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

Monday, December 11, 2006

71 Trading Days

Gross: +$1,237.54
Net: +$1,116.29
Loss From Top: 0
Trades: 88
Shares Traded: 94834

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Time Warner Inc. (TWX): +$742.41
DIRECTV Group Inc. (DTV): +$170.89
AT&T Inc. (T): +$110.03
Citigroup Inc. (C): +$104.16
BellSouth Corporation (BLS): +$55.56
The Coca-Cola Company (KO): +$27.56
Duke Energy Corporation (DUK): +$8.78
Best Buy Co., Inc (BBY): +$6.46
Bank of America Corporation (BAC): -$24.60
DuPont (DD): -$84.98

71 trading days...

That was how long ago I had my last $1000+ day.

How very unfortunate too. Back in June, $1000+ days started becoming frequent and I had high hopes that those kind of days would be the norm.

But then came the summer - profits deteriorated, my confidence crumbled, and my morale started taking severe hits.

Somewhere between June and now, I somehow lost the way. Perhaps I was trying to change too much? Perhaps I was pushing myself too much? Maybe I couldn't handle the bigger share sizes I started using? Could it be I was thinking too much or over-assessing everything?

I don't know and quite honestly, I still don't have the answer to the question "What happened?". All I know is that I really have to turn my trading around.

And the disappointing thing about today's $1000+ day was that it wasn't really achieved through my trading.

Let me explain....

This morning I came into the office prepared for what lay ahead.

Upon the open, there were lots of stocks that opened near big levels of fact, there were soo many potential level breaks my head was about to explode!

The $52.00 level on Citigroup (C), the $35.00 level on AT&T (T), the $46.00 level on BellSouth (BLS), the $49.00 level on Coca-Cola (KO) and the $21.00 level on Time Warner (TWX).

Well, I missed most of them because the system had numerous problems execution wise....

Then I tried to go long 5000 shares on Time Warner (TWX) upon the break of the $21.00 level, but my order never got filled and it's status was "pending". I tried cancelling it, but it remained in my blotter...apparently the execution server had a momentary hiccup.

I then saw another trade on another stock and took it, but then my trading platform crashes and the application closes itself (while I was still in a position!).

Anyways, I get the trading platform back up and running and mysteriously, anything having to do with the TWX order is gone from my blotter! Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to write down order # for my branch manager to investigate.

I asked my branch manager to see if I had a position in TWX, but because I didn't have an order number for him, he couldn't tell. He then checked a few other things but he said he couldn't see any position in TWX.

Rats! All these great level breaks on multiple stocks and all I could do was sit and watch. Very disappointing.

After about 30 minutes after the open, the system appeared to stabilize and I traded as usual.

I was a little upset that this morning I was surrounded by great level breaks and I couldn't do a single thing about it.

Anyways by lunch I had made some profits, but hardly enough to make me happy, considering everything I had missed.

Then at around 1PM, the branch manager comes over and tells me that that 5000 shares on TWX actually did get filled! He said it was in the system, but he didn't see it when I had asked him several hours ago.

So the branch manager tells me he's going to put that position in my blotter and BAM! I'm looking at a 15-cent winner on 5000 shares. I decided to get out of that trade (and not hold it just in case something funky happens to the system) and took a $750 profit off of it.

And that basically made my day...

Oh well, I guess I have the system problems to thank for the day I had today. I'm just glad I didn't have to eat a loss because of these system problems and actually I'm quite happy I haven't been screwed by the system these last few trading days (well, I guess it did cost me missed opportunities..).

Anyways one good trade and one bad trade (I'm not counting that TWX trade as being a good one since I didn't even know I was in that trade!).

Since the start of the month, I've been coming into the office with the intention of trading aggressively, especially if I feel confident about a trade. But system problems we've had lately always have me questioning what I see and reluctant to really put on any trade with decent share size.

Hopefully once I get new charts (in January) and when they get the system stable, I can really get into the groove of trading...

Good Trades
10:31:08AM - Citigroup (C) was moving up while the Futures were up, but appeared to be flattening. Citigroup reached some resistance at the $52.60 level and when it broke I went long 3000 shares. Citigroup moved upwards and when it seemed a little tired, I got out of my position. I got out as follows: 5-cent winner (900 shares), 6-cent winner (100 shares), 9-cent winner (1000 shares), 12-cent winner (1000 shares) ($261 profit before fees ; Long 3000 shares @ $52.60 ; Out: 10:34:40AM)

Bad Trades
10:13:54AM - Citigroup (C) was moving up and so were the Futures. I went long 2000 shares when I saw the $52.50 level break, but once I was in the position, it just started going against me. I got out as follows: 4-cent loser (1400 shares), 9-cent loser (300 shares), 10-cent loser (300 shares) ($104 loser before fees ; Long 2000 shares @ $52.50 ; Out: 10:15:22AM)



  • Hello, congrats on your excellent day. I've been reading your blog last few days or so. I've just started daytrading in November and have picked up some good ideas in your monthly recaps. I've started a blog as well to recap my trading.



    By Blogger Tim, at December 11, 2006 7:10 p.m.  

  • If someone is prospering from P-Pro, it sure ain't the traders! I think it was probably your planning and analysis which put you on the right side of the TWX trade, but if that bounced off and you were down all that cash...? Ugh, not something to think about.

    Still, you deserve credit here. You're branching out and trying new things and clearly you are picking the levels and direction well. I'm sure you'll be hitting these big days again soon.

    By Blogger Tyro, at December 11, 2006 7:32 p.m.  

  • Cool!

    By Blogger Trader ZBS, at December 11, 2006 7:54 p.m.  

  • Hey, I'm also a prop trader but trade nasdaq stocks 99.9% of the time because of the ease of getting in and out of stock. I was just wondering why you trade new york stocks, and what your strategy is for getting in and out quickly and not having orders held by the specialist as the stock goes against you. Thanks

    By Blogger James, at December 11, 2006 8:01 p.m.  

  • Tim,
    Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you were able to come away with something from this blog. I just visited your site...good stuff...I just left you a comment at your blog...

    Thanks for your comments. Yea, a lot of the traders are starting to get really fed up with all the system problems. And if I were down all that cash, I know I'd have to eat it...I'm just glad I was able to keep the profits off that TWX trade. I think branching out was something I needed to do - it was just too many months of going nowhere and I knew I had to change something...let's see where I go from here.

    Thanks for your comments. :) I just wish I could pull off the same consistency as you! Keep up the great work and hopefully soon I'll be at the same level as you soon! :)

    Thanks for your comments. I currently trade NYSE stocks because when I first started at the prop firm, they had me trading NYSE first. Later on I just got used to it and I've been trading it ever since. Also, the prop firm gave me entitlements to trade NYSE and CME...I could ask for entitlements for trading the Naz, but it'd cost me more per month to trade it. Maybe once I'm happy with where I'm at in trading the NYSE, I might consider trading the Naz. As for getting in and out quickly on the NYSE - it's all a matter of position size...I take a look to see if I can comfortably get half my position out should the trade go against me....that's why some stocks I may go in with 10,000 shares and other stocks I wouldn't go in with more than 2000 shares. Sometimes I still do get caught with the specialist holding my orders, but with Hybridization in the works, hopefully that will be a thing of the past.

    Good luck to all and happy trading!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 11, 2006 9:01 p.m.  

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