the stocks that had a huge gap, short or buy them, close the trade by mid-morning or at the most by midday. Then they were used to go home and lunch before the tv in the dining room before a nap on the couch. Good life !
It was not true: an open traders was due in the office much earlier that the fellow traders in order to check the stocks that were liable to be prey for gap opening. In those times there were now software allowing you in a second to have the biggest price gap over 5000 stocks in a matter of seconds. Then there was also a feeling for fundamental data reading so that for open traders it was easy to spot where the market, after buying strongly a stock for example, would have been disappointed or simply scared the following day, giving the birth to a wonderful gap.
Markets in the future will be more and more interlinked, more and more globalized, 24 hours a day, 7 days out of 7 days per week. Strategies will change, old ones will stop working because markets have changes and accordingly traders’ behaviour has changed. This is how the story goes and the events unfold in the financial industry: nothing is for forever.