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

Monday, May 15, 2006

Where Am I? Why Am I In This Trade?

Gross: +$407.22
Net: +$230.70
Loss From Top: $205.98
Trades: 81
Shares Traded: 163798

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Bank of America (BAC): +$210.84
General Electric (GE): +$88.74
Citigroup (C): +$81.78
Micron Tech (MU): +$61.96
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$36.44
Boston Scientific (BSX): +$29.13
Walmart (WMT): +$18.03
Motorola (MOT): -$69.31
AT&T (T): -$109.13
Time Warner (TWX): -$117.80

Did you ever wake up in the morning and just had a feeling that today isn't going to be your day? That's how I felt today. I get this feeling from time to time and it usually leads to either a negative day, or a day that doesn't amount to much.

All day I felt like a zombie and I was never really feeling the markets. I felt half asleep and half awake at the same time. In fact, there were a few trades in which I had to ask myself "How and why did I get myself in this trade?". You can say that my mind was still in weekend mode.

It also didn't help that my charting software went haywire around midday and I couldn't bring up an accurate chart of stocks and the Futures for the rest of the day.

I guess the morning strutted along okay - I was up a little over $400 just before lunch. It was at that point my charts went crazy and to add to the confusion, I began daydreaming and my focus was way off.

During the afternoon in my zombie-like state, I remember getting into trades and as soon as I was filled, the Futures moved hard against my position and I ended up taking a lot of small losing trades. I also find that when I'm not focused, I tend to do a lot of trades (and today was no exception) - there were a lot of trades that were put on without really thinking about them.

I also realize that I didn't have any coffee at all during the day. I did have a cup of tea in the morning, but usually I would have at least 3 cups of coffee during the day. Today I had none (to tell you the truth, I think I was too half a sleep to go get one!). Hrmmmmmmm....looks like I might have to add coffee to my trading strategy.....

Well, what are you gonna do? I'll try to get a good night's rest tonight and hopefully I will be 100% tomorrow.

Good Trades
10:15AM - Bank of America (BAC) was uptrending as were the Futures. The Futures popped up so I got long 4000 shares. Got out as follows: 5-cent winner (2000 shares), 6-cent winner (2000 shares) ($220 profit before fees).

Bad Trades
1:34PM - Time Warner (TWX) was flat while the Futures were downtrending. The Futures tanked, so I went short 10,000 shares. As expected, TWX just stood still while the Futures tanked fairly hard. The Futures then finished tanking and the support behind my trade was breaking. I got out for a 1-cent loser ($100 loser before fees).
  • It was at this time I didn't have accurate charts and my mind wasn't focussed on the task at hand
  • I vaguely remember thinking that I needed a big trade to pocket some bigger profits and I saw something on the Level 2 on TWX, so I decided to go short 10,000 shares
  • Time Warner (TWX) has been on my "Do Not Trade" list for what seems like forever. It could have been that I couldn't see anything to short, so I chose TWX.


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