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

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I Can't Trade For Beans During The Afternoons

Gross: +$1,238.00
Net: +$1,003.03
Loss From Top: $36.85
Trades: 111
Shares Traded: 99000

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT): +$720.54
Nucor Corporation (NUE): +$402.64
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (GT): +$36.42
Avaya Inc. (AV): +$26.99
ENSCO International Incorporated (ESV): -$13.89
AT&T Inc. (T): -$14.76
AMR Corporation (AMR): -$19.14
Alltel Corporation (AT): -$25.96
The Home Depot Inc. (HD): -$110.29

Today was a good start to 2007 and in my December review I stated that I wanted to come out more aggressively in 2007 if I wanted to get to where I'm going.

As soon as we opened for trading today, things just seemed to explode to the upside and I worked up the courage to try to capture some of those moves.

I had several stocks up on my charts, but the one stock that caught my eye was Wal-Mart (WMT). As soon as the market opened, WMT just seemed to go up and up and up.

I tried to catch a good swing on it and when it went through the $47.25 level, I tried to go long 2000 shares, but I got partially filled for only 300 shares....rats! I tried to get more, but WMT
just rocketed higher and I found I couldn't get any more shares until it was 75-cents higher!

I got 1700 more shares when WMT broke the $48 level and when I finally exited my position, it turned out to be close to a $700 winner! That original 300 shares I got way down there at $47.25 was taken for a 100-cent winner! (see good trades below)

For me, taking a 100-cent winner is a lot! The most cents I took previously was something like a 50-cent winner. I just wished I was filled for all 2000 shares (instead of just 300)....that trade could have been a $1000+ winner!

Anyways, I'm not going to beat my chest and say I did good today....the markets were just very busy all around and many stocks had strong moves. I'll be happy IF I can keep this up.

I caught another good move on Nucor (NUE) a few minutes later and that would basically be my day.

Today I know I over-traded. It might have been because I came in today with the intent on being aggressive and taking trades that look good.

Well, unfortunately, after the first half an hour of trade, things were completely sideways up until 2PM. I found myself trying to trade range-bound stocks during the sideways action....but without much success.

After those two great trades on WMT and NUE, I would continue to trade and lose money. I somehow was able to make back what I lost, but it was very stressful.

I had thoughts of going home after lunch, but I felt compelled to stay to see what the markets would do after the FOMC minutes were released.

BUT, the rest of the day seemed like a great struggle and even with that great move to the downside in the afternoon, I felt as though I couldn't trade for beans!

For those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that this is not the first time I've complained about afternoon trading.

I just don't know what it is...perhaps the way I trade is not suited for the afternoon and that the morning moves are just more clear cut.

Anyways, I kept trying to trade and I'd end up losing money, gaining it back, losing it again and I was just running around in circles.

Finally, at about 3PM, I was just totally frustrated and decided to leave the office. I was also upset that the overall markets made very strong moves to the downside, yet I wasn't able to make a dime.

I was also pretty frustrated with Home Depot (HD) today. I had this stock on my watchlist and when news came out on it this morning, I thought there would be some great trading on it today.

But all day, Home Depot (HD) just moved so sloppily and made such lousy moves that I found myself constantly exiting my positions for break even.

As you can see, I lost over $100 on it today, however most of that is just fees...I was only down $15 gross on HD today.

For some reason, I just kept trading HD, and it kept churning and churning. Finally about halfway through the day, I decided to take HD off my radar completely.

I don't know...maybe I'll go back to just trading mornings. The morning went by just fine...but then the afternoon was just a bunch of frustration that probably didn't need to happen.

Two good trades versus no bad trades today.

I'll see how I feel tomorrow and I'll decide whether I should call it a day after lunch...

Good Trades
9:39:23AM - Wal-Mart (WMT) was moving up strongly while the Futures were also moving up. WMT came up to some size on the bid at $47.25 and I tried to go long 2000 shares when it broke, but I only got 300 shares. I wanted to get the rest of my shares, but WMT just moved sooo quickly upwards, I wasn't able to get any more shares until WMT reached the $48 level (that's when I got another 1700 shares for a 2000 share position). I held the position and dumped half when WMT seemed tired and dumped the other half when WMT looked like it would rollover. I got out as follows: 22-cent winner (1000 shares), 25-cent winner (700 shares), 100-cent winner (300 shares) ($695 profit before fees ; Long 300 shares @ $47.25, long 1700 shares @ $48.00 ; Out: 9:42:05AM)

9:53:34AM - Nucor (NUE) was moving down and the Futures also appeared to be moving down. NUE came down to the $54 level and when it broke, I went short 1000 shares. Well as soon as the $54 level broke, NUE just screamed down. I held this and when it started moving back up, I dumped my shares. I got out as follows: 31-cent winner (400 shares), 33-cent winner (100 shares), 45-cent winner (500 shares) ($382 profit before fees ; Short 1000 shares @ $54.00 ; Out: 9:54:17AM)

Bad Trades



  • Nice work! htI don't trade the open, but I was impressed by WMT's start. So, I was ready to bite when it approached 48 a second time. Luckily, I didn't front-run that one, since it fizzled out.

    By Anonymous Richard, at January 04, 2007 1:37 a.m.  

  • Richard,
    Thanks for your comments and happy new year! On that day I didn't even have WMT on my radar, but for some reason one of my charts had it on (I was going to change it in the morning, but I forgot). I saw that run up and again, I just wish I had more shares! Good luck to you in 2007!

    By Blogger J.C., at January 04, 2007 4:52 p.m.  

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