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

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

No Excuses Today

Gross: +$241.39
Net: +$45.98
Loss From Top: $194.57
Trades: 96
Shares Traded: 186254

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
AT&T (T): +$200.35
Exxon Mobile (XOM): +$93.95
Motorola (MOT): +$2.14
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): -$7.31
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): -$11.76
Bank of America (BAC): -$44.94
Walmart (WMT): -$63.63
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): -$122.80

This morning I was told by the branch manager that he had increased my buying power to $900,000 (from $500,000) and that he set the maximum number of shares I can trade to no limit.

This was great news as I felt that he entrusted me with more responsibility.

But I think it was because of this news that I felt I needed to prove something to the branch manager (and I was hoping to pull off a great day).

The morning provided sooo many great opportunities, however I was a little too slow and I was not able to get shares when I wanted them.

One of the greatest opportunities this morning occurred on AT&T (T). AT&T opened and was trending upwards strongly. It reached a resistance level at $28.95 with a little over 600 size on the offer. I really felt that that level was going to break, so with my new found buying power and no cap limit on the number of shares I can trade, I tried to go long 20,000 shares at $28.95. Unfortunately I was a little too slow and I missed it!

That trade would have made my day! As soon at that level broke, AT&T exploded up by 10 cents and continued going up non-stop for at least 25 cents! Going into the trade, I told myself I would hold this position for as long as I could. If I had taken 25-cents on 20,000 shares, that would have been $5000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the rest of the morning I was fuming mad! As the morning progressed, I missed opportunities on HPQ, MOT, and XOM because I was a little too slow and never got filled! The HPQ trade would have been at least a $400 trade, the MOT at least $500 and the XOM at least $500!

When the morning rolled into lunch time, I was extremely pissed off. All the right calls, just got no fills.

From that point on, it was all downhill from there. Lots of bone-head trades so I was lucky I didn't lose money today.

But in all honesty, I could have gotten filled if there wasn't that split second hesitation and many of the losing trades should not have occurred. It was a combination of pressure (from me trying to prove to the branch manager that his decision to increase my buying power was a good one), and from just being angry that I missed so many opportunities (this had me jumping into bad positions because I was afraid I was going to miss another great move).

Good Trades
None (though the $5000 trade on AT&T would have been a huge boost to my ego)

Bad Trades
10:32AM - (M) Hewlett Packard (HPQ) was uptrending but appeared to be topping while the Futures were slightly uptrending. I went long 5000 shares when I saw some size break on the ask. Just then, the Futures started falling and so did HPQ. I got out as follows: 1-cent loser (500 shares), 2-cent loser (2100 shares), 3-cent loser (2400 shares) ($119 loser before fees)
  • From the chart patterns I was seeing at the time, I should have been cautious with this was starting to look like HPQ could no longer move up
  • I should have reduced my share size because I didn't really have a good feeling for this trade
  • This was one of those trades in which I didn't want to miss another big move in the markets, and I kind of jumped the gun on this one
2:00PM - (M) Walmart (WMT) was downtrending and the Futures were also downtrending. The Futures started tanking hard so I put in an order to go short 4000 shares. From the Level 2, it looked like I wasn't going to get the shares, so I put in another order to go short 4000 shares on Island (an ECN). The Futures continued to tank hard, but somehow I was starting to get filled on my shorts. I started feeling uneasy so I tried to cancel all my outstanding orders. I was too slow in cancelling, so in all, I was short 6800 shares. Well, there was a reason for feeling uneasy! WMT started going up. I got out as follows: 1-cent loser (2000 shares), 2-cent loser (3800 shares), 3-cent loser (1000 shares) ($126 loser before fees)
  • All day WMT was not behaving very well and I saw something similar to the above trade happen several times during the course of the day where the Futures would make a big move, but WMT wouldn't
  • I really should have thought twice before placing two orders on this trade


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