Chapter 9. Dancing with the Dax

For almost a decade, I have enjoyed dancing with the Dax. The Dax 30 is a powerful German equity index that is comprised of 30 blue-chip German stocks. The shares are traded on the Frankfurt exchange. I trade the futures index and it trades on the Eurex Exchange. My love affair with the Dax began on September 11, 2001, when our financial markets and our nation suffered a brief but major hit. Shortly after the two hijacked jetliners flew into the Twin Towers, U.S. exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), shut down and stayed closed for a week. On that fateful Tuesday, I was teaching a class at my trading school in Mobile, Alabama. My students and I were long the S&P 500 futures. I was not watching the news; I was trading and teaching, but I knew from the behavior of the market that something had happened to spook them. Prices began falling quickly and were reacting in a manner that was not typical for the time of day. My students and I had already taken profits from our trade and had a protective stop in place on the remainder of our original position. Our stop was hit as prices headed south, and we were removed from the market.

Realizing that prices were reacting as if some news event had occurred, I asked Geof Smith, our chief instructor, to do a little investigation and report back to us. Geof stepped out of the room and turned on a television in a nearby office. Then he walked back into the ...

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