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

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Long And Winding Road

Gross: +$471.98
Net: +$345.96
Loss From Top: $57.42
Trades: 75
Shares Traded: 125022

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Tyco (TYC): +$216.94
Citigroup (C): +$118.83
General Electric (GE): +$76.09
Walmart (WMT): +$61.05
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$59.80
Disney (DIS): +$15.45
Merck (MRK): +$8.07
Home Depot (HD): +$2.84
Coca-Cola (KO): -$1.11
Boston Scientific (BSX): -$40.28
Micron Tech (MU): -$76.10
Bank of America (BAC): -$95.34

Last week Friday (the 19th) was officially the worst trading day of my career. I lost $781 on that day and I felt too depressed to review my day.

Over the weekend, we installed hardwood floors and on Sunday evening, I had a little too much to drink. Needless to say, I could hardly wake up on Monday morning and every muscle in my body ached. I missed the trading day yesterday, but still managed to enjoy the Canadian holiday (we Canadians celebrated the Victoria Day long weekend).

Now, lets get back to business...

So far, this month has been a total disappointment. Even though I had some major breakthroughs this month, it feels as though I have taken one step forward, and 5 steps back. As my sights were being set higher and higher, the more I struggled.

After the $1000 Friday, I began struggling to make over $500 a day, then I struggled to make even $300 a day. Now it seems like I'm struggling to stay positive on the day.

One thing I have noticed though...ever since the major indices made multi-year highs, it feels as though the markets are really "pushing and shoving". Today I felt there was a lot of that going on...I feel as though we've reached a point where the bears and bulls are now pushing back and forth - perhaps it's a sign that a major move is coming.

Every strong move to the downside intraday seems to be followed by a strong move to the upside (and vice versa) and I kept seeing this time and time again for the last week or so. This kind of action really kills my trading strategy, which is why I have been struggling of late: there is no followthrough on most of the moves.

But I take all of this disappointment as just being part of the path that gets me to my ultimate goal. I've come a long way and I've still got a long way to go. In other words, I know where I want to go, but the path to get there may seem like a long and winding road.

Sometimes the road seems like it's taking me further away from my goal, but as long as I stay determined and learn as much as I can, I may find myself at my destination sooner rather than later.

All successful people (Donald Trump, Bill Gates) have all had to go through tough patches in life - but they never gave up - and neither shall I (sorry for all this mumbo jumbo...I'm just trying to keep myself motivated).

My ultimate goal is to make over $1000 a day. Once I get there, I can then begin planning what the next steps would be. It sometimes feels as though I'm almost there, but as soon as I get that feeling, I hit a rough patch and it feels as though I'll never get there...

We shall see...

Good Trades
2:41PM - Tyco (TYC) was downtrending as were the Futures. Tyco reached support at the $27.00 level. Since Tyco adheres to the uptick rule, as soon as the $27 broke, I put out an order to go short and waited to get filled. I got filled short for 3000 shares. Tyco continued downwards and I got out as follows: 7-cent winner (2000 shares), 8-cent winner (1000 shares) ($220 profit before fees).

Bad Trades
2:34PM - Bank of America (BAC) was slightly uptrending while the Futures were not doing anything. The Futures moved up strongly so I went long 5000 shares. Just like it has been the last week or so, as soon as the Futures popped up, it was followed by a strong move down. I had to get out as follows: 1-cent loser (1000 shares), 2-cent loser (1800 shares), 3-cent loser (1500 shares), 4-cent loser (600 shares), 6-cent loser (100 shares) ($121 loser before fees)
  • Just like it has been the last little while, I followed most of my rules when getting into this trade
  • I waited for the Futures to break a significant level to the upside, unfortunately I got shaken out of my position

3:02PM - Micron Tech (MU) was downtrending steeply and the Futures were also downtrending. Micron Tech appeared to have reached support because there were two price levels with big size on the bid, so I waited for the Futures to tank. It did, so I went long anticipating that the Futures and MU would immediately bounce back up (since the Futures were doing this all day). I got partially filled long for 3200 shares. Of course, the only time I try to capitalize on the "push and pull" of the markets, it doesn't happen. I got out as follows: 1-cent winner (1000 shares), 5-cent loser (2200 shares) ($100 loser before fees).
  • I was getting sick and tired of getting into a position, only to be forced out because of a move in the opposite direction. I tried to play the other side of the ball on this trade by waiting for a tank, then go long...but it didn't work
  • This trade went against just about every trading rule I have, but because of the nature of the markets, I just gave it a try
  • At least I didn't go all out and maximize my share size. I had only tried to get 4000 shares.


  • Good Job! I know you'll make a top trader sooner or later. We all have good days and bad ones. It's amazing that you've been making stable money. One or two bad days won't defeat you I know. haha... Kelly ,
    oh, I managed to sign in on this site so that i can post comments here, hehehhh, nice blog, I got to support you....

    By Blogger Kelly, at May 23, 2006 11:46 p.m.  

  • Thanks Kelly,

    I really appreciate your support. As long as one takes steps to get to where they're going (even if they are baby steps), one can achieve just about anything. Just remember that and hopefully you too can get to where you're going ;)

    By Blogger J.C., at May 24, 2006 7:27 a.m.  

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