Monday, April 14, 2008

Stock Trades In Monsanto

I guess you can never have enough discipline, when trading.

I'm just going to focus on my trades in MON for this post. I made a little money in MON today, it was my best stock, but I also left a lot on the table. Also, I lost money in the stock first, with some not well thought out trades.

So first, the bad trades.

Right off the bat, at 9:34 I bought a couple hundred shares at $122. POT gapped higher, BG was ripping, MOS was running and so I figured MON was bound to run too. Unfortunately, the stock dropped a straight point immediately after my purchase. I sold 100 right away, at $121.85, but held the other 100 shares, because I "knew" the stock was going to trade with the other ferts eventually.

So after the stock dropped the point, it seemed to stabilize, and I added 200 shares down at $121.25, giving me a total of 300 shares. I limited 100 out right away a half point higher. I stopped the other 200 at $121, or the recent low. The stock bounced around for a few minutes (while the other ag plays consolidated their morning spikes) and then dipped below $121, stopping me out of my shares.

Naturally, after that, it had to rip. Man, I was pissed. And of course, I wanted to buy back right away, but I held off, because I was afraid it was just going to chop me again. So I waited for him to trade the morning high and pullback. I picked up 300 at around $122.10.

But, he was chopping around still and I got nervous. I sold 200 right away, at $122.30. Then, of course, the stock ripped. I sold my last 100 shares up at $123.60.

Okay, I made one last trade in the stock. $124, was an important number to watch for on the daily (as per HCPG) and so when the stock ran there, pulled back, and then went through, I bought 200 shares. The stock spiked up pretty hard, and I sold 100 at $124.60. I trailed the other 100 with a stop and was hit at $124.44.

So, what do I take from this? I need to be patient and wait for better chart patterns before I leap into stocks. Not that I was wrong on my first trades... I was ultimately right, and buying the laggard in a strong sector is often a great strategy. But my problem is I don't have the confidence right now to believe enough in my trades to take the pain to see them through. So for now, I need to keep sticking to tight rules.

But I see improvement in my trading, if only because I'm really beginning to notice my mistakes more... I've felt like this for some time though. Hopefully, I can continue to build on my small wins. You know, hit the singles and get my swing back... that whole thing.

Here's the stats:

P&L, $170
Best, MON, $192
Worst, DVN, -$134

6600 shares traded.
6 stocks traded, 4 winners, 2 losers.

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