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

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hate To Say I Warned Myself So...

Gross: +$293.84
Net: +$116.27
Loss From Top: $234.34
Trades: 111
Shares Traded: 151800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$426.84
Corning (GLW): +$66.55
Walmart (WMT): +$11.59
General Electric (GE): +$8.37
Citigroup (C): -$34.08
Home Depot (HD): -$69.80
Motorola (MOT): -$90.66
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): -$202.55

If I only took my own (as well as some of you reader's) advice and gone home after lunch. But, I insisted on sticking around for the FOMC meeting minutes.

This morning I took on more risk than usual (which we all know I'm trying to work on) and I know I had big swings in my profits, but by lunch I was up a little over $300.

I traded lightly before the FOMC meeting minutes were released and and when they did come out, I managed to lose some money.

Then the plane crashed into an apartment building on East 72nd Street in Manhattan, which caused havoc with our trading system.

Somehow in the chaos, I lost a lot of money on AMD. Our system lagged so much and things would freeze and execution slowed to a crawl. I got in a couple of times on AMD at what I thought were the correct prices, but instead they were delayed quotes. I went long when AMD was tanking hard on one of the trades...good thing I only used 1000 shares.

And there were a couple of other trades on AMD during that volatile period in which I thought were good, but ended up being losers because what I was seeing was not really there.

Looks like the news reports that Yankee pitcher (and one-time Blue Jay) Corey Lidle was in the plane crash. His passport was found on the ground near the crash and the plane was registered to him. Wow - how unfortunate...

At our office we have an audio news feed and we did get the news about the plane crash maybe about 1 or 2 minutes before it was broadcast on CNBC. I should have been able to make some money at that point (markets were just beginning to fall when we heard the news), but I didn't.

But because of the multiple problems with the system, I made some profits, I lost some profits, but in the end, I lost more than I gained.

And I knew something like this was going to happen. I was already starting to "feel" like I didn't want to be there immediately after lunch, but somehow I decided to stay.

There were some good comments in yesterday's post and a lot of good suggestions. Richard (from, you know where - Move The Markets) pointed out that having monetary rules (like if I make $700 before lunch...etc) is probably not a good thing - and I totally agree with him. This will probably lead to the kind of days when I aim for a $1000 day, but end up losing almost everything.

And StockRoach also mentioned that it's probably better if I just left after the morning was done no matter what my P/L is. I like this idea simply because there are no monetary targets involved.

But in the end, I should just see how I feel after lunch and what I feel about the markets after lunch. It also could be just that I'm plain tired (perhaps not enough sleep?).

So what I'm going to do is that for the rest of the week I'll pack up and go home after lunch UNLESS the markets are moving real well (unlike today and yesterday).

If only I had left after lunch, I would have been $200 richer, and a whole lot happier...

Good Trades
9:55AM - Hewlet Packard (HPQ) was uptrending and the Futures were choppily moving up. HPQ reached the $38.00 level that had quite a bit of size on the offer. When it was about to break, I went long 6000 shares and I waited for HPQ to finish moving up and I got most of my position out after the upmove was over, but I had to chase prices back down to get the remainder out. I got out as follows: 1-cent winner (1200 shares), 2-cent winner (800 shares), 4-cent winner (2000 shares), 8-cent winner (1000 shares), 9-cent winner (1000 shares) ($278 profit before fees ; In: 9:55:35AM ; Long 6000 shares @ $38.00 ; Out: 9:59:43AM)

Bad Trades
10:30AM - AMD was moving up sloppily while the Futures were moving sideways. AMD reached some resistance at $23.50 and when it broke, I went long 4000 shares. The position went maybe 1 or 2 cents for me, but then came back down. I basically got chopped out of this position as it continued upwards after I got out. I got out as follows: 2-cent loser (1000 shares), 3-cent loser (900 shares), 4-cent loser (1000 shares), 6-cent loser (300 shares), 7-cent loser (200 shares), 8-cent loser (600 shares) ($167 loser before fees ; In: 10:30:04AM ; Long 4000 shares @ $23.50 ; Out: 10:31:36AM)
  • I guess I could have held this position as it was trending, but looking at a loser this big was hard to take, so I bailed
  • The Futures also weren't really helping and as a result, I should have reduced my share size on this position
  • For most of the morning, AMD was moving fairly choppily and so I should have known that if I got into a position, it may try to shake me out of my position (which it did)


  • hey JC,

    I got one more rule for you. Do not trade when system is not working right. I lost 600 bux on 1 trade at AMD all because the level II quotes was delay big time! I can't understand why there are always problems with ProsperPro. Let's hope they can fix it quick!!! I don't blame the system. I just need to learn how to NOT trade when the system is not working properly. Good trading JC. Big fan of your site!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2006 6:19 p.m.  

  • Hey KL!

    That's a very good rule! Especially when working with ProsperPro! Hehehe. Hey, I didn't know another fellow Swifty was following my site! I'm sure you are doing much better than me - especially lately. I'll see if I can turn my trading around soon.

    Thanks for the compliment and I hope to hear from you again soon!


    By Blogger J.C., at October 11, 2006 7:06 p.m.  

  • JC you are on the right path. Step back from the noise and evaluate your trading and find what works for YOU. I have confidence you will find your sweet spot and trade according to those times that work best for your trading style, personality and what you are most comfortable with. Less can be more........

    You can be a Master Jedi Trader!

    May the Force be with you...............

    By Anonymous StockRoach, at October 11, 2006 8:30 p.m.  

  • StockRoach,

    Thanks for the encouragement! Ahhh yes - becoming a Master "Jedi" Trader is indeed hard to achieve, but I will try my hardest and use all the discipline I have to attain this rank :-)

    There is actually another rank higher than Master Trader, and that is Grand Master Trader (a trader who makes $250,000 or more in a year). I think that would have a good ring to it....Grand Master "Jedi" Trader JC...I really hope the Force will really be behind me if I wish to achieve this rank!

    Best of luck to you and your trading!

    By Blogger J.C., at October 11, 2006 8:42 p.m.  

  • JC: Repeat to yourself every morning before trading....."I am a Master Trader, therefore I am." You are what you think.

    Knock out some good trades tomorrow.

    Happy trading!

    By Anonymous StockRoach, at October 11, 2006 9:21 p.m.  

  • StockRoach,

    Thanks again! Your comments are always encouraging as usual. I'm ready to see what I can do tomorrow!

    By Blogger J.C., at October 11, 2006 10:37 p.m.  

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