August Trading Journals

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Hitman, Aug 1, 2001.

  1. Hitman,

    Purely out of curiosity, how does Worldco suggest you determine the number of shares to buy on a given stock?

    #11     Aug 4, 2001
  2. Magna

    Magna Administrator


    ...tried MMM on CYC/DJI pop but it wouldn't go, lost 5 cents
    ...Took FMC and stopped out for 6 cents loss

    Am very curious as to your latest stop strategy as you seem to be either bailing very quickly or you're setting unbelievably tight stops. Please elaborate.


    #12     Aug 4, 2001
  3. Hitman



    My DOT limit is 1500 shares, 14 positions, I haven't asked for a raise since summer started since I rarely do full 1500 in this market, having more shares is dangerous if I get personal with some stock. I am very sure by September I can get a 2000 shares DOT limit no sweat. The limit is there, how you use it is completely up to you. I start my position 400-600 shares and pyramid.


    If I only have 1-2 positions I don't even use stops, I am watching it with my own eyes and many times by the time you re-adjust your stop you are going to get spreaded to death. I sell as soon as the stock doesn't behave the way I expect it to, and in this environment, I am very, very, very tight on stops. 50 cents is a huge move in this market, and losing a few 25 cents trades can hurt big time on a day like Friday.


    I was indecisive on Friday, but a lot of that is because I have to use bullets and I hate go 1500 shares in August, with 500-800 shares sometimes it is hard to get the bullet cost back and if I am wrong I get totally smoked, there is no comeback in the afternoon . . .

    I have to play better, so far in August I am way off, 42% shooting will not get it done.
    #13     Aug 5, 2001
  4. Hitman


    Nasty game as I took a serious hit today. My bullet in HP destroyed me today. This stock is among one of my personal best but with super light volume there is no BID nor ASK to lean on, and like an idiot I tried too hard to get my bullet money back and it cost me the game. Horrendous timing, put up a bullet just before the OSX index reversed and from there I just got personal with the stock.

    This is the worst game I have played in a long time. While I didn't lose as much money as the DST game, frustration really got the best of me today and I took many many bad shots as opposed to one quick and clean hit. I should have stopped, instead I tripled my deficit in the final hour. 14300 shares on 3 of 10 shooting, -276 before commissions, -745 after, 2 bullets (HP bullet cost me $650 today).

    Sometimes the discretion is the better part of valor, and in today's game I could have saved myself from a lot of damage had I simply accepted the fact that it was a tough game and it wasn't meant to be won. Instead, I put myself in a $400 deficit for the pay period / month, and psychologically that can be potentially disastrous in a month like August. Play the open and leave, that's the key to survival, it is just so hard to do when you are down, but it must be done . . .

    Because whenever you think "this is horrible!", guess what, it CAN get a LOT worse. I was asking for this, and I got hit hard in the face . . . Tommorrow, keep my composure, dig out a small victory, I need to get back in the black before I let this month slip away . . .

    Pre-Market: Ouch, no news except the INTC crap which caused a nice gap-down in SOX which made it unplayable.

    9:30: XBD sell-off, big offer on LM and I put up the bullet. On the daily it could not break 48 but today there just weren't volume to push this down. The offer stayed at 48 for a long time and in the end I didn't make enough money to cover the bullet cost on this one. At one point the offer finally stepped down but because the volume was low he played some games before he tanked it. Saw some strength on XAL so bought DAL and got 30 cents. Went long in MUR and got hit for a nickel loss. Started churning in HP, and it was just brutal, when there is no BID/ASK you don't take a position, somehow I just kept on taking shots. Took some KMG on OIX strength and NOI on OSX strength, lost 15 cents in KMG and made 15 cents in NOI so they cancelled eachother out. Churned HP some more as I expected a OSX sell-off and churned some more.

    11:00: Churned HP some more . . . Aer you out of your mind?

    2:00: Took FMC on a CEX pop for 10 cents. Started churning HP again, I don't understand why I sold shares where the BID/ASK were 1x5, 10x10's . . .

    3:00: What hell am I doing here? I pulled out ticker tapes and started looking for big BID's, tried LTR, GM, VIA and lost 5-10 cents in each, are you going out of your mind? When there is no shot, don't look for miracle shots (VIA had a huge volume print and I bought right into the top of that small move hoping for a "rally into the close"). Churned HP some more and that was my day.

    Mentally I wasn't ready for this game, this morning I felt really tired for some reason, fatigue hit me both physically AND mentally . . . I am going to bed early hoping to be rejuvenated for tommorrow's game.
    #14     Aug 6, 2001
  5. Fletch



    I'm not sure what you are paying for commissions but it sure seems like trading at Bright or Echo would help your bottomline.

    #15     Aug 6, 2001
  6. Hitman


    $0.80 per ticket (one time charge daily), 1 cent per share, $12 for bullet ticket and 4 cent per share for the bullet.

    I don't think I could have saved THAT much money the way I played today. I was down $300 with one hour left and when I was down $400 I should have stopped because there were no opportunities, I lost $100 final 2 minutes when I already started writing my journal yet I took another position in HP that was so stupid . . .

    Very uncharacteristic, gotta step it up for tommorrow's game. Yes, Echo would help but I am not ready to completely be on my own yet. Not to mention you gain this certain level of appreciation for your company when you started out as a newbie with their money . . .
    #16     Aug 6, 2001
  7. Hitman


    Gut check time as I am getting destroyed in everything I touch. 12400 shares on 3 of 10 shooting, +93 before commissions, -268 after, I now carry a $700 deficit for the month and shooting an abysmal 36.5%. Despite a 3 and 2 record, the 3 games I won were total shut-down's and I barely squeezed by.

    I have to seriously consider work the morning and nothing more from now on, I entered the final hour down $100 and again tripled that deficit. I have not lost back to back games since mid-June. Not only this is a losing streak, but July feels like pure trading heaven compared to this market. I knew this would be a hard month coming in but I didn't expect this big raise of a notch . . .

    Tried trading SPY today and got hacked around, the spread is small, and the fills are fast with NYSE Direct Plus. Just one problem, I can't seem to time anything without tape action, and it is THE leading indicator of everything so when the market turns you are at the front line . . . I don't think I will be trading this, and I suggest anyone who wish to trade SPX/NDX futures when 25K requirement is in place, paper trade SPY/QQQ on Island or NYSE, see if you can make money at all doing this . . . I know I can't . . . You are at THE front line, every single tick, with no BID/ASK to lean on, not my type of trading vehicle.

    Pre-Market: SOX downgrade, a little hesitation and I missed some potential SOX bullets that didn't gap down much at all (ADI/NSM) off the open. Energy downgrade and they decided to play games and sucker in the longs. A batch of restaurant downgrades and they all gapped down too much to be played.

    9:30: BTK pop took some DNA sold immediately for a 1/4 point loss. Immediately took a bullet as the index completely reversed and is going down in super high speed. DNA showed up with a large offer and stepped down so I pyramided quickly into 1500 shares. I ended up making very little more than what I lost on that first attempt to go long earlier . . . Tried HP long on OSX pop and got out for flat.

    9:43: 100K print on DNA at 42.50 and it continued to go lower, offer stepped down to .49 and futures/BTK index started to squeeze, should have covered half but after yesterday I was so nervous and I covered everything as they took out the ASK. Then I saw a 90K print at .40 and my heart tanked with the stock. That was the $1000 trade and from there it just went down smooth as butter.

    9:52: UTY pop, took D at 60.75 and this guy shakes a lot, he went to .95 but he pulled back to .79 to shake me out when the UTY index was going straight up. He eventually went 1 point higher. The problem is this kind of trades with even reasonable volume are usually smooth as silk, in a super light volume day the tape is as choppy as the chart as he prints all over the place. Took EXC for a 30 cents move and little did I know it would be my only winner above $100 for the day . . .

    10:35: Took TXN twice on SOX breakout and got hit for 10 cents twice . . . took CRA on BTK pop and got a nickel profit. Bulleted a little DNA for a dime profit. I was down $50 for the day. That was the perfect time to go home . . .

    2:00: Instead I started trading SPY and those dime losses added up fast . . . I am not going to trade this vehicle, it doesn't move as much as the stocks, it doesn't have a tape to read, and there is absolutely no other indicator other than its own chart to trade it. You need to pick top and bottoms when you trade this, such as stochastics, or support and resistance levels, which is just not my cup of tea.

    3:13: Took a little IBM at 105.35 as futures poped and sold for a nickel loss, and it went up almost 1 point from there . . . I actually had quite a bit of luck with IBM's tape before, this could be my much needed go-to stock. Right now a big weakness in my game is that I have no real go-to stock to speak of. Kind of like the Portland Trail Blazers, I have balanced scoring but no go-to stock to rely on when everything else is struggling. Took some KKD because occassionally this stock rips into the close on closing orders, and there was a BID stepping up, no luck lost a dime. Tried DNA again and churned. Again I managed to lose $100 during the last five minutes of the game trying to make something happen, which is not a lot of money but plain unneccessary . . . I guess $150 doesn't hurt that much and I have to add a little more salt to the wound . . .

    Psychologically, I can not afford to let this thing slip into a four digit deficit. I would like to be on my YTD high going into September. Right now I am off by $1200, and I have to be very careful about this . . . that $700 deficit can grow faster than I can say bang. Play the morning, leave, whether I am up or down. It is ok to hit a few bad luck shots or even make bad decisions, churning is 100% unacceptable and must be avoided. It hurts to be up $500 in the morning and finish the day down (Monday, last week), but it hurts just as much to be down $250 and finish down $750 (Yesterday), two games like this it is a $1000 swing and churning damage adds up fast on that loss column . . .
    #17     Aug 7, 2001
  8. trader58


    two words:

    AUGUST SUCKS!!...The past two days I made money and left by 11 a.m. If the volume is light and the range is narrow... I am gone. Hitman, go to the and click on "press room" and then "volume descriptors." I printed the table and keep it on my monitor to get a feel for the market. Today and yesterday the volume was light. Basically August is usually a wash, just preparing for September. A lot of people on vacation. If I can make a couple of bucks I will consider it a victory. Good luck tomorrow.
    #18     Aug 7, 2001
  9. Hitman


    It is a lot harder to leave when you are down some measly $50 (or in yesterday's case, $250) . . . A very very small deficit that just grows larger as you churn yourself to death in the afternoon . . .
    #19     Aug 7, 2001
  10. To tie two threads together: Hitman, you are very right about the futures, they do lead everything and cannot be traded at all like most stocks, because you can't (generally) take your cues from the same other accompanying factors. But there is an answer and in my opinion just one answer: you must have a very advanced grasp of technical analysis. Very, very good pure TA skills are the key to the futures. Second, there have been a lot of understandable complaints on the boards about decreased summer volatility and ranges. This is of course indeed the case and in the futures as well. Still, over the past 11 days there were 17 10+ point moves in ES, probably at least that many 20+ moves in NQ ----- when it comes to volatility and range it is all relative, and there are nearly always many high-profit opportunities in the e-minis even during these summer doldrums. But of course, to catch them, again, there really is no substitute for a really top-notch set of TA skills and tools.
    #20     Aug 7, 2001