any daytraders out there

Discussion in 'Trading' started by silk, May 4, 2003.

  1. silk


    It seems increasingly hard to get these stocks to move. I thumbed through a number of charts from friday, and its amazing how many 30 minute intervals did not contain a move of 25 cents or more. I watched a stock go up a buck one day last week, and there wasn't a single good day trade all day in it, except to buy on the open, sell on the close. But that is not day trading. And the only reason it acted the way it did was because futures slowly drifted up all day.

    I'm trying to figure out how to get intraday charts for some stocks from last year to compare to the current trading. But don't know how????

    A strange phenomena has taken hold versus last year. Not only has the daily range contracted, but more importantly for us day traders, the 15 minute range has contracted to nearly nothing. You just don't see the big orders anymore that will make a stock momentarily pop or drop 20 cents.

    I watch stocks that last year would make me a ton of money, now stay in a 20 cent untradeable range for hours on end. Even when they end up having a nice move on the day, they arn't really tradeable. They just happen to go up with the market.

    Its like the stocks are lifeless zombies. Floating down a river of SPY arbitrage. Some stocks Zig, others ZAG. Some even have big moves. But the volume is thin, with rarely a trade gapping the stock around. Half my game is reading the "emotion" of the stock, and that is hard for me to do right now. Anyone else experience this??

    After commissions, higher SEC fees, and do we handle this? 10 cent a trade slippage didn't bother me when i was able to find 75 cent and $1+ winners. But these are far and few these days.
  2. huh. i just looked at a bunch of semi charts and most of them moved 7-10% friday alone. thats a move in my book.
  3. silk


    using your semi example, i looked at a few of the higher priced stocks such as KLAC.

    There was a nice 60 cent trade from the open to 10:15, and then another 60 cent trade from 10:30 to 11:30. But other than that there was not a single 25 cent trade. And the only reason you got those two 60 cent moves is because the s&p's popped 10 points in during each of those 2 trades. So the only reason you got those trades was because the market moved. You might as well have been trading the spys or the QQQ's.

    The other 4 hours of the day the stock just churns. Not to say that those weren't 2 nice moves. But the only reason the stock moved was because the spy moved. Had you guessed wrong on spy you would have lost 60 cents. Thus no edge at all trading KLAC friday.

    Maybe i'm imagining this, but it feels like i'm seeing fewer and fewer moves in individual stocks.
  4. silk


    I guess the biggest change i see is that there is no longer an Ebb and flow of 10-20 cents. I used to see the prices of individual stocks (NYSE $50 range) ebb and flow. You'd see large short seller orders step down for 10-30 cents now and then. Other times buyers would come in pushing the stock around. Sometimes only briefly, and you could capitalize on these moves.

    But now its like there is only one price. What you see is what you get. Intead of a fluctuating price around what might be the equilibrium.

    there used to be alot of money to be made buy picking off the shortsellers after they down tick a stock or by lightening up on a winner when a big buyer briefily steps up and bids 5k or 10k. I see none of this now. Now its what you see is what you get.

    Anyone else get what i'm saying? This may not mean anything to you if you arn't day trading NYSE stocks above $30. I remember i used to see alot of this on the Nasdq when there were stocks above $40 to trade.
  5. Pabst



    You're merely seeing volitility revert back to it's historical mean. 96-02 were aberations in equities beyond belief. Bottom line: we're back in an era where most people just don't give a shit where these issues are priced on a moment by moment basis.
  6. mloski


    I agree. I feel like it's pretty much suicide to make a trade without keeping your eyes glued to the spys or q's.
  7. I agree too. A twelve cent move is a "huge".

    We have two choices.

    1) wait for the market to get conducive to that style of trading.


    2) adapt

    Gotta go with #2. Can't be passive.
  8. Thought I'd respond to your post, although I'm really responding to any of number of posts I've read in recent weeks regarding these 'lousy markets'.

    You know, I've been in these markets a long time. I've seen lots of changes. For instance, you could have traded gold between 1976 to 1980. We went from something like $100 an ounce to 850. What a move that was. The move back down was equally breath-taking....we went under $300 by 1982. From there, the market got quieter and quieter. I can remember day trading gold. There came a time when it really wasn't worth the effort. You played the swings, or you didn't play. Then there came a time when the swings were as large as the DAILY moves had been at one time.

    The point is...times change. I remember 1976 in the stock market. I think we spent most of the year between 970 and 1000 on the Dow. That's a 3% range. Of course, most of us weren't daytrading back then in the stock market....the commissions in and out might have been 2-3% back then!

    Times change. And when they change, you change with them if you want to keep trading. I'm an old dog now, but I can still learn new tricks. From the sounds of it, I may be learning more new tricks than you are....and chances are I'm one helluva lot older.

    You know, I really have no complaints at all about this market. I think it's a great market. Of course, mostly I don't day trade stocks. I trade the stock futures. When I trade stocks I hold them for a move typically. Otherwise, why bother? They're just getting jerked around by the futures anyway in the short term.

    If you're waiting for the 90's to come back where anyone can trade a stock, you'll probably be waiting for a long time. Now what you do is you learn how to trade. This is your occupation. If you don't like the way one thing trades, you find another. If you can't day trade, then perhaps you have to hold more than a day. So what?

    You know, some of the great traders of the time believed that you could not trade every day anyway. I don't believe that myself, but I do believe that scalping a few cents here and there is a poor way to go. Even on a day basis, the bigger money is in the bigger moves. And holding for a day or two is no more risky in my mind than trading day by day. Most moves in the stock market are not 'day' moves.

    Tell ya what. When things aren't working for me, I like to step back, take a hard look at what I'm doing, figure out if I'm trying to zig, when zagging is what's happening. I suggest that you do the same.

    And the next time you feel like lamenting over markets of past years, just remember, when you get to be my age, you'll have seen so many changes you'll have lost track. It's called life.

    And finally, I'd like to comment briefly on 'how' people seem to trade these days. In my beginnings the idea was to LEARN the markets. There was an old codger at the time who used to tell me that if the unchanged stocks were greater than the advances, we'd rally after the first hour. LOL. That used to work at one time! But the point is, you watched the tape, you watch how stocks moved, you watched how the news affected them, you watched how they acted when someone said something. You noticed how they moved in the AM after they were strong the last hour, etc etc etc. In other words, we all spent every waking moment trying to learn how the market worked.

    These days, you folks have all got canned software that calculates out things like stochastics, MACD, RSI, rate of change, etc. You know, in the old days we found out the hard way that overbought oscillators basically don't work. But they hadn't even invented stochastics at that time...thank God. It doesn't work either...unless you can understand Jack Hershey! MACD...the difference between a couple of moving averages. You know folks, it has nothing to do with the market and what the market does.

    So here's the thiing, spend some time just observing. Put some stocks, some indexes, some sectors, the A/D, tick, trin on a quote board, and then sit quietly and watch it. See how it acts when it reaches round numbers, important points, when news in announced. You need to understand this thing, and that may well help you with your trading.

    Good luck with it.

  9. During the last 2-3 weeks I got some great moves in listed stocks (ones in the news), but only early in the morning. 1-2-3 trades at each stock, finished by 10.30

    Trading listed is definitely not the way it used to be, but some decent money was still there to be made. One has to be very selective with which stocks to trade, and very aggressive when getting the right setup, because there probably won't be another chance for the rest of the day.

    What sucks is being caught on the wrong side of the big move. Knowing that there won't be much opportunities to make the money back it's really hard to be disciplined and not go on "tilt".

    I'm kind of worried that after the earnings preannouncements I'm not gonna even get the morning moves, but hope that the recent up move in the overall market will shake things up and bring some more big and small players.
  10. DHOHHI


    < I watch stocks that last year would make me a ton of money, now stay in a 20 cent untradeable range for hours on end. >

    Nothing wrong with 20 cents; trade 1000 shares and that's $200 minus commissions which can be maybe $15 round trip. Do that a few times a day and one can do okay. Alternatively, if you want to have something move then maybe trade the QQQ or SPY.
    #10     May 4, 2003