An NYSE Scalper's Tale - A Trader's Diary

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Good Riddance! February's Over!

Gross: -$32.36
Net: -$136.42
Loss From Top: 254.41
Trades: 61
Shares Traded: 86872

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Walmart (WMT): + $123.20
Disney (DIS): +$49.83
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): +$47.68
Motorola (MOT): +$38.87
Bank of America (BAC): +$14.30
EMC Corp (EMC): -$7.47
Tyco (TYC): -$50.37
Pfizer (PFE): -$86.87
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): -$108.32
Boston Scientific (BSX): -$157.14

Garbage! That about sums up the month of February. It was another day where most of the moves occurred in the morning and the rest of the day was trendless and flat. On days like these, I usually make a profit in the morning but then as the day wears on, I slowly roll over into negative territory. Actually, I'm surprised I didn't lose more than I did. For most of the afternoon it felt as though every trade I put on ended up being a loser.

I must remember when to trade and when not to trade. Unfortunately today I traded when I shouldn't have. When I start trading many different stocks (as I did today), you know I was trading in an act of desperation to get myself back into positive territory. I think this occurs because of lack of opportunities, hence I begin flipping to different stocks to see if there is anything remotely tradable. And I think I make the mistake of trading a stock even if the probability of it being a winner are small.

Today also lacked any real good trades for me. Any profit I made were small ones (1-cent winner here, 2-cent winner there).

Boston Scientific (BSX) gave me a sound butt kicking this afternoon. At around 1:34PM, the Futures were rather flat, and BSX was also flat. It encountered light resistance (maybe about 100 size on the ask), so I went long and was partially filled for 3900 shares when it broke. BSX moved up a little, but then came back down. I got out of the trade as follows: 4-cent winner (200 shares), 1-cent loser (2000 shares), 2-cent loser (500 shares), 3-cent loser (100 shares), 8-cent loser (300 shares), 9-cent loser (800 shares) ($121 loser before fees). This trade clearly shows the importance of appropriate share size when trading thin stocks. 3900 shares is too big for a thinly traded stock like BSX, where the bid and ask usually have a size of 10 or less. And as you can clearly see, I had to chase the stock all the way down to exit my position.

As you may have noticed, I didn't post last night and I think I won't post again tonight. It's not that I'm getting lazy or anything (I still do my nightly research), but the month of February has been mentally draining and I've been feeling more and more tired as the month wore on, so I'll probably go to bed early tonight so that I can get a fresh start for a brand new month tomorrow.

Next year, remind me to take the month of February off 'cause it's GARBAGE! (I'm kidding of course)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Early Mistakes Costly

Gross: +$291.54
Net: +$183.30
Loss From Top: 0
Trades: 52
Shares Traded: 91060

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$301.04
EMC Corp (EMC): +$137.53
Tyco (TYC): +$23.03
Disney (DIS): +$13.75
Walmart (WMT): -$2.20
Pfizer (PFE): -$9.80
Time Warner (TWX): -$48.91
Corning (GLW): -$76.39
Bank of America (BAC): -$154.74

Some early morning bad trades basically set me up for yet another insignificant day. I put myself in a hole early and I basically had to spend the rest of the day trying to get out of it. It seems like many traders are having difficulty in the month of February and I myself am finding it difficult to trade as well. Guys that are used to making $2K-$5K a day are finding themselves being negative or only up slightly for the past week or so. I don't know what it is, but I don't like it!

The first trade of the day was on Bank of America (BAC) and ended up being the worst trade of the day. Right from the opening bell, BAC began an uptrend when it encountered some resistance at $46.00. There was about 2500 size on the ask so I waited for the opportunity to get long. At 9:45AM the Futures were also going up and when it looked like the $46 level was going to break, I went long 3000 shares. Once long, the Futures continued to go up and size on the ask continued to get smaller. There were still some SuperMontage shares left at $46, so I thought "What the heck - if nobody takes them, I will!". So I went long another 3000 shares (altogether I was long 6000 shares at $46). But unfortunately the $46 level was never able to break and I had to get out. I took a 2-cent loser on 4000 shares and a 3-cent loser on 2000 shares ($140 loser before fees).

I almost repeated that mistake at least 3 more times throughout the day on BAC! In the afternoon, BAC continued to test the $46 level, but it seemed like no matter how strongly the market went up, that $46 level just never seemed to be able to break.

The trade that salvaged the day was on Hewlett Packard (HPQ). All morning HPQ was moving up when it finally reached the $33.00 level. There was only mild resistance at this level - about 500 size on the ask. At 11:09AM the Futures then popped up so I quickly went long 3000 shares at $33.00. At first HPQ didn't appear to want to move, which made me panic a little, so I got 300 shares out for no profit. Then HPQ finally began moving and I took my profit as follows: 5-cent winner (900 shares), 6-cent winner (100 shares), 14-cent winner (700 shares), and 16-cent winner (1000 shares) ($309 profit before fees).

Unfortunately for the rest of the day, I put on trades that I usually don't put on in an attempt to make something of the day after a rough start. As a result, I probably lost more than I should have.

Oh well - one more day and then February will be over with!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

On Tap for Mon Feb 27, 2006

Tomorrow I'll keep a close eye on Disney (DIS). On Friday, DIS looked very strong in the afternoon and it was able to cut through fairly large levels with relative ease. If DIS opens below $28.00, I'll watch for it to break. It closed on Friday at $27.98.

I'm also going to watch Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). For almost a year JNJ has started a slow and steady downtrend and looks like it might try to re-visit it's 52-week low after a brief bounce up. Support for JNJ is at $57.00. JNJ is on the SHO list so I'll look to go short if this level breaks. It closed at $57.76.

For the next little while I'll be watching Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). For the last month it's been ranging between $40 and $42. Currently it is near the low end of it's range. AMD is on the SHO List, so I'll try to short it if it breaks the $40 level. It closed at $40.54.

Lastly, one of Home Depot's (HD) competitors, Lowes (LOW) reports before the bell. I don't usually trade LOW, but I will be watching it's effect on Home Depot (HD). After HD reported good earnings on Feb 21, it has pulled back a little, still unable to successfully break the $43 level. HD closed at $41.63.

Some Terms and Definitions

NYSE vs. Nasdaq

First I'd like to point out a difference between Nasdaq and NYSE stocks. Nasdaq stocks are those that have stock symbols with 4 letters in them - i.e. Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), Cisco (CSCO). Stocks that have 3 letters or less in their stock symbol are most likely traded on the NYSE (though they could trade on the AMEX). They also work differently as well. Nasdaq is completely electronic - this means all buy and sell orders are sent in and matched electronically.

On the NYSE however, each stock has someone called a specialist. The specialists' main job is to match up buy and sell orders and provides orderly markets. Most buy and sell orders go to the specialist and he will match them up accordingly. In a way, each stock can act slightly differently from each other depending on the specialist.

On the Nasdaq, there are lots of market makers (the likes of Merril, Goldman, and Morgan) providing liquidity (while also trying to make a profit) and I personally feel that it's a little more difficult to read all the market makers. However, on the NYSE, you only have to deal with one person - the specialist.

I'd also like to mention ECNs (Electronic Communication Networks), which are electronic marketplaces where one can buy and sell stocks. There are several ECNs (Arca, Brut, Island, SuperMontage) and provides another avenue of buying or selling stocks. The prices on the ECNs reflect those at the NYSE, but sometimes the prices on the NYSE move faster than the ECNs (but sometimes ECNs try to move ahead of the NYSE price), which means one can take advantage of this. I take advantage of this when a large level breaks and there are still some ECN shares that have yet to be filled or removed.

Thus, I have two ways of sending my orders - either directly to the specialist (via ISI), or I can send them to any of the ECNs.

Also, on the NYSE, there is the possibility of "price improvement". This means you might get a better price than what you had expected. An example is if I had a sell order at $1.00 and the specialist fills me at $1.05 (which is 5-cents better than what I wanted). This example can occur if there is a large influx buy orders. Note that price improvement can only occur if the order goes to the specialist (ECNs do not have price improvement).

I'll assume most of you out there have some basic terminology (i.e know what long/short, bid/ask are), so I'll define the less common terms that I will be using throughout my blog:

Gross - the amount made before all fees
Net - the amount made after all fees
Loss From Top - the amount lost from peak net profit
ECN (Electronic Communication Network) - see above
Level 2 - where traders can see all the bids and asks at all the different price levels. It's here I can see the different sizes (see below) and can determine if a level is a good support/resistance level.
S&P Futures or Futures - refers to the eMini S&P Futures and in a nutshell, it's a value of the overall market. If the Futures goes up really fast, most stocks will also go up. Thus, we can use the S&P Futures as a leading indicator (of course, you've got to be quick and you must also be wary of stocks that are not following the futures).
Rip - means going up really fast
Tank - means going down really fast
Print - refers to the fills (orders that are matched); in the old days, orders that are matched were "printed" on a long strip of paper, hence the term
Fill - a matched order
Partial Fill - a matched order, but not for the entire amount requested; an example, let's say I wanted to buy 1000 shares, but I only get filled for 500 shares - I've just been partially filled
Size - when I talk about size in my posts, I refer to "lots" or 100 shares. For example, if I say there is size of 1 on the bid, it means there are 100 shares on the bid. If I say there is a size of 5000 on the bid, this means there are 500,000 shares on the bid
Odd lot - refers to sizes that are not at rounded 100 share figures; you will usually get odd lot fills on ECNs. A few times I've been filled for 1 share, or something like 19 shares, which is really frustrating.
Arca - an ECN
Brut - an ECN
Island - an ECN
SuperMontage - an ECN
Uptick Rule - means that in order to short a stock, you must wait for the stock to first move up at least 1 cent before you can short it. All stocks on the NYSE adhere to the uptick rule except for those on the SHO List (see below). I generally hate shorting stocks that are not on the SHO list because of the uptick rule.
SHO List - is the list of stocks that do not have the uptick rule applied to them. This means one can short the stock as easily as one goes long. This is currently a pilot project being run by the NYSE and will be ending April 28, 2006. Not sure what they'll do after that date, but many suspect they might broaden the number of stocks on the SHO list.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Stalking Stocks

Gross: +$293.72
Net: +$222.10
Loss From Top: 27.73
Trades: 42
Shares Traded: 62800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Pepsi (PEP): +$145.78
Boston Scientific (BSX): +$40.84
JP Morgan (JPM): +$31.98
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$15.73
Walmart (WMT): +$12.30
Pfizer (PFE): -$1.34
Time Warner (TWX): -$5.59
Disney (DIS): -$17.61

Another disappointing day today. I spent most of the afternoon waiting for levels to break to the upside on Walmart (WMT), Pfizer (PFE), and Disney (DIS), but they never occurred. Well, actually, Walmart did break, but it was one of those "One Print Breaks". Interestingly, had I gone long on the Walmart "One Print Break" (and I did have an opportunity to get long on some ECNs), it would have been a winner. But what people must realize is that trading is about probabilities. And from what I have observed, "One Print Breaks" have lower probability of working out.

I'd like to clarify something about the "One Print Break" from my previous post. A "One Print Break" usually has a low probability of working out if the S&P Futures (or the overall market) is flat or trendless. Which is what happened with the Walmart break - the Futures were flat.

BUT, if, for example, the S&P Futures are ripping upwards and a level breaks in one print, it will have a good chance of being successful (because the specialist is waiting for all buy orders to come in so that he can fill the level in one print). If some of these terms are confusing, don't worry - I'll write up a post on the weekend to give definitions to some of these terms.

And so to the point of this post. I like to put on trades that have a high probability of working in my favor. This means patience and waiting for certain conditions before putting on a trade. In a way, you must stalk your stock. For most of this afternoon, that was what I did, but unfortunately the opportunity never came. But I will tell you this: NOT being in a position is also a position. I'd much rather NOT be in a position than to put on a trade where the probability of working out is low.

For Disney (DIS), I was waiting all afternoon for it to get to the $28.00 level. There was about 4000 size on the ask at $28, but it just couldn't get up that high today.

For Pfizer (PFE), I was waiting for the $26.50 level (had about 3000 size on the ask), but like DIS, it was not able to get up there.

The best trade for me today occurred on Pepsi (PEP). There was massive size on the ask at the $59.50 level (about 1500 size). Usually PEP has less than 10 size on the bid and ask, so 1500 size is big for this stock. At 9:58AM it broke when the S&P Futures ripped up. I went long 2000 shares at $59.50. As soon as the level broke, PEP burst upwards and I got 1000 shares out for a 13-cent winner, but prices then began falling back down. I got 600 shares out for a 3-cent winner and the last 400 shares out for a 1-cent winner.

There were no really bad trades today per se - I managed to keep my losses to a minimum on trades that did not work out.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

On Tap for Fri Feb 24, 2006

Tomorrow I'll watch Clear Channel Communications (CCU). It's been downtrending and is near 52-week lows ($27.82). This stock is part of the SHO List, which means there is no uptick rule for going short on this stock. Watch the $28 level - if there is significant support (size) at that level and it breaks, I'll try to get short. It closed today at $28.10

On the long side, I'll be watching Pepsi (PEP). It's making a run to it's all-time high again, but first it's got to get through resistance at $60. PEP has tried to test the $60 level several times during the last few months, but has yet to close above it. If there is significant size at $60 and it tries to break it, I'll try to get long. PEP closed today at $59.66.

Finally, I'll see how H&R Block (HRB) trades tomorrow. It reported and earnings missed by 7-cents (excluding one-time charges) and also lowered guidance. I found it ironic that HRB, a tax preparation company, reported that it made a tax error and would cost the company millions and that they'd have to restate earnings going all the way back to 2004. As a result of the tax calculation error, they lowered their guidance.

Reading deeper into HRB, I found that this company seems to be having a myriad of problems.

First, they installed a new system that has had all kinds of glitches that kept re-appearing and the company was unprepared for the surge of tax filings. As a result, they had some offices unable to process taxes and cost the company 250,000 customers that are "unrecoverable".

Furthermore, they recently settled a class action lawsuit regarding their "refund anticipation loans", in which HRB loaned money to clients against their income-tax refunds. In return, HRB would receive a percent of the client's tax refund. But these types of loans amounted to interest rates between 40% and 700%. Just last week, another class action lawsuit was filed with similar claims.

HRB has support levels at $23.50 and at $23.00. It has a 52-week low of $23.01. This stock is also on the SHO list and thus easily shortable. In after-hours trade, HRB was at $23.50. I'll see if there is significant sizes at these levels and will attempt to go short if they break. HRB closed today at $25.19.

A Shortened Trading Day

Gross: +$262.60
Net: +$209.52
Loss From Top: 0
Trades: 28
Shares Traded: 56080

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Pfizer (PFE) : +$188.87
JP Morgan (JPM): +$53.18
Tyco (TYC): +$41.53
Bell South (BLS): +$25.60
Merck (MRK): -$1.63
Time Warner (TWX): -$6.94
Corning (GLW): -$91.10

I had to leave early today because Enbridge Gas was doing maintenance in the complex I live in and they needed someone at home in the afternoon as they needed access to the house. I left today at 2:30PM.

Today I wasn't really feeling the markets at all. I guess it was because I knew that I needed to leave early and that I would miss the most of the afternoon action. I missed many opportunities in the morning because I was slow to react and the trades that I did manage to get myself into could have been held for bigger profits.

My best trade today occurred on Pfizer (PFE). Around 12:30PM PFE had an uptrend going and approached some resistance at $26.20 that had about 800 size on the ask. Prices hung around that level for a few minutes, but then the S&P Futures ripped upwards, so I went long 5000 shares at $26.20. The S&P Futures continued ripping up, but I felt uncomfortable because PFE was seemed rather reluctant to go up. Thus I exited my position as follows: 2-cent winner (3000 shares) and 4-cent winner (2000 shares).

My biggest losing trade today occured on Corning (GLW). At 10:22AM, GLW had a really strong uptrend going. It approached resistance at $25.00 (I think there was about 1500 size on the ask at $25.00). The $25 level eventually broke, but I was a little too slow and I only got 100 shares (I attempted to long 5000 shares). I was upset that GLW continued up another 10-cents and I only had 100 shares, so I added to my position - another 900 shares at $25.10 (overall, I was long 1000 shares at an average price of $25.09). I figured the uptrend was strong, but unfortunately GLW went back down. It went down soo fast I got out of my position entire position at $25.00 for a $90 loser.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

On Tap for Thu Feb 23, 2006

I'll be watching JP Morgan (JPM) tomorrow. Today JPM traded really strong and made new 52 week highs on good volume. Hopefully it will be just as good to me tomorrow as it was today.

Also, Time Warner (TWX) has been really active the last three days. With the Ichan making peace with Time Warner, looks like people are unloading the stock. I normally avoid trading TWX because its a relatively thick stock (thick meaning there is big size everywhere on the bid and ask) and it's intraday range is usually small (around 25-cents), but lately the range has been widening.

If you want to see an ugly chart, look at a daily chart for Sherwin-Williams (SHW). A jury ruled it liable for making lead-based paints and could make it responsible for cleanup and mitigation costs. No dollar amount for the damages were given. When the news came out around lunch time, I remember thinking "Dang! That's not good for the stock!". I might quickly take a look at it tomorrow, but otherwise I'm not gonna touch it even with a 10-foot pole.

Finally, I'll be watching the homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL). It will be reporting earnings tomorrow before the bell. It was up in sympathy today with fellow homebuilder Hovnanian (HOV), which gave positive guidance today. I'm always interested in watching the homebuilders report and to see what people will be saying about the housing market. I'm particularly interested in Toll Brothers earnings because they've cut forecasts twice in the last three months.

The Dreaded "One Print Break"

Gross: +$624.80
Net: +$529.42
Loss From Top: 53.43
Trades: 64
Shares Traded: 89490

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
JP Morgan (JPM): +$321.74
Pfizer (PFE): +$235.06
Boston Scientific (BSX): +$56.96
Seagate Tech (STX): +$51.05
Corning (GLW): +$20.04
Merck (MRK): -$37.44
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): -$118.01

Once again I managed to break one of my trading rules today. And it cost me $150! The rule I broke involved the dreaded "One Print Break". A "One Print Break" occurs when a support or resistance level with significant size is wiped out in one print, but the S&P Futures (overall market) is flat or trendless. And I have specific rules about not getting into a trade if this occurs.

Today it occurred on Hewlett Packard (HPQ). Late in the afternoon (2:55PM), prices for HPQ were slowly approaching the $33.00 level. There was large size on the ask at the $33 level when all of a sudden, the entire ask size was filled in one print. The futures were not doing anything at the time and my trading rules specifically state that I should not get into a position when large size breaks in one print. But I couldn't resist. There were some Supermontage shares leftover, so I went long 3000 shares at $33.00. Well as soon as I got long, prices went up maybe a penny, but then came screaming back down. I got out of my entire position for a 5-cent loss ($150 loss - not including fees!!).

And so the dreaded "One Print Break" strikes again, and I was the unlucky fool who got caught.

Traded a lot of Pfizer (PFE) today. There was a lot of big size that kept appearing and pushed prices up. One of the best trades on PFE for me occurred at 1:06PM when a huge buy order appeared (about 3000 size - that's 300000 shares!) and pushed prices up. I quickly went long 4000 shares on some crossed ECNs and the big size kept moving upwards. I kinda panicked (it is Pfizer after all) and exited a little too early. I got 2000 shares out for a 3-cent winner and the remaining 2000 shares out for a 5-cent winner.

J.P Morgan (JPM) was also good today too. The best trade on JPM occurred at 11:17AM. Prices approached the $41 level. It had big size on the ask that tried to break several times earlier. Finally the futures ripped up and I got long 3000 shares at $41. I exited my trade as follows: 4-cent winner (1400 shares), 5-cent winner (100 shares), 7-cent winner (700 shares) and 9-cent winner (1200 shares). From the intraday charts, you can see I could have made a lot more on this trade. That will be something I will be working on...

My biggest losing stock today was Hewlett Packard (HPQ) and as mentioned above, the bulk of the loss came on that losing trade.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

On Tap for Wed Feb 22, 2006

Both Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) reported this morning, however both are still stuck in their respective ranges. Home Depot looks like it has difficulty with the $43 level and has not been able to close above this level since July.

I'll also keep an eye on Bell South (BLS) tomorrow. It's making new highs on increased volume and from the intraday chart it looks like it has some good intraday trends.

Lastly, I came across an article about H.J. Heinz (HNZ). Apparently another billionaire investor, Nelson Peltz, is rallying co-investors and may attempt an "Icahn"-like intervention at Heinz. This stock is normally goes unnoticed by me (low volume, small intraday range), but Heinz has been taking off and volume has been picking up the last two weeks. It's interesting to see that it is only now that so many stories have come up concerning this...we'll see if HNZ can continue it's upward momentum or if this is simply another case of the public being the last to know...

The Perils of Trading in a Trendless Market

Gross: + $27.60
Net: - $22.05
Loss from Top: $177.27
Trades: 42
Shares Traded: 48800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Seagate Tech (STX): +$153.13
Home Depot (HD): +$136.50
JP Morgan (JPM): -$7.33
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): -$25.22
Disney (DIS): -$54.73
Pfizer (PFE): -$98.50
Walmart (WMT): -$125.89

A tough trading day today as many of the other traders ended up in the red. Aside from the morning movements, the rest of the day was rather trendless.

Which brings me to one of my personal trading rules: Never trade when the overall market is trendless. Unfortunately I broke that rule many times today. After a quick start in the morning, I eventually lost it all to end the day down $22. For my trading style, nothing will kill me faster than trading when there is no trend. I guess coming off a long weekend, I felt the need to trade and once the morning moves were over, I guess I couldn't bear myself to simply watch the market go by.

But today clearly shows why I should not trade when the overall market is trendless. Prices are simply too random to be profitable unless you get in and out for penny winners. The way I trade, I like to hold and scale out of my position in an attempt to capture as much of a move as possible, which simply will not work as this afternoon shows. Today I simply got in and got out for a penny loser here, a two-penny loser there whenever I traded without a trend.

My biggest winners today:
Home Depot (HD): +$136.50 (net)
Seagate (STX): +$153.13 (net)

My biggest loser today:
Walmart (WMT): -$125.89 (net)

For the Home Depot trade, a huge SuperMontage order appeared on the offer (about 1000 size) and made it's way down. I shorted only 2000 shares and got out for a 7-cent winner (though I could have taken at least another 10-cents). I should have scaled out of my position on that trade.

For the Seagate trade I saw a nice support level with about 500 size on the bid. It attempted to break that level several times, but could not. I scaled into the trade until I was long 3000 shares. I then proceeded to scale out of the trade as follows: 4-cent winner (1500 shares), 5-cent winner (500 shares), 7-cent winner (500 shares), and 10-cent winner (500 shares).

The Walmart trade was done when the market was trendless. There was a support level at $45.50 that was about to break, so I shorted 3000 shares at $45.50. Unfortunately, the overall market was going nowhere and so Walmart wandered around a bit, then it decided to go up. Scaled out of my position as follows: 2-cent loser (2000 shares), 8-cent loser (1000 shares). I had many opportunities to get my last 1000 shares out at a better price, but again, I broke one of my rules (once a trade has become a 2-cent or more loser, exit ASAP), and as a result I ended up losing 8-cents.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy President's Day!

Happy President's Day everyone! Though I'm Canadian and do not celebrate the holiday, I don't mind a day off from trading (though I think I would rather be trading than having a day off!).

Got a chance to watch the women's hockey team win gold in the Olympics and I managed to fix up some problems I was having with my network at home (got a new router).

Anyways, tomorrow will be the first day I will begin daily updates of this blog, but since I had the day off, I might as well kick things off....

Some things I will be watching tomorrow:

Honeywell (HON) has a nice uptrend going here. It's making new 52 week highs and the intraday range is getting up there.

Seagate (STX) is also uptrending and also making new 52 week highs.

Both Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) are reporting before the bell. I usually trade both of these stocks and both have been in a range the last month or so. We will see if either of these reports can break them out of it.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Purpose

The purpose of this blog is for me to review my trading day. I will be posting my stats on a daily basis including my gross and net profit/loss, number of trades and number of shares traded. I will highlight the biggest winning trades and biggest losing trades of the day along with any stocks of interest I saw during the trading day.

I will also post some lessons I've learned that have helped improve me as a trader. By no means am I a great trader (yet), but hopefully this exercise will force me to look deeper to identify things I may be doing wrong (or right).

Right now I scalp NYSE stocks at the firm I work at. This means I hold positions from anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes. I am continually modifying my trading strategy and eventually I would like to actually "trade" stocks (hold them for longer periods of time). Note that I do not hold positions overnight.

I am hoping to post at the end of every trading day (except maybe Friday nights...I will probably post Friday's results on Sunday evenings). As mentioned in the "About" section - I am mainly doing this to better myself as a trader.

Now for those that are not familiar with some of the terms I will be using throughout this blog:

Proprietary Trader (or Prop Trader) - a trader that does not trade his/her own money, but instead trades capital provided by a company.

Loss from Top (LFT) - is the amount you have lost from your peak net profit. An example: let's say your very first trade you make a profit of $100. But then on the very next trade you lose $20. Then your LFT would be $20. Let's say the next trade after that you lose another $50. Now your LFT is $70.