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

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I Took A Real Beating This Afternoon...

Gross: +$433.25
Net: +$290.69
Loss From Top: $176.62
Trades: 66
Shares Traded: 146850

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Disney (DIS): +$452.55
Micron Tech (MU): +$366.64
Motorola (MOT): +$80.60
Time Warner (TWX): -$15.98
Walmart (WMT): -$61.59
Pfizer (PFE): -$178.44
Citigroup (C): -$353.09

Boy oh boy what a day! We were stuck in a tiny narrow range up until the Fed announcement...but then all hell broke loose!

My day was chugging along without any problems and just before the Fed announcement I was up almost $500.

But once the Fed made the announcement, the Futures first popped up a little bit, then tanked really hard, then popped back up to where it started, then tanked very hard again. Then finally it ripped back up again.

During this time, all the stocks I was watching were going bananas! I missed several great opportunities because I was too slow and the positions I did get into immediately turned into losers.

Within a half an hour, (from 2:30PM - 3:00PM), I put on four losing trades and basically lost everything I had made during the day. It was a good thing I got out of those losing trades when I did because my day would have been a lot more uglier.

I managed to catch a few lucky breaks near the end of the day to at least come away with some profits, but overall a disappointing day. I had been waiting all day for a move like this, but I wasn't able to capitalize on it.

I had a few good trades today, however I lost most of my profits on a few small losers. As you can see, Citigroup (C) really beat me into the ground today. All my trades on it today were for losers.

Good Trades
10:16AM - Disney (DIS) was uptrending while the Futures were relatively flat. DIS approached some resistance at $29.80 (there was about 300 size on the offer). I got long 6000 shares and as soon as that level broke, it burst upwards. I got out as follows: 2-cent winner (300 shares), 5-cent winner (1000 shares), 7-cent winner (1000 shares), 8-cent winner (700 shares), 9-cent winner (3000 shares) ($452 profit before fees).

11:20AM - Micron Tech (MU) was downtrending when some huge size appeared on the offer (there was about 2000+ size on the offer!). The huge size kept pushing prices down so I got short 4400 shares. Once I was short, MU kept going further down! There was a moment when I thought the huge size was all filled so I quickly got all of my shares out for a 6-cent winner. However once I got out, I sat there watching in disbelief as MU continued to tank sharply for another 30 cents! ($264 profit before fees).

3:42PM - Micron Tech (MU) looked like it caught some support. There were also several levels of support below current prices. I got long 6000 shares. I got out as follows: 3-cent winner (2000 shares), 4-cent winner (4000 shares) ($220 profit before fees)

Bad Trades
11:01AM - Citigroup (C) was trading in a choppy fashion while the Futures were not doing much. I saw something on the Level 2 and for some reason I went long 4000 shares. It was a bad move on my part - I ended up getting out as follows: 4-cent loser (1000 shares), 5-cent loser (2000 shares), 7-cent loser (1000 shares) ($210 loser before fees)
  • I should have know better...the chart on Citigroup (C) was looking soo ugly at the time and I should have never gotten into a position based solely on something I saw on the Level 2
  • Even now, I can't believe I got into this position...there was a level that kept refilling and refused to break, but yet I still hit it
3:12PM - Citigroup (C) was swinging wildly at the time and so were the Futures. I got long 4000 shares on a true revenge trade. Needless to say, this trade demonstrated why revenge trades never work. I got out for a 3-cent loser ($120 loser before fees).
  • Yup - I did it again! I became frustrated and I succumbed to revenge trading
  • It was at this time that I basically lost $500 within a half hour so I was trading on pure emotions at the time
  • This was also another trade that was based solely on what I saw on the Level 2...remember folks - have confirming evidence before getting into a trade!


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