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

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Got No Rhythm

Gross: -$51.04
Net: -$219.66
Loss From Top: $340.12
Trades: 106
Shares Traded: 148696

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
AT&T Inc. (T): +$128.48
Safeway Inc. (SWY): +$56.64
Corning Incorporated (GLW): +$27.15
ConocoPhillips (COP): +$18.74
The Kroger Co. (KR): +$13.84
Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY): +$5.33
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT): -$4.14
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN): -$15.05
The Cooper Companies Inc. (COO): -$30.06
Home Depot Inc. (HD): -$41.77
Citigroup Inc. (C): -$52.88
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): -$157.25
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD): -$168.74

Boy oh boy....what a day!

This morning I got off on the wrong foot and started the day with 7 consecutive losing trades and I saw myself quickly in the hole by a little more than $400.


I don't know what it was, but this morning I just wasn't feeling the markets - it's almost as if I had no real rhythm in what I was doing.

My timing was off and I kept putting on questionable trades. The bad trades just came in quick succession and it seemed as though I couldn't really find any good trades out there.

Granted there wasn't much in the news...I did take a look at The Cooper Companies (COO) in the morning, but after looking at the price action, I didn't want to touch it, even with a 10-foot pole (though I did try to trade it later in the afternoon).

After that rapid-fire burst of losing trades to start the day, I have a feeling my thinking sort of changed. I think my mind started thinking "Dang! I'm in a hole...I'm gonna dig myself out of this mess or I'll die trying!".

It was this thinking that had me trading waaaayy too much. All day the markets were stuck in a fairly tight trading range and a lot of the stocks I was watching didn't show much promise.

As a result, I found myself fighting the market chop all day long and my P/L was bouncing around all over the place.

I did manage to get back into positive territory by only about $100, but then I kept trying to trade AMD and HD during the last hour of trade - both of them traded rather sloppily during the last hour...I don't know why I kept trying to trade them.

Usually when I start a day off like I did today, it usually means that I probably wasn't focused enough and I had serious thoughts about going home by lunch (by that time I was at about break even).

I wonder if there are any things out there that can help regain one's focus when you know it's lacking. I did go out for a little walk and it seemed to help...for only a short time...then I think I lost focus again and I started losing again (don't ask me how or why I lost focus...could it be that it was just a sideways day? I don't know!).

Another way you can tell I lost focus today is by looking at the number of stocks I traded - usually when I trade the number of stocks I traded today, it usually means I was going from one stock to another, trying to look for opportunities.

About 80% of my trades today were for losers or break even...I'm just glad I kept my losses on those trades to a minimum - I didn't take any serious hits, but then again I didn't take any good swings either.

As a result, no good trades and no bad trades.

I really do hope that the markets for the rest of December isn't like this...

Good Trades

Bad Trades



  • is 13th...i saw many traders got negative net...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2006 8:57 p.m.  

  • Anon@8:57PM,
    Thanks for your comments. Yea, today I guess it was kind of tough. I guess I should have traded less and picked better setups...I was probably too impatient today. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

    Good luck to you tomorrow!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 13, 2006 10:10 p.m.  

  • Your post pretty much sums up my day too. It was really choppy and weird today.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2006 11:33 p.m.  

  • Hi JC
    A book called Zen in the Markets by Toppel helped switch a few lights on regarding focus and flow. I am also glad to hear a few traders starting to comprehend what flow actually means, and it is usually only Tape Readers who can truly understand it, because of the dynamics and intensity that Tape Reading requires.
    Best Wishes
    Down Under

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 14, 2006 4:59 a.m.  

  • Jan,
    Thanks for your comments. Yea, it seemed like a lot of traders had difficulty on that day...I'm just glad it wasn't worse that it was for me.

    Down Under,
    Thanks for the comments and thanks for the recommendation! I'm always looking for new books to read! I'll definitely get that for my library!

    Good luck all!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 14, 2006 4:51 p.m.  

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