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

Friday, April 20, 2007


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)



  • i think i had the same type of day as you did...i made $1 on friday!! i was up in the morning and then found myself forcing trades, trying to make something out of nothing. although i was able to practice some good discipline by exiting quickly, there was no need to enter the trades. i seemed to keep waiting for the sell off that never really materialized!
    this was my first week of "trading for a living" and i must admit it is much harder than when i just did it for fun. i've been reading your blog for months now and can only now appreciate how difficult it can be to make money.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 21, 2007 10:14 p.m.  

  • Your commision structure is less than 1 tenth of one penny a share? Could you explain that please?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 22, 2007 1:00 a.m.  

  • Hi. What is your hard stop (the loss level per share at which you will exit a trade no matter what?)

    Some of these stocks you trade are high priced. I'm a prop trader too and I have found that with my tight stops it's very difficult not to get shaken out of stocks like MO or MER, even when I'm right. Also, with the hybrid, executions are much better for me, but the follow-through are down more than 2-thirds.

    By Anonymous Andy, at April 22, 2007 4:22 p.m.  

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