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

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Having To Fend For Myself

Net: -$330.25
Trades: 61
Shares Traded: 29800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Avon Products, Inc. (AVP): +$135.88
Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (FDP): +$121.78
Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI): +$83.53
Genentech, Inc. (DNA): +$48.73
Liz Claiborne, Inc. (LIZ): +$19.15
Continental Airlines, Inc. (CAL): -$14.89
Honeywell International Inc. (HON): -$23.35
RTI International Metals (RTI): -$71.42
IMS Health, Inc. (RX): -$123.31
Celanese Corporation (CE): -$154.91
Drew Industries, Inc. (DW): -$168.82
Countrywide Financial Corporation (CFC): -$182.63

So there I was, all ready to get a new trading month off to a roaring start. I came in with no fear and I had intended on upping my position sizes a bit.

I brought up my scanners from Trade-Ideas and focused intently on the "Upside Momentum" scan, as I have been using this particular scan the most (since it has provided me with the most successful opportunities).

I waited.....and waited....and waited.....hmmmm, nothing was coming up on the Momentum scan.

So I toyed around on some other stocks to kill some time - or should I say "lose some money".

Then I came back and waited for the Momentum scan again....I waited for the very first alert for the day....and I waited....

I thought something might have been wrong with the connection, so I restarted it again, but still no alerts.

My other scans didn't really give me much to work with so I ended up straining to look for stocks to trade....I checked the most actives, the gappers, the most % up, the most % down....

I traded a bit here and there - without success.....

I went back to wait some more for the Momentum alerts....still nothing!

I checked other places for stocks to trade....and lost even more money! What the hell!

After close to two hours into the trading day, I still had nothing showing up on my scanner and I was in the hole $600. Without anything to trade via the scanners, I felt like I had to fend for myself and find things to trade on my own.

But as you can see, I didn't have much luck.

Then the first alert comes in at around 11:30AM and for the rest of the day, it seemed like only 3 or so stocks came up. I tried to make a comeback, but failed miserably.

I probably should have followed what the alerts did for most of the day (which was to do nothing), because you know that if Trade-Ideas has trouble finding trade ideas, it's because there truly are no opportunities out there.

I really should have been more patient today. If my scanners aren't picking anything up out there, that should be a warning sign as to what kind of day we were in for.

I tried to trade some of the short ideas the scanners provided, but I never really felt comfortable with them because all I ended up doing was chasing prices down trying to get short....and if I did get filled, it was because prices were moving back up and I'd have to bail out for a loser.

For the past week or so I had a great time trading off the ideas that Trade-Ideas provided.

But today (because of the lack of opportunities and hence the lack of alerts) I really felt lost when nothing was coming almost felt as if I didn't know what to do and I ended up taking bad setups just for the sake of doing something.

And it was also unfortunate that today was the day I intended on upping my position sizes as this just amplified my losses.

Even when the overall markets made a nice move downwards, then a nice move upwards, I found that the stocks I was in just didn't want to follow....instead I found myself in stocks that just felt like meandering around doing nothing.

Anyways, the next time I see that there are few alerts coming up on the radar, I should take it more as a warning about the day that is about to transpire rather than trying to take matters in my own hands and try to make something out of the day.

No good trades and no bad ones.

It's not exactly the kind of started I wanted for May....I've got to be a little more disciplined tomorrow...

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

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



  • I have been using Trade Ideas for > 1 year. It's fantastic. But the bad thing about it is that there are a million different ways to configure it. If you're like me, you will, in fact, configure it a million times and waste an awful lot of time doing so all the while hoping to configure it in just the right way to find perfect trades all the time. At some point you will realize that that won't happen. Then you will finally realize that the beauty of Trade Ideas is that it allows you to configure it so that multiple opportunities are provided to you according to the type of patterns or set ups you like. Some will work and some will not. For instance, I like looking for stocks that gap up or down >1%. I set the price parameters btw 15 and 100; average daily vol at 300K; current vol ratio at 3; min. volatility of .05; max spread of .07; and max # of alerts at 1. These are put in the "window specific" window. In the "select alerts" tab I check new high and new low. I have two alerts, one for gap ups and one for gap downs. Each will plop stocks into its respective portfolio window in my Quotetracker. Each portfolio is then automatically prioritized according to current volume ratio (a quotetracker feature). I'll then concentrate on only about the top 12 to 15 stocks.

    Each portfolio can have quite a few stocks in it, so then you have to decide if you're going to trade only gap downs or gap ups. For me I prefer to trade gap downs, although I have again wasted time trying to look at both lists fearing that I would miss good trades and ending up not trading at all due to too many stocks. If I do get focused on solely one list, like the gap down port., I will short the stock initially or I may wait and scalp the retracement (which is frequently very reliable).

    Anyway, these are just a few things that I have found out while using Trade Ideas. If you have any questions about it, feel free to contact me. Also, Trade Ideas is putting on a presentation at the Traders Expo in San Diego this June. Have no idea if it would be worth while, but I thought I would mention it. It will probably be filled with traders looking for the holy grail, which of course, does not exist...even with a real time scanner.

    Take care.

    By Anonymous Rudedog, at May 01, 2007 11:14 p.m.  

  • JC,

    I don't know anything about the Trade-Ideas product other than what you write here. Is it the only "filter" that you have? I always assumed it was different than a regular filter.

    Anyway, it's great to have, but don't become preoccupied with it or anything. You made good money before you had trade-ideas...


    By Blogger Dinosaur Trader, at May 02, 2007 7:57 a.m.  

  • RudeDog,
    Thanks for your comments and thanks for the suggestions....yea you're'll take me a while to configure the scanner to my liking as I'm still trying to learn all it's features. I'll definitely call upon you if I need help!

    Thanks for your comments. Yea, there are a whole host of other things you can adjust and I'm still trying to learn them all. For now, I've been using their pre-set ones and seeing how well they'll take some time, but I'll get there!

    Good luck to all and good trading!

    By Blogger J.C., at May 03, 2007 7:45 p.m.  

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