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

Friday, February 23, 2007

Pasta, Potatoes, Bread, & Trading?

Gross: +$1,140.00
Net: +$1,012.61
Loss From Top: 0
Trades: 50
Shares Traded: 147600

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
EMC Corporation (EMC): +$394.69
Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW): +$224.69
Micron Technology, Inc. (MU): +$168.18
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK): +$114.26
Circuit City Stores Inc. (CC): +$75.38
Hecla Mining Company (HL): +$68.56
H&R Block, Inc. (HRB): +$18.32
New Century Financial Corporation (NEW): +$7.77
NovaStar Financial Inc. (NFI): -$25.12
Ford Motor Company (F): -$34.15

Today there really wasn't much in the way of earnings, so I had to keep my head up for stocks on the move during the day.

Maybe it was because of the lack of story stocks that I felt more comfortable sitting and waiting. Had there been lots of stocks reporting or gapping up, I'd probably feel as though I was missing a move somewhere and as a result, I'd end up over trading and take poor setups for the sake of trying to get in on the action.

In fact, there were several times today when the Futures were tanking really hard and I didn't feel the need to be short something.

In the past, whenever I'd see the Futures tanking hard, I'd scramble and just short anything I came across....obviously not sound trading.

But today when the Futures kept tanking hard, I didn't take any short positions because I didn't really see any real good setups and I was actually quite comfortable waiting for better opportunities (i.e. I didn't feel as though I were missing out on some big moves).

This kind of thinking probably saved me today from making bad trades.

It was because of my patience in waiting for a good trade that I didn't have many losing trades today...just a few small ones here and there. This would account for my relatively low number of trades today. I also really tried to keep to the sidelines when trading the fat, thick stocks today and I only traded them when higher probability trades presented themselves.

Today I still felt as though I was on edge when holding onto those winners and I exited most of them fairly quickly....this, however, ended up being a good thing today as I took many of my winners before they turned into losers.

And now, the the point of my post....

The prop firm I work for has lunch catered for us full-time traders and it will usually consists of a soup, a main course, something on the side, and salad. The meals vary....anything from salmon steaks to hamburgers to grilled chicken to kabobs to lasagna.

But it seems like every time I eat a lunch with lots of carbs (pasta, breads, potatoes, etc), I find myself very tired and sleepy in the afternoons.

Take today as an example. They served sub-sandwiches and even after having some coffee shortly after lunch, I still found myself feeling very sluggish and sleepy.

By about 2:30PM, I just felt as though I couldn't concentrate any more, so I called it a day.

On most days when they serve lunch, I always try to avoid the potatoes, the breads, and the pastas if possible and I find if I avoid these foods, I don't feel tired in the afternoons.

I wonder if this means I'm diabetic or something....

By no means am I an unhealthy individual (I'm 5 foot 11 inches, 185 pounds) and I eat a fairly healthy diet at home and I exercise whenever I can.

Hrmmmmph.....I guess it's just another thing I have to factor in when it comes to trading....

Two good trades and no bad ones today.

Have a great weekend folks and I'll see you back here again sometime on the weekend for some more great trading links!

Good Trades
9:37:07AM - Lowe's (LOW) had gapped up in the morning and appeared strong on the open so when it came up to the $35.40 level, I waited for it to break (it had some fairly big size on the offer at $35.40). When it broke, I only went in with 1000 shares just to test the waters. Well LOW just exploded to the upside so I waited for it to do it's thing and when it seemed to get a bit tired, I exited my position as follows: 20-cent winner (500 shares), 25-cent winner (500 shares) ($225 profit before fees ; Long 1000 shares @ $35.40 ; Out: 9:38:55AM)

10:01:05AM - EMC Corp (EMC) was weak when it opened and kept going down. It came down to some support at $14.40 and I waited for it to break. Well at that point, the Futures had been tanking quite hard, so when I had the chance, I went short 10,000 shares @ $14.40. EMC quickly came down and I quickly took a 3-cent winner on my position ($300 profit before fees ; Short 10,000 shares @ $14.40 ; Out: 10:02:14AM)

Bad Trades



  • Excellent trading today. A +$1000 day is a great way to start the weekend. Have fun!

    By Blogger estocastica, at February 23, 2007 10:40 p.m.  

  • u r just few yard away from master trader :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 23, 2007 11:31 p.m.  

  • Estocastica,
    Thanks for your comments. It's definitely been a long time coming...let's see if I can keep this up! Have a great weekend!

    Thanks for your comments. I'm slowly getting there...hopefully I can make it to master sooner rather than later! Enjoy your weekend!

    By Blogger J.C., at February 24, 2007 7:45 a.m.  

  • I see myself usually looking at the wrong stocks instead of the moving stocks that i can trade.

    may i ask , how do you plan your day to find the right stocks to trade (what news you focus on or what scans do you use)?

    btw, you are correct about carbs that what it does and it's well known and nothing to do with being diabetic.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 24, 2007 1:09 p.m.  

  • Kudos to you.

    You have some cojones.

    One question how were you able to ss 10,000 EMC and cover it, when I look @ Level2 I rarely see size other than the cheap stocks like CHTR?

    By Blogger JOSEPH, at February 24, 2007 7:01 p.m.  

  • i guess you mainly rely on chart while many stupid branch managers still educate trainees to trade according to level II. it is well known already that level II is full of fake size...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 25, 2007 9:43 a.m.  

  • just wanted to add that note from an expert:
    "The only kind of carbohydrates that make you tired are the simple ones like sodas and candy bars. Basically these boost your blood sugar quickly and help with your energy level for awhile, and then your blood sugar drops preciptously which leaves you feeling way less energetic."

    hope it helps

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 25, 2007 12:04 p.m.  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 25, 2007 1:34 p.m.  

  • Abi,
    Thanks for your comments. What I usually do is take a look at which stocks are gapping up or down before the bell opens and I keep an eye on them during the trading day. Lately I've mainly been looking at earnings, but as they trickle down to only a handful, I'll usually just stick with gapping stocks. And about the carbs...yea, i wasn't too sure about what causes what or what the symptoms are related to what...hopefully I can find a way around it!

    Thanks for your comments. EMC (along with MOT, TWX, MU, F, etc) usually has enough size to absorb a 10,000 share order. Usually it's bid and ask size are in the 100's (which means there are usually 10000+ shares available on the bid and ask) so I can usually get in and out with relative ease.

    Thanks for your comments. Yea, I think most branch managers and trainers focus on the wrong things. The smart traders should quickly figure out that Level II trading doesn't work. I don't know why so many branch managers teach that...

    Thanks for your comments and thanks for the advice. Usually during the day, I don't drink anything sugary or eat anything sugary (I don't even put sugar in my coffee), but it's a good point and I shall continue to avoid those things. Thanks!

    My uneducated friend...even the dumbest of traders know that there are many ways to make money in the markets (haven't you ever read any books about the market?). And if you think that small guys like myself causes the market chop, you probably use three leaf clovers and rabbit feet to help you in your trading. I don't know what you do or what you know about the market, but it's clear that you don't know much. Take a look around! Visit other blogs and websites about trading! Even read a book about the markets (like Market Wizards or something). But please don't blame me, a small time trader for your trading troubles. And in actuality, I only had about 15 or so positions that I put on during that day...I usually scale out of my positions and each position will usually require 3 or 4 trades to get in and out. But I'm rather flattered if you think that I move the markets like that!

    By Blogger J.C., at February 25, 2007 4:28 p.m.  

  • it's the combination and i'm glad you got shut down freakin daytraders like you caused the crash yesterday luckily i wasn't in anything long. It's just plain fact that you can't be profitable doing this so enjoy your addiction while it lasts. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2007 9:27 a.m.  

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