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

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Frustratingly Difficult Day

Gross: +$283.90
Net: +$106.63
Loss From Top: 165.16
Trades: 78
Shares Traded: 159600

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
JP Morgan (JPM): +$185.09
Home Depot (HD): +$50.87
Bristol Myers (BMY): +$23.06
Citigroup (C): +$18.64
Walmart (WMT): +$12.09
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): -$8.25
Pfizer (PFE): -$80.50
Micron Tech (MU): -$94.38

Several mental mistakes were made today, causing my net profit to fluctuate all day long. The day was full of events - missed opportunities, whippy price action, couple of good swings, some revenge trading, and full of big losing and winning trades. Near the end of the day, I smartened up and managed to get back into positive territory after sinking to negative territory for most of the afternoon.

This morning I got off to a quick start and within the first hour and a half of trading I was up close to $300. Then it happened....a bad trade.....and from that point on, I started dying a slow and agonizing death and proceeded to slowly lose $400. I then took a break, cleared my mind and managed to climb back out of negative territory.

At some point during the afternoon shortly after a bad trade, I started trading with an "I don't care" attitude (where I get into a position without a real reason for entering, then not caring when the position goes against you). If you ever find yourself in a similar situation - take a break! This kind of attitude is extremely DANGEROUS and is a form of revenge trading. I caught myself doing this late in the afternoon and got myself to snap out of it.

Some good trades include one on Citigroup (C) where I went long 3000 shares at 10:17AM and got out as follows: 2-cent winner (200 shares), 3-cent winner (1000 shares), 4-cent winner (1800 shares) ($106 profit before fees).

Another one on Hewlett Packard (HPQ) when I went long 5000 shares at 11:07AM and got out as follows: 1-cent winner (1600 shares), 2-cent winner (2000 shares), 3-cent winner (1400 shares) ($98 profit before fees).

And a quick profit on Pfizer (PFE) at 2:52PM when I went long 5000 shares for a 2-cent winner ($100 profit before fees).

However, there were just as many bad trades as there were good. PFE took me for a 2-cent loser on 5000 shares for a $100 loss.

HPQ also took me for a big loss on 4000 shares for a $112 loss.

As you can see, I traded a lot today with a lot of shares. I guess it was mostly out of frustration and as I mentioned, at one point I was trading angry and was randomly getting into trades with 5000 shares.

Let's hope for better luck tomorrow...


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