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

Friday, December 01, 2006

Abnormally Cautious

Gross: +$661.00
Net: +$542.61
Loss From Top: 0
Trades: 86
Shares Traded: 107600

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Walmart (WMT): +$261.73
Home Depot (HD): +$140.82
Corning (GLW): +$51.94
Ford (F): +$40.86
AT&T (T): +$34.68
Chesapeake Energy (CHK): +$24.10
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$15.86
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$2.32
EMC Corp (EMC): -$30.43

I don't know why, but today I traded extremely cautiously and extremely conservatively.

All day I was mainly using 2000 share position sizes and as well as many 1000 share positions. And with most of my positions, I was in and out fast.

This morning we seemed to have a very fast paced market, but I guess I was weary of the system problems we've been lately, and as a result, I was reluctant to put on a trade that really counted.

It could have also been that since the market was moving fast, I didn't want to get caught on the wrong side of a trade, hence the smaller share size.

As it would turn out, today was fairly problem free (at least the system didn't crap out!). Occasionally it was a little slow (especially around the 10AM tank), but the quotes held up (we still had occasional stickies) and the charts worked well (at least up until 3:15PM).

But once the morning was over, the day seemed to be fairly choppy and hence I just scalped 1000 shares at a time. I also had to sit around a lot to wait for the trades to show themselves though.

However, because of my cautiousness, my profits were limited....on that same token, it was perhaps because of my cautiousness that I made very few mistakes today.

Between 1PM and 2:30PM, the markets just didn't really want to do anything and so to kill time I tried browsing around on the net. I then just fooled around with IE on the machine I was using and found that someone had bookmarked Brett Steenbarger's trading articles at:

I visit often, but I mainly just go to his weblog section and of course, I visit his other site TraderFeed daily, but today was the first time I went to the above link.

All I've got to say is that everyone should go visit the above link! There are literally TONS of great articles there! I read several articles during the market lull and sooo many times I thought to myself "Hey! I can relate to what he's writing about!".

You can guarantee that I'll be visiting that site more often whenever the markets are sideways which has a two-fold benefit: 1) it keeps me from trading and 2) I learn something from the articles!

One good trade versus no bad trades today.

That one good trade was on Walmart (WMT). At the time, WMT was downtrending and so I managed to get short 2000 shares (see good trades below).

Now what happened was this - when the Futures started tanking, I put out an order to dump half my position several cents below, hoping I'd get some good price improvement. I also put another order to dump the other half a little lower when I saw that WMT was really going to tank.

I then saw the extent of the Futures tank and I tried cancelling all my orders. Well, WMT approached my orders (price did jump down, but not to where my orders were) and I was trying to cancel with all my might...but alas, I got filled at where I had placed my orders.

Oh well...I'm just glad I didn't get this month off on the wrong foot.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be posting stuff on the weekend so be on the lookout!

Good Trades
10:00:11AM - Walmart (WMT) was downtrending while the Futures were also downtrending. WMT started tanking so I tried going short, but got partially filled for 900 shares. WMT continued tanking so I when short an additional 1100 shares 2-cents lower. Just then, the Futures tanked really hard and so did WMT. Unfortunately I couldn't cancel my orders and so I got out as follows: 11-cent winner (100 shares), 12-cent winner (1900 shares) ($239 profit before fees ; Short 900 shares @ $45.74, short 1100 shares @ $45.72 ; Out: 10:00:58AM)

Bad Trades



  • Hi JV,

    I saw your statement below:

    "I then saw the extent of the Futures tank and I tried cancelling all my orders. Well, WMT approached my orders (price did jump down, but not to where my orders were) and I was trying to cancel with al"l my might...but alas, I got filled at where I had placed my orders."

    Does the above situation happen often. If it happens often, does it mean that the specialist is manipulating the stock or playing some games with the order flow?

    Another question, do you usually have just 1 opened trade going on or do you have several trades opened at the same time?

    Thanks and have a good month!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 02, 2006 5:59 a.m.  

  • Anon@5:59AM,
    Thanks for your comments. On Friday when I was trying to cancel my orders probably had a lot to do with the system problems we've been having. Anytime the markets starts moving fast, our system starts moving slow.

    One thing to keep in mind though - for those NYSE stocks that have yet to go Hybrid, it could be that the specialist is handling a big order that's coming in and as a result, he may not have time to acknowledge your cancel. Sometimes it depends on the specialist when this happens - some are nicer and will acknowledge your cancel before filling big orders and other times he just fills everything.

    Hope it helps and I wish you a good December as well!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 02, 2006 10:10 a.m.  

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