Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Don McLean, "American Pie"

Hitting Singles

Trying to get my swing down. So far, so good. The homeruns will come.

As expected, today was tumbleweeds. Still, there was some movement.

The airlines busted higher and my old friend TNH decided to rip north 5 points off the open. Brokers moved and so did a few of the cyclical names. In short, if you picked your spots you could find some trades.

For me, that meant watching TNH.

After the morning run to 140 I was thinking, "Damn, will this stock ever go down?" while I watched some of the other stocks in the sector, most notably POT, struggle. But TNH lost steam at 140 and just couldn't push through that level again after a few tries. So, I threw a short order in and was filled on 100 shares at 139.39 at around 10:30.

For the second day in a row, this turned out to be a pretty decent entry and I watched the stock slide pretty easily into a choppy range around 138. 137.30 was acting as support and honestly, I was pretty nervous that he was getting ready to vault back up to the highs of the day, but I held my ground. He finally broke 137.30 and moved smartly down into the 135 area filling the gap from the morning. Not wanting to be greedy or stupid, I covered my shares at 136.29 taking just over 3 points out of the stock.

I had no other trades of note. Everything else essentially cancelled out.

There were a couple of things I screwed up on though, most notably an OSK long.

I traded this stock yesterday and wanted to buy if he traded over 64 today. He opened over 64 and immediately went into a tight range. I bought some around 64.20 and basically watched the stock flatline. I got impatient and sold, getting out flat in the stock only to watch it break higher in the afternoon. This was frustrating.

However, there were a couple of other instances today where I bought stock and sold before my stops were hit and managed to lose less than I would have had I held on.

Basically, I still can't figure out which is best. To buy stock, place stops and walk away or to watch the positions and trail my stops or sell at market if I feel the position is going to turn on me. I imagine that as I gain confidence with scanning and finding setups and improving my entries that this "problem" will more or less solve itself.

Anyway, have a great holiday everyone. Tomorrow should be a slow day on the blog. I may just clean some stuff up and perhaps write a review of my July 4th or something. Should be lots of interesting "summer people" around to poke fun at.

As they say, "Summer people, summer not."

Here's the stats:

Best, TNH,
Worst, LNN,

shares traded, 3800
stocks traded, 10, 4 positive, 6 negative
total trades, 35

Virtual Office, $927. Dow, +41.46, 13576.89.

Evolution, $584 on 20,000 shares traded.
Me, $217 on 3800 shares traded.
HPT, $106 on 19 contracts traded.
OBAT, $20 on 2200 shares traded.

It's always nice to sneak in a couple of dollars when no one is watching. That's always how it feels to me on these holiday shortened days. Bob Pisani always says something idiotic (he apparently can't help saying idiotic things) like "the adults are all on vacation" but you can always find some movement.

In other words, I'm pleased to see the VO entirely in the green on a day when you're really not expected to trade.

Have a safe holiday everyone.

What To Expect Today On Wall Street

"Woooo! Here they come! Here the big weeds come man!
Look at this! It's coming!"