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

Friday, May 05, 2006

What A Miserable Week....

Gross: +$659.37
Net: +$500.83
Loss From Top: 0
Trades: 79
Shares Traded: 146320

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Bank Of America (BAC): +$363.28
General Electric (GE): +$129.16
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$93.48
Boston Scientific (BSX): +$67.46
Citigroup (C): +$52.25
JP Morgan (JPM): +$19.03
Disney (DIS): -$2.35
Walmart (WMT): -$9.63
Sprint-Nextel (S): -$35.09
Home Depot (HD): -$74.31
Pfizer (PFE): -$102.45

Man - talk about a disappointing start to the month. Again, yesterday I did not post - it was a bad number anyways...I was down about $440 on the day.

Let's recap this terrible week for me (since my postings have been sporadic of late):
Monday: down $653
Tuesday: up $50
Wednesday: up $764
Thursday: down $440
Today: up $500

Overall, I only made a little over $200 net for the week....pathetic!

I know what I did wrong on Monday - started off way too aggressive; I guess I was trying to get a kick start to the month. Needless to say, it didn't work. That day I wasn't really feeling it either...I had a lot of things going on and I wasn't mentally prepared for the day.

Tuesday I became too conservative and hardly traded at all. I think the results from Monday fazed me a little.

Wednesday I was back to my old self and most of my trades went off without a hitch. It also helped that the markets had some nice trends during the day.

Thursday I did not adjust my strategy to a flat market. I made a little money in the morning, but then became frustrated the rest of the day as I slowly lost it all and more. It was a fairly emotional day for me - I would estimate that over half the trades I put on were revenge trades.

Today I just focused on following my trading rules and avoided traded during market lulls. I also reduced my share size for most of the day because I realized that I haven't been able to focus on the markets for the past week. For the whole week, it seemed like every big position I put on (6000 or more shares) lost money. So today I kept it simple - nothing spectacular to tell you about.

One thing I did today (that I didn't do yesterday) was to get in and out of my positions fast. Even though the markets were up today, there was not much movement throughout the day and the market chop was horrendous. Thus, there weren't any good trades ($200 or more profit). A lot of my trades were for 3 or 4 cents with an average position of about 4000 shares.

So far, I've noticed that May "feels" a little different than April. I'm not sure if it's me or if it's the overall markets. It seems like the overall markets trade in a narrow range intraday and there is a lot of choppiness in the markets.

Again, it could be me (I've been real busy lately - perhaps it's not enough sleep?). I've just got to remember to adjust my strategies accordingly and to trade smart.

Good Trades
There were no $200+ trades today - just a lot of $100+ trades.

Bad Trades
9:52AM - Home Depot (HD) started downtrending when it reached heavy support at $40.50. The Futures began tanking and it looked like the support was going to break, so I got short 3000 shares at $40.50. Bad move...the level didn't break and the Futures moved back upwards. Got out as follows: 2-cent loser (700 shares), 3-cent loser (500 shares), 4-cent loser (500 shares), 5-cent loser (1300 shares) ($114 loser before fees).
  • On this particular trade, I think I got tricked into going short at the $40.50 level. Size on the bid kept getting hit and it grew smaller and smaller - but the size would just keep refilling
  • I should have also waited for a more convincing down move by the Futures. Knowing how choppy the markets have been lately, I should have waited for some follow through by the Futures
  • In a way, I was kind of glad this trade occurred. This was one of those "wake up and smell the coffee" type of trades. I thought that I might be looking at another down day today after this trade - so at that point, I really tried to focus my trading rules and also reminded myself of when NOT to trade


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