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

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

EMC & MOT To The Rescue

Gross: +$993.00
Net: +$803.23
Loss From Top: $68.38
Trades: 80
Shares Traded: 253200

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
EMC Corporation (EMC): +$947.37
Motorola Inc (MOT): +$494.54
Tyco International Ltd (TYC): +$89.90
Grant Prideco Inc (GRP): +$51.84
National-Oilwell Varco Inc (NOV): +$39.14
Novellus Systems Inc (NVL): -$15.86
International Securities Exchange Hldgs (ISE): -$83.31
Emerson Electric Co (EMR): -$88.37
Avon Products Inc (AVP): -$132.93
Time Warner Inc (TWX): -$156.48
Celanese Corporation (CE): -$342.60

Damn!

This morning I had a really rough start.

One of the first few trades of the day was on Celanese Corp (CE). CE was moving up and was approaching the $28.50 level and when it broke, I went long 1000 shares. It went up a few cents and then in a blink of an eye, my blotter was showing that my position was a $600+ loser.
What the *!%*??

I froze there momentarily, trying to assess what the heck was going on...the Level II was all messed up with ECNs crossing every which way and I could see fills being made at least 40-cents down from where I was long. I guess one huge seller just tanked CE down hard, but I managed to get out for a $332 loser (see bad trades below).

Crap!

At that point, either I completely lost it or I still had adrenaline pulsing through my veins from the CE trade, and I quickly found myself in an International Securities Exchange (ISE) trade that resulted in an $80 loser.

As soon as I was out of that ISE trade, I found myself in an Emerson Electric (EMR) trade and again I was hit for another $80 loser.

As soon as I was out of that EMR trade, I quickly put on two scalps on Avon Products (AVP), both for losers totaling over $130.

Double crap!

At that point, I thought to myself "What an absolutely horrible start to the morning! In less than 15 minutes I've lost over $600!!!!!!"

I took a short little break, just to clear my head a little and to shake off what had just happened.

I came back and tried trading other stocks that were in the news, but with little luck.

I had been eyeing the $13.65 level on EMC for quite a while at that point because it had big size on the offer (and it was real because it had been there for quite a while). Well, EMC had approached it and when it started to break, I smacked that level and went long with 20,000 shares. As soon as that level broke, it popped up really quickly and managed to make $600 in less than 30 seconds (see good trades below).

Well that trade put me back in the black and it sort of helped me regain my focus.

All day I would continue to scalp EMC as it's moves today were quite smooth and were fairly predictable. I just took many $100 and $200 scalps on it.

In fact, I had made over $1000+ today on EMC all by itself, but I lost some near the end of the day.

Late in the afternoon, I also caught a good move on MOT, though it could have easily been more (see good trades below). Yes, yes, I know...in hindsight, I could have captured a lot more of the move...what I usually do with thicker stocks is that once I'm in a position, I'll put my orders out there to exit just so that I reserve a place in line to get filled should prices get there. I'll cancel my orders if the move looks strong, but the move on MOT was sooo strong and sooo fast, I couldn't cancel my orders fast enough...

Altogether there were two good trades and one bad one.

Today was a day in which the stocks-in-the news let me down. I don't know why, but it seemed like I didn't really "feel" the moves and every time I got into a position, the stock just didn't want to go or do anything.

Needless to say, EMC and MOT helped get me out of a jam today.

Let's see if I have better luck with the stocks-in-the-news tomorrow...

Good Trades
10:36:04AM - EMC Corp (EMC) had moved down, but looked like it caught some support at the $13.60 level. I had been eyeing the $13.65 level for about a half an hour because there was over 1000+ size on the offer at that level. EMC approached it and when it started breaking, I went long 20,000 shares. As soon as it broke, EMC popped up and I quickly took my profits as follows: 2-cent winner (5000 shares), 3-cent winner (10,000 shares), 4-cent winner (5000 shares) ($600 profit before fees ; Long 20,000 shares @ $13.65 ; Out: 10:36:31AM)


3:16:40PM - Motorola (MOT) was slowly creeping up and encountered some resistance at $19.67 in the form of big size. When it started breaking, I went long 10,000 shares. I got the first 5000 shares out to quickly and I had placed another order to exit the balance several cents up (just to reserve my spot in line to get out). But then I realized the extent of the move and I tried to cancel my order, but my order got smacked and I was out of my position. I got out as follows: 2-cent winner (5000 shares), 4-cent winner (5000 shares) ($300 profit before fees ; Long 10,000 shares @ $19.67 ; Out: 3:17:49PM)


Bad Trades
9:48:01AM - Celanese Corp (CE) gapped up and started moving up. CE approached the $28.50 level and when it broke I went long 1000 shares. CE moved up a few cents, but then in a blink of an eye, my blotter reported that my position was a $600+ loser. I tried to assess what had just happened and I just started putting orders to get out of my position. I managed to get out as follows: 33-cent loser (900 shares), 35-cent loser (100 shares) ($332 loser before fees ; Long 1000 shares @ $28.50 ; Out: 9:48:22AM)


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4 Comments:

  • NYSE my first trade of the day was CE at 9:56 and I got stopped out dah..... NOV at 2:45 saved my ass.... I wish I had not sold so soon... Your posts are very helpful to me.. your commentary especially.. I only wish I could return the favor, but you have been trading longer than me. Best

    By Blogger bp, at February 06, 2007 6:24 PM  

  • I would be nervous as s%*t holding that many shares of one stock. Good job today.

    By Blogger Bubs, at February 06, 2007 7:11 PM  

  • BP,
    Thanks for your comments. It seemed like everytime CE got up there, there was some hard selling...Nice move on NOV! I don't know what happened there, but it looks very similar to the move MOT did at around 3:15PM. I have been following your blog for a few days now with great interest, so keep those posts coming! Good luck and good trading!

    Bubs,
    Thanks for your comments. :) It took me a long time to start getting comfortable trading 10,000 and 20,000 shares...but I'm glad that I'm feeling much more comfortable with them these days. I still remember the first time I put on a 10,000 share position...I nearly wet my pants and I was sweating bullets!

    By Blogger J.C., at February 06, 2007 7:34 PM  

  • This blog has comments, articles, and other information on trading by John Forman,
    who wrote The Essentials of Trading. John’s been in the markets for almost 20 years.
    He publishes his thoughts about trading (mostly educational), provides reviews of books and
    other trading related stuff, and posts information on his trading education work.

    for more details to click here:-
    www.theessentialsoftrading.com

    By Blogger Trading & Investing Essentials, at February 17, 2007 9:25 AM  

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