Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Today was not without it's dark moments, but in the end everything was great.
It started well, as I caught some nice short moves in the shipping stocks, most notably, DSX and ANW. I also made some money on the long side, in BEN.
But my favorite trade of the day came around 11:00 when MER ripped off the lows and I shorted it, right in front of a price I had written down this morning, $64.58.
I rode it down below $63 and covered, pulling in a little over $400 in the stock. What made me happy about the trade is that I almost felt like I had a "plan" when I made the trade. I don't normally trade with a "plan." In fact, I'm not really sure exactly how I trade, I think I've said that before.
Anyway, so I was up around $2,000 around 11 and I just really chilled out. I barely traded.
However, just after 2pm, it was very obvious that a real big buyer stepped into the market.
Normally, I'm pretty cautious when it comes to buying a market that I'm pretty bearish about when it's down close to 200 points, but not today. I stepped in and started buying stocks left and right. There was just a "feel" to the move in the futures that let me know it was the real deal. This is when things got interesting.
On Wednesday's, Judy teaches a "toddler yoga" class. As you know, our daughter has an ear infection and she was up ALL NIGHT last night. Normally, that's bad, but today it kind of worked in our favor because it meant that she would take an "intraday nap." (If you recall, last week on Wednesday I was watching Mary Poppins with my daughter and mother-in-law while trading... that was tough.) So today, I thought I was in the clear.
But she woke up around 2:15, just when I had loaded up and was carrying close to 10k shares of positions. Judy wasn't due home for another 20 minutes.
Normally, my daughter loves me. But when she's sick, she hates everyone except Judy.
So when I ran into her room and scooped her up out of bed, she was screaming for "MAMA! MAMA!" Since you can't really explain to a sick 3 year old that "Daddy is up to his neck in longs so you need to chill out" I didn't even bother. Instead, she sat on my lap screaming while I watched the market chop down... those 2 red bars at around 2:20 were unbelievably stressful for me.
Luckily, the market turned north again and I didn't have to do too much with my positions. Unfortunately, I couldn't do much to please my daughter either so she screamed until Judy came home while the market ripped higher.
Since today was bound to be a good day, the lord of the seas also graced us with some nice waves and a mild offshore breeze. Surf was better than it's been in weeks. I split right after work and head for the beach where I surfed until it was dark out. I will be there for sunrise as well... if it's really good, I may just stay there. We'll see.
Anyway, here's the stats:
Best, ANW, $1707
Worst, BIDU, -$344
92,000 shares traded.
39 stocks traded. 22 winners, 17 losers.
Me, $4302 on 92,000 shares traded.
Evolution, $2485 on 49,200 shares traded.
Dehtrader, $645 on 7700 shares traded.
Akalawoo, $442 on 4 contracts traded.
OBAT, $300 on 10,200 shares traded.
Momojuicing, $119 on 11,000 shares traded.
Tapeworm, no trades.
Denarii, -$1486 on 3400 shares traded.
Well, it was a wild one. We got the VIX back over 24 at one point today (though it closed below 21) and we finally got some respectable volume as we nearly traded 1.6 billion shares today on the NYSE.
Overall for the VO it was a good day, although Denarii pulled a Dinosaur and got a little smoked when everyone else did well. It really sucks, and I feel for him. I mean that seriously too, despite the fact that I'm almost always sarcastic.
Meanwhile, I want to point out one of the newer members of the VO, Akalawoo and his consistency. I don't know what the heck he's doing over there in Singapore, something with "strangles" I dunno, but he makes money everyday. Go visit his site. If you can figure it out, please tell me what it is. The most disturbing thing about Akalawoo is that I don't even think this is a full time job for him. I think he's a freaking student somewhere. Damn youth.
I also want to point out that Momojuicing blew chunks today.
Moving on, I can only hope that this type of crazy trading continues. We have a few days left in October and a few days left until the next FED meeting. Let's hope those days are filled with unsettling news and mini-panics, punctuated by rumors of the "Goldilocks economy" lasting forever.
Meanwhile, sorry that the "stats" are so late. Apparently for many of you the VO is the highlight of your day. All I have to say is I love it when "the masses" get all desperate. Remember, only 1% of you are more dominant than me... it only makes me stronger to have a bunch of submissives begging me to do something.
Finally, tomorrow we will have a new member of the VO. Someone who many of you know and love.
Since we're in the midst of a midday churn, I'll share a little story with you people... this happened about a week ago. Just when we were getting ready to have that garage sale I whined about.
Anyway, after getting smoked a couple of Fridays ago, I decided to go surfing, bad back and all.
The waves were still of decent size, maybe a 3 foot swell, but crosswinds were making them messy and very difficult to read. It was one of those days where it was hard to look good out there. The good news is that somehow, my back held up and has been 90% okay since. Perhaps all the surfing has strengthened it and my back problems will be less chronic now.
So when I got home, I had no excuse but to start bringing stuff out to the garage for the garage sale.
While I was doing so a mini-van slowly passed my house. The driver just stared at me, while rolling by at 5 mph. That was odd, I thought. A minute later, the same van rolled up (coming from the other direction) and parked at the base of my driveway.
A small man with thick, round eyeglasses hopped out of the van. He began speaking the moment his shoes hit my driveway.
"Got any antiques?" he chirped.
"No, and the garage sale isn't until tomorrow."
"Yeah, I figured... didn't see any mention of antiques in your ad. Sorry to come a day early, it's just my wife is really aggressive with these things."
I looked past him towards the van. I didn't see his wife there. The next thing I knew he was saying, "Dan Myers" and holding out his hand to be shaken. He then said, "Well, let me give you one of these" and gave me a very ornate business card.
Then he was gone... back into the minivan, speeding down the street.
I threw out his business card and went back to arranging the piles of crap we had in the garage. Judy pulled into the driveway. She opened the door and before she even got out said, "Mrs. Murphy has a dead possum. I told her you'd go over and get rid of it."
"What the hell? Can't she call animal control or something?"
"She's afraid of everyone... you know that. Just go over there."
I threw a pink stuffed rabbit onto a pile of other pink stuffed animals and walked down the driveway towards our neighbor's house, shovel in hand.
Mrs. Murphy has lived in our development for over 50 years. Her house was one of the first built here. As she has needed money, she's slowly sold off some of the land that surrounds her house and more houses filled with younger families have sprung up all around hers. Her house is in a state of disrepair but even though she's in her 80s, she refuses to hire landscaping people to come and cut her lawn or take her leaves. I rarely see her and her car never moves. One day she's going to die and no one will know for weeks. Anyway, Judy has gotten to know her because she routinely walks with our daughter past her house and I guess Mrs. Murphy found some comfort in their routine.
Before I even had a chance to knock, Mrs Murphy's front door swung open. The odor of moth balls collided with the fresh air I had been breathing and I had to catch myself in order not to wince.
"I heard this racket last night..." she started, "and then I woke this morning and found a dead possum on my lawn. His belly is ripped open. He's right over there."
Sure enough, a dead possum lay 30 feet away it's face locked in an awful grimace. Whatever killed it (another possum, a raccoon?) had done so with great brutality.
I tried to scoop the thing up on my shovel but it wouldn't sit right. A school bus pulled up across the street. Two young kids, the Harvey boys, got off and were immediately attracted to the dead animal, "Cooool!" one of them exclaimed. Now I had an audience. Although Mrs. Murphy skulked back into her home and closed the door.
The Harvey's had moved in recently into one of the new houses built on Mrs, Murphy's old property. Their parents let the boys wander all around the neighborhood unattended. Once, the kids came to our house to try and sell us a broken guitar. When I refused on account of it being broken, they told me it would make a nice decoration. They were persistent little kids and I knew they weren't going to leave me alone to bury the possum.
"I want the skull!" one of them said.
"Well, you're not getting the skull. I'm burying this thing whole" I snapped back.
I tried again to scoop the possum up onto the shovel so I could move it to a good location for burial. When I moved it, a whiff of death wafted from the moist underparts of the animal. The boys screamed. "NASTY! That's SO NASTY!" But the possum still wouldn't rest on the shovel.
"Get a stick or something and help me push the possum onto the shovel," I instructed.
The braver of the two brothers picked up a stick and poked and the animal. "Oh, NASTY! Check out it's tongue!" he said and tried to mash the stick into the possums mouth.
"Seriously, man... let's not play with this thing. I just want to get it buried." But the kid wasn't listening to me. He was now poking the possum's eyes. This was getting gruesome.
Just then, Mrs. Murphy swung open one of her heavy drapes and peered her bug eyes out a dirty window at the boys on the lawn who were busy probing the possum. She was wearing this crazy looking afghan. When they saw her looking out at them, they ran off, throwing their bejuiced sticks down on the lawn. I looked back towards Mrs. Murphy and she gave me a wink.
I got the possum on a shovel and buried it in her backyard. Head intact.
Okay, now the market can go back to the lows...
NOTE: Everything will be late tonight... the VO, the daily post. I'm going surfing.
Apparently, he doesn't fuck around.
NOTE: This "segment" on CNBC, the "White House Summit with Dylan Ratigan" has to be one of the worst examples of "journalism" I've seen in a long time. How many times have they said that we shouldn't raise taxes? Hey! Let's just broadcast the entire channel out of the White House CNBC! Way to challenge those guys, Dylan! If I wanted to be spun all day, I'd start taking drugs.