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

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Quitting When You're Ahead Is Hard To Do...

Gross: +$859.60
Net: +$757.46
Loss From Top: 0
Trades: 53
Shares Traded: 96600

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
EMC Corporation (EMC): +$650.31
Alcoa Inc. (AA): +$66.55
Alcan Inc. (AL): +$62.42
AMR Corporation (AMR): +$46.95
ConocoPhillips (COP): +$26.29
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK): -$95.07

I had a really slow start this morning. I was closely watching both Alcoa (AA) and Alcan (AL) this morning, but when I wanted to get short, I couldn't get shares and when I wanted to get long, I was too slow and missed some level breaks.

Later in the morning I wasn't really able to catch any real good swings on both of these stocks and I'm somewhat disappointed I wasn't able to come away with some good profits on either of them.

I was so preoccupied with both AA and AL that I didn't notice that EMC had a good nice run this morning.

EMC seemed pretty strong and so when it broke through a level, I tried getting long 20,000 shares, but only got partially filled for 14,700 shares and that trade was basically my whole day (see good trades below).

It was also late in the morning when I saw that AMR Corp. (AMR) also had a good run this morning, but again, I didn't really take any real good profits on this one.

I also tried my hand at trading some of the oil and oil-related stocks with some mixed results. ConocoPhillips (COP) really moved fast and I found that I'd make money, but then lose money on it just as quick. You also have to be relatively fast to get shares, but I like the way it really punches through levels.

I didn't have much luck trading Chesapeake Energy (CHK) today though.

After lunch I was thinking that I should go home, but there was some action during the lunch hour, so I stuck around. I ended up not making any money during that time (lost some, made some back).

As the day rolled into 1PM, I thought to myself I should pack up now and take the rest of the day off...but it was so hard. I kept thinking that there's still the rest of the afternoon to potentially make more money and I really wanted to stay and trade.

I basically spent an hour debating whether I should head home or not and then at around 1:45PM, the markets just started heading higher. I looked around and I was glad I didn't get into any trades (they wouldn't have worked out).

Again, I found myself running on the spot (lost some, gained some back).

At around 2PM, I finally made the decision to go home because I figure that if there weren't any good moves in the stocks I was watching during the 1:45PM move upwards, I probably won't see much else in the afternoon.

And besides, my mind was starting to wander a bit and fatigue was starting to set in.

Today I didn't seem to have the courage to punch into a position with some good share size (I'm talking about getting into a thinner stock like AA or AL with a 5000 share position).

The only glimpse of courage came when I saw that EMC trade and I tried getting 20,000 shares (which would have been the biggest position I've ever gotten myself into), but even at that, I tried to get 20,000 shares only because I was fairly confident of the position.

One good trade versus no bad ones.

Tomorrow I'll try taking a little more risks by getting into larger positions, whether it's by scaling into a position or one of those all-in-one-shot trades (like the EMC trade today).

Good Trades
10:17:03AM - EMC Corp (EMC) was moving up while the Futures were also moving up. I had missed EMC's run since the morning, but I saw it coming back to test it's intraday high at $14.35. When it got up there, the Futures started ripping up, so I tried getting long 20,000 shares, but only got 14,700 shares. As soon as the level broke, it moved upwards rather quickly. When EMC started moving back down quickly, I panicked a little and got out of my position. I got out as follows: 4-cent winner (5000 shares), 7-cent winner (9700 shares) ($879 profit before fees ; Long 14,700 shares @ $14.35 ; Out: 10:19:35AM)

Bad Trades



  • Hi JC,

    Congrats on holding EMC for around 4min. - that must be a record for you! Now imagine if you had only held onto it for another few more minutes longer.....

    By Blogger Phileo, at January 10, 2007 6:47 p.m.  

  • Phileo,
    Thanks for your comments. Heheh...I think I panicked a little too soon on this particular trade...I think it was mainly because of the size of the position. Good luck to you and your trading!

    By Blogger J.C., at January 10, 2007 7:05 p.m.  

  • Hi JC,

    Just checking out your blog for the first time and am shocked at your commission rates. Today you traded 96,000 shares and paid $100 in trading fees! I pay 4x that at a prop firm in NJ. What firm do you trade at, if you don't mind me asking?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 10, 2007 7:35 p.m.  

  • Anon@7:35PM,
    Thanks for your comments. The reason my fees are relatively low is because I don't have to put up any money at the prop firm I work at (instead, profits are split between the trader and the prop firm). If you'd like more info, drop me an email at:


    By Blogger J.C., at January 10, 2007 8:02 p.m.  

  • JC, those numbers you post (gross/net) thats before payout or after, I'm simply being curious.

    By Anonymous Bart, at January 11, 2007 3:35 a.m.  

  • Bart,
    Thanks for your comments. The numbers you see are before payout. Hope it helps and good luck!

    By Blogger J.C., at January 11, 2007 6:35 p.m.  

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