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

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stuck In "Choppy Markets" Mode

Gross: +$513.35
Net: +$357.62
Loss From Top: $90.28
Trades: 139
Shares Traded: 131774

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Walmart (WMT): +$162.70
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$115.00
Home Depot (HD): +$109.33
AT&T (T): +$46.23
Citigroup (C): +$32.08
Pfizer (PFE): +$23.54
Corning (GLW): -$5.11
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): -$6.00
Exxon Mobil (XOM): -$120.17

What a day filled with soo many opportunities. Lots of money could have been made out there - but I was too risk-intolerant and I ended up with a weak showing today.

All the stocks I was watching had nice trends (both up and down) and there were many times I had to decide if I should get into stock A or get into stock B (multiple opportunities were presenting themselves at the same time!).

But why such a weak showing on a day like today?

Because I'm still chicken.

I'm still reeling from the last few months and I'm still trading as though I'm expecting the market to chop me to bits.

As a result, most of my positions were small (1000 or 2000 shares), and I was getting in and out fast (for fear that I'd get chopped out of a profitable position). This resulted in me only taking a few cents here and there (when there were opportunities to make a few 10-cents here and there).

I look back now and I realize that my actions today were more automatic than anything else! I guess we've had bad markets for so long that my actions and reactions are still stuck in "choppy-markets" mode.

The markets look like they are starting to go somewhere and the intraday movements are becoming a lot more appealing so I've got to break out of that "choppy-markets" mode and really start trading.

Tomorrow I'm going to revert back to my regular position size (instead of limiting myself to 1000, 2000 and 3000 shares) and I'll try to be patient with my winners. I just hope we are not stuck with choppy sideways markets tomorrow!

Today I also played around with some simple moving averages. Many times after the markets close and I look at intraday charts and I sometimes think that trading should be easier than it currently is.

And so, I am hoping that the moving averages just give me a clearer signal on when to enter and when to exit for some longer term trades (30 minutes or more). Afterall, if a stock is going up, go long! If a stock is going down, go short! (it can't be that simple, could it?????)

No good trades nor any bad trades (I was stuck in "choppy-markets" mode!).

Anyways, hockey season starts tonight! Let's see what the Leafs can do this year (I'm not hoping for too much - but you never know...). I'll watch a few Leafs games here and there, but if they suck, I'm not going to bother - it wastes too much of my time and for what? The usual disappointments?

Knowing the Leafs, they'll start the season hot (and give all of us a glimmer of hope), but then turn stone cold for the bulk of the season, only to turn it on again near the end of the season.

Good Trades

Bad Trades


  • How is your Chinese immersion going?

    Good Luck.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 04, 2006 7:01 p.m.  

  • Anon@7:01PM,

    Thanks for your comments.

    It's progressing...I'm still staying current with the entertainment and music scene and I try to learn and understand the lyrics of some of the albums I buy.

    I'm following Richard's (from Move The Markets) example and trying to learn the language during quiet periods during the trading day. I got a book for conversational Mandarin and I'm starting to read it during lunch-time trading. I'll also be updating my other blog a little more frequently (there was 3 months between posts!). My goal will be to *try* to update it once a week.

    I hope you can follow along and hopefully get some recommendations (movies, music, websites) from me there!

    Happy trading!

    By Blogger J.C., at October 04, 2006 7:12 p.m.  

  • Hi JC,

    Just found your site the other day by way of Trader Mike's site.I'm a Nyse scalper myself,and found your blog interesting.Good info on the new fee structures for ARCA,though there is some fine print on those credits in the way the order is executed.My question to you,if you can/want to answer this is what kind of percentage payout are you getting at this prop firm? Seems you trade a fair amount of volume and that your fee's/commisions are minimal,but is it a true advantage or is there some kind of trade off for that,for example the amount of payout you receive.

    P.S. I'm a Red wings fan,but Toronto has some talent,that's my second favorite.I'm originally from Hockeytown,so no offense :)

    Good Luck to ya.Oh and excuse my blogs,if you happen to visit,they haven't been updated in quite a while,I haven't had the time I would like for that,but hope to get back to it soon.

    By Blogger txtrader, at October 05, 2006 1:20 a.m.  

  • congrats on the good day although i think you had the wrong attitude about it. after some rough months, i think you did a good job of recognizing some things needed to change (i.e. lower share limits, etc) but when you had a winning day, instead of beating yourself up about how you "could" have made more, i see it as you took a step back, adjusted your gameplan and it worked out. look at it as a good thing and work your way back in!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 05, 2006 2:31 p.m.  

  • Txtrader and Anon@2:31PM,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Thanks for your comments. If you'd like more info about the firm I work for, you can give me an email at: and I can send you the details. Yea - the Leafs lost last night - they couldn't even score and the only goal they got was on a penalty shot! Last night they really didn't look all that strong, though they did have some chances! Let me know when you're gonna start posting again - I'm always on the lookout for a new blogs!

    I think you may be right. I've noticed that for the past few months most of my posts have been rather negative. I guess it's just the way I'm feeling these days. Once I get some consistency back, than hopefully my posts will be a little brighter. I really should look at both sides: the positive and the negative! I will work on this.

    In the meantime, happy trading all!

    By Blogger J.C., at October 05, 2006 8:20 p.m.  

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