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

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Profitable Fat Fingered Mistake

Gross: +$651.00
Net: +$638.50
Trades: 32
Shares Traded: 46200

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
The Mosaic Company (MOS): +$589.06
MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG): +$72.75
Dynegy Inc. (DYN): +$58.92
Mylan Laboratories Inc. (MYL): +$54.52
United Rentals, Inc. (URI): -$19.72
Denbury Resources Inc. (DNR): -$32.38
Tele Norte Leste Participacoes SA (TNE): -$42.23
Seagate Technology (STX): -$42.40

This morning I came in determined to step it up a notch and to get a little more aggressive with what I was doing.

So there I was, watching The Mosaic Company (MOS) gap down, but make an aggressive move back up. I was watching for the $28.00 level to break.

I was thinking that I'd hit it for 1000 shares first and if there were still shares available and things were still looking favorable, I'd hit it again with another 1000 shares.

So MOS moves up to the $28.00 level, I got my order ready and I hit it with 1000 shares!

My eyes quickly went over to the chart of MOS and out of the corner of my eye, I could see that I was getting partially filled on my 1000 shares...

As I watched MOS on the charts, I noticed that for some reason, I kept getting more of my order partially filled and I was thinking "Boy, it seems to be taking a long time to fill my order....I wonder why it's taking soo many partial fills just to fill 1000 shares..."

I look over to my blotter.....and I see that I was filled for......7800 shares of MOS!


I rapidly try to cancel the balance of my order.....but it was too late! I was filled for all 10,000 shares of MOS at $28!

Instead of putting in an order to get long 1000 shares at $28.00, I had inadvertently put in an order for 10,000 shares.

As soon as I saw that, I seized up momentarily....not knowing what I should do.

I snapped out of it and started dumping my position 1000 shares at a time as quickly as I could....

I only managed to get rid of 1500 shares when the position started going negative on me.....CRAP! I knew that MOS was capable of moving quickly and if it reversed, I could take a serious beating on this trade!

But then MOS popped back up and I continued unloading my position....

MOS just seemed aggressive and it looked like it really wanted to go up, but I kept unloading as much as I could as fast as I could.

I finally got rid of 8000 shares and I was left with 2000 shares.

At that point, I was still feeling a little flushed and my hands were still shaking a bit. Hrmmmm....what should I do with this last 2000 shares?

I briefly thought about holding onto them for a little bit to see where MOS would go, but my panicky, adrenaline filled self told me to just get rid of them and try to catch my breath.

Looking back now, had I waited a little longer (instead of panicking), I could have had a lot more profits....a lot more....MOS would quickly move up over 40 cents, but I just needed to relieve myself of that sudden shock of seeing myself in a big position on a stock that can turn on a dime.

When all was said and done, I had pocketed almost $600 on that trade....and that was basically my day.

For the rest of the morning (after I had calmed down), I didn't really see much to trade out there and after seeing what the overall markets did in the morning, I figured the afternoon would be no different, so I called it a day after lunch.

Maybe this is the kind of thing I have to do more get myself out of my comfort zone and to really step it up quite a bit. To me, I would have felt comfortable with a 2000 share position on MOS, but nothing more than 3000 shares on it....maybe I need to step a little bit outside what is comfortable to me.....say something like 4000 or 6000 shares on MOS.

I guess breaking away from doing something comfortable will just take some time and some practice to get used to it....I guess there's no time like the present to start doing this more often.....

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $200 or more)
  • 9:41:09AM - The Mosaic Company (MOS) had gapped down, but was making an aggressive move back up. I was watching the $28.00 level and instead of getting long 1000 shares at $28.00, I ended up getting 10,000 shares at $28.00. I panicked and got everything out as soon as possible and I got out as follows: 3-cent winner (1000 shares), 4-cent winner (3000 shares), 5-cent winner (2000 shares), 6-cent winner (200 shares), 7-cent winner (2000 shares), 9-cent winner (800 shares), 11-cent winner (500 shares), 12-cent winner (500 shares) ($589 profit before fees ; Long 10,000 shares @ $28.00 ; Out: Didn't hands were too shaky to record!)

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



  • I did a similar stupid mistake today, though not as extreme. Accidentally doubling-down on SWN today, taking 3,200 shares instead of 1,600. I froze and sat there while it went against me, and like a noob idiot, I dumped the extras as soon as it went in my favour! At least you reacted quickly and lightened your load without waiting for it to be a big loser. Good stuff.

    By Blogger Tyro, at April 10, 2007 5:37 p.m.  

  • Great post, you should be writing a tv show, not trading - so much action. Thanks

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

  • Oh man that was an intense story haha

    By Blogger Jon, at April 10, 2007 11:07 p.m.  

  • Damn! JC someone pointed me to your site and I thank that soul. I did a similar mistake yesterday and just like your case it worked in my favor. I bought KOMG and was trying to place a stop on it, unfortunately i placed a sell order and liquidated my postion for a small profit. i did not reenter my position, today it fell 2% on the negative STX report. I see some other people have had similar experiences. I feel like i have a few brothers now hhahaha.

    By Blogger Alok, at April 10, 2007 11:28 p.m.  

  • To all,
    Thanks for your comments and thanks for sharing similar stories. I'm just glad this trade didn't go against me and hopefully I don't have to repeat the same scenario anytime soon...that would be hazardous to my health!

    Good luck and good trading to all!

    By Blogger J.C., at April 11, 2007 7:37 a.m.  

  • JC,

    That's hilarious! Glad it worked out for you.

    The trading gods smiled on you. Don't forget it next time you get "screwed"! I've always felt these things even out it the end.


    By Blogger Dinosaur Trader, at April 11, 2007 8:57 a.m.  

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