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

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Trading Halted...System Problems...Yet Again

Gross: +$706.66
Net: +$542.43
Loss From Top: $15.52
Trades: 83
Shares Traded: 165668

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Corning (GLW): +$194.48
Walmart (WMT): +$121.77
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$81.49
Motorola (MOT): +$76.21
Micron Tech (MU): +$54.70
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$37.07
Texas Instruments (TXN): +$15.77
Home Depot (HD): +$13.93
Ford (F): -$52.48

At about 3PM today, all traders were told to get flat and to stop trading because of system problems similar to earlier this week was about to happen again.

Oh well, what's new? I guess we'll just have to expect for this to happen time and time again.

I tried scalping Ford (F) today. I had some limited success, but because it moved soooo slowly, I got spooked and got out several times for even (though eventually the position would have gone my way). I would like to continue trading Ford (F) more often because it's very thick, which allows me to easily go in with 10,000 shares and I can comfortably take on a 50,000 share position (if I chose to do that!).

If I've got the courage to, I'd like to scalp it with maybe 30,000 or more shares. If I just take 1-cent winners here and there, I would just have to do it a few times and I'd have a $1000+ day (of course, it's always much easier said than done!).

There were several stocks that I watched that had strong moves today. Among them were AMD and GLW (in the morning)...just wished I could take more profits off of them.

No real major winners today, but I'm just glad I didn't take any major losers as well. Too bad we didn't get to trade the last hour (though from the charts, it looked like the overall markets just jiggled it's way to the close, which is not good for my style of trading).

Only one good trade today versus no bad trades.

Tomorrow is options expiration Friday so we'll see how I fare (I usually don't do too well on options expiration days). We'll see.

Good Trades
10:29AM - Corning (GLW) was uptrending while the Futures were turning down. GLW was so strong in the morning, I disregarded the Futures' direction and went long. I initially got long 1000 shares, but then I saw some buying interest show up (big buy orders), so I went long another 1000 shares (I was long 2000 shares in total). Got out as follows: 10-cent winner (1000 shares), 11-cent winner (1000 shares) ($210 profit before fees ; In: 10:29:24 ; Long 1000 shares @ $21.20, Long 1000 shares @ $21.21 ; Out: 10:32:05)

Bad Trades
None.

11 Comments:

  • Nice trading. Keep in mind everyone has tech problems, platform issues, internet issues, power outage issues etc.

    When scalping do you place a sell order in advance or take it as it comes?

    By Blogger Glenn, at August 17, 2006 7:37 PM  

  • Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Looks like you had a pretty good day too! Nice trade you had on AMD - for a 43-cent winner! And on CCL! I hope one day I'll be taking winners like those...

    As for the tech issues, I guess you're right...usually we get a lot of system crashes when they try to upgrade the trading software we use or when they upgrade some of the backend equipment...they are, after all, just trying to improve things for us traders. I guess I just sometimes feel frustrated when days are cut short. Once they get the kinks out any of the upgrades they put in, the system is usually reliable.

    As for placing sell orders, what I'll usually do is I'll place a sell order for about 1/4 of my position as soon as I'm in (for about a 2 or 3 cent winner and possibly get price-improved by the specialist)...then I'll just wait to see where prices take it. Whenever I feel uncomfortable or if I feel that prices might move back, I'll get out another 1/4 of my position. Finally, I'll try to hold on to the last 1/4 of my position for as long as I can (which isn't usually that long).

    If it looks like the position won't be going for me as soon as I'm in, I'll start sending orders to get out for either even or for a 1-cent loser. There are, of course, the odd time when prices just jump against me.

    Hope it helps and happy trading!
    JC

    By Blogger J.C., at August 17, 2006 8:26 PM  

  • Hey, I really like the no nonsense way you've set up your blog. Keep up the good work. I see your worst month was still profitable! That's pretty rare in this biz.

    Regards.

    By Anonymous Jeff, at August 18, 2006 3:18 PM  

  • Hi JC, i started reading your blog this week.
    It seems you make a lot of trades. I would like to know your commision per share.
    I have tradestation platform and i am paying 1$ per 100 share and 0.006 per additional above 500. I want to lower my costs.
    thanks very much

    thiago

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 18, 2006 3:29 PM  

  • Jeff and Thiago,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Jeff,
    Thanks for the compliments. I would probably consider myself a fairly conservative trader, which has kept me profitable so far. Let's hope I can continue to be profitable!

    Thiago,
    Because I work at a prop firm, commissions are very low. Aside from the fees that you can't get away from (SEC fees, ECN fees, clearing fees, etc), my firm only charges 18.5 cents per trade (regardless of share size). Of course, the SEC, ECN, and clearing fees vary depending on the $-amount of the trade and/or the number of shares traded (I don't know the numbers off the top of my head, and I think I'm missing one other fee). That's why I'm able to scalp for 1-penny winners and still make money. Maybe on Monday when I go back to the office, I can double check the actual fees and I can get back to you.

    Hope that answers your questions!
    JC

    By Blogger J.C., at August 18, 2006 7:30 PM  

  • thanks for your time, JC.
    I am not familiar with how prop firms work but i will start looking for information about them.

    thiago

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 20, 2006 8:36 PM  

  • hi j.c., do you recommend any good prop firms to apply to in new york?

    By Anonymous bob, at September 07, 2006 4:07 PM  

  • Bob,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I'm not too familiar with what prop firms operate out of New York. I do know of a firm called Bright Trading that operates out of the US and Canada. Aside from that, check out the EliteTrader website and search their forums...there are a lot of people that could recommend one.

    Good luck!
    JC

    By Blogger J.C., at September 07, 2006 5:44 PM  

  • Hi JC,

    Check out this site: www.DayTradersWin.com

    This may be just what you've been looking for.

    John

    By Blogger John, at January 06, 2007 11:40 PM  

  • hey, a good one blog!!
    i work for swift trade. do scalping mostly. really interesting to read the same guy sharing his experience. how long r u trading for? which company are u in?
    will try to read your blog as often as possible. thanx for it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 22, 2007 1:59 PM  

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