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

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wiggly Jiggly

Gross: +$262.00
Net: +$204.59
Trades: 63

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
AT&T Inc. (T): +$142.28
Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): +$129.64
General Electric Company (GE): +$114.85
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT): +$55.76
Corning Incorporated (GLW): +$37.55
Pfizer Inc. (PFE): +$21.45
Saks Incorporated (SKS): -$21.31
PepsiCo Inc. (PEP): -$21.98
The Home Depot Inc. (HD): -$21.92
Nokia Corporation (NOK): -$26.93
ConocoPhillips (COP): -$39.23
The Kroger Co (KR): -$80.42
Micron Technology Inc. (MU): -$84.14

Oh wow.....today we were treated to a day full of wiggle...and full of jiggle!

Not a very fun day to try to trade as I found out after my first few trades of the day.

"Be brave and let's work on holding on to winners!" was the motto for today and this morning I came in determined to do just that.

On the first trade of the day I saw an opportunity and I went in....and the position went in the direction of the trade, so I was determined to hold onto this one a bit longer than usual. I was looking at a nice little profit on that trade and normally I would have booked some of it...or perhaps all of it....but I was determined to hold onto my winners and to let them run.

Well, with the Futures whip-sawing every which way, the stock followed and I eventually saw that position turn into a loser.

On the next several trades, the same thing happened....I got into a nice position, it showed a nice little profit and I was determined to let my winners ride, but would have to eventually punch out for a loser because the Futures just chopped everywhere and I found that the stocks I was in followed suit.

After the first few trades I was in the hole and I was frustrated.....

I had to step back and ask myself "Whoa there....what's going on? Why is this day turning out the way it is?".

Once I asked myself this question, the answer was pretty obvious....because it's choppy (well duh).

Maybe because I was too determined with what I wanted to do today that I didn't see it right away....maybe I was too focused on trying to hit a couple of home runs so that I had something to write home about (in this case, some "Good Trades" to write about)...whatever it was, it acted like blinders and I didn't see what kind of day we were experiencing before I had lost a couple bills.

So, I changed my game-plan to "get in and get out fast".

And it worked.

All day I just took a few cents here and a few cents there and I was just as content to do this the whole day, even if some of my winners could have been had for more.

I will admit that trading Kroger (KR) and Micron Tech (MU) were just flat out mistakes. I don't really know why I traded them, but I guess when the opportunities are scarce, one tends to "magically" see things that aren't really there....in this case, I thought I saw opportunities in KR and MU, but upon reflection, I have only to ask myself "What was I thinking?".

Anyways, I've got to identify these kinds of days sooner and earlier in the day. I could have come away with a lot more profit today if I had booked the profits I saw on those first few trades (instead of holding onto them until they became losers).

Overall, the day was just really tough to find any kind of opportunities and I found myself really stretching what I thought would be a good setup and I also found myself looking at way too many stocks searching for opportunities.

Because I was in and out fast, it will be yet another day of no good trades nor any bad ones to report today.

Hopefully tomorrow we'll see some better action!

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $200 or more)
  • None

Bad Trades
(trades in which I lose $150 or more)
  • None

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3 Comments:

  • Hi JC

    Good to see you getting back into the rhythm and starting to quickly notice what type of day it is.

    Can I just say, I think you are letting your opinion keep you in those positions longer than needed when they wasn't working.

    Have a set of mechancial exit rules, which gets you out of the trades when they pullback some and keep you in when they trend. For example, I use an MA 10 on a 3min. If a bar closes below the MA 10 then I exit. Another mechancial rule is the number of bars against you. For example, it gets overextended from the MA 10, and after 2 bars against your position I exit in full. I also look at candlesticks to warn of a reversal. So if long, and I get a doji and shooting star for example, then I am ready to exit on the next bar. You will find on the gappers this works a dream, just play around with your timeframe and what MA you think looks best. I even have MA exit strategy automated in Tradestation, so all the emotion is taken out when I want it to. It's good for those strongly trending stocks which, I believe take some balls when in good profit not to close too early.

    Keep up the good work and top blooging.

    Lee

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 23, 2007 4:44 AM  

  • You have your monthly profits posted on the right. DO you know what they would be in terms of rates of return on capital?

    By Blogger mOOm, at March 23, 2007 9:14 AM  

  • Lee,
    Thanks for your comments. Yea, I've been trying to work on my exit strategy as I feel as this is one of my weak points in my trading plan. I'll continue working on this and hopefully in time I can use this to my advantage so that I can take the emotion away from the game.

    Moom,
    Thanks for your comments. I'm not too sure what the return on capital would be in my case. I work at a prop firm and they don't really give traders an exact value of capital. Instead, they assign all of us some buying power that remains constant no matter how much we gain or lose. If it were based on my buying power, I'm sure it would be paltry :)

    Have a great weekend folks!

    By Blogger J.C., at March 23, 2007 10:19 PM  

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