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

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm Long 5000 Shares And The System Goes Down!!!!

Gross: +$103.23 ?????
Net: +$17.55 ?????
Loss From Top: ?????
Trades: 47
Shares Traded: 85800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
JP Morgan (JPM): +$51.76
Home Depot (HD): +$46.21
Corning (GLW): +$4.01
General Electric (GE): +$3.25
Maxtor Corp (MXO): -$3.04 (???)
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): -$17.15
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): -$67.50

I'm sorry for the messy numbers for today (with all those question marks and all). Today the system went down at about 1PM today and I was stuck in a position. They tried to work on it for a few hours, but then told everyone that they couldn't get it fixed today and as a result, I won't know if my trade on Maxtor Corp (MXO) will count or not (probably not).

In the morning I was trying out some new strategies that I thought I would give a whirl. Unfortunately it didn't work out too well and I was down about $300 in the morning.

From that point on, I focussed and switched back to my usual way of trading and I was able to get out of negative territory.

But then it happened. At 12:54PM, I saw a level break on Maxtor Corp (MXO), so I went long 5000 shares at $9.77. As soon as I got long, everything froze! We were then told both the execution system and the quote system was down.

The quotes came back online after a few minutes, but the execution system was still down and so I couldn't do anything but watch my position.

But WOW! What a roller coaster ride! I watched my position initially go against me by 3-cents ($150 loss); since I couldn't get out, I could do nothing. As the afternoon progressed, I saw my position get better and better!

By about 3:15PM, the branch manager told everyone that the system will be down for the rest of the day and that we could go home. At that point, I was looking at a $950 winner! Price on MXO was at $9.96 (a 19-cent winner on 5000 shares!).

We were then told to log out of the system and I asked the branch manager what would happen to my position. He said that they would flatten all outstanding positions and said that they probably wouldn't count the trade....

We'll see if tomorrow they have a change of heart and allow me to keep the profits off that trade.

Good Trades
10:59AM - Corning (GLW) was downtrending as were the Futures. I just went with the overall trend and shorted 1000 shares. Got out of the entire position for a 14-cent winner ($140 profit before fees).

12:54PM - Maxtor Corp (MXO) has some nice support accumulating and so when I saw an opportunity, I got long 5000 shares. At that point, the system went down. Under normal circumstances, I would have probably gotten out for maybe a 2 or 3 cent loss. But since I was stuck in that position, I could have made as much as a 19-cent winner, or a 14-cent winner according to the close. Not sure if tomorrow they'll give me that trade...

Bad Trades
10:28AM - Corning (GLW) and the Futures were downtrending. I shorted 4000 shares at $27 when the Futures tanked, but there was some stupid refilling size on an ECN that wouldn't allow the level to break. So many people hit the ECN to get short, but size still remained. Got out as follows: 3-cent loser (1000 shares), 5-cent loser (3000 shares) ($180 loser before fees).


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