It was a strange day here.
The morning started off slowly. I had no strong feelings and I got in and out of a few trades for little profit. Art Cashin was on CNBC in the morning and said that it was going to be a slow day because tomorrow is May Day and there's a week long vacation in Japan or something.
Anyway, I let Art get into my head. After the first few do-nothing type trades I thought, "Maybe Art Cashin is onto something" and I went and got some tea.
I came back upstairs and still, nothing was happening. I thought about the bags of leaves clogging up my garage and decided I would pack them in my car and take them to the dump. This was at 10:30.
When I was packing up my car, this old dog was running down my street. I had seen him before and tried to call him over, but he kept running. Anyway, I got into the car and drove the 10 miles to the dump. On the way back, about 45 minutes after I first saw him, the same dog was running along a busy road near my house. Cars were stopping and people looked concerned.
Because I had seen the dog already in the morning, I felt some odd pang of responsibility and I turned my car around and found the dog sniffing a tree by the entrance to a beach. I approached him carefully.
Two middle aged women who were out power walking were watching me and asked in an accusatory tone if he was my dog. I told them no, that I was just concerned about the dog. They said I was a "nice boy" and I smiled at them, but not in a genuine way because a second earlier they were prepared to give me a lecture.
The dog was docile enough and I got him into the back of my car.
It took me 5 minutes to drive from the beach back to my house. In that 5 minutes, I talked a lot to the dog. His name, according to his collar, was "Dino" and I explained to him the coincidence of me running a blog called Dinosaur Trader. He panted. I asked him in a funny voice what he was doing running around on busy roads. He drooled. In the same funny voice, I told him that I left a short position in POT and I needed to get back to see if I had gotten stopped out. He didn't care that I traded. He was an old dog, and old black lab with white around his muzzle. I probably wasn't the first random person who had picked him up before. He looked out the window disinterested, smelling strongly of... dog.
At home, I called the number on his collar but no one answered. I threw him in the garage with some water and a tennis ball. He started barking. He wouldn't stop. I ran upstairs and checked my positions. "Oh good, I'm still in POT." I covered 100 shares.
The dog wasn't letting up on the barking so I ran downstairs to the garage and tried to placate him. The owners hadn't called. I took the dog out of the garage and put him in my poorly fenced backyard. I ran back upstairs and shorted a little CNH. The phone rang, but it wasn't the owners, it was my father. I told him about the dog. He said, "What are you, St. Francis of Assisi or something?" I said, "Look Dad, I gotta go, I'm working" and I hung up to go check on the dog.
Dino had escaped from a hole in my backyard fence. I got in the car and caught up with him around the block urinating on a neighbors bush. A friend saw me and asked me what was going on. I said, "I'll explain later, I'm working". I shoved the dog back into my car and brought him back into the garage.
Immediately Dino began to bark again. But I had to check my positions, so I ran back upstairs and saw that CNH had dropped a bit so I covered a little. Still nothing from the owners. I went back downstairs and scraped around the garage and found chicken wire and began to patch all the holes in my fence. I let Dino back into the yard with me.
This was when Judy returned from toddler yoga with our daughter. She got out of the car and walked over to me. She asked, "Why are you fixing the fence? Aren't we tearing it down?"
Then a millisecond later, "Why is that dog in our backyard?"
Very matter of factly I said, "I found him running in the road."
This did not go over well with her. My daughter however, loved the dog. She wanted to pet the dog. She wanted to hug the dog. "We have a dog now?" she asked. I ran back upstairs while my wife yelled questions to me about the dog from the bottom of the stairs.
It was hard to focus on trading.
Nonetheless, the stock gods smiled on me. POT was slowly but steadily going down. I heard Judy downstairs on the phone with the local vet and then, the animal hospital. "They know the owners!" she yelled upstairs.
Minutes later, a pickup truck pulled into the driveway and Dino was gone from our lives.
I credit Art Cashin and Dino with my profits today. It was a slow choppy day and I could have easily overtraded. Instead, I was forced to let my winning trades run because I wasn't staring at them. I can't remember the last time I traded so lightly. Anyway, here's the stats:
Best, POT, $477
Worst, JASO, -$99
shares traded, 12,400
stocks traded, 14, 7 positive, 7 negative
total trades, 89
Monday, April 30, 2007
It was a strange day here.