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

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Gross: +$580.00
Net: +$465.54
Loss From Top: $75.05
Trades: 70
Shares Traded: 120400

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
The Kroger Co. (KR): +$216.04
EMC Corp (EMC): +$94.77
LSI Corp (LSI): +$65.63
Bank of New York (BK): +$63.29
Home Depot (HD): +$62.74
Walmart (WMT): +$42.70
Peabody Energy (BTU): +$7.58
AT&T (T): -$5.03
Valero Energy (VLO): -$34.92
Pfizer (PFE): -$47.28


Today we had some execution problems all day and then at around 3:15PM, the execution server went down.

I don't know if they ever got the system back up and running again, but from experience, if something goes down in the last 2 hours of trade, it's probably not coming back up for the rest of the day.

All day we seemed to have sluggish execution. There were some traders who were in positions, but for some reason, couldn't put out orders to get themselves out of it.

I also had trouble cancelling orders - it would seem to take forever to cancel (I'm not talking seconds - I'm talking about 2 minutes before orders were cancelled!).

There were also several times in which I thought I put my order out there, but they never showed up on the Level 2 and even though I should have been filled, I was not. I ended up having to cancel my orders and re-enter them.

These difficulties appeared to be NYSE related, so I avoided trying to send anything directly to the NYSE or using anything that routed to the NYSE (I ended up using a lot of Island and a lot of Arca).

I'm just glad that the execution problems didn't screw me over today.

When the execution server went down at 3:15PM, I left the office.

Like yesterday, today I focused on stocks that were in the news or those that gapped higher or lower.

Both Kroger (KR) and Toll Brother's (TOL) reported this morning and I was watching both closely.

I caught a good move on Kroger (KR) early in the morning and I was waiting for a level break on TOL, but unfortunately I missed it (I was in another trade) and I never got to see any opportunities on it for the rest of the day.

I only used 500 shares on the KR trade, but I think I should start stepping it up a bit (see good trades below). I know some of the other traders in the office would do the same trade with much larger share size, hence the big numbers they post everyday. While I make $215 on 500 shares, they are making $2150 on 5000 shares and if that's where I want to be, I'll have to up my share size on these kinds of trades.

The afternoon seemed to be a drag...not much was happening, so I got in a lot of reading done. It was during the afternoon lull that I found that Ivanhoe Mines (IVN) was moving - unfortunately most of the good move was over and I didn't get a chance to trade it.

One good trade versus no bad trades today.

I'm starting to like trading these stocks in the news...I don't have to be as patient with them because when they move, they really move (okay, okay, you're probably thinking "Well tell me something I don't know!"....yes, yes, it took me a long time to start looking at stocks that were in the news - I'm just glad I'm starting to explore how to trade them now).

Good Trades
9:47:45AM - Kroger (KR) had gapped up, pulled back a little, but started moving up again while the Futures were sideways. Kroger (KR) came up to some resistance at $23.50 that it tested earlier and when it broke, I went long 500 shares. Once KR broke that level, it just kept going and going. I held and held and just kept an eye on the charts. It quickly made it up to the $24.00 level at which point things started getting choppy and I felt uncomfortable with the position, so I got everything out for a 43-cent winner. No sooner had I exited my position, KR continued up another 25 cents or so....oh well, I'm just glad I was able to catch a good part of this move ($215 profit before fees ; Long 500 shares @ $23.50 ; Out: 9:54:10AM)

Bad Trades



  • Hi J.C.

    you mentioned "I was waiting for a level break on TOL, but unfortunately I missed it (I was in another trade)".

    Do you usually just put on 1 trade at a time?

    Have a good day tomorrow.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 05, 2006 7:28 p.m.  

  • Hi, from which website you could get "stock in the news"?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 05, 2006 7:38 p.m.  

  • hi JC,
    how do you chose your stocks to trade here? did you find KR via news ?



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 05, 2006 8:13 p.m.  

  • Anon@7:28PM,
    Thanks for your comments. I usually put on one trade at a time, though lately I've been trying to practice patience with my trades and as a result, I've been putting on multiple trades at a time (the most is 2 trades at a time). I find that if I'm in two positions, I get scared out of one of my positions rather easily, which is something I'll try to work on.

    Thanks for your comments. I get my news from various sites -, Yahoo!Finance, GoogleFinance, Surprisingly, I'm also getting a lot of news from various bloggers (I currently track over 80 trading blogs!). Once I'm at the office, they supply realtime news from, though I find that I don't look at it that much (my concentration is usually elsewhere).

    Thanks for your comments. Yup, I got KR from the news - this one was already on my radar from the night before as I knew they were reporting earnings in the morning. Also, I had CNBC on this morning as I was getting ready to head into the office and they mentioned that KR reported. Also, once I get into the office, I take a quick look to see what is gapping up and what's gapping down via

    I hope that answers all your questions! Good luck everyone tomorrow and happy trading!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 05, 2006 8:30 p.m.  

  • Hi JC

    43 cent winner. Great stuff!
    With your entries, what sort of trigger are you waiting for in level 2, i.e. if long, offers pulled, big size melts, good support on bid.

    Many thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 06, 2006 3:47 a.m.  

  • L,
    The two things I mainly look for are 1) when big size melts and 2) when intraday highs/lows break. I also make sure that the S&P Futures are moving in the same direction of the trade (or at least not moving against the trade).

    I will not usually get in if offers are pulled (because it may come back). If there is good support on the bid, then I will increase my share size and get in when 1) or 2) occurs.

    Hope it helps! Good luck and happy trading!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 06, 2006 7:32 a.m.  

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