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

Friday, August 18, 2006

Not-So-Fun Times At Jiggle-Fest

Gross: +$381.39
Net: +$156.78
Loss From Top: $90.91
Trades: 83
Shares Traded: 246800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Motorola (MOT): +$385.60
Ford (F): +$94.78
Home Depot (HD): +$35.59
Citigroup (C): +$32.76
EMC Corp (EMC): +$26.67
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): -$6.62
General Electric (GE): -$63.53
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): -$138.44
Walmart (WMT): -$210.04

In previous posts, I have expressed my distaste for options expiration Fridays and my distaste for choppy markets.

Well today we had both! Believe me, I didn't have any fun trading today. I kept getting jiggled out of my positions because of the market chop.

Early in the morning I was able to take a few good profitable trades, but as the day wore on, I slowly lost it all and more and by lunch, I was in the red by about $300. The Futures kept popping up, then quickly coming back down or it would drop down quickly, then quickly pop back up. As a result, I would take a position when I thought the Futures were on the move, only to have my position whipsaw against me, leaving me to punch out for a loss.

Today I also continued to try my hand at scalping Ford (F). I think I have to get used to it's slow moving prices and I definitely have to work on my patience when trading this thick stock. There were several times I got out of my position for even because it was taking an extremely long time to move and/or I'd see something on the Level 2 that shook me out.

And I couldn't get a handle on how Walmart (WMT) moved today. Everything that I thought it would do, it didn't, and instead it did the exact opposite. I found this to be true of many of the other stocks I traded today as well.

Because of the wiggle and jiggle fest that was the markets, I took an extra long lunch-time walk. It helped kill some time, but it was a real snoozer for the rest of the afternoon. Yes, there was a little bit of an up-move late in the afternoon, but I found that most of the stocks I was watching didn't really follow suit.

Overall, a frustrating and not-so-fun day.

One good trade versus one bad trade today.

Hope you all have a good weekend and I hope you all get well-rested so that we can all tackle the markets again on Monday!

Good Trades
1:40PM - Motorola (MOT) and the Futures were uptrending. MOT reached $23.85 where there was big size on the ask (about 1000+ size on the offer). The Futures ripped up and the level looked like it was going to break, so I went long 10,000 shares. I got the entire position out for a 2-cent winner ($200 profit before fees ; In: 1:40:14PM ; Long 10,000 shares @ $23,85 ; Out: 1:43:35PM)

Bad Trades
11:01AM - EMC Corp (EMC) was uptrending as were the Futures. EMC reached $11.00 and when it broke, I went long 5000 shares. Once the level broke, there appeared to be buying interest (size was starting to show up on the bid), so I went long another 5000 shares at $11.01. At that point, prices started falling back down again and I got out as follows: 1-cent loser (5000 shares), 3-cent loser (5000 shares) ($200 loser before fees ; In: 11:01:34AM ; Long 5000 shares @ $11.00, Long 5000 shares @ $11.01 ; Out: 11:03:26AM)
  • Not much can be said about this trade...just that EMC seemed to move very sluggishly for most of the morning and didn't appear to really move in tandem with the Futures...I probably should have stayed away from this one
  • It seems like it's happening again...the intraday range on this stock is shrinking again...perhaps it's time I should start avoiding this stock again...for most of the day today, this stock just flatlined...not very good for trading


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