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

Friday, December 08, 2006

Trading By "Feel"

Gross: +$524.22
Net: +$460.94
Loss From Top: $34.68
Trades: 51
Shares Traded: 55522

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Coca Cola (KO): +$198.49
DirecTV (DTV): +$144.52
Rite Aid (RAD): +$77.14
Biovail (BVF): +$45.48
Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG): +$18.69
Citigroup (C): +$12.61
AT&T (T): -$1.32
Disney (DIS): -$2.22
General Motors (GM): -$32.45

Yup - you guessed was a problem plagued morning.

There were lots of stocks in the news this morning, but I couldn't get any of my charts to work properly.

Then we had lots of problems with the quotes...they were either really slow/delayed or the Level II would look all messed up or the quotes would freeze and only the Time and Sales would go off.

And since the charts rely on the quotes, a lot of my charts were all intermittent in nature with a few candles here and there, the big spaces in between groups of candles...and on top of that, everytime I changed my charts to a different stock, I'd get a blank chart....nice!

Then at 10AM the consumer sentiment came out and the S&P Futures just started tanking like crazy.

All my charts were screwed up (the only chart that was working was the S&P Futures chart), so I had no good shorting candidates up, so I ended up shorting whatever was on my primary Level II window - which happened to be Coca Cola (KO).

At the time, I had no idea what KO was doing (my charts were non-existent)...all I knew was that the Futures were tanking hard, so I went short 2000 shares.

Then the quotes started acting up and the Level II on KO was all screwed up...I couldn't see where prices were going...stickies appeared all over the place...old stale sizes remained on the Level II...all I could see were the Time and Sales prints going off on Coca Cola.

I blindly put some orders to exit here and there and when I saw the Futures continue tanking hard, I cancelled and placed new orders to exit out of my position and somehow that KO traded ended up being a good one.

That Coca Cola (KO) trade was one in which I had to "feel" what was going charts, quotes were all messed up...I really just relied on the Futures and the prints that were going off on KO.

And believe me, trying to "feel" a trade is not fun at all. I really had no idea what was going to happen or even where prices were going to be at.

Even though that KO trade made me some money, I don't think I will ever try to "feel" a trade ever again. No charts, no quotes, then no trade! Had that trade gone severely against me, I'd probably be kicking myself right now.

It was unfortunate that this morning we had a multitude of problems because I came in this morning knowing I have to get more aggressive with some of my trades, particularly in the morning.

Most of the serious moves on stocks are made in the mornings and so when the opportunities present themselves, I have to be willing to take on bigger risks if I want to see bigger numbers. This will mean a combination of patience and courage. We all know these are things I'm working on...

Anyways, most of my money was made in the morning and all afternoon I basically sat and watched and tried very hard not to do anything stupid.

Just one good trade versus no bad trades today.

I've got a couple of things I want to post on the weekend, so keep an eye open. Have a great weekend folks! We'll get back at it again on Monday!

Good Trades
10:00:26AM - I had no idea what Coca Cola (KO) was doing...all I knew was that the Futures were tanking hard! I basically had no charts and KO just happened to be on my primary Level II window, so I just went short 2000 shares. Level II was all messed up, but I managed to get out of my position as follows: 5-cent winner (800 shares), 10-cent winner (600 shares), 15-cent winner (600 shares) ($190 profit before fees ; Short 2000 shares @ $48.83 ; Out: 10:05:22AM)

Bad Trades



  • Love your blog - been reading it for a while. I have to ask you this: why do you continue with the trading software you are using - it seems plagued with problems on an almost daily basis. It's like going hunting with a gun guaranteed to backfire every second time you squeeze the trigger. There are so many excellent softwares out there. Pick one of them - I would expect your profitability to double or triple as a result. Just my 2 cents worth...lousy tools do lousy work !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 08, 2006 7:07 p.m.  

  • Been reading your blog for several weeks and I have enjoyed it. I agree. You need new software. I traded part time for twelve years and have been doing this full time for ten years. At the risk of sounding like I know what I am doing, I believe one needs to "have an edge" in order to be a success as a trader, especially in the last few years when hedge funds and program trades run Wall Street like its their playground. The edge I found was to trade only two or three sectors and the stocks in them. I know them inside and out and how they react under certain conditions that occur on a daily basis. Everything else on Wall Street is noise.
    Keep it up.

    By Anonymous JSG, at December 08, 2006 9:22 p.m.  

  • prop traders are totally different from investor traders...they have to use in-house developed crap software to connect to company's execution server in order to use company's fund...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 08, 2006 9:56 p.m.  

  • Anon@7:07PM,
    Thanks for your comments. I wish I could change the trading platform I use, but because I work for a prop firm, I'm stuck with the platform that they provide. My charting situation should improve next month as I will begin paying for some real charts. Hopefully that'll make a world of difference, but we'll see!

    Thanks for your comments. And thanks for the advice. Like the answer to anon@7:07PM, unfortunately I'm stuck with the trading platform :( But I'm sure the folks in the back office will have it fixed soon enough (otherwise heads will roll!).

    Thanks for your comments. Hehehe...I think the crappiest software is that stupid charting software our prop firm has! I heard rumblings that some of the bosses are very upset about the charting situation and I've heard that they are looking for outside help to aid the "idiots" to get that piece of software on the right track. We'll see, but I'm not gonna stick around to see if they can get it to work...I'm going to go for eSignal!

    Have a good weekend all!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 08, 2006 10:53 p.m.  

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