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

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

All The Wrong Moves

Gross: -$346.71
Net: -$444.88
Loss From Top: $564.20
Trades: 99
Shares Traded: 95000

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$153.29
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$36.10
Corning (GLW): -$21.61
Bank of America (BAC): -$81.48
Exxon Mobil (XOM): -$105.84
Home Depot (HD): -$121.91
Walmart (WMT): -$303.43

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh man, what the hell! Nothing was going right for me today at all!

I would estimate that about 85% of my trades were for losers today. I don't really understand why.

I was fairly good in waiting for my setups (stock trending, Futures trending), but it seemed like every position I got into was so reluctant to move one way or the other.

And every single trade on Walmart (WMT) was for a loser. I cannot believe it! I'd get into a position on WMT and the first thing it would always do is go against me until it was too unbearable and I would punch out only to see it go in the initial direction I had wanted it to go.

There were several good moves made in the morning, but for some reason I couldn't pull out any good profits on those moves. Either the stock would hardly move or it would go the opposite direction of the overall markets. I just don't get it...

I made some small profits early in the morning, but I soon found myself in the hole by over $400.

I calmed myself down and really tried to focus on trading. I was starting to make a comeback and it looked like I would get back into the black, but as the afternoon rolled around, I started losing it again.

I lost more and more and I slowly started feeling a little upset over the whole situation. The trade that really got me in a trading rage (tsk tsk - I was supposed to work on this!) was when around 2:20PM, the Futures tanked and Corning (GLW) was at the $24.00 level. The Futures tanked quite hard so I went short 4000 shares. But the bloody stock didn't go down. (see bad trades).

After that Corning (GLW) trade, I had all but given up and I was thinking that no matter what I get into, it would just lead to another loser. The final blow was on Walmart (WMT) when I went long when the overall markets bounced back up, but WMT went down. From there it was a back-to-back-to-back-to-back losers on this stock as I kept reversing positions because I was just frustrated that the day amounted to this and that there were opportunities to be had, but I wasn't able to capitalize.

After that back-to-back-to-back-to-back losing reversal party on Walmart I just could not take the frustrations of the day any more and I stormed out of the office at around 2:40PM. I was boiling mad because I had to put up with choppy sideways markets for soo many days and when a day that shows great promise appeared, I couldn't make a dime.

So what went wrong today?

Quite honestly? I don't really know! I only traded stocks when they were trending and I was fairly patient in waiting for a confirming Futures move, but nothing went my way. The charts showed great, smooth moves on the stock, but once I got in, it was either the end of the move, or the stock would start chopping up and down. And I was extremely patient when positions initially went against me and I waited for them to continue it's trend, but still I had to bail out for a loser.

I was still down even before that little trading rage occurred so I couldn't blame everything on pure emotions (all that rage did was to push me further in the red).

I was totally upset over the whole situation when I left the office. I haven't had a meaningful trading day in a very long while and on the way home, I really started questioning what I am actually doing and if I can really do this.

But don't worry - I'm in a much better mood now as I write this and I'm not thinking about that now. I think at the time I was just swept up with emotions. This was just one day and there will always be tomorrow.

Let me just forget this day ever happened and let's see what I can do tomorrow!

Good Trades
None.

Bad Trades
2:26PM - Corning (GLW) started downtrending while the Futures were starting to downtrend. GLW came down to the $24.00 level when suddenly the Futures started tanking hard. I went short 4000 shares at $24.00 and waited for GLW to go down. The Futures kept puking downwards, but GLW wasn't going down! I was really patient in waiting for GLW to go down but once the Futures started popping back up again, I had to scramble out of my position. I got out as follows: 1-cent loser (1000 shares), 5-cent loser (3000 shares) ($160 loser before fees ; In: 2:26:53PM ; Short 4000 shares @ $24.00 ; Out: Did not record - was too upset about this trade)
  • Ahhhhh - Corning and it's unbreakable levels again! I can no longer believe that GLW will break levels any more. If I decide to trade GLW, it will be on based on trend and I will no longer try to trade level breaks
  • Seemed like a great setup - I guess I should have traded a stock with a stronger downtrend

5 Comments:

  • Yeah, it's a wierd market. It's like August all over again - for me at least. At least today I stuck to my rules and didn't loose, but I barely broke even.

    Be strong,
    Aaron

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 03, 2006 9:20 p.m.  

  • Aaron,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Yea - the last couple of months have been very difficult and has been a real strain on my confidence. I guess we both just have to keep our heads up high and hope better trading conditions are coming soon. I hope we don't get three months in a row of the same (Aug, Sept, Oct).

    The best of luck to you and your trading in October!
    JC

    By Blogger J.C., at October 03, 2006 9:38 p.m.  

  • JC,
    I've been having the same troubles and feelings over the last couple of months. The self-doubt and uncertainty of trading is very hard. It's interesting because we trade very different systems. It's hard to stay true to your system after a long losing streak, but I guess that's the smartest thing we can do.
    I feel your pain. Good luck, man.

    By Anonymous Ugly, at October 04, 2006 8:52 a.m.  

  • sounds like your system is almost too simple...do you also monitor other stocks w/i a particular group? so, for example, if you are trading F, do you look at GM, DCX to see how they are acting? u might want to put similar companies on your screen along w/ those stocks u usually trade. as you noted in an earlier post, stocks have personalities and may not just follow a certain indicator, such as futures. while having a consistent "system" is important, they need to be tweaked in certain market conditions...
    just a thought.
    eg...GM was upgraded today and as i look at it, it is down almost a buck while F is up .18 (on a downgrade) and the dow is up 51....tricky!! one thing i have learned is that stocks don't always do what they are "supposed" to do!! good luck

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2006 11:49 a.m.  

  • Ugly and Anon@11:49AM,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Ugly,
    Thanks for the support. I've had rough times in the past with my trading, but I've never encountered a rough patch like this for soo long. I guess all it needs is just a little more time. I guess the unfortunate thing about this is that this rough patch comes when I'm really trying to prove to myself that I can do this for a living. But we've all got to keep our heads up high - there's still 3 more months left in the year. BTW, I LOVE your Ugly show! Hopefully you'll have another episode coming soon! Good luck in October!

    Anon@11:49AM,
    I think monitoring other stocks in the same group is a good idea and something I should start considering. When the markets trend, my system does great, but when markets are sideways, it's not soo great and so I've been trying to develop some new strategies (without any luck!) for when the markets chop. I'll continue to tweak and change things until I get things just right. Best of luck to you and your trading in October!

    By Blogger J.C., at October 04, 2006 5:14 p.m.  

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