Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dazed And Confused

Here's my blotter for the day. I'm publishing the full thing to give you some idea of how completely crappy I traded.

JLL $115.81
LDK -$41.75
BBD -$56.12
OSK -$60.34
MBI -$63.91
WNR -$102.47
ABK -$119.42
ITU -$124.64
TSL -$174.50

Out of all the trades I made today, I think only two were in the money for any period of time. It's like I was completely wrong, over and over. I'll go through some of them. I don't really feel like writing colorfully... I'm exhausted and pissed off, so bear with the dryness.

First trade of the day. Buy 300 RWT at the open. Below you'll find a 1-minute graph.

You see what happened. It dropped over a point in that minute and then shot right back up. What could I do? I sold. I lost about 60 cents. Fine. Bad trade. Thin market with no size on any bid or offer.


You see the circled area? That's where I traded this stock. Solars were strong and TSL was breaking it's opening range. So I bought 200 shares at $50.88. The stock popped over $51 so I bought 100 more and was filled at $51.14. I moved my sell-stop up to $50.60. It traded back down, through my stop and filled me at $50.39. Loss booked.

ITU. Well, perhaps I shouldn't have been trading in the middle of the day. Anyway, I got into the trade just after noon when he looked like he was breaking the low of the day. This was happening just as the market was weakening further so I felt pretty good about it actually.

Bad entry. It popped up and took my stop out up at $28.25. So it broke lower. Very frustrating. I got short again, this time with a smaller position size. It immediately popped back up to the figure and (breaking a rule) I doubled my position. This was around 1pm and the market looked like it was about to turn, so I covered, taking a small loss and.... I got long. I made a few pennies on the trade and... it went higher. Pissed that I had released my initial position, I bought again, pu near the high of the move. I sold half for a few pennies gain, but then sold the other half when the stock retreated again to the figure, for a 20 cent loss.

So, I churned the stock. Also, the stock was stuck in a pretty tight range. I didn't take a huge loss on this stock for the day, (-$125) but on a day where I couldn't find a winner, it stung nonetheless.

Anyway, those are my three worst stocks of the day. Frustrating losses.

But the real story of my day is that I just couldn't find any winners for me. That's why I left to go surfing. I was feeling defeated and I'm pretty sure you can't trade right when you're expecting to lose.

I don't feel like I can take too much away from today. Hopefully tomorrow goes better.

I feel like I'm braindead.

Here's the stats:
P&L, -$900
Best, JLL, $116
Worst, RWT, -$241

11,600 shares traded.
11 stocks traded, 1 winner, 10 losers.


Bluedog said...

I hate getting caught in the churn. It's always easier to see in hindsight. Don't beat yourself up over it.

At least your carpet is probably smelling better now that it's had more time to air out, eh? ;)


Dinosaur Trader said...


Caught some beautiful waves at least. Haven't surfed in two weeks. Very cold though... still, clean 4-5 footers made it all worthwhile.


MIsstrade said...

How do you go about choosing your 11 stocks you trade in a day? What type of screens produce that many trades? How do you manage daytrades in 11 positions? HOw many trade all together at one time?

MIsstrade said...

Just trying to wrap my head around managing so many daytrades. When I ran my hedge fund and had longer term positions, that were typically on for 2-3 months. I rarely had more than 20 positions open concurrently that were managed over a longer time frame, so I am just trying to understand how you manage so many positions each day concurrently.

Dinosaur Trader said...


Excellent question! I don't do much pre-market research anymore. Lately, I've been watching things open and then try to figure out a strategy. I don't use screens or anything like that. I just rely on looking at daily graphs, trying to figure if the stock is at "an important level" and work from there.

More art than science really... perhaps I'm a bad artist.

As for the management of positions, lately, I'm not in more that 2 or 3 at once but that's really out of character. What used to work was when I was in a bunch at once, I'd set stops, the bad ones would get weeded out and the others I'd try and let run.

It's frustrating to be back here after I felt like I'd made some real progress these last few months, but such is trading.

Of course, I welcome any input you might have.



MIsstrade said...

Well do you have different strategies that get you into your daytrades or does the art win out over "setups". I am wondering if you just concentrate on 1-3 setup types for a few weeks and maybe try not to trade the first 30 minutes and were more choosy in your trades, if your performance would rise?

Dinosaur Trader said...

Art wins over "setups."

In truth, before I discovered all of these internet stock blogs, I never knew what a "setup" was...

I'm gonna give what you say a shot. Clearly, I've been blown off course again. Perhaps more discipline regarding the trades I enter will help steer me back.



MIsstrade said...

Everyone must find their style, but I find the bane of any trader is over trading. Churing does nothing for individual traders typically but make commish for the commissioners. Like the game of squash, I always tell myself, although the game moves quickly, I have much more time on the court to get to and set up for my next shot. I find its the same in trading, less movement and more patinence in my setups provides more winners, but alot less trading, and therefore stress. I really don't like to trade in the first 30 minutes, unless I am fading a move that has been ongoing for days. Otherwise, if I am daytrading, I find the first 30 minutes the most random of the day. Be there for the open, but don't trade until at least 10am est. The best setups come once the opening 30 minute ranges are set for equities. I also contend that around 11:45 to 2:15 in all markets is the dead time and I am better off going for a walk, reading a good book, and just turning off the charts this time of day keeps the commish out of my dish and away from the chop that is there daily during lunchlady land. Tune out some and refresh for the bigger times and make smarter entries.

Dinosaur Trader said...

Thanks MT, I appreciate the advice (not like you haven't told me all this before... apparently, I'm slow to learn).

I know you're a west coaster, but here it's past midnight, and if I don't sleep, the setups won't matter!

Thanks, goodnight,


MIsstrade said...

Peace, have a great nite. Let me ask you a question, if it ain't working, why keep doing it. Give it a try and trade a little more slowly and I would guess your winners and you don't need alot of them, will outweigh your need to churn the commish. Yeah, well working on some chart work as usual here and helping my 8 year old son with his Christmas in Australia project. I usually log out about 10-11pm pst and back up between 3 or 4 am, both the up and downside of west coast trading. My days are long but full no doubt.

HPT said...

insightful posts by both. Nice discussion. It isn't until we start losing that we work harder or explore our weaknesses.

MIsstrade said...

high prob, where are you at this late stage of the evening? Trading the hang seng? or ready for the Dax to open?

ainkurn said...

DT, I started out trying to buy FSLR on the early morning strength, but was quickly stopped out for a small loss. since we got slammed in the YM pre-market being short 2 contracts before 8:00 CST, I starting looking for a fade. I shorted SPWR for a small gain and then caught a big move in FSLR on the short side.
I think what MT is saying is worth a shot. I am constantly amazed at guys like OBAT and Evolution that constantly trade 10-20k shares a day. That would drive me "nucking futs". I have recently tried to be selective on trades, looking for "setups" and keeping my shares below 2k on any given day. Hopefully you will see some improvement in the next few days.