July Trading Journals

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Hitman, Jul 2, 2001.

  1. Hitman


    While June was hardly an impressive showing, it was clearly a month in the right direction and I can think of much worse ways to close out the first half of the year. And what a half it was, after a rocky start at my firm late October back in 2000, when I lost money on a daily basis no matter what I did, January marked the first profitable month in my professional day trading career, and 2001 will hopefully goes down the most financially successful year in my 21 years of life.

    First half, I am up $39K after commissions, after the 92% payout it comes out to be 36K before taxes, I need to at least repeat my performance of the first half, to make this job worth while, although in reality I am looking for substantially more as my skill improves. On one hand, I need to increase my trading size, be unafraid to take 1000-1500 share positions on high probability trades, especially during the first hour. On the other hand, I have to continue to shoot as well as I have been shooting, with my improved tape reading I have been shooting better, but I also have to be aggressively taking positions instead of micro-manage them, there is a fine line where a perfect balance exists, and at the peak of my game, I must achieve that balance, being able to pare in and pare out of existing positions while keeping an eye open for fresh trades. For July, I am looking for $5000, I did not achieve that in June, let's see if I can do it in July.

    June / May

    P&L Before Commissions: 6217 / 4873
    P&L After Commissions: 3273 / -536
    Shooting %: 54.65% / 46.24%
    Cents Per Share: 0.050 / 0.021
    Volume: 123200 / 228700
    W/L: 15-6 / 12-11

    June Trading Journals:

  2. Hitman


    Considering I went scoreless for the entire first half of June, and with the July 4th splitting the week up a lot of traders took vacations, which translates into light volume, today's numbers are reasonable. That said, I missed a few critical lay-ups today which would have got me my first four digit day in a long time . . .

    I like my increased aggression and volume, but I need to continue to shoot well and score on lay-ups. 8 of 15 shooting on 10300 shares each way, +703 before commissions, +459 after . . . Hope I can continue to extend this 5 games winning streak . . .

    The market has been getting better, with some very tradable moves, and my sense of urgency hasn't been there, firm's average stats picked up, and mine lagged behind . . . Yes, last two weeks I made a nice run, but I should have been hitting much harder.

    Last but not least, if I only have one or two positions, I should not bother with tight trailing stops, just watch it and DP (Direct Plus, it is a wonderful feature, I have got some very timely fills bypassing the specialist with it) it, it has cost me too much money with the damn specialist shaking me out of trades. Only use the hard stop as an emergency stop while you look for other things, if I am watching I can usually get out before the stop is hit for a better price, as soon as I see weakness in the tape.

    Pre-Market: Mixed news, rather light news day, a third of the traders didn't show up today and they probably won't show up tommorrow either . . .

    9:30: Software issue, my order entry software didn't work during the first ten minutes, while I got stuck in a long position of LEH (futures going up, thought XBD would fill the gap), fortunately I was able to get out for flat before it tanked. Took ADI on a SOX bounce, only made a dime. XNG was tanking and I thought APC looked good, took a short position and literally shorted right into the squeeze, got out immediately for a 11 cents loss.

    9:44: OSX going straight up, most of its stocks up too much, took BHI and VTS. as the rally started to fizzle, I didn't like the weak tape action of BHI, so I got out for flat. I had 600 shares of VTS at 28.

    9:52: A BID of 7400 shares showed up at 28.27, and I immediately DPed for 500 more shares at .30, got the fill and the BID started to step up. VTS is a very thin stock, there are very few BID's and ASK's, so when they show up, they are usually real, and it moves with very little wiggles. I always thought the specialist in this stock is a newbie, but unfortunately, because it is so thin, it can really hurt when you get caught on wrong side of the trade, and in today's case, it was a case in which I had no exit point. The BID steped up, taking out ASK's along the way, the OSX started to pull back, I simply put 600 of the 1100 shares I had at the BID, and lifted my stop at every level, and the BID kept on stepping up, it was such an easy trade!

    9:58: The stock showed a BID of 6900 shares at 28.69, and the ASK was at 29.15! I knew in a thin stock like this, especially with the way OSX pull back like that, this is probably where I should let go of half of my position into strength, I offered out 500 at 29, and lifted the 600 to 28.69, where the BID was. Boom, 5000 printed at 28.91 (that is a big print for this stock), and OSX just made another leg down, I knew the buyer was done, and I cancelled my 500 shares at 29 and sold it market. Next print was at 28.70, and next print was at 28.50! My 600 shares was sold at .50, and my 500 shares market was sold at 28.10! So basically, my P&L went from $1000 to $250 in two damn prints! I have seen Mrs. D. handling large sizes in very thin stocks, those type of stocks move fast, move smoothly, and their tape is easy to read, but you gotta be quick with taking profits. Live and learn, a BID of 25000 showed up at 28, and I figured it is gotta bounce now it printed 1 point down in 3-4 prints, so I took 1000 shares at 28.1 and made 25 cents out of the bounce.

    10:03: OSX seems to be making another leg up, I took BJS at 28.50, it bounced off the half and I should have got out at quarter, instead, after that VTS trade which completely frustrated me, I hesitated and ended up stopping out at the figure for a 50 cents loss! Then I just realized that I missed a huge SOX move . . . Psychologically, the VTS trade was very damaging, it was more or less a bad luck trade, but I just couldn't believe how bad my fills were . . .

    10:11: BKX rally, took PVN for a 20 cents profit. Took BSC and LM on XBD bounce but the brokers refused to join the banks today, and I got out for flat in BSC, lost 20 cents in LM. At this point, I felt frustrated. I was up $70 on the day, and the market just took off without me.

    10:30: OSX totally tanked, on a bounce I took HP and got out for flat. Stupid, stupid, stupid, that was the last time to short it before the carnage . . . For some reason I don't short the squeezes as much as I buy the dips . . .

    11:01: CEX made the full reversal and is going straight up. Took PPG at 51.80 and then it started to hit the figure, with a BID at .92, I wanted to look at other chemicals and I put my stop at .89, the specialist hit my stop and filled me at .85! Then he ripped the stock 1.25 point higher! I made one more attempt at what seemed to be an XBD double bottom and took GS, got out for flat.

    11:28: CEX still going up, watched EMN for 20 minutes and it finally started to break through, in at 45.80 and out for a 75 cents profit. That one trade saved my day . . .

    12:48, took NOI at 25.25 on OSX bounce, I thought the rally will fade away so I got out for flat so I could go grab lunch, it shot up 50 cents.

    1:39: took BJS and APA on energy rally, turned out that was the peak of the index move, got out of BJS for 11 cents loss, APA for flat . . . Watched rest of the way and didn't want to churn any further. Just hope tommorrow I won't get such horrendous fills . . .
  3. Hitman


    Super light day but I was able to pull out my sixth win in a row, 5 of 7 shooting on 3500 shares, +469 before commission, +382 after.

    It is so important to build large winning streaks in this game. March was my all time best at 18K, and it started with a long winning streak from February, where I won 27 of 30 games . . . and I eventually hit a 10 games winning streak, followed with my best day ever at $5000. I remembered that I won game after game, my confidence was rising, my size was going up, and I started to pull out close games and miracle comebacks . . . Consistency beats huge swings any time, and that is what I am trying to achieve, get back into the winning mentality, while pushing my size up.

    I can say with 100% confidence that I am a much better trader than I was back in March, even if my P&L is not matching up . . . (This is a MUCH tougher market than March afterall) I remember back in March I bought 2 or 3 stocks in the same sector just because the index was going up, and my tape reading was non-existent, why take 3 positions in the same sector 500 share each, when I can focus all 1500 shares onto the best looking position? Once I understood that Mrs. D. traded very few stocks a day, but put serious size into those stocks, I started to narrow down my shotgun approach, focused on the tape, and my shooting percentage went higher . . .

    Pre-Market: Quite a few downgrades on energy stocks (but two upgrades as well), a SUPER SIZE downgrade (buy -> neutral + target price change) on DD after yesterday's huge run-up spelled doom for CEX.

    9:30: I wasn't very sure on that energy situation, energy shot up quite heavily. Follow the chart on a mixed news day is the way to go, took BJS for a 20 cents profit on OSX strength, XNG was extremely strong, took APA for a 40 cents profit, EOG for a 10 cents loss as the index eventually turned.

    9:57, bad trade, took PGR before IUX showed confirmation, and no tape confirmation either, just a pure gut feeling trade and got hit for 15 cents loss. Thought there will be a SOX rally, took STM and ADI, got out of STM for a 10 cents profit, ADI for a 25 cents profit, the tape felt weak and the rally was going nowhere . . .

    10:44: A huge miss in GS, watched the tape closely and as it took out a huge ASK at 84 I should have jumped in, missed a 1 point move. XBD is running hard, took super lagger WDR for a 20 cents profit . . . Market felt like a dead town, time to fold it . . .
  4. Hitman


    I was drained after the hardest personal decision I ever had to make. So today I simply didn't have my usual energy level . . . Still managed to pull out a win and extended my winning streak to 7 straight, +507 before commissions. +395 after, 4 of 6 shooting on 4800 shares.

    Pre-Market: Double downgrade on FD but I am not a huge fan of RLX trading in summer time.

    9:30: A little disoriented but quickly focused myself at task at hand. Long PVN on BKX strength but futures came in and I got out for a dime profit. Stock traded 60 cents higher than where I sold as BKX took off. Took APC on a lucky fill and got 40 cents out of the trade as a XNG lagger.

    10:00: Took VTS but a little unsure and sold market, watched it go up 60 cents as OSX completely took off. Shorted NE and lost 7 cents, that was just a horrendous trade as I realized my emotion was hurting me. Immediately took a deep breath and regathered myself, took DD and pyramided into 1000 shares when CEX made a quick double bottom, got a nice 30 cents out of the trade. A carbon copy trade with ROH as I took 15 cents out of 1000 shares . . . Fatigue definitely started to catch up to me from the sleepless night before and I was happy with $400 on a summer day, went home . . .
  5. Hitman


    Why put up a 1500 shares bullet when I only used 600 shares? I wonder why don't I be more aggressive with my sizes with the way I have been shooting off the open. This morning double downgrade on EMC and a full line of bad news caused a heavy sell-off, and it was the classic sell and hold type of day, yet despite having two great bullets off the open I was unable to take advantage of a smooth, smooth day . . .

    +618 before commissions,343.77 after, 4 of 7 shooting on 5100 shares, 2 bullets. 8 victories in a row and sweeped the first week of July with $1600 in profit despite of a shortened week. I need to turn up my aggression a little more, forget September, why can't I make some nice money right now?

    On a side note, I was finally approved for a fourth monitor . . . Fantastic . . . The head trader at our Boca Florida branch is our firm's number one trader, given a much smaller office I am pretty sure I will get quite a few tips from him. I am very tempted to start a fresh new life there, and to truly forget . . . Consider it a 80% done deal if I can pursuade any good friend who want to tag along for the ride . . . The beach houses in that area look absolutely gorgeous . . . and incredibly cheap rents . . . not to mention I am always some sort of a outdoor person who enjoys water sports and beaches . . .

    Would be a very drastic life style change from New York to Florida, but life is full of surprises . . .

    Pre-Market: Big bucket's worth of bad news and downgrades so here we go . . .

    9:30: XBD/SOX tanking hard and BSC/IRF opened unchanged, immediately put up two bullets and sold 600 shares each. My plan was to sell more as soon as an ASK shows up, but there never was much of an offer in those, just BID getting smacked down and small ASK stepped down. Got 50 cents out of IRF, never ever cover something with that much down side momentum, I should have covered for a point profit and I should have sold more. BSC was a tougher trade, a huge squeeze made me unsure of the trade, but XBD was tanking hard, and it wasn't going against me much, shouldn't have covered. Only got 30 cents out of this one and left a very large chunk of the profit on the table. Bullet off the open on days like this is gold, sell the full bullet! XNG rally, took APC for a dime profit didn't like the tape action as the index reversed.

    9:59: Shorted EPG on XNG weakness, but there was a size buyer in this stock and I only got 25 cents out of the move.

    11:13: Futures made a little bottom pattern, took EMN on CEX rally, BHI on OSX rally, lost a nickle on each, took COF on a potential BKX bottom and lost 15 cents. Very dumb trades during the dead zone, never ever churn yourself away!
  6. Hitman


    Light day as I failed to capitalize on yet another energy sell-off. Pretty busy with talking to people from Boca in the afternoon so didn't trade. +273 before commissions, +201 after, 2900 shares on 4 of 5 shooting . . . Holding on to a 9 games winning streak and hopefully I will be able to capitalize when the market does give a little momentum.

    Every day, I look at the energy sector and say I should short them, yet everyday I feel they are way too oversold and I should play the bounce instead, and while I have profited from some of those bounces I would have made so much more progress shorting these squeezes . . . This is in many ways, the same type of sell-off technology sectors experienced before, and good traders will capitalize, short and short and short every day, while mediocre ones such as myself decide to pass it up . . .

    Pre-Market: Mixed news, some of the news didn't hit until after the market opened, namely a batch of energy downgrades, FRX upgraded . . . CPN upgraded . . . Telecom news . . .

    9:30: Took AGN on DRG strength, asked Mrs. D. if she is longing it and she said no (I wonder why?), needless to say I got just 20 cents out of the trade as the stock did not participate in the DRG rally. Took AT on XTC strength and shaken out for a dime profit . . . Saw BTK strength and took CRA, shaken out for a 20 cents profit and missed a full point move, very very bad trade for me there . . .

    9:45: Took D and I didn't know the specialist is this ruthless with shakeouts, he was trading at .70's and all of a sudden he brought the hammer down and hit .45 to trigger my stop, next print back to .70! I didn't know he is this rough . . . A flat trade. Took WAT on futures pop, but it just felt like the market had no momentum whatsoever and I lost a dime in the trade.
  7. Hitman


    Yet another light game as my body and mind was not ready for this game today . . . My brain simply doesn't allow me to trade aggressively and during the open I was a step slow on every trade. Even if I have been making peanuts, I would love to keep this winning streak alive as I have matched my all time best 10 games winning streak.

    +395 before commissions, +218 after, 4100 shares on 4 of 6 shooting, 1 bullet.

    With a new screen I now track every sector there is, it will take a little while for me to fully digest this and use it to my advantage but I am getting better at reading sector relationships. I removed my real time filters because it is just way too many things to watch, my efficiency will go up when I become fully adapted to my workstation, and what a beautiful workstation it is, I wonder whether I will get the same set-up if I move to Boca. Right now I am not taking enough positions nor trading heavy enough sizes, but when the market brings more momentum and volatility, everything should flow. I am shooting 63% for the month which is my year's best, I hope I can keep this up.

    On a side note, the guy next to me who is down $20K got a second check for $1500 (which is not deducted against his deficit), and my payout has been raised to 94% . . .

    Pre-Market: DNA didn't get FDA approval on one of its patents. FD upgraded.

    9:30: Market gapped up and SOX/BTK shot right up . . . I was unable to get a fill on CRA and most of the SOX stocks gapped up too much. I quickly took TXN at 29.50, market looked like it was running out of gas almost right away, but TXN's blocks were getting bigger and bigger and you should never get out of a long position when it is upticking and its volume is picking up. Got a dime out of the trade when I could have got two more quarters . . . Saw an energy rally and took KMG on OIX strength, was able to pare out half of the shares for a 16 cents gain but the other half was hit for a 14 cents loss. Took BJS long when I thought OSX will hold and make a push to the upside and lost 15 cents. All 3 energy sectors (OSX/OIX/XNG) quickly reversed and it was another classic example of gap-up -> sell-off. It is so clear when you look at all 3 of them on the screen at same time, you really start to see connections.

    9:47: Put up a bullet on HP and sold at 30.80, had this been a long trade, I would have took APC on XNG weakness, BHI on OSX weakness, but I wanted to wait for an offer but I couldn't afford the bullet (just in case I was wrong). I was squeezed immediately but fortunately I was only filled 100 shares and cancelled the rest, lost 40 cents on that 100 shares. Then an offer showed up I sold 500 and made 40 cents. After a little squeeze I sold another 500 and took another 25 cents . . . The problem was that due to the weak volume, I never had a reason to pyramid into it hard, had there been an offer I would have DPed more shares into the BID, and due to the low volume, when HP was trading at .25 I had my stop at .26, and it was filled at .50! I think we are very very close to a serious energy bottom here, it feels like the only reason the prices are still going down, is because there is no buyers, and traders are pushing the price down, but you can say that for the market in general . . .

    10:15: Took VTS on OSX bounce and made a dime, bottomfished AGN for a 20 cents profit . . . Shorted HP one last time and fortunately covered for a 10 cents profit before they squeezed. The market just felt very thin, it is like walking on thin ice so I closed the shop early.

    I have booked a flight to Boca next Friday (July 20th) with two other friends. I will play the morning and get in the cab with them before 11AM, the flight departs at 1PM and I think with more than 2 hours it should be sufficient. I will spend Friday night and most of Saturday in Boca checking its surroundings out, then late Sunday we will be in Miami. I will miss Monday's game but my decision will come at the end of this visit.
  8. dozu888


    Hope you keep the winning streak going Hitman, knew from another thread that you are Chinese also.. it's in our blood isn't it?

    Anyway, from reading your journal and other fellows' postings kinda gave me more confidence to make money in summer, made back the small loss in June and now nicely in the money for July. good luck in Boca.
  9. Hitman


    11th in a row as I am now on my all time best. While the progress I have made this month is nothing more than pocket change, a day in the black beats a day in the red every time. +856 before commissions, +552 after, 5 of 7 shooting on 6100 shares. Again I played the morning and mostly ignored afternoon churning, again I went too small on the two bullets I had. I really thought this was a $1000 day in the making, but I missed.

    Pre-Market: Huge downgrade list, particularly in energy.

    9:30: Saw a little pop on futures and took LEH for a 15 cents bounce. While you can't argue with profit, it was probably the biggest mistake I made because I wanted to short energies this morning, and I should have been looking to set-up energy bullets instead of focusing on this small bounce. Saw DRG strength and took AGN off the open, lost 40 cents almost instantly when the market reversed the second I jump into the position, and there was no BID there to support it. By then I already missed most of the energy shorts, and I put up a bullet in VTS, got a 40 cents move off 1000 shares but missed the second leg down after a brief squeeze. I think I covered it way too fast because last time I was 1 point in the money with this stock and when I covered I lost 3/4 of the profit.

    9:52: AGN shorted up with a huge offer, it actually knocked it out and then after a brief pop, market and DRG completely gave up and another big offer showed up, I quickly poped in a bullet and sold 500 shares and was filled with just a 15 cents slippage, I was able to pull 1.15 point out of the trade but unfortunately I wasn't aggressive enough to short the full bullet. I was up $800 on the day and I was going for $1000.

    9:53: On a futures bounce took UTX on what was a CYC breakout and the chart looked great, but stopped out for a 20 cents loss off 700 shares. Took AMD at 20.73 and made a quarter on SOX pop. Saw a huge move on RLX and took a very bad trade on CC, I went full 1500 shares and that was so stupid, I lost a nickle but I could have got hit very hard, always pyramid your way into a position, always. Very badly rushed shot.

    2:00: Bottomfished DNA and got out flat, tried again, missed the fill and missed a 1 point move . . . Time to fold it.
  10. Hitman


    12th in a row as I finally hit a $1000 day after 2 and 1/2 month's worth of scoring drought. 7 of 7 shooting on 3400 shares as I absolutely shottoday, +1104 before commissions, +1018 after.

    Hopefully I can pick up the momentum and close the pay period out with a strong performance on Friday, riding this winning streak and milk it for all of its worth. +$3000 for the pay period, while it is hardly anything impressive, I can live with that in summer time.

    Unfortunately, I missed a big energy reversal today with two partial fills, and I didn't not go heavy enough in some of my positions. I want no part of the afternoon churning and I am done.

    Pre-Market: Lots of technology upgrades, I hate gap-up days, hard to get into positions.

    9:30: Saw some strength in BTK index and took WAT for a quick 20 cents scalp, got out when the index reversed. Didn't want the financials nor technology because most of them gapped up way too much. Took HP and MUR on OSX reversal but only got 100 and 200 shares filled with my DP order and I missed two huge trades as I simply sold those market for 10 and 30 cents each because it wasn't worth watching.

    9:53: CEX reversal, took 600 shares of PX and took another 400 when it knocked out a big offer, pulled off almost half a point off 1000 shares. Took PGR for a half point on a 500 shares position. Energy started to give up, I saw the correlation in Airline (cheaper fuels = XAL strength), took UAL for a quarter point but left another quarter point on the table. Took RDN for a dime and left half a point on the table. I only wanted a $1000 day so I didn't hold on to those positions for their worth, bad mistake, could have easily made quite a bit more . . .
    #10     Jul 13, 2001