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

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Losing Your Cool Is NOT Cool

Gross: -$224.56
Net: -$451.50
Loss From Top: $752.73
Trades: 130
Shares Traded: 206134

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Corning (GLW): +$496.46
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$57.76
Ford (F): +$35.15
EMC Corp (EMC): +$33.56
Home Depot (HD): +$19.56
Citigroup (C): -$14.10
General Electric (GE): -$121.78
AT&T (T): -$139.66
Exxon Mobil (XOM): -$148.00
Walmart (WMT): -$228.35
Motorola (MOT): -$442.39

OK - I'll admit that I lost my cool shortly after the Fed made the announcement. And it was because I lost my cool that I lost $750 after the Fed (see my Loss From Top, which is the amount I lost from my peak net).

So what happened?

The morning and early afternoon I really had a hard time finding opportunities, but I tried to be very patient and I tried very hard to keep the profits I had accumulated.

By the time 2:15PM rolled around, I had been careful and picky with my trades and I was up about $300.

When the Fed was about ready to announce, I was cracking my knuckles and rubbing my hands together, waiting for all the opportunities that were about to come.

But what happened?

We got choppy and sloppy moves after the Fed announced no change in rates. All stocks were messy in their movements and the Futures kept chopping up, then chopping down.

What the hell! I had waited all day for this?!?!

The first few trades I put on after the Fed announcement were for losers as I was chopped every which way. This got me angry because I was so careful in protecting my profits and now I had lost some of it within a short period of time. So the next couple of trades I was thinking in my mind "Dang! I've got to make some of my money back".

Well the next couple of trades after that I was chopped up for losers again. Now I was starting to get really mad because all of the profits I had so carefully protected during the day were now gone. I was now thinking "Damn! I've got to make a couple of big trades to get me back to where I was before the Fed announcement".

The next couple of trades were on bigger share size I was I hoping to quickly make my money back. It didn't work as I continued to get chopped out of my positions. I was then starting to get really pissed off. I was then thinking "God damn it! Let me put on a couple of trades that will get me out of negative territory".

Finally, the last couple of trades were more daring in nature and were on bigger share size, but I continued to get chopped out of almost every single bloody position. There was a point in which I was putting on trades because I was so pissed at several stocks I was trading and a couple of revenge trades were put into the mix. At the end of the day, I was totally and utterly fuming mad. At that point I was thinking "Damn this f**@*# sh@#*! What the f*@# was that!"

I stormed out of the office, not believing I was waiting all day for some crappy moves made after the Fed announcement. Seriously folks, what the hell was that? I'm used to seeing maybe an initial chop, but then a clear cut direction after a Fed announcement, but today I saw a market that didn't have a clue in hell as to which way to really go.

Anyways, I hope you guys are learning something from this. The lesson of the day? Never lose your cool. Because if you do, you could end up losing $750 like I did after the Fed announcement.

By losing my cool, I spiralled out of control...and it just got worse and worse as I got more and more angry and as a result, my trading decisions were also getting worse and worse.

I should have and could have been more careful. Upon reviewing my trades made today, most of the trades after the Fed announcement were not ones I should have put on in the first place.

I'm still a little peeved at what happened today so I think I need to "chill out" tonight in the hopes of getting my "cool" back.

Good Trades
9:47AM - Corning (GLW) was moving up strongly and so were the Futures. I went long 1000 shares when size at $23.95 broke and because GLW was so strong, when the $24.00 broke, I got another 3000 shares. I got out as follows: 5-cent winner (1600 shares), 7-cent winner (1000 shares), 8-cent winner (900 shares), 9-cent winner (500 shares) ($267 profit before fees ; In: 9:47:40AM ; Long 1000 shares @ $23.90, long 3000 shares @ $24.00 ; Out: 9:49:23AM)

Bad Trades
3:07PM - Walmart (WMT) was choppy all over the bloody place and the Futures were also chopping all over the damn place. When WMT looked like it was going to break the $49.00 level, I went long 6000 shares. It went up one cent, but then took a tumble. I got out as follows: 3-cent loser (600 shares), 4-cent loser (3100 shares), 5-cent loser (900 shares), 6-cent loser (1400 shares) ($271 loser before fees ; In: 3:07:51PM ; Long 6000 shares @ $49.00 ; Out: 3:09:08PM)
  • Don't know what the hell I was thinking taking this position - it didn't fit my criteria for a level break and in the back of my mind I knew I'd get chopped on this position since every bloody thing this afternoon was chopping
  • This trade was in the midst of my trade rage and come to think about it, I didn't even remember making the decision to get into this one...I just saw something, said "Ah screw it" and went long without really thinking about it
  • This one really plunged me deep into negative territory and after this trade came a series of brainless trades...I'm surprised I didn't blow myself up by losing more


  • Hey JC, sorry bout todays loser, but I am sure you will bounce back - was wondering if you can give me your email, I am a former strictly scalping day trader (NASDAQ 1999 - 2003) and now I am trying to find new trading opportunities on NYSE - had some questions for you or you could email me at if you dont want to give it out on your blog
    Thanks and good luck tommorrow!

    By Blogger Teddy DaRussian, at September 20, 2006 11:44 p.m.  

  • Teddy,

    Thanks for the comments.

    Check your email - I sent you an email last night.

    Hopefully today will bring better luck!


    By Blogger J.C., at September 21, 2006 7:24 a.m.  

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