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

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Day Not Worth Writing About

Gross: +$485.35
Net: +$298.29
Loss From Top: $219.33
Trades: 96
Shares Traded: 191002

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
AT&T (T): +$226.14
Walmart (WMT): +$212.88
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$20.45
Home Depot (HD): +$17.04
Citigroup (C): +$11.36
JP Morgan (JPM): -$19.65
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): -$33.66
Exxon Mobile (XOM): -$34.60
Corning (GLW): -$101.66

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh....well. A frustratingly difficult day to trade today and I took a big hit near the end of the day and I wasn't able to recover.

Today I was more daring in terms of share size, but I think this caused more problems than I'd like. I found myself unable to fully exit a losing position and I ended up having to chase prices (and making losses even worse).

There were lots of great moves to the downside today. Unfortunately when the Futures were tanking, most stocks were not (most stocks that I observed tanked when the Futures rested or when Futures were going up!). Lots of unbelievable levels that never break (size gets hit, refills again, gets hit again, then reappears again).

Some of the worst price action I've seen in quite a while...What would happen is that when Futures started tanking, prices would move down, but then a huge buy order would come in and push prices upwards. When the Futures tanked again, the same thing would happen (and prices never seemed to go down).

If I had the patience, then maybe my trades would work out in the end, though I would probably have to stare a $500 loser for a while before prices go back my way (mainly because of the share size I'm using).

Ah well, there's always tomorrow. So far, I've blown 6 trading days without a single $1000+ day. Looks like I won't be able to reach my stated goal of having 10 trading days with $1000+ as I only have 3 "screw-up" days left.

Good Trades
11:06AM - AT&T (T) was uptrending while the Futures looked like it bottomed. The Futures started climbing back up and I saw an opportunity to get long. I went long 10,000 shares on AT&T and got my entire position out for a 4-cent winner ($400 winner before fees)

Bad Trades
10:39AM - Corning (GLW) and the Futures were downtrending. Corning reached the $21.00 level when the Futures started tanking hard. The level looked like it was going to break, so I went short 6000 shares. Corning initially moved 2-cents down, but then size re-appeared at $21.00 on the bid. I waited a bit to see if the level would break again. Then, the Futures started tanking hard again! The $21 was hit and looked like it would break, but then huge size showed up again at the $21! Arg! I got out as follows: 2-cent winner (1300 shares), 1-cent loser (1000 shares), 2-cent loser (2200 shares), 5-cent loser (1500 shares) ($103 loser before fees)
  • It seems like I'm encountering more and more moves like this where everything seems perfect, but the stock just wouldn't cooperate.
  • I was really pushing my limits with this stock as I used 6000 shares. Granted if this stock goes in your favour, it will really go in your favour. Unfortunately the reverse is true as well and I ended up having to chase this stock to get out of my position
3:15PM - AT&T (T) was flat while the Futures were rising slightly. The Futures popped up so I went long 10,000 shares. AT&T refused to budge on the initial rip of the Futures. I waited some more and then the Futures ripped up again. Again, AT&T refused to budge. A big seller then stepped in and I was forced from my position. I got out as follows: 1-cent winner (800 shares), even (300 shares), 1-cent loser (2800 shares), 3-cent loser (6100 shares) ($203 loser before fees)
  • I should have known something was fishy when I saw the chart of AT&T...the Futures were moving up, but AT&T was flat (completely flat!)
  • I had an opportunity to get my entire position out for a 1-cent winner, but I elected to wait...under the circumstances, I should have exited since the chart for AT&T looked "funny"


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