One of the main issues in deciding value area is which start date to use for a balance … If I use 21 days the VAL is in one place and if I use 23 it is in another. I usually use swing low to high or something obvious like the balance after the gap up.
In the end one of the most important thing to me is the developing value line (yellow). This tells the direction the market is moving, similar to people trying to figure out in shorter timeframes with vpoc intraday vpoc shifts. It is less of an abitrary decision than (i.e. not “based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system”). It works so long as you choose a valid range.
I noticed in mid march that value moved from 1535 to 1545. Since then it went from 1547.75 to 1553.75 (for Cash Only Session, for 24 hr session it is still 1547.75).
As I was writing this the market squeezed in the last 30 mins. It was actually a trend up day in the cash session in spite of the NFP jobs miss … more QE fixes everything. It closed just below 1548.75, moving the value line back there in the process.
Also something that cannot be arbitrarily decided is the swing low/high and retracements. Basically it is holding inside 45/50 and hanging in there, barely.