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

Monday, April 24, 2006


Gross: +$559.00
Net: +$395.56
Loss From Top: $64.06
Trades: 62
Shares Traded: 156600

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Citigroup (C): +$353.65
Motorola (MOT): +$204.16
Home Depot (HD): +$71.15
JP Morgan (JPM): +$49.39
Micron Tech (MU): +$21.67
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): -$70.51
Pfizer (PFE): -$114.99
Coca-Cola (KO): -$118.96

Today I found it really tough to trade. The markets chopped around all over the place in such a narrow range and when the markets did move, there was hardly any follow-through.

So many times today I was forced out of my trade for a loser because the overall markets and most stocks just didn't really want to seem to go anywhere.

And it was because of the nature of today's markets that I missed 4 great trades because I hesistated getting into a position for fear it would chop right back.

It was also unfortunate that I was really going to practice patience in holding positions today (I was aiming to try to make 10 cents on several of my big positions), but because of the directionless nature of the markets today, I often had to take small winners or small losers.

Today I also started feeling a little more comfortable trading with 8000 shares - hopefully soon I will get really comfortable so that I can start trading 10,000 or 20,000 shares at a time.

Most of my trades today were really done out of boredom. I think if I had followed my trading strategy to the letter today, I probably would have only done a third of the trades I did today.

All in all, I was fighting hard to stay awake because nothing was happening for almost the entire day.

Good Trades
11:31AM - Motorola (MOT) was uptrending but had stalled. The Futures were also curving upwards. I got long 8000 shares and got out as follows: 1-cent winner (2000 shares), 2-cent winner (3000 shares), 3-cent winner (3000 shares) ($170 profit before fees)

3:26PM - Citigroup (C) was uptrending as were the Futures. The Futures ripped up, so I got long 6000 shares. Got out as follows: 1-cent winner (1800 shares), 2-cent winner (200 shares), 3-cent winner (2000 shares), 8-cent winner (2000 shares) ($242 profit before fees)

Bad Trades
1:05PM - Coca-Cola (KO) appeared to be ranging while the Futures were flat. Size broke on the bid and I thought KO was at resistance, so I went short 4000 shares. Just then, the Futures popped up - I figured that since it was a choppy day that the Futures would pop back down. Well it did, but KO did not - as a result I had to get out as follows: 1-cent winner (1000 shares), 4-cent loser (3000 shares) ($110 loser before fees).
  • This is a prime example of what can happen if you put on a "I'm bored" trade
  • One of the things I should have done with this particular trade was to reduce my share size (to perhaps 2000 shares), since it did not meet all of my trading criteria


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