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Trading Price Action Trends: Technical Analysis of Price Charts Bar by Bar for the Serious Trader


\"Al Brooks has written a book every day trader should read. On all levels, he has kept trading simple, straightforward, and approachable. By teaching traders that there are no rules, just guidelines, he has allowed basic common sense to once again rule how real traders should approach the market. This is a must-read for any trader that wants to learn his own path to success."—Noble DraKoln, founder,, and author of Trade Like a Pro and Winning the Trading Game

"A great trader once told me that success was a function of focused energy. This mantra is proven by Al Brooks, who left a thriving ophthalmology practice to become a day trader. Al's intense focus on daily price action has made him a successful trader. A born educator, Al also is generous with his time, providing detailed explanations on how he views daily price action and how other traders can implement his ideas with similar focus and dedication. Al's book is no quick read, but an in depth roadmap on how he trades today's volatile markets, complete with detailed strategies, real-life examples, and hard knocks advice."—Ginger Szala, Publisher and Editorial Director, Futures magazine

Over the course of his career, author Al Brooks, a technical analysis contributor to Futures magazine and an independent trader for more than twenty years, has found a way to capture consistent profits regardless of market direction or economic climate. And now, with his new three-book series—which focuses on how to use price action to trade the markets—Brooks takes you step by step through the entire process.

In order to put his methodology in perspective, Brooks examines an essential array of price action basics and trends in this initial book. Page by page, he skillfully addresses how understanding price action and effectively reading price charts, bar by bar, can help you follow unfolding trends usually initiated by institutions and allow you to profitably piggyback onto their trades by setting up early entries with tight stops. Throughout the book, Brooks focuses primarily on 5 minute candle charts—all of which are created with TradeStation—to illustrate basic principles, but also discusses daily and weekly charts. And since he trades more than just E-mini S&P 500 futures, Brooks also details how price action can be used as the basis for trading stocks, forex, Treasury Note futures, and options.

AL BROOKS is a technical analysis contributor for Futures magazine and an independent day trader. His approach to reading price charts was developed over two decades in which he changed careers from ophthalmology to trading. Brooks graduated from The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 1978 and received a BS in mathematics with honors from Trinity College in 1974. His website,, outlines his trading approach and views as well as hosts a subscription-based daily trading chat room in which Brooks talks with other traders about the market.
Acknowledgments xi

List of Terms Used in This Book xiii

Introduction 1

PART I Price Action 35

CHAPTER 1 The Spectrum of Price Action: Extreme Trends to Extreme Trading Ranges 55

CHAPTER 2 Trend Bars, Doji Bars, and Climaxes 59

CHAPTER 3 Breakouts, Trading Ranges, Tests, and Reversals 77

CHAPTER 4 Bar Basics: Signal Bars, Entry Bars, Setups, and Candle Patterns 83

CHAPTER 5 Signal Bars: Reversal Bars 89

CHAPTER 6 Signal Bars: Other Types 101

CHAPTER 7 Outside Bars 155

CHAPTER 8 The Importance of the Close of the Bar 169

CHAPTER 9 Exchange-Traded Funds and Inverse Charts 173

CHAPTER 10 Second Entries 177

CHAPTER 11 Late and Missed Entries 181

CHAPTER 12 Pattern Evolution 185

PART II Trend Lines and Channels 191

CHAPTER 13 Trend Lines 195

CHAPTER 14 Trend Channel Lines 209

CHAPTER 15 Channels 219

CHAPTER 16 Micro Channels 249

CHAPTER 17 Horizontal Lines: Swing Points and Other Key Price Levels 269

PART III Trends 275

CHAPTER 18 Example of How to Trade a Trend 289

CHAPTER 19 Signs of Strength in a Trend 307

CHAPTER 20 Two Legs 319

PART IV Common Trend Patterns 323

CHAPTER 21 Spike and Channel Trend 325

CHAPTER 22 Trending Trading Range Days 359

CHAPTER 23 Trend from the Open and Small Pullback Trends 383

CHAPTER 24 Reversal Day 415

CHAPTER 25 Trend Resumption Day 423

CHAPTER 26 Stairs: Broad Channel Trend 431

About the Author 437

About the Website 439

Index 441