Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm Taking A Break

The hybrid market is just over a year old and this blog is a year old in a little over a week.

No coincidence there. I started the blog because immediately after the hybrid began, I lost my ability to pull money out of the market consistently. After yesterday, I've gone back into the red for the month of February which means I've had a year to adjust to the hybrid, but something still is wrong with my trading. So instead of doing basically the same thing I've been doing for the last year and expecting something to change, I'm going to force a big change.

The fact of the matter is, I'm exhausted. While on paper you could look at my earnings last year and say I did okay, the number isn't telling the full story. I made over $100,000 last year, but $28,000 of that total came on one day in August. And half of it came in a three week period. The point, is that of the 250 trading days last year, I struggled for 80% of them.

That's a lot of bad trades, lots of stress, and lots of confidence-whacking.

For the last 9 years, whenever people have learned what I do, they normally have the following reaction, "You're a trader?" I guess I don't fit the stereotype of what people think a trader should be. For one thing, I look like I've lived in the Maine woods for about a year.

But really, people are just confused. They think traders are brokers... some of my closest friends still think I have "clients..." I don't think I have to explain the stereotype of a stockbroker, it's not pleasant. But traders don't want to sell things to people, and many, aren't overly interested in money. Traders are independent thinkers who want to test their ideas with action and be proven correct in the market. That said, there is nothing worse for a trader than to constantly be proven wrong, because it also means you're losing money.

Point is, despite my earnings, it's been a rough year, because I hate being wrong.

Anyway, the other thing people invariably say is, "Isn't that the most stressful job going?"

To that, I've always answered, "No. You know what stresses me out? The mere idea of having a boss." Trading never stressed me out because I was in control of myself and my profits. I rarely had down days, I could make my own schedule... it was easy! I couldn't figure out why everyone wasn't doing it.

Well guess what? That's changed. I'm a little stressed out right now and have been, for the better part of the last year.

So what's the plan?

First of all, I will not be blogging for the month of March. I've been posting for a year, a lot, and I've never really taken time away from it to catch my breath. I love the blog, I've learned a lot from it, and I've made many good "Internet friends." On a certain level, I hesitate to do this since the traffic here is growing every month (I'd argue I'm out of the third-tier, actually) but hopefully, you'll all be back with me in April.

Once you began to blog actively, it permeates your thinking. I mean, if I'm browsing the web and see something interesting, I save it so I can post it on the blog. If I accidentally pay $40 for a pizza, I think about turning the experience into a blog post. Just because I won't be posting for the next month doesn't mean I won't be thinking this way, and I imagine that come April there will be many "lost" Dinosaur Trader blog posts that I'll be able to share with you.

As for trading? Well, I'm lacking in discipline. I find myself making the same mistakes over and over despite my understanding that I'm making a mistake. Hope isn't a good trading strategy (sorry Barack). This is unbelievably frustrating and I credit this blog with raising my consciousness about my trading to the point where I realize I need to step back and look at things anew.

For March I will be trying a completely new strategy which I will discuss more when I come back in April.

As for the VO, I've been impressed with the blogging of new VO member Ainkurn and he's graciously accepted the burden of "herding the cats" each day and compiling the post. I'll track my results each day and post them here on April 1st.

Thanks for reading. See you in a month.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fugazi, "Long Division"

Shifting Winds

I haven't had to post a trade disaster since November I think... it's an awful thing to have to do.

But I really fucked up in BG today. My timing was wrong, I was using market orders in a thinly traded stock, I was pissed off... it was a perfectly stupid storm. I lost $1454 in this fucker.

Besides that piece of shit, I didn't have any massive losses... just no real good winners.

I just missed a great trade in EOG at the end of the day... this stock was nuts today. Check out the daily...

I caught one decent trade with Evolution today, a short in TGT below $54.

But overall, my day was a mess. I haven't had one of these in awhile.

Every trader suffers losing days. The most important thing is to absorb the loss with some equanimity, try to learn from it, and move on.

And here's what I'm taking from today... I keep making the same mistakes and I'm not learning shit.

Therefore something is going to change, massively, and soon. Details tomorrow.

Here's the stats:

Best, TGT,
Worst, BG,
36,600 shares traded.

18 stocks traded. 6 winners, 12 losers.

Virtual Office, -$3704. SPX, -14.60, 1365.80.

Ainkurn, $484 on 1100 shares traded.
Ducati, $475 on 1000 shares traded.
Timmay, $318 on 2800 shares traded.
Wincity, $64 on 200 shares traded.
Denarii, $29 on 4400 shares traded.
Retardo, no trades.
OBAT, -$95 on 11,600 shares traded.
Evolution, -$1396 on 74,800 shares traded.
Dehtrader, -$1714 on 10,890 shares traded.
Me, -$1869 on 36,600 shares traded.

Well it wasn't a day for active traders. The VO got smoked, my real office got smoked and everyone differently. Funny, in a way, but not too funny.

Today was just choppy and trade was mostly directionless. The futures were mostly locked in 5 point bands. Volume was again consistent at just under 1.5 billion shares traded and the VIX crept higher and now trades close to 23.50.

Tomorrow is the last day of the month and we get hit with some eco-data. Could be an interesting day. At least, I hope so.

Meanwhile, go see what worked out for Ainkurn. He was the bright light in an otherwise dark VO.

Off to test out the law of gravity.

Dinosaur Trader Attempts To Benchpress Market

Dude Tries To Bench 1085 Pounds - Watch more free videos

Good Morning

Time: 8:00
Mood: Loving

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dinosaur Trader's Tupperware Party

Just like IBCs Platinum Party, only with Tupperware, poor people and a couple hundred thousand fewer hits.

Thanks to my first 100,000 visitors!

The Doves, "Firesuite"

No daily post tonight... I'll try and recap today's wins and losses in tomorrow's post.

Virtual Office, $937. SPX, -3.30, 1379.50.

Ducati, $1059 on 600 shares traded.
$791 on 20,600 shares traded.
Denarii, $119 on 2600 shares traded.
Wincity, $10 on 200 shares traded.
OBAT, -$82 on 15,600 shares traded.
Timmay, -$140 on 800 shares traded.
Dehtrader, -$179 on 10,410 shares traded.
Ainkurn, -$274 on 650 shares traded.
Me, -$367 on 35,000 shares traded.

The volume in the market really seems to have settled in to a norm. Every day it seems we're trading between 1.4 and 1.5 billion on the NYSE. In a way, I like the consistent volume. I wonder how long this will keep up.

As I posted earlier, the FRE and FNM news really spiked the market midday. Many traders in my office just cleaned up with those trades. Congrats to those who were able to take advantage of that volatility. And speaking of volatility, we got a bounce in the VIX today, up .82 to 22.72.

The VO had a crappy day, but no disasters, so no real problem. Update: Ducati did well...

Finally, everyone hates Gasparino as he's ruined trade in the last hour of the day. You can pretty much count on an irrational spike when he starts to talk. What a mess...

NOTE: Daily post will either be late or non-existent... I'm going out to dinner with the missus. We have a babysitter...

Backing Up Your Blog

Man, I was checking on Ainkurn earlier and I found out that Akalawoo's blog was hacked and all of his information was lost.


So listen, here's an easy free program you can use to back up your blog.

If you don't like that one, there are other options here.

Rip and Churn

Morning Link-Love

Good Morning

Time: 6:47
Mood: Even

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hillary and Obama Debate In Ohio, 9pm MSNBC

Will there be some type of campaign changing moment here for Hillary? If not, the end may be nigh. Discuss.

The Muppets, Manamana

I dunno... this just seems appropriate.

A Slow Day

I didn't have a bad morning, but oddly enough, the first hour was completely dead. Most of the traders in my real office were smoked and everyone was complaining about lack of follow-through.

I felt the lameness of the market pretty early and I was only trading with small size. Still, even despite my caution, I couldn't get traction because I was taking on more losers (albeit small ones) than winners.

The market finally broke out of its morning range at around 10:45, but even then, violently chopped around for 30 minutes in a 5 point range on the futures. One five minute bar was up 5 points, then the next 5 minute bar was down 5 points. It was a slushy mess.

I was down between $200 and $300.

The market finally got through the wild chop and had a very tradeable rally between 11:30 and 12:20. The problem for me was that I was already tentative as a result of the morning chop, plus we were moving into a normally dead part of the day, so I entered only light positions. But I had some good ones, most notably, GES.

Note, the graph is far too marked up to make any sense of anything.

I also caught breakout longs in TEX and VLO but again, both with small size.

I took it really easy today. Not too much to report. Unless something changes by 4pm, this will be my day. I'm happy with it because I came back from a bad morning. Normally, I make money in the first hour and give it all away. Today I lost money early and was able to get my shit together and eke out a small gain.

UPDATE: I got chopped in the afternoon and gave back $200...

Here's the stats:
P&L, $112
Best, TEX, $167
Worst, UA, -$92

NOTE: Please stop by for the debate open thread tonight. I expect Hillary to pull out all the stops. Could be interesting.

Virtual Office, $1947. SPX, +11.40, 1383.00.

Evolution, $1176 on 55,600 shares traded.
Ducati, $894 on 800 shares traded.
Timmay, $243 on 1600 shares traded.
Dehtrader, $189 on 5500 shares traded.
Denarii, $114 on 4200 shares traded.
Me, $112 on 14,600 shares traded.
Ainkurn, $29 on 1050 shares traded.
OBAT, $11 on 11,800 shares traded.
Retardo, no trades.
Wincity, -$100 on 100 shares traded.
Sanglucci, -$721 on 23,000 shares traded.

The real office got smoked today. The morning was a chopfest, the afternoon was a chopfest... there were only a few good times to trade today. If you had the discipline to identify those times, and not trade during the chop, you could have made money.

The VIX is dropping out of the sky... it's now down below 22.

Meanwhile, volume was strong in the early going and tailed off in the second half of the day.

Gasparino tried his best to spike the market in the afternoon, but all he did was throw an "ass rape" candle on the futures at around 3:25. It seems that's when he talks every day... I now will watch that time like I watch other economic news, because you never know what the fuck he's going to say.

Hillary In A Bhurka?

If you've been following along, you know that the Drudge Report published a photograph of Obama dressed in traditional Kenyan garb. The photograph was provided by the Clinton campaign. Actually, let me rephrase that... the Clinton campaign cannot confirm or deny that they supplied the photograph.

Along those lines, I've found this photograph that may be Hillary Clinton in a bhurka. Note, even though she is waving an American flag, she is not wearing an American flag lapel pin and therefore, she's not a true patriot.

Furthermore, her car doesn't have that little yellow magnetic ribbon that says "Support Our Troops."

Draw your own conclusions...

NOTE: I'll have an open thread up for the debate tonight. Please stop by if you're watching.

Art Cashin's Comments, February 26, 2008

Only caught the tail end...

Art: ...the big story of '08 could be the price and scarcity of food.

JC: The market keeps going up... anything positive to that?

Art: We've had very thin markets and then yesterday S&P affirms AAA ratings on ABK which may be the most remarkable thing since Lazarus. I mean, ABK was just short of selling body parts to make ends meet and S&P affirms... I think we're at the upper end of the range here, but I think that range will hold.

Morning Link-Love

First of all, the IBD has changed its outlook to "Market in confirmed rally."

Good Morning

Time: 6:12
Mood: Good

Monday, February 25, 2008

Misstrade Axed From VO

As many of you who follow along here know, Misstrade has been the reigning champ in the VO for the last 10 months or so, taking no prisoners. I mean, the dude has had like 5 losing days or something ridiculous like that.

I am now letting him go. No doubt he will find a bigger and better VO somewhere populated with other robot traders who will give him a better run for his money.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is him playing air hockey in the VO "lounge" just before he received the news. I wish him continued success.

Robot Playing Air Hockey - Watch more free videos

The Pixies, "Velouria"

This band will always make me happy.

My Next Child Will Be Named "Momojuicing"

It will be hard to break that one to Judy, but I have to do it. Read on for details.

It's a little late for me to be starting this post (when you have a 3 year old, it gets late very quickly) so I'm going to make it somewhat brief. It's too bad actually, because there's a lot I need to work through. Still, if I'm anyone's bitch, I am the bitch of Father Time.

So here goes... I got a little smoked this morning trying to grab the breakouts in EOG and ECA. I was early to the game in both instances and was down a few hundred.

My first buy came at 9:50. I bought 600 shares just before the guy dropped 45 cents. So, I lost close to $300 there. My second buy came around 10:00, just before he dropped 45 cents... so, I was down over $500 in the stock. I was very discouraged at this point.

Luckily, the third time was a charm. Of course, when the stock finally broke out, I only had 400 shares (I was buying with 600 the first two times) but happily, I held on nicely (been working on that, so happy it worked out) and made my money back and then some. I ended up over $300 in the stock.

I had similar trades in ECA. So really, the first half hour of the day was a nightmare for me but I made it all back and was up a couple hundred by 10:30 or so.

Buoyed by my success in these oil trades, I felt very confident buying into DO when it traded $120. It was an important level on the daily, and I went in with 600. I was filled at the top of the move.

I lost a half point on most and, embarrassingly enough, even more on my last 200 shares. I lost $377 in the dude. Completely my fault. No ass-rape or anything like that... just a bad trade.

Okay, so now we get to the fun part, or the reason why my next child, girl or boy, will be named "Momojuicing."

So via email Momojuicing and I are conversing. He's like, "Man, I wish I could blog like you..." and, "I wish I was smart like you..." And I was like, "Yeah, well, I'd name my second child "Momojuicing" if I could trade like you..." and he was like, "Oh yeah? Well check out this MA on a break of $198." The graph tells the rest of the story.

I short 300 around $198. I covered 100 at $197.25, 100 at $196.39 and the last 100 at $194.18. So I went from being down a few hundred to up $400 after this trade.

So I felt good about the trades. The name thing sucks, but, what can you do?

Anyway, the even better news came when I closed the day strong. I caught the bottom in MA with 200 shares when the news hit about ABK. I sold 100 after I made a point, and rode the other 100 for 4 more points. So MA turned into one of my biggest winners in awhile, at $1098.

Here's the stats:

P&L, $804
Best, MA, $1098
Worst, DO, -$377

21,000 shares traded.
15 stocks traded. 8 winners, 7 losers.

Virtual Office, $1248. SPX, +18.00, 1373.50.

Me, $804 on 21,000 shares traded.
Ducati, $604 on 400 shares traded.
OBAT, $539 on 5600 shares traded.
Evolution, $352 on 37,000 shares traded.
Timmay, $205 on 1800 shares traded.
Retardo, no trades.
Wincity, no trades.
Denarii, -$12 on 300 shares traded.
Ainkurn, -$136 on 650 shares traded.
Dehtrader, -$1108 on 3391 shares traded.

Well, it was a pretty wild day today. The market didn't need Gasparino today, all it needed was S&P to reaffirm ABK's financial strength. This sent all the financial stocks higher at approximately 2:25 and with them, the market.

I hate to be a dick about it, but the volume was pretty lame for such an event. Actually, I take that back (sort of). The volume really sucked early and at the end of the day we probably finished about average. So, volume moved into the market after 2:25.

Meanwhile, one of these days, Dylan Ratigan is going to trip as he walks towards the camera and it will be pretty damn funny.

We traded just under 1.5 billion shares on the NYSE today and the VIX dropped another point, to 23.09.

The VO had a mixed day. Hopefully, with the eco-data out this week, we get some good movement and follow through.

Are Stocks Male, Or Female?

In all of the offices I worked in, they were male. As in, "that guy is a fucking dick!" However, when bloggers write about stocks, they tend to make them female.

So for you, are stocks male or female? Please vote in the poll.

Maybe Next Time... They'll Walk!

I hate SUVs. However, I love it when stupid SUV drivers think they're in some car commercial but then get into trouble.

Last summer, some woman in a white Cadillac Escalade drove it onto the beach and got stuck in the sand. Walking by it and laughing made me very, very happy.

SUV Loses Traction And Slips Off A Cliff - Watch more free videos

Art Cashin's Comments, Feb. 25th 2008

Art, what's going to break us out of this range?

Firm up that Ambak deal quick or the rumor mongers will be out saying that it's going to fall through. Also, we have lots of data this week and Bernanke will be speaking in front of Congress.
If our elected officials will stop hamming for the camera, perhaps they can take him through the FOMC minutes.

Comments on the Visa IPO? Is it a good sign?

The interesting thing is that it's going to eat up a lot of sideline cash, and that's going to lock things up. Also, keep an eye on Greenspan's comments this morning... he's talking about zero growth in the US.

Morning Link Love

Just one today since I'm late in getting to my desk...

Good Morning

Time: 7:33
Mood: Dark

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Study Your Trades

I went through each of my trades on Friday. While I made money, it was only because of the "Gasparino Lottery" at the end of the day and not because of any legitimate trading skill. Here's what I learned.
  • I’m still adding to positions wrong. It’s okay to add to a position when it’s going in my favor. However, adding after a position corrects back close to my entry is a losing strategy even if that position is technically still a winner. 
  • Don’t trade thin stocks in the hybrid market. The odds are too stacked against you with the spreads and illiquidity being what they are.
  • Unless a trade looks perfect, a major news story breaks, or there is excellent volume in the market, DO NOT TRADE between 12 and 2. This is free time. Move away from the monitors and read a book or something… seriously…
  • In a choppy market environment, don’t short the first breakdown or breakout. Often the stock will chop back up to your entry. If the level holds the second time, then enter the trade. Of course, in a market with good momentum and volume, this rule would change.
  • Short failed breakouts. If a stock attempts to break out of a base and then stalls, heads back into the base and breaks that base, short it. It’s been working well in this environment.
  • Know the bigger picture. I wasted $250 on Friday trying to short DV for a break of $44. Each time I tried it, I lost 25 or 30 cents. Meanwhile, a quick glance at a 15 minute graph would have showed that even if he broke $44, he most likely would have found support at $43.40. So I was risking 25 cents for a possible gain of 60 cents… that’s just not enough incentive…
So, more of the same... trading and hopefully evolving.  Working hard to keep a positive outlook but it's been a brutal month.  I'm working for a strong close this week. We'll see.

Note To Ralph Nader: Go Away!

Now, truth be told, I voted for this guy in 2000. However, since I don't live in a "swing state" I knew my vote didn't really matter anyway. I did it as a protest because I knew Bush was a nightmare and I hate Joe Lieberman (Gore's running mate in 2000).

-Ralph Nader's car, circa 2000

However, one reason why George Bush has had the opportunity to ruin our country for the last 8 years is because Gore lost Florida, where there were plenty of Nader supporters. I mean, Gore also lost his home state of Tennessee, which is ridiculous and not Nader's fault, but still...

We don't need you this time Mr. Nader. You will take votes away from Obama, effectively handing John McCain the presidency.

Do something else... like disappear.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the NY Times article about his entry into the race.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Weezer, "El Scorcho"

NOTE: "Win" an attack from Retardo.

Charlie Gasparino Bailed Out Dinosaur Trader

Charlie Gasparino, of CNBC, that glorious business news channel, bailed my poor ass out today at 3:25.

He said that the bond insurer ABK will be bailed out this weekend. As some dude said on CNBC earlier this morning, "somebody has to bail out somebody soon." Indeed.

Anyway, at 3:25 I was down $500 and feeling sorry for myself. My big loss on the day was in CW.

I'm calling that a "modified ass rape" as opposed to the run of the mill "ass rape" because of the little bar between the spike down and spike up. That tiny little green bar in between the big red and big green bar represents hope. Dashed hope.

I short the stock because on the daily, it had come down to $42 a number of times. With the market weak and the stock near the number, I thought a break would at least be a "safe" trade. However, I made the rookie error of not noticing how incredibly thin this stock trades.

So I broke a cardinal rule of trading post hybrid market, "thou shalt not trade thin stocks." I got some pretty bad slippage on my outs. So I lost $244.

Another nightmare for me today was DV. The stock was trading awfully today and I should have just stayed away... I lost another $240 there.

I won't even talk about my Gasparino longs. I'm embarassed I only made $700 during the rally. Everything ripped. My best, was AGO.

Anyway, I have a long weekend ahead of me. I'm going to go through each of my trades made today. EVERY DAMN ONE! Because I'm getting sick of this shit.

Meanwhile, the VO was late because after the close, we met with a life insurance dude. Talk about a guy with no sense of humor! He asked me if I used tobacco products and I told him, straight-faced, "only when I'm drunk and high." Judy spit her coffee out but the guy didn't crack a smile. Perhaps he's heard it like 1000 times before... I dunno, I thought it was funny.

This weekend, during a quiet moment, be happy.

Here's the stats:

P&L, $173
Best, AGO, $144
Worst, CW, -$244

17,400 shares traded.
16 stocks traded. 11 winners, 5 losers.

Virtual Office, $1268. SPX, +8.50, 1355.50.

Dehtrader, $481 on 7450 shares traded.
OBAT, $353 on 10,800 shares traded.
Sanglucci, $173 on 17,000 shares traded.
Me, $173 on 17,400 shares traded.
Ainkurn, $89 on 300 shares traded.
Wincity, $18 on 400 shares traded.
Retardo, no trades.
Timmay, no trades.
Denarii, -$19 on 600 shares traded.

Charlie Fucking Gasparino... the man responsible for the 250 point end of day rally in the Dow.

All I have to say is, a lot of people are going to call for that dude's head should the bond insurers not get their bailout this weekend.

Anyway, before the market freaked out there at 3:25, it was a slow grinder of a day. We made a strong move down in the morning, but on no volume, and then churned until the Gasparino rally ensued at 3:25.

We traded just over 1.4 billion shares on the NYSE and the VIX dropped a point, to 24.06.

Our new member Ainkurn made enough to go out to eat. Ducati, was AWOL on his first day... never a promising sign. Perhaps he didn't like the video. For now I'll assume we're having email issues... for whatever reason, his email travels at 1997 Internet speed.

Have a sweet fucking weekend.

Maria Bartiromo Loves Dennis Kneale

The VO will be late...

Meanwhile, Dennis Kneale just said, "Instead of the NYT being called the 'gray lady' they should call it 'the lousy old tart.'

And Maria giggled like a little schoolgirl.

Shoot me.

Ducati Rejoins VO

As many of you know, Ducati quit "the Fly's" piece of shit blog a couple of weeks ago when "the Fly" exposed Ducati's voting record in the Peanut Gallery.

Unfortunately, that left Ducati blogless and I was forced to fire him from the VO.

In the last couple of weeks, it was unclear what had become of Ducati. As it turns out, he was working to become a poet, somewhat in the vein of Willam Burroughs... below, you will find exlusive footage of him performing his poem "I Fuck Dead Pigs." (Note... NSFW)

With that, I welcome Ducati back to the VO. May his new blog be successful.

Ainkurn Joins The VO

Part of why I started the VO is to make myself feel better when I have bad days.

Like yesterday for example... I got smoked, but Dehtrader and Equine got smoked even more. So while it sucks that I got smoked, I say to myself, well, at least I'm not those guys!

Anyway, here's a new member to pad the lower depths of the VO. I mean, check out the name of their blog, 10kthrownaway. They need to speak with the "gold-toothed one" about the power of names.

Now, before you watch the exclusive footage, let me break it down for you.

The VO is underground in an undisclosed location near the center of the earth. (Incidentally, the office of the Vice President, Dick Cheney, is nearby. Sometimes I bump into him when I'm out to get lunch. He's a Dick.)

Anyway, so Ainkurn was riding the special underground train (which we've cleverly and uniquely named, the "subway") for the first time with some of the other VOers. He saw Equine and started acting tough... like he'd never seen a girl before. So Sanglucci, (the "bouncer" of the VO) stepped up and taught him a quick lesson.

Welcome Ainkurn.

News on the other new member will be released shortly...

Morning Links (the faceplant is sweet, BTW)

Good Morning

Time: 7:43
Mood: Hesitant

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hillary and Obama Debate in Texas.

It's on CNN. Discuss...

UPDATE: It's over. I thought he demolished her... or really, she didn't demolish him. CNN is saying that last statement by her was effective... I dunno, I thought it was crazy sounding...

Unfortunate Japanese Candlestick Formations

I have to make this quick. First of all, my inflated shares traded today was a result of me bumping up my share positions in a number of trades. It's not like a placed more trades, I just placed bigger trades.

I started the day off well with a stock off my watchlist. I wanted to see CMI clear 2-day resistance at $53.13. It opened at $53.15 and I picked it up after it ran and consolidated a little, near $53.50. I caught almost the whole move with 500 shares, selling most over $54.50.

I gave a little back later in the day, when the chart formed an unfortunate (and unfortunately common) candlestick pattern the Japanese call the "ass rape." As you know, I'm reading a book on candlestick charting right now. The problem with this formation is that you don't know it's an actual "ass-rape" until after the fact.

My big loser today was GG. The reason why it was such a big loser for me was because it held such promise as a trade, and I sized in, with 1500 shares. Here, I'll let the chart explain...

It sucked, but I'd do it again. Why? Well, first of all, $40 was a breakout point on the daily graph. Also, GG reported earnings last night and was showing relative strength versus the other gold stocks and the market. The reason why I lost more than I'm accustomed to in the trade is because I had more shares than I'm accustomed to. I sold 500 at $39.86, 500 at $39.80 and 500 at $39.70. So on average, I lost a little under 20 cents on my shares. Not a disaster. Still, I lost $350 all told in the stock.

I also managed to have a few other losers over $200. MON, KMT and the piece of shit known as SWC. In fact, we see the "ass rape" pattern again (this time in reverse) in SWC in the late afternoon.

I was short 2000 shares of SWC going into that "ass-raping." While I had the strength to hold onto half, I let go of 1000 near the high of the move, at $18.40, because I suck like that.

Anyway, gotta go. Will be back later to discuss the Obama/Hillary debate with an "open thread" if all works out.

Here's the stats:
P&L, -$546
Best, CMI, $390
Worst, GG, -$351

45,800 shares traded.
18 stocks traded. 9 winners, 9 losers.

Virtual Office, -$2914. SPX, -12.50, 1346.50.

OBAT, $151 on 13,200 shares traded.
Denarii, $63 on 1200 shares traded.
Wincity, $18 on 400 shares traded.
Retardo, no trades.
Me, -$546 on 45,800 shares traded.
Dehtrader, -$1100 on 5900 shares traded.
Equine, -$1500 on 3100 shares traded.

The VO is in a tailspin.

There were only 2 people down in my real life office today, me and one other guy. So, in short, the VO sucked today. Except OBAT. He's probably already at the dentist, getting a new gold tooth or something.

We traded less than 1.5 billion again today and the VIX rose .84 to 25.24.

Anyway, again, I'm a little confused by the current action in the market. I'm bearish, but this volume on the downside is pretty lame. Perhaps "the Fly" is right and bears are a bunch of tired, cranky, old men. They sure seem that way right now. I mean, all the headlines are bad and the market isn't even close to the January lows.

Well, at least I have Ragin's gay stock contest to look forward to. My pick (short SWC) is rising just in time to drop for next week.

Oh, and let's hear it for BDC and his amazing fucking call on SMTX. And with Castro out of power in Cuba, perhaps his SHERF will begin to move as well. He's famous, as stock message boards all over the Internets are heaping praises upon him and his analysis.

That's what you get here at Dinosaur Trader's blog. Quality.

NOTE: We will have a new VOer starting tomorrow.

UPDATE: Make that TWO new VOers tomorrow...

Morning Link Love

Builders Go Green!

This Blog Is Clean

For a poll that was only open 6 hours or so, late at night, the vote total was impressive.

48 of you voted and 27, or 56% voted to keep the old look.

Therefore, I will respect it. The main issue with the blog is fixed... it wasn't loading correctly.

I have saved the blog. Indeed, it was quite an ordeal. Here is exclusive footage of me saving the blog last night (and no, smartass, I'm not the woman).

Meanwhile, I will continue to tweak the way this blog looks... because I'm kind of sick of it. And look at all that wasted space on the left!

Good Morning

Time: 7:05
Mood: Positive

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quick Poll: Keep This Layout, Yes Or No?

Vote over on the left sidebar. Not sure if I'll listen to the poll anyway. Poll only open for a few hours.

The Kinks, "Strangers"

Blog In Disarray

I think I fixed the problem. I believe it was the Buzzfeed widget.

Anyway, now the blog is all wacked. Maybe I'll change the template and style.

But does it appear to be loading faster? It definitely is for me...

I Bank Change

Some of you may look at my recent string of small losses and small gains and think that I'm falling asleep here or something.

In truth, I feel better about trading than I have in awhile, despite the low volume in the market and my shitty P&Ls. There's definitely a weird disconnect between my recent trading (bad) and how I feel about trading in general (good).

Part of it may have to do with my immersion exercise. Part of it definitely has to do with my research schedule. And then for sure, a lot has to do with me thinking constructively about my trading instead of negatively. Also, it helps to hear guys in my real office doing well each day. There's always someone making multiple thousands of dollars.

Oh, and that shithead Momojuicing has been coaching my stupid ass... remember him?

Also, for whatever reason, I've stopped thinking month to month. Meaning, I'm not putting as much pressure on myself to make a certain number each month. Instead, I'm having a little more faith in myself that I'm going to work this shit out and be making enough money to support myself and my entire extended family again in a few months.

I didn't have any great winners today. Two of my best trades were very short scalps... trades that lasted less than 30 seconds each.

The first was in DV...

The second was in ENR...

Not exactly the types of trades that you can normally build good days around. However, when they happen and work, I'll take them. I'm much prouder of the following three trades. Trades like this are what I'm trying to build more out of right now.

First, a short in AG...

Then, a long in CNQ...

And another in CP...

Anyway, I also had a couple of losers. But the thing is, I not only know exactly what I did wrong, I was also immediately pissed at myself for doing it. Kind of like, if you ever smoked cigarettes... you know it's bad for you, but you do it anyway. Then one day, you really quit. However, you stumble after drinking too much and have a couple. You wake up the next day and feel like shit because of it. Then, you don't stumble again. In other words, mistakes like this will soon be a thing of the past.

I anticipated a break in ESI that didn't come. Instead of waiting patiently for the break, I bought in just before the breakout should have occurred and I lost a quick $200 because of it.

So that's that.

Anyway, in other DT news, this blog is almost a year old and getting close to the 100,000 unique visitor milestone (different from pageviews... remember when IBC had their platinum party because of pageviews? Gay.) I'm going to throw a Tupperware party as a celebration.

Maybe I'll have special posts too... like I'll have a few history posts fired up and ready to go. I'm not really counting on it though... with all the reading I'm doing, I haven't had any time to write.

Time will tell.

Here's the stats:
P&L, $324
Best, DV, $191
Worst, ESI, -$290

21,400 shares traded.
10 winners, 9 losers.

NOTE: I'm going to fuck with the layout of this blog a little to see if I can get it to load properly again... not sure what the deal is.

Virtual Office, -$1070. SPX, +3.10, 1358.50.

Dehtrader, $551 on 5320 shares traded.
Me, $324 on 21,400 shares traded.
Timmay, $93 on 2200 shares traded.
Denarii, $76 on 2400 shares traded.
Wincity, $54 on 400 shares traded.
Retardo, no trades.
OBAT, -$343 on 16,400 shares traded.
Sanglucci, -$634 on 34,800 shares traded.
Equine, -$1191 on 1500 shares traded.

Well, it was a wild one today.

The market ripped 200 points from 12:00 to 3:00. Sounds good, right? Problem was that most of the move came on just 3 or 4, 5 minute bars. Meaning, if you missed the spikes, you go caught in the chop. It was a very mixed day in the real office today. A few traders got smoked, a few made some money. I don't think it was easy.

We traded just under 1.5 billion shares on the day and the VIX dropped a point, to 24.40.

I'm not sure what to make of the market here. The FED minutes sounded bad to me... oil is over $100 a barrel and commodities are ripping meaning that inflation may well be in our future. Unless growth is going to take off (which is hard to imagine with the housing market still in tatters) I'm not sure why we're rallying here.

Time will tell.

Meanwhile, funny story. Fox Business Network wanted me to do their gay little happy hour thing today between 5 and 6pm. However, I'm busy. So I emailed Timmay and he'll take part. Is he not the biggest media whore?

Anyway, if he mentions the VO I promise to read and say nice things about his book... like, it's the "Catcher of the Rye" of stock trading books or something like that.... oh wait... someone already said that.

Ragin's Gay Contest

-the IBC team of bloggers.

So, if for some reason you read Ragin's blog, you'll see he started a little contest. I joined. My pick is to short SWC because, fuck JJ.

His pick is AAPL... big surprise there, eh?

Early Release?

My office is pondering over what caused the recent high volume rip in the futures in the middle of the day. No news, nothing. Huge volume came in and ripped the market higher. Perhaps someone got their hands on the Fed minutes a little early?

Either that or some French trader is getting mad long.

Good Morning

Time: 7:23
Mood: Anxious

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How Quickly I Devolve

Normally, with Judy and my daughter home at this time I would be sitting down to eat a nice, balanced meal. After that nutritious meal, I'd play "store" or "restaurant" with my daughter before reading her a few books and singing her to sleep.

I had high expectations about how I'd spend my time alone tonight. Here's what I've done...

For dinner I had cold pizza and beer. While I was eating dinner, I watched videos of people getting "owned" on break. Many of these videos involved exercise balls. After that, I watched all the "Anchorman" videos I could find on Youtube. Unfortunately, the famous scene of Baxter getting punted off the bridge isn't available. Here is a sped up version.

"Well guess what? Now this is happening.... that's how I roll."

Peter Murphy, "Cuts You Up"

Betwixt And Between

My wife and daughter are away for the day. So I'm making this really short so I can get some guilt-free reading time in.

My best stock of the day was a complete mistake. That pretty much sums up my day. I accidentally held 100 shares of CNX into the close Friday, so I sold them at the open and made a little over a point and a half.

I'm in the midst of working on a couple of new things. I'm not going to get into them too much right now. On one hand, I plan on watching fewer stocks actively and taking larger positions in them. On the other, I also plan on taking some "light" positions in others, giving them wide berth and letting them move throughout the day.

In short, I'm trying to develop more of a trading strategy. I want to enter each day with more of a gameplan. It will be more research dependent and less "trading actively like a lunatic during the day" dependent.

This partly explains the lack of posts recently. I'm busy.

Here's the stats:

P&L, -$423
Best, CNX, $157
Worst, MON, -$240

32,100 shares traded.
14 stocks traded. 5 winners, 9 losers.

Virtual Office, -$1662. SPX, -2.5, 1348.80.

Dehtrader, $781 on 3340 shares traded.
Wincity, $76 on 200 shares traded.

Timmay, $35 on 3200 shares traded.
Denarii, -$87 on 1280 shares traded.
OBAT, -$350 on 24,600 shares traded.
Equine, -$390 on 12,200 shares traded.
Me, -$423 on 32,100 shares traded.
Sanglucci, -$1304 on 15,600 shares traded.

Well today sucked balls.

Most of the guys in my "real" office lost money. That doesn't mean you couldn't have made money. I think what I'm saying is that the conditions weren't great for active traders.

Most of the day, the market was singing me a sweet, sleepy song, while simultaneously stealing money from me, little by little.

Anyway, even things that looked good ultimately sucked. It was like, going up to a nice looking girl at a bar but finding out that her breath smells. Hopefully, tomorrow we find a better place to drink, with hotter chicks that are really into geeky stock guys.

I'll Give You A Real Post

Oh, hey.

What? You want a real post?

Ask yourself this question. What have I done for Dinosaur Trader recently?

Good Morning

Time: 7:26
Mood: Rested

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lots Of Reading

I haven't been near the computer much this weekend and I think I'll keep it that way on Monday as well. Instead, I've been reading a bunch of the books that were suggested to me back in this thread.

My father has always read 3 or 4 books at a time and I never understood how he did it. However, I currently find myself reading 5 books at once. I think the trick is that they all should be somewhat different. Then, you just can read one until you tire of it and move on to the next. It's not easy with a 3 year old around, but you learn to make the most of the very early mornings and the late night.

Anyway, so here's what I've been reading...

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques by Steve Nison
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis
Surfing's Greatest Misadventures, Paul Diamond, Ed.

I'll write brief reviews when I complete each.

Also, take note that I've added a site to my blogroll, Market-Topology, although I have it called "Stock Correlations." 

It works like this... say you're trading UBB (a brazilian bank) and it's ripping. You want to know what other stocks trade with it... go to the "stock correlations" link and click "USA." Then you can just add the symbol and it will generate a list of stocks that trade in step with UBB. In this example, it comes up with BBD, a stock that I always trade with UBB. It's a great tool for day traders looking for "pair" type trades. (h/t "tradercaddy")

Finally, thanks to all of you who offered advice in the thread about my mother being laid off. Hopefully, in a few months (or shorter) I'll be able to post a nice update.  

I'm thrilled that there is such a great community of readers here.

Enjoy the day off.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Mother Was Laid Off

Here's a little problem I have.

Now, perhaps it's just a coincidence, but about 8 years ago, when my father in law turned 58, he was laid off from Northrop Grumman. You don't want to go through a job search at age 58. Luckily, he found one, however, he now is forced to commute a couple hours of day with a heart condition. He had worked for Northrop, for over 30 years. He helped build the first lunar module, he had a great job and they axed him in the twilight of his career.

Yesterday, my mother, who has worked for the same company for 27 years, was laid off at age 58. She lives alone, and since she was a nurse for many years (i.e. was paid poorly), never really had the chance to save bundles of salary for retirement. Long story short, she needs to find another job as she's not prepared to retire. She was a middle manager in a health care company.

Yet another reason to hate HMOs.

What's with companies doing this? Has some heartless dude figured that after age 58, it just doesn't make financial sense to hold onto these older, well-paid workers? So they axe them and hire younger, cheaper labor? They're not even giving my mother any health care after the end of the month! She's 58! She needs healthcare!

This is a little fresh.

Anyway, I have two requests. Does anyone have any experience with the law in terms of laying people off and severance packages? They're giving her six months pay and that's it. No health, no sick days, just six months and bye-bye. Perhaps that's normal, but after such a long history, and given her circumstances (i.e. age) I feel that's a little rough.

Second, if any of you are sleeping with someone who makes hiring decisions for a health care company based in the NY area, now is the time to do DT a favor.

Friday, February 15, 2008

This Is Painful To Watch... Poor Guy

Valentines Day Proposal Goes Wrong - Watch more free videos

Suicidal Tendencies, "Institutionalized"

Clearly, he's a frustrated trader.

Some Bad Trades, But Good Chat

I lost money today. All of my losses came in two stocks, DV and RNR.

I made a very stupid mistake in DV. I bought a couple hundred shares early, around $45.75. The stock moved up to the figure. I saw a huge amount of volume go off, I got excited and I bought 600 more shares at $46.02. I was shortly stopped out of my full position at the low of that big red bar, at $45.46.

RNR was the ole get short and stubborn play. It's really a great way to throw money away.

I'm not going to talk about my winners. Instead, I'm going to relay bits and pieces of a conversation I had in the chat room today with my office mates concerning stop orders.

The names are changed to protect all parties...

Me: my problem is just that. if i don't use stops, i feel unprotected
Gid: with the hybrid 25 cents is just noise so i get stopped out a lot
Me: but do you set yours far away or are your entries just spot on?
Joe: "The entry is 85% of the trade" I don't remember what book that quote is from......
Yaz: Dan's entries are always violent
Me: But on a day like today, the futures are a mess. Are you just shorting or buying aberrant spikes?
Yaz: Dan's entries are always aberrant
Dan: Joe, drop some science
Yaz: that's not the only thing u should drop
Yaz: using stops now isn't careful it's much much more dangerous
Joe: i disagree
Me: don't get all jedi on me
Yaz: the spikiness of trading is so much more than it used to be
Joe: stop placement is key
Yaz: yeah, if you keep em as far as Dan it's just so you don't get destroyed
Joe: exactly
Yaz: but using them like we used to around figs and shit is suicidal
Joe: close stops are horrible
Joe: just hand me your money
Me: like health insurance with a high premium
Me: that's how you guys are usinig them
Yaz: yeah, it's pointless
Duk: goog
Yaz: if you got the number of positions with the size Dan has, I understand
Joe: Dan schooled me on proper stop placement... he should speak on this
Yaz: i was getting clipped in shit today but i just don't worry about it. cause most of the time shit swings back one way or the other. either cause u right to begin with or because it's just choppying around.
Yaz: stops are dead to me
Yaz: but i understand other people using them right
Me: i appreciate the discussion. thanks.
Yaz: i think for dudes like u and me though, stops should not be used
Yaz: maybe i'm wrong
Me: well, you don't like to take pain, right?
Yaz: no, but if you look at your P&L as the pain indicator rather than the position, then pain changes.
Yaz: like Duk got squeezed for 50 cents on 4000 M but he held because he was making money anyway
Dan: look at your ass as the pain indicator
Me: jesus...
Gid: i want a look
Dan: yo Joe, what did i say about stops to u
Dan: i talk a lot
Joe: i think we all should be conditioning ourselves to be emotionally detached from out of the money pnl
Yaz: "stop tickling!"
Me: joe, that's true. it's smart to be unattached.
Dan: lol
Gid: when i am getting stopped out i usually should be adding
Joe: look
Me: but sometimes you're just wrong and you have to take a loss. without stops, how do you guys determine that?
Joe: if that's the case, it's a problem with your stop placement
Dan: if what's the case
Yaz: i think it's a case by case basis
Joe: "when i am getting stopped out i usually should be adding" that case
Joe: to summarize what you said Dan
Dan: please summarize
Yaz: Dan doesn't understand how normal people use stops
Dan: say it in the same language
Dan: i understand perfectly well, Yaz
Yaz: cause he has no fear of anything
Dan: i'm not rainman
Dan: i have plenty of fear
Yaz: only of vagina
Duk: i'm long mad AXP
Dan: I'm always scared
Joe: you explained that the stop loss should be placed where the stock should not go unless it's reversing... you should not place stops based on how much money you would not like to lose
Dan: but i have faith in myself that in the long run it's gonna be okay
Dan: yeah, i said that
Me: interesting
Dan: but the question is... how do you decide where you no longer think its a long... that's where being in tune with what the markets are doing comes in
Dan: the basic idea of what i told Joe is that u decide where the stop should go first, then decide if that amount of pain is worth putting on the trade at all, or what size you can handle it on
Me: gotcha
Dan: your own pain threshold should not determine stop placement, which is an absolute
Me: that makes a lot of sense.

Here's the stats:

P&L, -$651
Best, WLT, $203
Worst, DV, -$447

34,500 shares traded.
10 winners, 13 losers.

Virtual Office, $184. SPX, -0.10, 1351.25.

Timmay! $485 on 5400 shares traded.
Dehtrader, $444 on 6380 shares traded.
Equine, $400 on 3800 shares traded.
OBAT, $240 on 22,400 shares traded.
Wincity, no trades.
Denarii, -$144 on 2800 shares traded.
Sanglucci, -$590 on 41,900 shares traded.
Me, -$651 on 34,600 shares traded.

It was a chopfest out there today as evidenced by the mediocre VO stats.

Guys in my real office made good money today shorting the heck out of the coal stocks. I didn't get the memo.

Anyway, we traded about 1.5 billion on the NYSE today. Pretty light considering it was a quadruple witching. The VIX dropped slightly, to 25.02.

Enjoy your 3 day weekend. Not sure what I'll have going on blog wise. If you get a chance, check out VO member Timmay on the CBS Sunday Morning talk show. He'll be talking about how joining the VO has turned his life around.

Actually, if he's smart, he'll give a shout out to the VO, as he's top dog today.