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

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Myriad Of Problems

Gross: +$338.64
Net: +$194.81
Loss From Top: $216.18
Trades: 97
Shares Traded: 120856

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):

AT&T (T): +$159.96
Walmart (WMT): +$131.49

Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$106.29
DirectTV (DTV): +$18.41
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): -$4.03
Micron Tech (MU): -$44.48
Home Depot (HD): -$172.83

Boy what a sloppy way to start the week.

First, I came in a little late.

Then, I come in and I was told not to logon to our trading software and not to start the charting software. Apparently they've been having plently of problems lately and as a result, they were limited as to the number of people logging on between 9:20AM and 9:45AM.

So I had to wait (while others who came in earlier got to trade)....

While I was waiting to log into the system, other traders had problems with quotes, execution, and stickies (when ECN shares do not clear on the Level II, even when they've been filled).

At about 9:45AM, we were told that us "latecomers" could now log in.

However, I still had problems. I couldn't log in right away because the system said I was already logged on (maybe I didn't exit the trading application correctly last Wednesday), so I had to have that cleared.

When I finally logged in, I tried to trade, however the system still had me in shutdown mode (again, from last Wednesday)...basically the system barred me from trading because it had thought I lost too much money for the day (obviously a remnant from Wednesday). So I had to ask to be re-activated.

I got re-activated and I was getting ready to look for the first trade of the day when we were told that the quotes server was going down at 10:15AM. So I had to wait even further before I could even put on a single trade.

After the quotes server was restarted, I finally got to trading. However, I found that the day was full of problems. Very slow execution, messed up Level II's, and lots of difficulty cancelling orders.

Then around lunch time, my charts got all screwed up.

Unfortunately I'm one of the poor saps that use the in-house developed charting and for several months I've encountered lots of difficulties using it - and today was no different.

At first, I noticed that one of my charts were not moving at all. Then I noticed one of the other charts was also not updating. So I started changing the stock displayed on the charts.

However, whenever I tried to change the charts to another stock, all I got was a blank chart. I tried fiddling with it several times, but I couldn't get them to come back up.

So, I tried re-starting the charting application....however this made it worse!

When the charting software came back up, it didn't display any information prior to the other words, all my charts came up blank and only began charting prices after the restart.

I tried restarting the charting software several times without success, so I let it run for a bit so that it could at least collect some info...during that time I couldn't even change stocks on the charts (otherwise I'd get a blank chart).

It wasn't until around 3PM that the charts appeared to come back online 100%.

All in all, just a problem filled day.

I got screwed a couple of times today because of the slowish system...

There were a couple of times I put in an order and it didn't look like it went through, so I put in the order again and again. Only after a delay, all my orders ended up getting filled (I was over-filled).

I also put in a lot of orders that I thought were placed way before prices started moving, but I ended up not getting a position because the system was too slow to handle my order.

I know a lot of traders on the floor are really starting to get pissed off. The morning problems have been ongoing for several weeks now and frustrations are starting to mount. It didn't really bother me that much the last little while, but today I could really feel what the others are frustrated about.

If I were the one working in the back office, I'd be somewhat concerned. It's starting to get to the point where the anger is starting to boil over and I wouldn't be too surprised if one or more traders went back in the office just to find out what the heck is going on.

Oh well...I'm sure someone in the back office is getting hell over all of this.

BUT, I must remind myself that I could have traded better even with the technical difficulties...I don't want to give myself an easy way out by blaming the system. I just have to trade a little smarter.

One good trade versus no bad trades today.

Today, every time I touched Home Depot (HD), I ended up losing money on it. The problem was that I kept trading it and I kept losing money on it. I put on at least 10 trades on it, and each and every one of them lost money. I don't know why...

I guess tomorrow I'll have to look forward to another day of problems - hopefully by trading smart I can come out on top....

Good Trades
10:23:44AM - AT&T (T) was moving up while the Futures looked like it was starting to curve down. AT&T (T) had just broken the $33.00 level (I tried to get long here, but because of the slowish system, I didn't get shares, even though I punched in WAYYYY early). There was rampant buying after the $33.00 level broke, so I tried to get shares at $33.02. I only got 500 shares at $33.02 so I tried to get more at $33.03 and got another 1500 shares. I got out as follows: 5-cent winner (100 shares), 11-cent winner (1500 shares), 12-cent winner (400 shares) ($218 profit before fees ; Long 500 shares @ $33.02, long 1500 shares @ $33.03 ; Out: 10:26:09AM)

Bad Trades



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