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

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Futile Attempt At Chartless Trading

Gross: +$152.93
Net: +$61.03
Loss From Top: $195.97
Trades: 89
Shares Traded: 64676

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
News Corporation (NWS): +$206.63
Caremark Rx, Inc. (CMX): +$90.94
Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY): +$74.53
Harrah's Entertainment Inc. (HET): +$16.27
Honeywell International Inc. (HON): +$9.08
Weyerhaeuser Company (WY): -$8.46
Terex Corporation (TEX): -$36.55
Citigroup Inc. (C): -$82.12
NYSE Group Inc. (NYX): -$84.13
ConocoPhillips (COP): -$125.11

This morning I got in and we were told that they upgraded the current charting software to a new version!

Great! I was hoping that all the bugs and problems I've been having would be resolved with this new version!

I even got a quick overview of some of the new features of this "new" charting software, and it was fantastic! Some really handy shortcuts, more flexibility and a lot of the cosmetic stuff was fixed!

After the quick overview I was thinking "Well! If this version solves all my problems AND it delivers some of these new features, maybe I won't be needing new charting after all! Excellent!"

Or so I thought...

I would have constant charting problems throughout the entire day, which made for some bad trading and a not-so-fun day...

The main charting problem was that the charts wouldn't update. All of the charts I had (even the Futures charts) remained static.

What I had to constantly do was to set each of the chart's date and range in order to update the chart. However this "manual" updating of the charts was annoying at best (as it required several mouse-clicks).

And even after this "manual" update, the chart would still not move, which meant that every few minutes I had to "manually" update them again.

What was worse was that sometimes after I "manually" updated the charts, they were nowhere near current - there were several times I "manually" updated the charts, but the charts and the Level II were completely off....I'd guess-timate that the charts were sometimes 10 or 15 minutes delayed.

In short - I simply didn't trust what the charts were showing me.

As a result, I tried trading chartless....and it was not fun....

At one point, I had no clue as to what the hell I was doing or basing my trade on. I was basically making up my trading rules as I went along as I had no faith in my charts.

There was another point during the day where I tried loading up the old version of the charting software (yes! I was that desperate!) - unfortunately it didn't work.

Finally at around 1:45PM, the "new" charting software crapped out completely - I couldn't bring up a chart of any kind and all I had were blank charts. I tried re-starting it several times, but to no avail.

At 2PM, I had enough - I decided to pack up and go home.

On my way out, I asked the branch manager if he could "expedite" the arrival of some new charting software for me and that I didn't want to wait until next month. He said he'd get it started.

So I don't know if tomorrow I'll get eSignal or maybe later this week...we'll see.

Anyways, today there were a few stocks moving, but without charts, I never felt very comfortable with any of my positions today.

I know I missed quite a few good moves out there early in the morning because for the first two hours I was trying to fiddle around with charts to get something meaningful from them.

One good trade versus no bad trades.

Today I tried trading NYSE Group (NYX) and I regretted I didn't hold onto my position. I caught wind of NYX moving (via Briefing.com), but I didn't have a chart for it, so I had to rely on what the Level II was saying.

Well NYX got up to the $102.00 level and I went long 500 shares. NYX fell back a little and it tried to break $102.00 a few times and that's when I started wishing I had charts for the stock...I didn't have any idea how strong an up move NYX was having.

So I bailed out of it and wouldn't you know it...it rams right through the $1o2 level and very quickly it was at the $103 level and beyond. Perhaps if I had a chart of NYX things may have been different...I don't know.

I guess if it's not one thing, it's another...let see which one of those things it will be tomorrow....

Good Trades
9:45:38AM - News Corp (NWS) was moving up and I think the Futures were sideways. I saw a level break on NWS and so I went long 2000 shares. It popped up after that level break and I got out when it appeared to be stalling (all while I was trying to get a proper chart of NWS on my charting software). I got out as follows: 10-cent winner (1000 shares), 11-cent winner (1000 shares) ($210 profit before fees ; Long 2000 shares @ $22.38 ; Out: did not record...I guess I was still fiddling with the charts and I forgot to record).


Bad Trades
None.

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5 Comments:

  • That sounds like the most expensive free software I've seen in a while. You owe it to yourself to get something decent. At the very least, try the 30 day trial of QCharts or eSignal. You'll make up the $130/mo cost by saving a single day like this.

    Good luck, JC. Give us some more of those big up days again!

    By Blogger Tyro, at December 18, 2006 6:02 PM  

  • Tyro,
    Thanks for your comments. :) It's true! I wonder how much I've missed out on the last few months because of these kinds of glitches. Hopefully with the arrival of new charts, it will be one less thing to worry about. Best of luck to you for the rest of December and all of 2007!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 18, 2006 7:06 PM  

  • I recently switched from eSignal Premier to QuoteTracker.

    QuoteTracker : 8$/month
    Data feed : 20$/month

    I wish I would have done this a long time ago. It would have saved me a lot of money...

    By Blogger NoGreedNoFear, at December 18, 2006 7:26 PM  

  • NoGreedNoFear,
    Thanks for your comments. Hmmm...I should check it out! I'll have to check with my branch manager to see what options I have - they may limit what can be run on company computers & I'm not sure what kind of restrictions we have (i.e. if we are labelled "professional", etc). But I'll check out QuoteTracker - thanks for the recommendation!

    Good luck to you and your trading!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 18, 2006 8:23 PM  

  • I am not sure why you continued to trade after you discovered your tools were hosed. Could you expand on the reasons why you did so. Is this some sort of 'Daily bread from the markets' type thing?"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 24, 2008 2:23 PM  

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