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

Friday, August 11, 2006

Can This Market Please Move Somewhere!?!?!?

Gross: +$488.40
Net: +$347.84
Loss From Top: $117.43
Trades: 109
Shares Traded: 122800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Walmart (WMT): +$264.00
Exxon Mobile (XOM): +$154.32
Home Depot (HD): +$144.46
Bank of America (BAC): +$19.56
AT&T (T): +$17.88
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$17.68
Analog Devices (ADI): -$1.37
Motorola (MOT): -$23.25
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): -$70.40
Corning (GLW): -$175.04

It was another tough trading day for me again today. I managed to catch a great move on Walmart (WMT) early in the morning, but for the rest of the day, the markets just jiggled and wiggled itself to nowhere.

All day I had a sense that today wasn't going to amount to much, so I took care in using smaller share sizes to scalp here and there. After the trade on Walmart, I gained some, lost some, but basically held my ground.

Today Corning (GLW) really put up a fight with me today. Every single trade I put on it resulted in a loser. I'm just glad that our execution server went down at 3:30PM today, because I felt that a big bad revenge trade was starting to brew (I was this close to smacking GLW with a 10,000 share order). All day there was lots of refilling size, reserve orders and unbreakable levels on this stupid stock. I guess the losses on this stock were entirely my fault. I can understand falling for these tricks maybe once or twice, but falling for it repeatedly over and over again is just pure stupidity.

Once this market decides to move somewhere, I'll start using bigger share sizes again...but until then, I've got to be very cautious because there were lots of choppy moves on most of the stocks I watch.

From this point on whenever I review my trades, I'll also include some extra details about the trade that I thought some readers out there might be interested in and hopefully give the readers more of a sense of how I trade. My trade reviews will now include:
  • Time I got in the trade
  • Size of the trade and at what price
  • Time I got my entire position out (I usually scale out of my position, so this will be the time of when I got the last position out)
That being said, only one good trade to tell you about and no bad trades (just several small losers on GLW that all added up).

Good Trades
9:53AM - Walmart (WMT) and the Futures were downtrending. There was some size on the bid at $44.70 and when the Futures tanked, I went short 3000 shares. I was EXTREMELY patient with this trade and got out as follows: 3-cent winner (1000 shares), 15-cent winner (900 shares), 16-cent winner (100 shares), 17-cent winner (1000 shares) ($351 profit before fees; In: 9:53:06AM ; Short 3000 @ $44.70 ; Out: 9:59:12AM)

Bad Trades
None

3 Comments:

  • I like the further detail about time and position size.. hopefully you have good software helping you keep track of 100+ trades per day!

    If you lost repeatedly on GLW, but only lost 175 total, you must generally only take a 1 or 2 cent loss, generally, huh?

    By Anonymous Richard, at August 12, 2006 5:26 a.m.  

  • I find it interesting that you want the market to move... I assume you mean a big move. If you're scalping does it really matter? shouldn't you be able to do your thing in a range-bound market?

    By Blogger Michael, at August 12, 2006 9:56 a.m.  

  • To both Richard and Michael,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Richard,
    That is correct - in all the times I was in GLW, I lost only 1 or 2 cents each time. Since the overall market didn't have any kind of trend, I used smaller share size (1000 or 2000 shares) and I would only get in when I thought prices would move further up or down. But in every instance on Friday, prices stayed where they were and eventually jiggled me out. Rather than take the risk of the position going against me further, I'd usually get out as soon as I see a loser and especially when the overall markets are not going anywhere fast.

    Michael,
    You make a good point. I know of other scalpers that do really well in range-bound markets and would actually prefer it stay that way, however with the way I trade, I'm not as successful as they are. I mainly like to see nice trends in the overall market to help make my trading decisions easier. When the markets trend, I can then feel more confident of my positions, and thus I can go in with bigger share size. When markets are range-bound, I become very defensive and use smaller share size. Ideally when I get into a position, I'd like to take about 5-cents or more within a very short period of time (one of my weaknesses as a trader is I don't have patience in holding winners)...the only way that can happen is if we get a nice strong rally (or a nice big tank). I'm always trying to add new strategies but I have yet to really find a strategy I'm comfortable with in range-bound markets.

    Hope that answers all your questions!
    JC

    By Blogger J.C., at August 12, 2006 12:55 p.m.  

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