This blog has moved to

  • Friday, September 23, 2005

    Hurricane Rita

    Well we finally made it out of Houston at about 5 a.m. Thursday Morning,we had started out at 3:00 P.M. on Wednesday Afternoon,That was a long haul.Most gas stations were already out when we started out,I'm just glad we left when we did because it seems Thursday was pretty bad on the roads.I think we are just going to go all the way to Michigan and spend a few days there,see how this whole thing plays out.I haven't traded at all probably won't untill sometime next week.I see I missed some great shorting opportunities in NEW,finally broke that weekly head and shoulders.Good luck to anyone in the path of Rita,lets just hope she simmers down before landfall.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    Tuesday / Fed Day /and more Hurricanes

    Took most of the last couple days off from the markets.The Fed reports Tuesday at 2:15pm.Other than a couple of housing numbers and a few earnings reports in the morning,I think all eyes will be on the Fed. I myself will have one eye on the markets and one eye on the new Tropical Storm Rita which is said to be heading my way to Texas.I've been trying to convince my wife to move in the near future and if this thing develops into a hard hitter I may just get my wish sooner than later.I live in Houston just about 45 minutes away from Galveston which is now giving recommendations to evacuate.Not mandatory yet,but possible.Might have to call it an early week and get the heck out of dodge, we should know more on the strength of this storm/hurricane by late Tuesday/early Wednesday,might be an overreaction due to Katrina,but we won't be taking any chances.

    Saturday, September 17, 2005

    Trades For Friday 9/16/05/ More Tape Reading

    I did have a couple of trades on Friday though I spent most of my time watching the tape and taking care of other things.My first trade was a short on NEW off the 11:20am 5 minute candle,I couldn't of timed that entry better.I entered short at 41.50 as they were taking out all the bids and I was able to hit an ARCA (thank you arca for being a buyer there).My first exit left little to be desired at 41.40,then I captured a little more at 41.27 to cover the entire position. My second trade in NEW was another perfect entry long at 41.25.I was watching every print as orders would try to come down only to get cleared away so I went long with the big buyer(or short covering,who really knows).Then I made a big mistake I put out an offer at 41.35 and all these orders came in behind me and went up and cleared out my offer for a .10 cent profit,only to watch it trade up even more to about 41.70.The point is my exit was way to early,I had a great entry,big buyers coming in and a stock ready to squeeze the heck out of the shorts on a volatile options expiration day.I really should have captured the bigger move on that one.The tape reading did pay off for the day though and I will be paying more attention to it in the coming weeks,and also to enhancing my exits.
    Unfortunately I cannot show the tape reading as it happens,but I can do my best to explain my thinking process on my trades throughout these next few weeks.My main thinking on these two trades was that the prints off the tape said it all when the bids were all getting hit and orders moved down it was time to go short and when that selling subsided and they held a certain level for a few bars it was time to go long as every order that tried to come down on the stock would just get printed.Of course you don't want to be the first one testing it out, you do want to watch a little first,but at the same time you don't want to wait so long that it becomes obvious to the entire group that may be watching the stock as you will miss a lot of the move.I think the idea is to wait long enough where you can see what is happening and strike at that moment right before everyone else catches on, and I believe this can be done consistently.I realize that was pretty basic thinking and I will try to get more in detail in the future, but for now that's all my tired brain can muster up.Good Trading!

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    Tape Reading and Study Time

    Yesterday I had a post with links to an author who wrote of specialist and tape reading.Part 3:The Tape Reading part has really got me thinking that I have gotten away from really focusing on that. The next couple days I will be watching more than I will be trading.The author really made some good points and reminded me of the fact that you really have to pay more attention to the Tape than the open book.I was watching BSC at the 10:55am 5 minute bar and the bar just before that and all the prints were starting to go off on the bid even though it appeared the stock was moving back up I don't think the sellers were quite done yet.This was a great tip off for a nice short opportunity(short term scalp)for a nice .50 to .60 cent move down.I'll be watching more setups off the Tape in the coming days and try to post more of my observations. I'll also be taking this time to get caught up on some other things,like some other traders, I'm finding this options expirations week to be very undesirable to trade. Good trading to all.

    NYSE Specialist and Tape Reading

    Tonight I was using the new Google Blog Search and stumbled upon this blog in a search for nyse open book.The author has a very good write which comes in a three part post:1.Think Like an Institution,2.The Specialist,and 3.Tape Reading...Very informative and easy to understand material for anyone trying there hand with nyse stocks.The author also seems to be very negative on nyse open book(which in some ways I have to agree with a few of the points made),but I have to say I still find it a useful tool for certain things as depth,locating largebuyers/sellers/specialist,and knowing my exits.Those are three justifiable reasons for paying a small fee once a month,in my opinion.

    It's a fairly long read, but definately well worth it.Here's the link again.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Wednesday Trading 9/14/05

    Wow,what a choppy day,that's really all I can say.My trading has just been terrible today,trying to take what just isn't there and a loss of discipline.I was down,then up,then flat,then down,and well now close enough to flat that I just want to stop for the day.Got shaken out of a really good short in GLW only to get +.01,then watch it trade down to my suspected target of 20.82,I was short at 20.98,arghhhh!I did manage to catch NEW short at 43.00 and cover at 42.85 for a +.15 winner,only to watch it go and print down to 42.55. There some really crazy moves going on today,and I may just sit out for a while until conditions improve,I wouldn't mind a nice move down as I tend to favor the short side.Good trading to everyone and good luck in this option expirations week.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Trades for Tuesday 9/13/05

    NEW short 43.55 covered 43.48 +.07 (almost got burned in that one,trading erratically)
    WLT long 47.11 sold 47.09,47.15 -.03,+.04
    NEW short 43.44 covered 43.30 +.14
    WLT long 47.29 sold 47.41,47.45 +.12,+.16
    This WLT was being held up by specialist all morning never penetrated the 47.00 after trading above that,had to exit the first time because I generally keep very tight stops.The better entry was at 47.05 5000 shares came down that I could have hit but I was having connection issues "again".Thanks again assent:(.That better entry most likely would have kept me in this trade longer with my out at 47.00 only .05 risk.

    Choppy session thus far.One more comment: There is a lot of talk of trading journals,psychology,entrie,exits, but I have yet to here anything on system reliability(Computer,Connections,Brokers Connections "reliability"(yeah you know who you are!).Maybe I'll write a post on that or will find some more info or opinions on the matter soon.I think that comes above all in a traders ability to be successful,otherwise it's like racing a beat up ole'VW bug against a Ferrari.My guess is the Ferrari will win every time and people will stop trying to race the VW. :-)

    Tueday Trading 9/13/05

    The SPZ5 traded down earlier to about 1242.00 a gap from two days ago.Futures now look to open around yesterdays lows.Economic reports this a.m. are fairly non-eventful as they came in at or near consensus.

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    Trades for Monday 9/12/05

    Today's trading range is proving to be very tight at the moment. I'm only trying to take very small scalps off the bottom and top of this range.Right now that range for the SPZ5 is support at 1246.50 and resistance at 1248.25, until we break out of this range I won't be looking to take much else in this market.

    NEW short 43.29 covered 43.20 +.09
    FMD long 28.68 sold 28.85,28.89 +.17,+.21

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    End of Month Trading Journal / Heat Map

    This is just a review of my P&L Heat Map for the month of August 2005.My first original post about journals/heat maps was done on August 18th for stocks as percentage of winners and losers, and on August 6th for P&L by time segment here and here. Please refer to the links for a better understanding of the above charts.

    End of Month Review: August 2005
    Average hold time: 00:03:44
    Total positions held: 406
    Total symbols traded: 39
    Winning trade %: 66.57%
    Losing trade %: 33.43%

    In the winning stock comparison chart n=NEW,trades from that one stock made up the bulk of my profits for the month.Also in the Time Segmented P&L as the month progressed my best times for trading were in the morning 1st two hours approximately and the last hour and half.

    Trading Links

    TraderMike has some great informational material on his site today.Definately worth taking a look at, and some references of other ways to use the Trade-Ideas scans compliments of the team there and also Brett N. Steenbarger, PH.D.

    I've yet to read everything out there, but it seems to me that this market delta stuff is basically just the same idea as a daily volume overlay that can be done through if you set the configurations for it.Don't quote me on that, as I have not read the article in it's entirety yet.If I have any more opinions on this afterward I will post later.Just wanted to make the information available to my readers asap. I do read the nyse open book for depth, so this could be valuable to my style of trading or anyone following my style on an intraday basis.I do also look for block trades myself and am considering implementing the filters that trade-ideas has offered for watching block trades.Considering I only like to watch a couple of stocks at once,this may bring about some more trading opportunities for me throughout the day.

    Saturday, September 10, 2005

    NYSE Order Execution

    Some of my readers have asked what kind of orders I use when trading Nyse stocks.First of all I rarely use market orders.The only time I will use market orders is either if I am trying to test the market a little (Livermore style) to find out where the specialist is filling orders,or if I absolutely want out and don't care where I get filled.These fills can vary from not getting the price you anticipated,to getting filled at a much better price if the stock has a quick upburst/downburst.I don't much care for market orders typically. I will either use a limit order through SDOT or I will use the NYSE Direct+ to hit the specialist.If you use a Direct+ order you have to make it count because there is a 30 second frequency restriction to send another and that can feel like minutes in the world of scalping.(This rule still applies to individual stocks, but has recently been eliminated for ETF's).I will also use the ECN's to get price improvements or as entries and exits when I cannot get the NYSE order fast enough.One more thing to note specific to my own style of trading is that I don't typically like to offer out if I am long or bid if I am short.My reasoning behind this is that it can sometimes stop the momentum of the stock.In other words,if I want a wheel to keep rolling forward do I want to help keep it rolling or do I want to set up a roadblock for it.To help create the momentum you sometimes have to be the one getting things started and hit the smaller orders that may be standing in your way.As long as you are trading on the side of the Big Money then this is possible,just don't try to be a hero and go against the specialist because you will lose everytime.When you have that flow behind you it doesn't hurt to take out the 100,200,or 500 shares standing between you and a .25 cent winner.Now on the other hand if I see that there is strong support or resistance at a certain price level then I will be a little more cautious and possibly take some of my position off to book a little profit.I also use hot keys for all my orders because with my style I have to be quick on many of my trades.

    Order Execution page link for NYSE

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    Trades for Friday 9/09/05

    I don't have time to list all trades today,but I will list the two that brought me back above the flat line for the day.I have to take off the rest of the day and take the wife to the dentist which for me probably isn't a bad thing considering the trading today.

    BMC long at 21.00 sold at 21.12 +.12
    CRK long at 30.43 sold at 30.55,30.58 +.12,+.15
    (Both of these I spotted on the Trade-Ideas scan for volume currently 1 x average daily.)

    Good Trading!

    S&P Futures Contract

    The contract being traded now for sp futures is the December contract. Symbol is SP Z5 for esignal.Market is very choppy so far today and I don't expect it to get much better being Friday and all.Be cautious out there.I had a pretty wild ride this morning back and forth now recovering.I think it's payback time again so I will decrease my share size until conditions change.I also came back from a small vacation this week so it may just be specific to my own trading adjustments,but right now I'm getting false signals all over the place.I will only trade Prime setups now.

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Trade-Ideas Free Trial Update

    Trade-Ideas is now offering an extension of the standard 7 day free trial. My readers can now enjoy the extended 14 Day Free Trial and take advantage of the extra time to really get to know the product and it's many features.Be sure to sign up via my affiliate link.I'm using it on a daily basis now for my own trading and have to say it's the best product I've come across yet. I have used Realtick's Oz Scanner and also a product called Whisper, and I have to say that Trade-Ideas has nailed it on offering a user friendly real time scanner that can be adapted to suit a full-time traders needs.Unlike the predefined scans that some products out there only offer you can really configure the settings here with Trade-Ideas and set filters to fit your own trading criteria.Check it out Now!What are you waiting for?

    Market Overview : Commentary Links

    Here is a great view to the bigger picture of the market. I found this commentary through TraderMikes blogroll. See the Capital Spectator for more.Also check out RandomRoger he has some great stuff on a more macro view.I find it helpful to step outside your own thinking from time to time just to get some other observations of what might be happening in the markets. It's easy to get caught up in your own views if you don't look outside of those views from time to time.

    Trades for Thursday 9/08/05

    The market has not offered up much for the day,although volume was decent and there were a few opportunities. I'm still trying to find my groove since being back and it's just not there yet. The morning offered a couple small scalps only to have a few small losers in the afternoon.Just made a trade short in NEW for a +.18 winner which has basically made me positive for the day, time to call it quits for now.Homebuilders have been under pressure most of the day we'll see if tommorrow or next week offers any good trading opportunities there.

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    Trade For Wednesday 9/09/05

    NAV long at 34.50 sold at 34.60,34.70,34.75 +.10,+.20,+.25

    This one came up on the Trade-Ideas scan for longs with volume set at 1.5 times average.Watched it trade for a bit before my entry and set my sights on a blast thru some big orders that kept coming down and getting taken.They played a little fake at first but held it nicely.I had good MACD trend up on my 15,and 60 minute charts and a slight turn up on the 5 minute.5 minute was slightly trending down but I also had a good entry signal on the 1 minute stochastics and the market trend in general.Calling it a day here,like I stated earlier it's my first day back so there wasn't much trading for me today.Good Trading!

    First Day Back From Vacation

    Today is my first day back from vacation.I'm amazed at the run up in the indices and it will take me a couple of days to get back in sync with the markets.I most likely will not be doing much trading today, but I will be back tommorrow with my current and daily opinions on the markets.I always find it takes a couple of days to settle back in after a vacation.Hope everyone has had some good trading in the last week.I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove after a refreshing vacation.

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Gas Prices

    Here's an interesting link.I'm not sure how accurate it is,but check it out you can pull up the highest and lowest gas prices in any state/city for the day.(Not sure if there is a lag or not,just thought I would pass it along).Here's another thought,drivers in Europe are paying approx.$7.oo a gallon for gas.Though the average driver there gets about 32 miles to the gallon and the U.S. is about 24.Are we on our way there.Inflation adjusted $90 a barrel hmmm.. I suppose that's not to far off.Oh and here's another interesting link for gas prices.Man I need to move to Puerto Rico, gas is cheap there! :-)Just some thoughts and observations.