Specialist Ratings

Discussion in 'Order Execution' started by NYSE Trader, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. As suggested in the thread "SpecialistMan - by John Bogle", I am starting this thread so we can rate our experience with different stocks/specialists.

    I'll start with a couple:

    TXN: bad...holds cancels to see if the market will turn in his favor.
    PEP: good...often goes out of his way to fill you, even in a fast market.
  2. Tea


    On the Elite main web page there are sections for:

    "Latest Broker Ratings"

    "Newest Software Reviews"

    "Most Recent Book Review"

    Perhaps Barron could squeeze in a section for Latest Specialist Ratings?
  3. WinSum


    FS = Stay Away. Specialists uses Roach Motel tactics. You can get in but can't get out.

    GE = Good, fair & Orderly

    GS = Tricky, but still fair. Not for the faint-hearted.

    UHS = Stay Away. Nortorious for Gapping Up stock to catch shorts.
  4. alanm


    UHS and FS (especially) are relatively illiquid. It doesn't surprise me that people find what they believe to be unfair markets in stocks like these.

    Back when I traded NASDAQ, I don't remember it being any different in stocks like this. You'd have three or four MMs staggered in the stock, with an inside market like 54.25 - 55.00, one up. Absent any contra order flow, if you try to take the offer for 500 shares, you'd get a whole 100 shares and find yourself as the new bid at 55.00 for 400. Not only that, but the guys that were offering at 55.10, 55.25, etc. may very well have moved out to 56.00+.

    Also, it seems like stock with heavy floor trading might be more likely to appear to trade strangely for us electronic traders, since we get whacked by these unseen forces.

    Anyone have any stocks in the 500K-1M share range that trade "fairly"?
  5. DaveN


    This thread is a great idea, and I'm sure lots of traders will find it very useful.

    If any posters feel comfortable, it might be good to add what size you are trading, or rather how well different sizes work with a particular stock.

    I've found that in some stocks, 300 or 500 shares work differently than 2000 shares do. I guess if the stocks less liquid, then the 2000 shares will finish the order and seems to get done quicker than the smaller order. I've seen this in Citi, where 2000 or 3000 shares "seems" to trade quicker than a 500 share order.

    Also, I'd imagine that with larger size, a trader tends to be a bigger force in the book. It seems that the specialist would treat you better with a 5000 share order when you add liquidity rather than take it.

    My Opinion:

    NYSE:C Used to trade very well. Now, for the last month or so, I've found price improvement to be nonexistent. When adding liquidity (sitting offered in his book), the specialist will print three trades practically all at once (mine, up 5 cents from the last price, one above me by a penny, then another up 3 cents). Instead of printing us all up 9 cents, we get no price improvement. Perhaps this is just the result of less specialist participation and more straight eletronic matching in the book, but it has definitely changed over the last month or so. Maybe it's time to find a new specialist....
  6. I'm not sure he is too fair, but I agree with the rest of your statement. You can definitely make a lot or lose a lot in GS.

    JNJ: Every few months I check in to see if he has become just a little more bearable. So far no luck. But it might be that I just don't understand him. I just can't believe anyone would be as evil as this one appears to me.

    GM: kind of like GE, but presents slightly more opportunities

    KO and BAC used to be some of my favorites, but their attitude seems to vary greatly from day to day.

    WMT has been a lot faster and fairer lately.

    MO used to be excellent, but it might have simply been natural volatility and inefficiency that I exploited. I hardly ever trade it anymore.

    TXN: I traded it maybe 5 times and could not believe my eyes. Definitely not recommended.

    DNA: don't have too much experience, but it seems like no matter how long your limit order sits there, he will still trade right through it without filling you. Nevertheless, the stock is kind of a goldmine.

    MRK: I remember I don't particularly like to trade the stock, but I don't remember exactly why.
  7. I tested JNJ for one day...found him to be very tough to get filled on.
  8. What you said about GS is quite an understatment.

    The GS specialist can be very sadistic.

    Trade with this guy never against.

    my .02

  9. WinSum


    DNA = Stay Away just for today.
    Don't know if the regular Specialist is taking a long Columbus weekend but DNA trading is hard today. Hard to get filled. Can't hit the bid without requoting. Specialist is timid today.
  10. burnin


    nastiest specialist ive ever seen

    boggest trick is all his fake bids offers which never show up in book
    #10     Oct 14, 2003