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

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Where's The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle?

Gross: +$682.50
Net: +$583.74
Loss From Top: 0
Trades: 59
Shares Traded: 99400

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Boston Scientific (BSX): +$582.23
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$172.55
Bank of America (BAC): +$31.71
General Electric (GE): +$24.73
Micron Tech (MU): +$5.96
Disney (DIS): -$47.50
Citigroup (C): -$185.94

It's beginning to look like I might be "stuck" in terms of how much profit I'm able to make during the day. I surely hope that the $500 average isn't the best I can do.

Yes - there have been several days here and there in which I've made more than $500, but I still have yet to surpass $1000 (the closest I got was back in April at $924 net). I'm going to have to figure out what's keeping me at my "average" earnings.

On most days, it appears as though the bad trades are the things that's keeping me back...but I also realize that bad trades may be unavoidable (it's just part of trading)...

Could it be that I should trade less? (I've found that my best earning days are when I trade less). Could it be that I should increase my minimum share size? (perhaps I should only use 6000 shares or more on all my trades). Could it be that I should start looking at very thick stocks like Ford (F) and Time Warner (TWX) and use 20,000 shares or more on each trade?

The next little while I'm going to be searching for that missing piece of the puzzle that answers these questions. It's not going to be easy - I'm going to have to modify certain things in my trading strategy and my profits may suffer while I try to figure things out.

Like they say - "No Pain, No Gain".

Today the markets were down sharply. There was a nice slow downtrend, but I think the problem for me was that the downtrend was a little too slow and most stocks were also in a downtrend, but did so in a choppy fashion.

Again, it was another day in which one of my favorite stocks (Citigroup (C)) gave me a beating. It was a good thing I was able to catch a couple of good swings on Boston Scientific (BSX) and I managed to make close to $600 on BSX alone.

Overall, I found it difficult to find opportunities to trade today (hence my lower than usual number of trades).

Let's see how tomorrow goes!

Good Trades
9:51AM - Boston Scientific (BSX) was trading rather flat when it approached some support at the $21.00 level (there was about 600+ size on the bid). The Futures were downtrending at the time and when the Futures started tanking, the $21 looked like it was going to break. I got short 4000 shares. BSX proceeded to tank hard and I got out of my position as follows: 4-cent winner (900 shares), 5-cent winner (1100 shares), 8-cent winner (100 shares), 9-cent winner (900 shares), 20-cent winner (1000 shares) ($380 profit before fees).

3:13PM - Hewlett Packard (HPQ) was hovering around resistance at $32.50 (there was close to 200 size on the offer). Just then, the Futures popped up, so I got long 4000 shares. Got out as follows: 4-cent winner (1000 shares), 5-cent winner (1000 shares), 6-cent winner (2000 shares) ($210 profit before fees).

Bad Trades
1:14PM - Citigroup (C) was downtrending and so were the Futures. The Futures had just finished tanking hard and for some reason I wanted to go long on Citigroup and hopefully catch a bounce upwards. I got long 4000 shares expecting both the Futures and Citigroup to bounce up. Well I was the one that got bounced...for a loser: 3-cent loser (1000 shares), 4-cent loser (500 shares), 5-cent loser (2500 shares) ($175 loser before fees).
  • What on Earth was I thinking trying to go long on Citigroup? Everything about this trade broke almost all of my trading rules!
  • I believe that because there was lack of opportunities in the morning, I felt "forced" to do something to try to make something happen...obviously a bad decision
  • One thing I should try to refrain from is to put on those dreaded "I'm bored" type of trades...I had only put on 4 trades prior to this one


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