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

Monday, April 30, 2007

Trading Against The Clock

Net: +$645.31
Trades: 59
Shares Traded: 30600

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
International Securities Exchange Hldgs (ISE): +$229.34
MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (WFR): +$187.82
MasterCard Incorporated (MA): +$116.24
Payless ShoeSource, Inc. (PSS): +$98.57
ConocoPhillips (COP): +$87.93
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM): +$78.60
Corn Products International, Inc. (CPO): +$54.13
3M Company (MMM): +$38.60
Target Corporation (TGT): +$9.95
Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN): -$1.46
ONEOK, Inc. (OKE): -$26.86
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM): -$31.35
Tesoro Corporation (TSO): -$196.22

I've got a really bad habit.....

With some consistency returning in my trading, I'm finding that I seem to always want to trade against the clock.

And this has happened the last three trading days or so.

I'd constantly find myself saying "Well, it's 11AM and I'm usually up by $X around this time, but today I'm not" or "It's just after lunch....I'd usually be up by $X and I'd usually call it a day, but right now, I'm not anywhere near $X".

The result of this thinking is that I'd force myself into trades and not wait for good setups before entering trades. In my mind, I'm thinking that the day is slowly winding down and as the clock ticks away, there will be fewer and fewer opportunities.

I then start over-trading and I begin to take unnecessary losers....but this just spurs me on..."Well now it's 2PM and I'm usually up by $X, but now I've just lost $Y and now I need to make it back...".

And so the vicious cycle continues.

The last three trading days I had these thoughts running through my mind and I had to stop to try to get my bearings straight again. The reason I traded against the clock these last few trading days is because I can't seem to bag a good winner or catch a great run on the stocks I've been trading.

It's because of this, I start looking at my P&L and I start thinking that I need to get a move on and that I need to capture more profits.

Today I found that in the morning I couldn't seem to book a good winner. As a result, by about 11:30AM, I was at about break-even in terms of profits and I started trading against the clock.

I had to stop myself after I found that I started trading some lousy setups and I kept going from loser to loser.

Thank goodness there was a downside move made by the markets in the afternoon as the bulk of my profits came from that downward momentum which helped me make a day out of it.

Perhaps I should do what MissTrade, DinosaurTrader and One Bad-Ass Trader do and simply hide my P&L for the whole day so that I don't start trading against the clock.

I tried to do that this afternoon, but I felt like I just didn't know where I stood for the day (well duh! That's the purpose of hiding your P&L!) and I didn't really feel comfortable for whatever reason.

But at the end of the day, I was pleasantly surprised when I checked my P&L so perhaps tomorrow I'll continue to do the same thing.

As mentioned, today was another day in which I couldn't bag a good winner. Just nothing seemed to follow-through on their moves this morning and I ended up taking profits on half my position and a loser on the other half of the position.

No good trades and no bad ones.

Tomorrow a new month begins and I really do think I need to step it up a little more.

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $250 or more)
  • None

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


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Weekend Reading For Apr 28 - 29, 2007

In "Weekend Reading" I'll collect what I thought were the best posts and articles for the week from various bloggers.

The reason I do this is because I find it difficult to integrate links to other great blogs in my posts, so this is a way for me to give back.

I only focus on posts and links that relate to trader improvement or trading in general.

With that, here's this weekend's edition:

  • Here's an excellent post by Woodshedder at his Trade While Working blog in which he tells us to be mindful in Avoiding Recency Bias

  • Are you a part-time trader? Here, The Market Speculator responded to some questions people have been asking and has collected some of his past posts that describes his way of doing things in Answering Questions About Part-Time Trading

Labels: ,

Friday, April 27, 2007

Too Much

Net: +$398.47
Trades: 76
Shares Traded: 33400

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
MasterCard Incorporated (MA): +$229.13
Noble Corporation (NE): +$192.48
DeVry Inc. (DV): +$148.97
Weatherford International Ltd. (WFT): +$140.16
National-Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV): +$91.31
Parker-Hannifin Corporation (PH): +$64.79
Service Corporation International (SCI): +$49.05
Curtiss-Wright Corp. (CW): +$28.62
Jefferies Group, Inc. (JEF): +$23.26
ONEOK, Inc. (OKE): +$3.84
Transocean Inc. (RIG): -$3.63
Cornell Companies, Inc. (CRN): -$8.94
Waste Management, Inc. (WMI): -$21.70
Boston Properties, Inc. (BXP): -$29.40
Countrywide Financial Corporation (CFC): -$57.17
Eaton Corporation (ETN): -$71.52
Emerson Electric Co. (EMR): -$71.97
GlobalSantaFe Corporation (GSF): -$86.72
3M Company (MMM): -$96.37
Cummins Inc. (CMI): -$125.71

Today there were just too many trades, too many stocks traded, too many "not-so-great" setups taken, and just too much of going nowhere fast.

This morning I found that I was having difficulties making some good trades out was another day in which I felt out of sync with the S&P Futures.

I'd get into a long position and just when the stock was about to run, the Futures would make a hard move to the downside and would stop the stock in it's tracks....I'd dump half my position and hold the rest for quite a while, but most of the time, the stock just couldn't continue to the upside.

Likewise, I had similar experiences with a couple of my shorts this morning...I'd get into a short position, it starts running maybe 10-cents or so, but then the Futures would make a hard move up and the stock would follow.

By the end of the morning session, I hadn't gone anywhere in terms of profits.

The only semi-decent move was on Mastercard (MA)....

I was watching it as it pushed to intraday highs and when it broke the $110 level, I went long 200 shares.

It was only a semi-decent trade because I could have had a lot more....I got 100 shares out for a $1.05 winner and the other 100 shares out for a $1.27 winner and I only got out because MA pulled back by almost a dollar which scared me out of my position (and I couldn't see any news on MA).

Well after I got out, MA would continue going up another $3 before it stopped....

But aside from that MA trade, there was nothing really spectacular done today....all afternoon it just felt like I was standing still and even though I put on a lot of trades, I just wasn't going anywhere fast.

I think today I did something that I feared I would do when I first subscribed to Trade-Ideas and that was to try to trade all the alerts that came in.

Earlier in the week I was fairly cautious and waited for the right opportunity to trade the alerts....but today it just seemed like I was taking every alert that I got as a signal to trade, which is obviously not the way things should be done.

It was also another day in which I couldn't get any of my "bigger" 1000 share positions to really fact, like the previous few days, they all turned out to be losers. Maybe there is something I'm not quite seeing when it comes to trading a little bigger.

Eventually I'd like to start going in with 2000 and 3000 shares on some of the alerts I get.

Today I also started getting more comfortable with some of those high-fliers. As mentioned I did trade MA today and I've also been dabbling with IBM, CMI and BXP the last few days and I'm starting to get more of a better feel for these $100+ stocks.

Lastly, I'd like to thank some of the folks leaving comments out there giving recommendations as to where I can possibly go from here. I'd like to continue to tweak the way I trade and once I'm satisfied and more consistent with what I'm doing, I'll definitely consider the other alternatives out there.

But for now, I've got to continue to learn how to trade first before I can strike it out on my own (there's no sense in blowing myself up and having nowhere to turn...).

But keep those suggestions coming - I'm sure the other readers out there could benefit from your recommendations....for me, I've got to build up my bank account and I've got to start building up that risk capital....

Have a good weekend folks! This week has really tired me out so I need the rest!

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $250 or more)
  • None

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


Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Runner

Net: +$682.14
Trades: 67
Shares Traded: 34000

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF): +$209.08
Wendy's International (WEN): +$141.19
Capital One Financial Corp. (COF): +$97.22
Exelon Corporation (EXC): +$88.46
Pulte Homes, Inc. (PHM): +$70.11
Sunoco, Inc. (SUN): +$66.29
Goodrich Corporation (GR): +$62.02
Corrections Corp. of America (CXW): +$49.89
Aetna Inc. (AET): +$36.11
The Mosaic Company (MOS): +$31.14
SYSCO Corporation (SYY): +$29.13
ArvinMeritor, Inc. (ARM): +$27.31
NCR Corporation (NCR): +$7.71
Weyerhaeuser Company (WY): -$4.44
Emerson Electric Co. (EMR): -$25.32
Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): -$39.10
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO): -$40.16
Centex Corporation (CTX): -$56.83
Avnet, Inc. (AVT): -$68.19

Runner - a trade that moves 30, 40 or 50+ cents in the direction of the trade within a few seconds either immediately upon entering a trade or shortly afterwards.

For the last couple of trading days, I've had the pleasure of being in a couple of runners. Once I get into a position, sometimes it turns into a runner fairly quickly (usually the case when a major or round level breaks), or sometimes I've got to wait around for a bit until it turns into one (usually at the semi-major levels like at .25, .50 and .75 levels).

You know you've got a runner on your hands when suddenly the Level 2 gets really busy and the prices and prints start to hop, skip, and jump by several cents at a time. Then the ECN's start popping up all over the place and many times the Level 2 is momentarily crossed and any big sizes on the Level 2 that blocks your way just melts away.

When I've got a runner on my hands, I often quickly snap to attention and prepare - you never know if the move will reverse and I'm often assessing where I should unload a part of my position.

So far, I think I've had a runner on my hands more times this week than I've ever had during my entire trading career....I guess you just don't encounter those kinds of moves by trading the slow behemoths like GE, EMC and TWX. I've got to say that these new scans I'm using are really helping to identify movers like those.

Unfortunately today I didn't bag a runner.

I think it was mainly because the S&P Futures kept trying to make strong moves to the downside in the morning and every time I got into a position that could have been a runner, the Futures would help pull the stock back and I'd either have to take partial profits or I'd have to get out for a small loser.

During the middle of the day, I just didn't see any very good opportunities and I was often just in and out quickly.

Then at around 2PM, the markets started moving to the upside, however most of the positions I was in just didn't want to seem to move to the upside (or at least it didn't want to move up very much).

All in all, I think I traded a little too much today.

And I also traded a whole bunch of stocks today....I just found that whenever I was in a position, the Futures would make a sudden move against my position and I'd dump half my position...but then the stock would start reversing and I'd end up taking only a small profit on it.

And it was yet another day in which my "bigger" 1000-share positions were mostly for losers. It's a good thing I kept a very close stop on half my position....when the position went against me for about 3 or 5 cents, I'd usually dump half my position....and I'd have another stop further down to get me out completely.

Had I not done this, there would have been a couple of rather severe losers today.

There were no good trades nor any bad ones today.

Let's see if I can bag a couple of runners tomorrow (and let's hope they can be on 1000 shares!).

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

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


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Making It, Losing It, And Making It Back Again

Net: +$530.37
Trades: 65
Shares Traded: 34000

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
AFLAC Incorporated (AFL): +$319.00
Eastman Kodak Company (EK): +$240.24
Parker Drilling Company (PKD): +$202.37
Koppers Holdings Inc. (KOP): +$144.60
Tidewater Inc. (TDW): +$64.89
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM): +$51.72
Capital One Financial Corp. (COF): +$6.99
Equitable Resources, Inc. (EQT): -$13.70
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP): -$40.29
Apache Corporation (APA): -$51.29
Alcan Inc. (AL): -$81.07
Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (CY): -$95.26
Eastman Chemical Company (EMN): -$96.15
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (TDY): -$121.66

Right off the open I was keeping an eye on Aflac (AFL) and managed to catch a good swing on it (though it could have been much much more).

AFL would open, take out the $52.00 level (at which point I got long 500 shares), and when it did, it sat there briefly, but then suddenly I saw a lot of out-of-the-money prints several cents higher.

I decided to put out an order 40-cents out of the money for about half my position, hoping more out-of-the money prints would take me out....unfortunately, I didn't know that it'd get hit and AFL would run up very quickly.

I let AFL run up a little where it seemed to stall briefly again and then I put out another order at least 30-cents away from current prices....and again, all hell broke loose on AFL and it would run up even more, taking me out even before I could cancel my order.

The reason I put my orders out there is because I try to offset my trading costs by adding liquidity and I'll usually try to cancel orders if prices come up rapidly. Perhaps I should stop trying to do this as the credits for adding liquidity on such a small position is probably not worth it.

Anyways, I had a relatively good start early in the morning, but then at around mid-morning, I began losing it.

I put on a a few losers and I suddenly felt an "eagerness" to trade to try to quickly make back what I had lost.

This only compounded the problem as I jumped-the-gun on several trades and I ended up losing even more. I started over-trading and put on many bone-headed trades that shouldn't have occurred.

As lunch slowly rolled around, I found that I had completely lost everything I had made in the morning....and I wasn't too happy about it.

Luckily I caught a part of a huge move made by Eastman Kodak (EK) on a volume spike....and again, it was another trade that could have been had for more.

I would eventually make everything back again and finish the day at where I was at before I started losing everything at mid-morning.

I find that I'm usually too quick to unload a part of my position for a winner when I could have held it for a little longer before unloading my position....this is something I'll have to keep working on.

What I can tell you is that I'm rather quick to book a part of my profits because lately I find that there are a lot of moves without much follow through. In fact, lots of my losers during the mid-morning was because I held onto a position that initially showed me a winner, but I decided to hold it for more and would eventually turn into a loser.

So I'd have to say, yes - I am unloading some of my position way too soon, but I'd also have to say that by doing this, this may have saved me more times than not in the event of a failed move.

I'll continue to try to work on this to get a better and clearer way of exiting my positions.

I also found that today, every time I decided to up my position size to 1000 shares, I'd get hit with a loser and every time I used 500 shares, it'd end up being a good winner....can't really explain it!

This is partially the reason why I didn't put on too many 1000 shares positions (because most of them went against me!).

I would eventually like 1000 share positions to be the norm for me, but for now, I still feel the most comfortable with 500 shares.

Two good trades and no bad ones today.

Maybe tomorrow I'll up my share size to say something like 600 or 800 on most of my positions....

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $200 or more)
  • 9:40:39AM - Aflac (AFL) gapped up and started moving up rather aggressively when it came up to the $52.00 level. Once it broke, I went long 500 shares. I put out an order to exit 40-cent out-of-the-money and I was surprised prices suddenly jumped up there and took me out. I held for a little long and placed an order to get the rest of my position out at a price that I thought was rather far away...but AFL suddenly jumped up there and before I could cancel, I'd been filled. I got out as follows: 40-cent winner (300 shares), 75-cent winner (200 shares) ($270 profit before fees ; Long 500 shares @ $52.00 ; Out: 9:43:22AM)

  • 11:51:47AM - Eastman Kodak (EK) started running to the upside and came up to the $25.50 level. When it broke, I went long 1000 shares and for a brief moment there, I thought it was going to fall back down, so I got half my position out. Well after I got half my position out, EK just started to run to the upside and I got the balance of my position out as it started falling back down. I got out as follows: 5-cent winner (500 shares), 55-cent winner (500 shares) ($300 profit before fees ; Long 1000 shares @ $25.50)

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


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Stepping It Up....But Only By A Little

Net: +$805.75
Trades: 33
Shares Traded: 17200

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Ameren Corporation (AEE): +$390.87
PartnerRe Ltd. (PRE): +$349.25
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP): +$94.44
Honeywell International Inc. (HON): +$25.34
Continental Airlines, Inc. (CAL): +$24.43
Alcan Inc. (AL): +$20.42
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM): +$13.61
Equifax Inc. (EFX): -$36.06
AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS): -$76.58

Today was the second full day of using my subscription to Trade-Ideas and like yesterday, it alerted me to several trading opportunities.

I tried to get a little more aggressive with my positions size-wise, but for whatever reason, I still felt a little reluctant to go all out and put on a position that really mattered.

But instead of using a lot of 200 or 300 share positions, I stepped it up....if only by a little today as most of my positions were 500 shares.

However, this morning I found it another day with very little in the way of opportunities...just nothing seemed to come up on my radar.

After about an hour and a half of trading, I had traded very little and I was just about break-even P&L-wise.

There were a couple of alerts via Trade-Ideas, but I found myself just watching them in the morning as I didn't feel comfortable putting a position on them simply because the S&P Futures kept tanking in the morning and the alerts I had on were for longs.

I also find it interesting that I'm actually trading less than I normally would. I had thought that I'd be trading a lot more simply because Trade-Ideas would constantly feed me alerts and I thought I'd be trading a lot of them.

Instead, I'm finding that I'm becoming pickier with my trades (which is a good thing!).


Well before Trade-Ideas, I'd usually have a watchlist of about 8 stocks and if they were doing nothing, I'd have to go through the arduous task of looking for stocks that were moving....this involved looking through the most actives list, the most up list, the most down list.

Doing all of that was rather time consuming and I found that if I found even a semi-mediocre setup, I'd trade it because of the lack of opportunities and because my thinking was that that was the best opportunity at the moment.

But now since I have Trade-Ideas feeding alerts to me, I find that the need to trade a setup is not as urgent since I know there will be many more alerts to come.

I also find that Trade-Ideas is keeping me away from those "I'm bored" type of trades. Since it's constantly giving me trade ideas, I can flip to the chart and look (and possibly wait) to see if there are opportunities available to trade it.

If not, then I know they'll be another alert that would soon follow.

I find that if the markets are sideways or quiet, I'm prone to putting on a trade just to kill some time or because I feel like I need to do something before time runs out. But Trade-Ideas keep me from doing this because I'm constantly watching the price action and the charts for their alerts.

Anyways, two good trades and no bad ones today.

One final note - lately I've been receiving a lot (I mean a lot) of spam (I get at least 50 emails telling me about some cheap penny stock along with a whole lot of other spam) and as a result, I'm kind of slow in responding to emails.

As a result of this, I've turned off email notification for whenever a comment is left on this blog. If I don't respond to your comment, it's not because I'm ignoring's because I'm trying to reduce the amount of emails I'm getting.

That being said, if you really want me to respond, please drop me an email (see my complete profile on the sidebar)....I might be slow in responding to you, but at least I'll get around to it.

Oh and one last thing...I've modified the daily post (yet again) and now I'll only be posting my net profit and I'll no longer post my gross profit (after all, the net profit is the most important right?).

Let's see if I can continue to step it up (even if it's just a little bit) for the remainder of the week.

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $200 or more)
  • 10:54:56AM - I was alerted to a move being made by Ameren (AEE) and so I watched for it to break the $53.00 level and when it did break, I tried to go long 1000 shares, but got partially filled for 900 shares. Once AEE broke the $53 level, it just started to run to the upside...I tried to hold as long as I could, but I ended up chasing it back down. I got out as follows: 25-cent winner (200 shares), 40-cent winner (200 shares), 49-cent winner (200 shares), 55-cent winner (300 shares) ($393 profit before fees ; Long 900 shares @ $53.00 ; Out: 10:58:52AM)

  • 11:14:24AM - I was alerted that PartnerRe (PRE) was making new 52-week highs so I flipped to it and waited for the break of the $73.00 level. When it broke, I went long 500 shares. Once the $73.00 level broke I had to wait for a bit before PRE made a move, but when it did, PRE just exploded to the upside and I got out as follows: 60-cent winner (200 shares), 75-cent winner (200 shares), 80-cent winner (100 shares) ($350 profit before fees ; Long 500 shares @ $73.00 ; Out: 11:21:40AM)

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


Monday, April 23, 2007

Unusually Cautious

Gross: +$725.00
Net: +$712.16
Trades: 42
Shares Traded: 20800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Bausch & Lomb Inc. (BOL): +$505.03
Southern Copper Corporation (PCU): +$69.66
Monsanto Company (MON): +$57.95
Ryerson Inc. (RYI): +$54.80
GameStop Corp. (GME): +$51.94
AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS): +$26.52
AGCO Corporation (AG): +$22.04
Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS): +$7.81
Peabody Energy Corporation (BTU): +$3.86
Arch Coal, Inc. (ACI): -$41.92
Allegheny Energy, Inc. (AYE): -$51.02
Williams Companies, Inc. (WMB): -$62.79

Over the weekend, I signed up for one month to use Trade-Ideas and I spent some time trying to get more familiar with it's capabilities. I figured I'd give it a try for one month to see if I could use their alerts.

But when I came in this morning, I felt as though I was more hesitant than usual when it came to putting on trades.

I watched the open and kept an eye on some of the stocks I had set my sights on the night before, but I never really found any good opportunities to trade them.

I then started to keep an eye out for those Trade-Idea alerts and I can definitely tell you I was not disappointed!

Trade-Ideas pointed me from one opportunity after another, but what I really had to do was get in at the right time and not jump right into a stock just because it came up as an alert.

I can tell you, Trade-Ideas really saves me from having to switch from stock to stock, seeing if anything is trending or is near intra-day or yearly highs.

Unfortunately, I was feeling really cautious today and most of my positions were only for 200 or 300 shares....not sure why I felt the need to reduce my share size....maybe it was because I felt like I was trying something new and I wanted to err on the side of caution.

Well after trading several stocks that came up on my alerts, I started feeling a little more comfortable. I was taking 20+ cent winners, however since I kept my position sizes small, it didn't really account for much P&L-wise.

Then I got an alert for Bausch & Lomb (BOL) and that it was approaching it's intra-day high. Well thank goodness I had Trade-Ideas! Without it, I wouldn't have even known BOL was making a move.

It was at that moment I decided I needed to up my share size a little....I couldn't just keep taking 20+ cent winners on so few shares and expect to do anything spectacular on the day.

Well BOL came up to the $56 level and when it broke, I went long 1000 shares. BOL just exploded from there....

Unfortunately I started unloading my position when it started re-tracing rather hard and I was worried that it would reverse, considering it had already made quite a move and that the overall markets were stuck in neutral.

Well well, after I got out, BOL would just keep going up by several dollars! I didn't see anything that would have warranted the move at the time, but now I see that there were some buyout rumors out there.

Unfortunately I didn't know that and again, given that I came in today usually cautious, I was still happy with the $500+ gain on the trade.

Hopefully I can get used to trading those alerts that Trade-Ideas give me and hopefully I can get more comfortable so that I can trade them with more of a position (rather than the smallish positions I was putting on today).

One good trade and no bad ones.

I started feeling like I did on Friday after lunch, so I decided to leave for the day lest I repeat what happened on Friday.

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $200 or more)
  • 11:34:59AM - Bausch & Lomb (BOL) started to move up and took out it's intra-day high when it came up to the $56.00 level. When it broke, I went long 1000 shares. As soon as BOL broke $56.00, it exploded to the upside. I held onto it, but then it made a hard move back to the downside, which spooked me a little, so I started dumping my position. Below is the 1-minute chart so that you can better see what I'm talking about. BOL would just keep going up after I got out. I've really got to get better at holding them winners. I got out as follows: 47-cent winner (500 shares), 49-cent winner (300 shares), 62-cent winner (200 shares) ($506 profit before fees; Long 1000 shares @ $56.00 ; Out: 11:38:24AM)

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


Friday, April 20, 2007

Weekend Reading For Apr 21 - 22, 2007

In "Weekend Reading" I'll collect what I thought were the best posts and articles for the week from various bloggers.

The reason I do this is because I find it difficult to integrate links to other great blogs in my posts, so this is a way for me to give back.

I only focus on posts and links that relate to trader improvement or trading in general.

  • Here is an excellent post by TraderGav that shows us how often we need to be right with our trades with various risk/reward ratios in Accuracy Vs Risk/Reward Ratio

  • TheStockBandit shares some key lessons from one of my favorite books "Pit Bull - Lessons From Wall Street's Champion Trader" (I read the book 4 times!!!!) in Honor Thy Stop

Labels: ,


Gross: +$105.00
Net: +$86.39
Trades: 46
Shares Traded: 25600

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Schlumberger Limited (SLB): +$315.11
H&R Block, Inc. (HRB): +$296.72
Reliance Steel & Aluminum (RS): +$155.58
Continental Airlines, Inc. (CAL): -$10.92
Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BRL): -$20.40
Oakley, Inc. (OO): -$24.82
Dominion Resources, Inc. (D): -$26.31
AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS): -$63.55
The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (EL): -$75.14
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): -$103.23
Honeywell International Inc. (HON): -$356.67

Absolutely disgusting.

That about sums up my trading this afternoon.

I let a good morning go to waste and I ended the day on a severe losing streak. It got to the point that I was just so disgusted with what went on in the afternoon that I just got up and left partway through the day.

I caught some good moves this morning and during lunch I made a bad decision to stick around to see how much more I could make.

Well that was the beginning of a losing streak that would see me lose close to $700 in the afternoon.

I just couldn't believe nothing was working. After 5 losing trades in a row, I went out to take a walk to clear my mind. When I came back, I put on another 5 losing trades in a row.

The final losing trade was a killer on some stupid move made by Honeywell (HON) and I don't really see the reason why it had to happen (see bad trades below).

After that bad losing trade on HON, I just felt so disgusted with what had just happened and I had high expectations that today would turn out to be a rather good day....but instead I was left with next to nothing.

I just couldn't take it any more and I just left.

I don't really want to think about it any more so I won't go on any further and dwell upon it. With literally nothing going on in the markets, I should have known better than to put on all those trades in the afternoon....most of them didn't need to happen, but they did happen because I thought I could make something out of it.

Two good trades and one bad one today.

As mentioned earlier, that bad trade was the last straw in today's trading...I just couldn't believe I put on so many losing trades in a row.

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $200 or more)
  • 9:47:50AM - Schlumberger Limited (SLB) had opened rather strong and when it broke the $76.50 level, I went long 500 shares. SLB just rocketed higher non-stop and I got out as follows: 56-cent winner (300 shares), 74-cent winner (200 shares) ($316 profit before fees ; Long 500 shares @ $76.50 ; Out: 9:50:11AM)

  • 11:13:17AM - H&R Block (HRB) had been falling all morning along with the Futures and when the Futures started moving to the downside, I saw an opportunity to get short 2000 shares at $22.75. As soon as HRB broke the $22.75 level, it fell like a rock. I got out as follows: 4-cent winner (1000 shares), 15-cent winner (500 shares), 24-cent winner (500 shares ($235 profit before fees ; Short 2000 shares @ $22.75 ; Out: 11:20:24AM)

Bad Trades
(trades in which I lose $150 or more)
  • 1:44:33PM - Honeywell (HON) was testing it's intraday high at $51.25 and when it looked like it was going to break, I went long 2000 shares @ $51.25. When it had difficulty getting through that level, I quickly dumped half my position for a 1-cent loser. Then HON decided to do some stupid-ass move and the Level 2 just got all crossed up...prints were going off 10 and 20 cents below where I was long. I didn't know what was going on and I had thought there was news on it so I crossed my order to get out....and it would fill my remaining shares 26-cents lower. After a few minutes, I watched this stock come back up and continue to the upside - after seeing that, it pissed me off and had me packing for the day. Altogether, I got out as follows: 1-cent loser (1000 shares), 26-cent loser (1000 share) ($270 loser before fees ; Long 2000 shares @ $51.25 ; Out: 1:46:12PM)


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Chipping Away

Gross: +$156.00
Net: +$110.66
Trades: 81
Shares Traded: 63400

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Continental Airlines, Inc. (CAL): +$245.63
Reliance Steel & Aluminum (RS): +$132.96
Wyeth (WYE): +$108.58
Cablevision Systems Corporation (CVC): +$60.37
Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT): +$37.11
CIT Group Inc. (CIT): +$32.26
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD): +$15.74
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM): +$3.07
Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY): +$2.16
Altria Group, Inc. (MO): -$0.85
St. Jude Medical, Inc. (STJ): -$9.55
Oshkosh Truck Corporation (OSK): -$17.40
H.J. Heinz Company (HNZ): -$18.54
Baxter International Inc. (BAX): -$23.18
Herbalife Ltd. (HLF): -$25.92
Schering-Plough Corporation (SGP): -$83.00
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH): -$279.47

Oh man.....this morning I found myself stumbling and fumbling all over the place. I just couldn't seem to book any winners and many of the level break I took part in just didn't follow through.

It was another day in which I'd find myself in a long position and the Futures would quickly go down, dragging the stock down with it. I'd then find myself in short positions and the Futures would pop up and the stock I was in would follow.

One of the first trades of the day was a fairly big loser on UnitedHealth (UNH).

On the break of the $52.00 level on UNH I went long 2000 shares and it moved up one or two cents, but then quickly came back down and I bailed out for a fairly big loser.

Well that big loser kinda set the tone for the rest of the morning. I got in a couple of other stocks on level breaks and they all did basically the same thing - it'd go in my favor by a few cents, then quickly reverse.

By lunch I wasn't a happy camper as I was sitting in the hole by a fair margin.

I took lunch and went out for a quick walk and it kinda felt good to get out there on such a nice day.

I came back and spent the better part of the day chipping away at my loss.

It seems like every time I have to dig my way out of the hole, I always end the day more exhausted than normal....having to grind it out like that is just very tiring.

One bad trade and no good ones.

Gonna keep this short so that I can enjoy what's left of a beautiful day out there.

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

Bad Trades
(trades in which I lose $150 or more)
  • 9:55:08AM - UnitedHealth (UNH) started moving up after gapping down and when it reached the $52.00 level, I decided to hit it with 2000 shares. It briefly moved up a few cents, but then rapidly came back down. That move scared me out of my position and I had to get out as follows (I used a 1-minute chart below so that you can better see what happened): 10-cent loser (600 shares), 11-cent loser (400 shares), 17-cent loser (900 shares), 19-cent loser (100 shares) ($276 loser before fees ; Long 2000 shares @ $52.00)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Oh Geez.....

Gross: +$849.00
Net: +$803.60
Trades: 86
Shares Traded: 63800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
OMI Corporation (OMM): +$464.54
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM): +$209.21
Countrywide Financial Corporation (CFC): +$147.27
National Semiconductor Corporation (NSM): +$77.56
Washington Mutual, Inc. (WM): +$68.42
Centex Corporation (CTX): +$53.02
Celanese Corporation (CE): +$52.38
WellPoint, Inc. (WLP): +$49.86
AMR Corporation (AMR): +$33.88
The Bank of New York Company, Inc. (BK): +$27.65
Seagate Technology (STX): +$11.67
Banco Bradesco S.A. (BBD): -$21.33
Schering-Plough Corporation (SGP): -$22.75
Freddie Mac (FRE): -$26.11
Gerdau S.A. (GGB): -$30.00
Abbott Laboratories (ABT): -$46.63
Callaway Golf Company (ELY): -$54.29
Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI): -$72.45
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): -$118.91

Oh geez....look at all the stocks I traded today...that's double or triple what I'm used to trading on any single given day.

So what happened?

Well, the morning went by well enough...a few good trades but then after the first hour of trade, I literally had nothing to trade.

So I sat around, waiting around and I just couldn't find many opportunities out there.

As I sat there, thinking of ways to find opportunities, I remember that a while back I really wanted to see what kind of services Trade-Ideas had.

So I went in to check it out and all I could say was that I wasn't disappointed!

I found myself constantly taking a look to see what momentum plays were currently under way and which stocks were making intraday and yearly highs at the moment.

And I couldn't believe how many of those plays fit exactly what I was looking for in a trade!

I don't know why I didn't try it out earlier (well, then again, knowing the kind of person I am, I know that I'm really reluctant to try new things), but today I'm glad I did!

Just before lunch I was up about $500 when I decided to see what Trade-Ideas had to offer and within an hour of using Trade-Ideas, I was up almost $1000 by trading those stocks!

I can definitely say that perhaps very soon I may start subscribing to their services (yes, yes, I know lots of other bloggers out there have been preaching and praising Trade-Ideas for a long time now.....I always seem late to the party....).

Anyways, later on in the afternoon, I think I got a little too excited about this new tool I found and I started making aggressive plays with only mediocre setups.

As a result, I kept taking hits during the afternoon and it just seemed like I kept getting faked out on a lot of moves out there.

I would go on to lose quite a bit of what I had made and at some point I decided to call it a day before I lose a lot more.

And for some reason, there always seems to be a stock in which I just can't get a handle on. Yesterday it was KO, today it was CAT. I just couldn't time my trades right on it and I think I just didn't feel it properly. As a result, I just kept taking loser after loser on this stock....very frustrating indeed!

Two good trades today and no bad ones.

I would like to start trading a little more aggressively in terms of share size. Right now, I'm putting on positions in which I feel comfortable with, but I know I can up my position sizes a little bit more before it becomes risky, so I may toy with that tomorrow.

Lastly, I'd just like to mention (again) that Dinosaur Trader has his Virtual Office going on and I really think it's a great idea. He's collecting the daily P&L of several bloggers and you can go to his site to quickly take a look to see how the various bloggers faired during the trading day. Today, Glenn from the Dehtrader has joined the Virtual Office (the more the merrier!) and if you'd be interested in joining, contact Dinosaur Trader.

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $200 or more)
  • 9:38:55 - OMI Corporation (OMM) had gapped up in the morning and was slowly moving up. When OMM cleared the $29.10 level, I went long 2000 shares. This stock moved really really slowly, but at least it was moving up. When OMM reached the $29.15 level, I tried to go long another 1000 shares, but got partially filled for 200 shares (altogether I was long 2200 shares). Suddenly, OMM starts moving aggressively up and I took some of my position off the table until I had 300 shares left. OMM just continued to rip up, but I got greedy with that last 300 shares and instead of getting out for an 80+ cent winner, I had to chase prices back down. I got out as follows: 14-cent winner (1000 shares), 15-cent winner (600 shares), 33-cent winner (300 shares), 34-cent winner (100 shares), 38-cent winner (100 shares), 60-cent winner (100 shares) ($466 profit before fees ; Long 2000 shares @ $29.10, Long 200 shares @ $29.15 ; Out: 10:06:13AM)

  • 9:46:17AM - JP Morgan (JPM) had also gapped up and moved aggressively up. While I was in my OMM trade, I sas that JPM was about to break the $52.00 level. I had originally wanted to go long 3000 shares, but because I felt that managing two positions at the same time would be too much for me to handle, I only went long 1000 shares at $52.00. JPM just took off once it broke the $52.00 and I got out because I was more concerned with my OMM trade and so as a result, I got out as follows: 20-cent winner (500 shares), 22-cent winner (500 shares) ($210 profit before fees ; Long 1000 shares @ $52.00 ; Out: 9:47:31AM)

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


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Return Of An Old Friend

Gross: +$681.00
Net: +$657.69
Trades: 59
Shares Traded: 58000

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
EMC Corporation (EMC): +$417.64
Banco Bradesco S.A. (BBD): +$207.58
The First Marblehead Corporation (FMD): +$79.76
AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS): +$38.79
BCE Inc. (BCE): +$33.48
Callaway Golf Company (ELY): +$20.41
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): +$5.75
Countrywide Financial Corporation (CFC): -$16.76
The Coca-Cola Company (KO): -$128.96

Today if felt good to trade my good old friend EMC Corp (EMC)'s definitely been a while since I traded this stock.

Last year I used to trade EMC practically every day and it used to be my biggest monthly winner.

And today I got a chance to trade a little bit of EMC as it reported before the open today. I kept my positions rather light (maximum was 4000 shares) compared to the position sizes I used to trade on it (10,000 or 20,000 share positions).

But it was good to get back in a rhythm with EMC and was almost like riding a bicycle....once you've learned how to do it, you can easily pick it back up later on in the future....and EMC was like that for me today....fairly easy to read (if I had only gone in with 10,000 or 20,000 shares!).

Lately I've stopped trading EMC simply because my game plan had changed...I now look for stocks that move or that either have some upside or downside momentum on the daily charts.

With EMC however, you'd sometime be lucky if you had a 25-cent range on it (which is the reason I stopped trading it). Who knows....maybe I'll come back to it every now and again just to take some profits from it, but we'll see.

Coca-Cola (KO) also reported this morning, but I just couldn't trade the darn stock properly!

I'd get into a position on it, then it'd run in my favor, but then it'd keep falling back down hard and it kept swiping me out for a loser. But yet I don't know why I kept trying to trade just kept kicking my butt today.

Aside from that, I found that a lot of the stocks I was watching were just jittering around and not really going anywhere fast. I just had to be mindful not to do anything stupid

Two good trades and no bad ones today.

The last little while my P&L has been swinging quite a bit....which is a good thing. Lately I've been posting either a small loss or a small gain, so at least this gives me an indication that I'm getting a little more aggressive in terms of position and share size.

Let's see what tomorrow brings!

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $200 or more)
  • 9:38:36AM - EMC Corp (EMC) started to move aggressively up and so I went long 2000 shares at $15.25 and I added another 2000 shares at $15.30 after seeing EMC continue it's run to the upside. I got out as follows: 6-cent winner (2000 shares), 9-cent winner (2000 shares) ($300 profit before fees ; Long 2000 @ $15.25, Long 2000 @ $15.30 ; Out: 9:41:26AM)

  • 10:17:07AM - Banco Bradesco (BBD) had come back up near it's intraday high and when it looked like it was going to break, I went long 1000 shares at $21.15. BBD started moving up and when the $21.20 level broke, I went long another 500 shares (so that I would have 1500 total shares long). I got out as follows: 11-cent winner (500 shares), 13-cent winner (500 shares), 16-cent winner (500 shares) ($200 profit before fees ; Long 1000 shares @ $21.15, Long 500 shares @ $21.20 ; Out: 10:26:44AM)

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


Monday, April 16, 2007

Feeling Like I Missed Out During The "Money Hour"

Gross: -$477.00
Net: -$501.98
Trades: 26
Shares Traded: 30800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY): -$3.65
Wachovia Corporation (WB): -$4.94
Mattel, Inc. (MAT): -$22.62
Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): -$52.02
Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS): -$63.83
Countrywide Financial Corporation (CFC): -$64.97
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH): -$133.28
Citigroup Inc. (C): -$156.51

Well today was not pleasant...

Everything just seemed to go up within the first few minutes of the trading day and all I could do was just sit there and watch everything go by.

For whatever reason, I just didn't see good position to get into this morning and if I did, I'd be too late and miss a good break.

Before I knew it, a whole hour had passed by and I hadn't even put on a single trade!

I think it was that realization that had me making mistake after mistake. By thinking that I had probably missed out on most of the profits today by missing the "money hour", I forced myself into doing things that I probably shouldn't have.

In fact, I think I did a good job during the first hour of trading because I didn't get into any positions because I felt that the setups weren't good enough...however I just felt like the markets were up big and yet I had nothing to show for it.

But after that hour had passed, I somehow downgraded myself from looking for good setups to looking for mediocre setups because I somehow felt like I had missed the boat and that most of the opportunities were done for the day and that I'd have to settle with only average setups.

Well, thinking that way was a big mistake and even though the markets seemed to continue to move to the upside, I kept getting killed on my longs.

And even if I was in a position and the Futures moved up aggressively, the stocks I was in refused to go up any further and I'd have to take loser after loser. I guess that's the kind of punishment you get if you only go after the mediocre setups.

Another reason why this day turned out the way it did was that I was very eager to get the trading day started and I really wanted to get into that first trade and hopefully bag a winner. But by doing nothing for the first hour, I felt like I was late to the game and I started putting on trades just for the sake of trading.

I also held onto losers longer than I'd like to thinking was that since the overall markets just seemed so strong that I'd just hold onto my losers and "hope" the stock I was in would eventually get with the program.

But instead of taking 3 or 5-cent losers when I could have, I ended up taking 15 or 20 cent losers.

So in short, it was just a combination of several things that had everything falling apart on me today.

I've really got to learn to keep a level head when it comes to trading....just because the markets are up or down big, it doesn't necessarily mean that opportunities are present and just because I had nothing to show for the morning, it doesn't mean I have to play "catch-up".

Ah well....not going to dwell on this day much further....I'm just looking forward to tomorrow.

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

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


Friday, April 13, 2007

"The Huge" Weekend Reading For April 14 - 15, 2007

In "Weekend Reading" I'll collect what I thought were the best posts and articles for the week from various bloggers.

The reason I do this is because I find it difficult to integrate links to other great blogs in my posts, so this is a way for me to give back.

I only focus on posts and links that relate to trader improvement or trading in general.

Since I missed last weekend's edition, I've merged last week's edition with this week's edition....the result it a huge dump of links. Hope you've got plenty of time on your hands this weekend....

  • Corey at AfraidToTrade shares with us what he looks for and how he does things in How I Trade

  • Andy Swan talks about something that I've done several times in the past (but yet I continue to do it from time to time) - it's Seeking REVENGE On A Stock

  • Another free newsletter by Jeff White at the StockBandit and here he discusses some factors that affect a trader's level of success in Trading Plans & Self-Honesty

  • At TraderFeed, Brett Steenbarger had this collection of blogs and breaks them down into how or what they can offer you (thanks for the mention Brett ;) ) in How To Trade: Blog Linkfest Volume One

  • Here's a great article by The Kirk Report and really hit home in terms of what it said about stepping outside one's comfort zone (we all know I'm trying to deal with this at the moment:) ) in Trading To Win

  • Wanna trade for a living but don't know where to start? Well look no further! Here's a great big list of prop firms along with some very good advice from Babak over at Trader's Narrative in a List Of Proprietary Trading Firms

  • Here's an interesting idea by Dinosaur Trader - collecting the daily P&L's of several bloggers and posting it up daily! By doing this, you can see how other bloggers faired during the trading day all in one location! Check it out in Virtual Office

  • Here is something I have a hard time doing - giving my trades more breathing's a free newsletter by TheStockBandit called Wide Stops Can Mean Huge Rewards

  • Lord Tedders at his Forex and Futures blog asks a question that I've had to answer a couple of times and here's his perspective on Why Trade?

Ok - my hands are tired from typing all of that up...have a great weekend and we'll see you all back here on Monday!

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