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

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New Month, New Tactics

Gross: +$331.96
Net: +$107.68
Loss From Top: $9.62
Trades: 123
Shares Traded: 241724

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$676.79
Motorola (MOT): +$136.93
Corning (GLW): +$45.78
Walmart (WMT): +$7.50
Eastman Kodak (EK): -$1.69
Bank of America (BAC): -$63.88
Exxon Mobile (XOM): -$106.88
Home Depot (HD): -$150.54
AT&T (T): -$436.34

Today was the start of a new month, and so, an opportunity to try a few new things. However, today was another day in which the markets were flat practically all day.

As the day wore on, I slowly lost more and more money while at the same time I was trying to practice patience with my positions. Well, with the chop of a flat market, it was not very encouraging.

By the time 3:30PM rolled around, I was down close to $400. I'm just thankful we had a bit of a rally during the last half hour in which I made a killing on several $100+ trades on Hewlett Packard (HPQ).

It's still early in the month, so I'll continue trying out some of my new entry strategies. I'm currently working on a rolling position.

A rolling position is one in which I initially get into a position. If it goes in my favour, I take some of my position out to lock in some profits, but I'll hold on to about half my position. If the position continues to look good, I'll add more shares to my position. In effect, I'm rolling my position and cycling from taking profits and adding more to my position.

So far, it seems promising, however on a day like today, I didn't really get a great chance to use this strategy in a trending market. I was also getting really used to putting and having big positions on. Lots of 5000 shares positions (when I would normally use 3000 shares), and lots of 10,000 share positions.

Today was also the second day in which AT&T (T) pounded me into the ground yet again. I've lost close to $1000 on AT&T (T) over the past two trading days. I think I have to be more careful and selective the next little while.

I've really got to be smarter and avoid trading when I shouldn't be.

Good Trades
3:47PM - Hewlett Packard (HPQ) and the Futures were ripping up. I went long 5000 shares when an opportunity presented itself and got out as follows: 4-cent winner (3000 shares), 5-cent winner (1000 shares), 6-cent winner (1000 shares) ($230 profit before fees)

Bad Trades
10:04AM - Home Depot (HD) and the Futures were downtrending. When HD reached the $34.00, I went short 4000 shares when it broke. The position was a good one, but I held it too long and ended up taking a loser. I got out as follows: 7-cent winner (200 shares), 3-cent winner (800 shares), 2-cent winner (400 shares), 4-cent loser (300 shares), 6-cent loser (2300 shares) ($104 loss before fees)
  • Just a little too greedy on this trade...I've got to learn the difference between riding winners and being too greedy
  • I had an opportunity to have a 7-cent winner, but HD was too thin at the time to get my entire position out
  • HD was fairly uncooperative for most of the day today (didn't really move well with the Futures)
1:17PM - Exxon Mobile (XOM) was moving all over the place while the Futures were flat. I saw some size break on the ask, so I went long 2000 shares. In the blink of an eye, I was looking at a severe loser (a typical XOM move). I got the entire position out for a 5-cent loser ($100 loser before fees)
  • I should have stayed away from this stock during this was moving fairly erratically
2:55PM - AT&T (T) was uptrending while the Futures were also uptrending. The Futures ripped up so I went long 10,000 shares. Unfortunately, AT&T appeared to encounter some resistance and didn't want to go up any further. I was patient with this position, so I waited. Eventually, AT&T came back tumbling down. I got out as follows: 2-cent loser (5000 shares), 4-cent loser (5000 shares) ($300 loser before fees)
  • I've noticed this more during the last two trading days: AT&T just doesn't seem to move very well with the Futures


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