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

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Gettin' Jiggy With It...Again

Gross: +$246.00
Net: -$10.49
Loss From Top: $273.73
Trades: 83
Shares Traded: 269400

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Motorola (MOT): +$335.31
Ford (F): +$105.51
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$36.11
Citigroup (C): +$12.46
Exxon Mobile (XOM): +$8.45
Bank of America (BAC): -$13.30
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): -$20.16
Time Warner (TWX): -$132.41
Walmart (WMT): -$154.22
AT&T (T): -$178.25

I'm beginning to sound like a broken was another day with lots of jiggling and bouncing around. Yes the markets did have some moves intraday, but if you take a closer look and come down to the minute charts (where I trade), you'll see we jiggled our way up in the morning, then jiggled our way back down in the afternoon.

Knowing how the markets have been lately, I tried to adjust my trading strategies today to try to be patient with my positions and I tried to wait out all of the jiggy and jaggy movements of the markets. Man was it hard! I had one position I held for about 12 minutes and other I held for 17 minutes! For me, it felt like an eternity!

On those two trades I came out on top, but because of the markets' behaviour, I got a lot less out of them than I had expected. I took $200 in profits on both trades (one using 5000 shares, the other using 10,000 shares), but I really was expecting a lot more considering the length of time I held them.

Was it worth it? Not sure yet...on one of the trades I had to look a $300 loser in the eyes before it turned around and on the other I had to stare at a $200 loser for at least 5 minutes (believe me, it's not fun)...looks like the risk/reward ratio is not very appealing.

Because I was practicing patience, I had to look at several bad losers in my blotter for a few minutes while I gave the position time to work itself out. One of the problems with trying to be patient like I was today is that if I have to take a loser, I'd really have to take a big hit.

And that was what happened on one trade on AT&T. I could of gotten out and lost little, but because I was waiting for the market jiggle to finish, I held on to it. Eventually the overall markets went against me and I had to dump AT&T for a big loser.

Right now, I would have to say that I'm comfortable putting on big positions and now I'll try to work on this patience thing. Today was a real good test of that...yes it was very agonizing for me to hold on to a position (regardless of it being a winner or loser), but after the first few "patience" trades, it got easier each time.

Now if I can put big position size and patience together, then I think I'll be going somewhere.

Three good trades versus one bad trade. Yes there are more good trades than bad, but with the way the markets moved today, I had to take several $100 losers and as a result, I was down $10 today.

The last couple of trading days has been a real yawn-fest...though I have to admit that today provided more opportunities. There are some economic numbers tomorrow and Thursday so hopefully it'll make for a better trading environment for me.

For now, I'm just sitting here waiting for tomorrow...

Good Trades
11:20AM - Motorola (MOT) looked like it was at a support level while the Futures started turning upwards. I decided to get long 5000 shares since MOT didn't seem to want to go down any further. I held this sucker for an extremely long time and soooo many times I was going to punch out for a loser. I'm glad I didn't...I got out the entire position for a 4-cent winner ($200 profit before fees; In: 11:20:23AM ; Long 5000 shares @ $23.50 ; Out: 11:32:13AM)

2:25PM - Ford (F) was moving up and so were the Futures. I went long 10,000 shares when I could and got the entire position when there was a bit of resistance to the upside in the form of size on the offer...I got out for a 2-cent winner ($200 profit before fees ; In: 2:25:52PM ; Long 10,000 shares @ $7.41 ; Out: 2:27:29PM)

2:40PM - Motorola (MOT) was on the move upwards and so were the Futures. There was a bit of resistance at the $23.30 level and when I thought it would break, I went long 10,000 shares. I waited and waited and waited. Eventually I got out as follows: 1-cent winner (5000 shares), 3-cent winner (5000 shares) ($200 profit before fees ; In: 2:40:28PM ; Long 10,000 shares @ $23.30 ; Out: 2:57:10PM)

Bad Trades
11:09AM - AT&T (T) was uptrending while the Futures were rather flat. AT&T was making intraday highs and when the Futures popped up, I went long 5000 shares. I waited and held on to this position while I gave the position time and the Futures time to finish jiggling. Well, it never happened, the Futures started falling down and so did AT&T. Dang...long at almost the high of the day. I got out as follows: 3-cent loser (3200 shares), 5-cent loser (1800 shares) ($186 loser before fees ; In: 11:09:31AM ; Long 5000 shares @ $30.81 ; Out: 11:12:42)
  • Yes, I could have gotten this position out for a 1-cent loser (for a $50 loss), but I was trying something...needless to say it didn't work out


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