Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 2008 Monthly Trading Review

DTs monthly results in graphical form... nerdy, eh?

 

(h/t Tyro for helping me with the chart)

At the end of April, for the first time in my 9 year stock trading career, I took a stab at setting some monthly goals for myself. Apparently, forecasting isn't my forte.

I didn't get even remotely close to meeting my modest monthly profit goal, of $6000. In fact, I was down on the month, to the tune of $675. Not good. I'm new to this "setting goals" game, but I guess I should roll my profit goal back somewhat for June.

In May, I set a target of $300 a day. In June, I'll set a target of $250 per day, or $5000 for the month.

Another goal I set and missed was my "win/loss ratio," that is, positive days to negative days. Look at this particular stat as a measure of my sanity. I figure if I can just be green 75% or 80% of the time, I'll be generally happy with work... it won't feel so "grindish." So for May, I set a goal of 3 green days for every 1 red day.

Instead, I was green 11 days of 21... about 1 to 1. Pretty awful. I was probably in a bad mood for most of May. Indeed, reflecting on my actions during the past month, I was a dick.

Nevertheless, in June, I'm going to keep the 3 wins for every 1 loss goal.

So how did I get here? I started the month in a total tailspin, losing 5 of the first 7 days. I lost $915 on my worst day of the month. That's too much. One of my goals for this month was to limit my worst day to -$600. The silver lining is that my second worst day was -$509 and after that, every loss was sub $500 and most, far smaller.

So I limited my losses quite well, overall. I didn't have any crazy blowup days that saw me screaming, red faced, at the computer. That's a positive as far as health and mental stability are concerned, surely. And that's important.

I've started over, basically. Trading a completely new style almost exclusively for the entire month. And it's not just the trading style that's completely different. Trading style goes far beyond watching exits and entries and figuring out which stocks to watch. Trading style also effects the pace of your trading day, and your expectations throughout the day.

Early on in my career, and up until very recently, I actively traded the open, somewhat like a madman. I just don't do that anymore, and I feel the "extra space." Sometimes it feels like boredom and a lot of the time, frankly, it has felt like lost opportunity. It's definitely made it harder for me to focus... because without positions, I feel my mind wandering.

Just look at the statistics. In February, I averaged 24,800 shares traded per day. By April, I had dropped down to 12,900 average. In May, I averaged just over 10,000 a day. So I'm trading half as much as I did just a few months ago. And last year? In May of 2007 I averaged nearly 40,000 shares a day. So transition is occuring. Change is happening, and relatively quickly.

And don't forget... I'm doing this on my own. This blog is my sounding board... I trade remotely, without the benefit of talking to other traders each day. I sometimes wonder if I traded in an office if I wouldn't already be out of this slump. The point is, I think change goes much slower when you do it by yourself and without the group dynamic that an office provides.

However, later in the month, I started to feel like I was finally getting used to the "extra space." I can see how, in the near future, it will be an asset. I'm starting to feel less pressure on the open to be active for activity's sake. I'm slowly becoming more calculating and watching for eventualities and waiting for scenarios to develop and play out. It's a mental shift. I watch fewer stocks, more actively, instead of watching many stocks with less focus devoted to each.

If I can get through this summer and come out in September a more confident, stable, profitable trader, these months of indecision and worry will be worth it. If September comes and I'm not seeing any improvement in my trading, I'm really going to have to start considering a second stream of income. That will be the theme of this blog for the next few months... me continuing to work out the kinks, hopefully getting leaner and stronger as a trader, and all the while imagining what else I could possibly do for an income.

It'll be interesting. Let's see what June brings.

Anyway, thanks to Tokyo Trader, you can see a spreadsheet of the VO members and our stats for the month, here. (Just click over to where it says "VO May 2008..." The first page is just my stats.)

I'm not good with graphs and stuff, but if anyone can explain how I can make a graph of my P&L showing the cumulative results as the month wore on, I'd make it and share it as well.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Libertines, "Can't Stand Me Now"

Green=good music.

Trading MDR On An Otherwise Quiet Day

My day was really dominated by one stock. I traded several stocks on the day, but all with 100 shares, since I didn't have any confidence in their setups... I was just taking small gambles.

I liked MDR though, and so I watched it very closely, mostly because I didn't feel there was much else happening. Volume today, was pathetic (until the close, that is) and as it was the last trading day of the month, I planned on taking it easy no matter what.

MDR was on the HCPG watchlist last night for a move up to $62. However, they added a caveat that they thought the stock needed "more time." Apparently, the stock didn't want to wait. It spiked nearly 2 points in the first 15 minutes of trade before taking a breath, at around $61. At this juncture, the stock needed to base before it could move much higher, and so it was time to chill and watch.

About a half hour later, the stock worked its way back up to $61 and I bought a few hundred shares with an average price of $61.05. He moved up and so I bought 100 more at $61.20. Now, I threw some sell limits out there up in the $61.80-$61.90 area, but they weren't hit.

Instead, the fucker reversed.

I wish I had sold out of all my shares, but I wasn't quick enough. This is a problem I have with the target system... if I'm expecting the stock to trade higher, and it fails, I'm not quite sure how aggressively I should be moving my stops up. I probably shouldn't have held my position as the stock dipped below $61, but I did.

In fact, I bought a little more at $60.89 and $60.90. So I had 600 shares, which lately, is a large position for me.



But man... that's when "the stand-off" began. For the next 20 minutes or so, the dude traded in a dime range. My "out" was $60.80, and so having "the toad" (Wincity's technical term) trade pennies above this level for such an extended period of time wore out my nerves. I flaked and sold 300 shares at an average price of $60.86. The remaining 300 I left stopped at $60.80.

I noticed on the 15 minute graph that MDR was making some NRIBs, or something... I went over to Jamie's site to see what I could find... some answer or something. From what I could figure out, he liked the setup (meanwhile, Jamie, if you're reading, am I right to think those are NRIBs on the 15 minute graph from 11:00-11:30 today?). So when the stock cleared the top of the first 15 minute bar in the "set" I bought 200 more, at $61.17. So I had 500 again and the stock began to move in my favor. I actually felt confident that I was going to be right with this one.

Still, I flaked and sold 100 at $61.34 and another near the morning highs, at $61.42.

But with my last 300, I held, and I was fairly satisfied with the results. I limited 200 of the 300 out at $61.90 expecting resistance at the old high of $62. So far, so good. The last 100 shares, I really wanted to hold, so I set my stop low, at $61.25, giving the stock plenty of room. As it traded up, I moved the stop below the previous 15 minute bar.

After the stock cleared $62 with some "brio," I decided to move my stop just below the most recent price level. The low of the move, at 12:55, was $61.86, so I put my stop at $61.85.

Well guess what? The motherfucker came down and stopped me out, filling me at $61.78, the low of the fucking move. After that, it sailed back up over $62, reaching a high of $62.72 before reversing lower to close at around $62. So I was pissed. A good trade, but I still managed to get myself stopped out at the low of a move for some shares.

I finished the month with a green day, and so, I'll take it. But man, I'm itching to start sizing into these positions more. I felt confident with this trade after it cleared $61.17 the second time around... perhaps I'll start getting that feeling more.

Also, the fact that my worst trades of the day were made with small size I also take as a good sign.

Tomorrow I'll post a "monthly review" since I set some monthly goals for myself in May, I want to assess how I did. Also, bloggerdotcom has been teasing me with some new post that he may or may not have written... that will drop, eventually.

Have a good weekend, stock market bitches.

Here's the stats:
P&L,
$122
Best, MDR,
$243
Worst, RIG,
-$89

4200 shares traded.
9 stocks traded, 4 winners, 5 losers.

Virtual Office, $2. SPY, +0.24, $140.26.

Me, $122 on 4200 shares traded.
Tokyo, $60 on 793 shares traded.
OBAT, -$89 on 9000 shares traded.
Denarii, -$91 on 3400 shares traded.


Wow, we did 40% of today's volume in the last 20 minutes of trade. There were loads of imbalances... obscure, little stocks, with huge imbalances. Not sure what to make of it all. But it was a heavy volume, strange close. I lost $50 just playing around... normally, when there are that many imbalances, they work. Not today.

Anyway, speaking of imbalances, I'm looking forward to the upcoming Russell Rebalancing... guys in my office are already salivating over the possible gains and losses.

Until the close, we were on track to trade less than a billion shares on the day. So it was largely quiet out there. The VO was largely absent and not much of a force to be reckoned with in trading.

I have to say, that trading without the "aid" of CNBC is much nicer. It's quiet, unemotional, and fun. Turn off the TV and just watch the graphs... better for the blood pressure levels.

I'll have a daily post up later this evening and over the weekend, a monthly recap, of sorts.

QUESTION: Is my blog load time all fucked up? And can you see the "recent comments" widget? It seems to have disappeared...

Flaming Lips, "The Abandoned Hospital Ship"

I don't watch or listen to CNBC anymore... I just have my iPod on shuffle. I figure, if I'm not going to make money, at least I can listen to good music.

Anyway, this song came on today and seemed somewhat relevant to my situation. Despite the odd title, it seems to be about someone who has come through some ordeal, and is looking back on it from the other side. So perhaps it's not relevant just yet, but maybe soon, it will be.

Robots Set To Colonize Antarctica

So they've already taken over the stock market and now they're onto Antarctica.

I mean, I love the game of Risk. I always start in Indonesia and then creep my way into Asia and take over the world. I'm pretty sure that the robots are using Antarctica as a springboard to launch their global war of death and destruction.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Arctic Monkeys, "I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor"

From now on, if I'm "green" on the day, even on by $1, I'll allow myself to post good music. However, if I'm down, I'll post music I don't like, to punish myself.

This is a great song. The guy dancing is signing to it... pretty neat.

More Hope For The DT Fire

I made no money today, but nonetheless, it was a good day. I thought I showed a little growth in a couple of areas.

First of all, I made decent trades in HUM, ARD and had a good entry in BDC. While the trade ultimately worked, I wasn't involved for the run. He didn't make it easy.

Second, I really felt at the beginning of the day that I knew what I was going to look for, and what stocks I would be trading. So I had a bit of a plan.

Finally, I felt myself get angry with the MON trade and I just walked away instead of revenge trading.

So yeah, I'm still broke, and down on the month, but I'm searching for silver linings here. However, if I'm still at this point 8 years from now, wake me up from my trance and tell me to get a "real job." I mean, most people here on the Internets are like, "go get em buddy" and "you can do it" but everyone needs to face reality at some point.

So anyway, my best stock of the day was HUM. I bought 400 shares at $51.08 when it "broke out" at around 9:40. I was watching $51 on the daily... I don't think this was an HCPG pick, but I could be wrong. For now, I'll take credit. This was a pick from the highly secretive and sought after, "DT Watchlist."



It ran up on decent but by no means excellent volume. So I took a quick dime on 100 shares and 30 cents on another 100. So I had 200 left and ensured myself a winner. I moved my stop to $51 and watched. The stock ripped up to $51.85 but then had a nasty reversal. So I sold another 100 at $51.64.

You all know how I'm trying to work on holding my winners... since the stock had only gone up since my purchase, I decided to just put my last 100 shares at the buy point, $51 and try to wait it out. Well, the mofo came down to the fig and took me out. I thought it was a good idea even if I was stopped out. Again, it's uncanny to me how I often get stopped at the lows of moves, but that's just the way it's been going for months now... eventually, I'll get lucky.

This next trade was a bit of a heartbreaker for me... BDC $40. This has been on the watchlist for awhile. While HCPG hasn't discussed it recently, they put it on in early April I think, so I was still watching it.

It opened and was trading pretty poorly. It's really thin. So immediately, I knew I would be going with small size. After about a half hour of trade, it had chopped itself up to the $40 area and then chilled out for a few minutes. I bought on the break and was filled at $40.11. I wasn't thrilled with the fill, especially because the stock had an initial move up to $40.29 but then re-based, coming awfully close to my entry. The stock was so thin that I felt pretty sure that should it break $40, I would get an out below $39.90. I was nervous, even with my paltry 200 share position.

That nervousness caused me to fuck up a bit... because at 10:30 when the oil number came out, the market tanked and I sold 100 shares since I thought the general market weakness would bleed over into BDC. It didn't. The stock crept up to over $40.50 before reversing lower. By this time, I had moved my stop up to $40.25 and it was hit.



Meanwhile, the stock ultimately tested the $40 level and then ripped up to $41 on better volume. So I missed the bigger move.

My worst stock of the day was MON. With this guy, I was looking for a run to $126. He got there, but then reversed. I'm glad I walked away, because he never crested $126 like I felt he "surely would."



Anyway, so I only made $67, but I feel like I'm making progress. However, I need to sit down and come up with some realistic timelines for when I'll be forced to put this all to rest. Unless I get another bonanza August, or start making consistent (even if it's small) money, I'll be finding a new job by 2009.

I have a fancy "cocktail party" to attend this evening. As you can imagine, I'm not "good" at such events. Surely, I will say something awkward to offend some well-to-do female or get into some politically inspired debate with a powerbroker or something... in fact, as you read this, I am at the party... I'm just autoposting this shit.

Think a good thought for DT...

Here's the stats:
P&L, $67
Best, HUM,
$118
Worst, MON,
-$157
3600 shares traded

6 stocks traded, 3 winners, 3 losers.

Virtual Office, $948. SPY, +0.84, $140.15.

Tokyo, $645 on 5009 shares traded.
Timmay, $105 on 600 shares traded.
OBAT, $88 on 5400 shares traded.
Me, $67 on 3600 shares traded.
Denarii, $21 on 8600 shares traded.
Tardo, nada.

Just take a look at the volume figures today for the VO. Surely times have changed when Denarii is the "big swinging dick" in terms of total volume traded. Meanwhile, Tokyo took a vacation from his vacation just to embarrass the rest of the VO with their inadequacy.

But hey, disparage the VO as a bunch of pikers, or whatever (fuck you if you do) but we've all been green for the last couple of days. I'm starting to feel that we've bottomed out. Naturally, that assessment is subject to change.

The market finished in the green on decent (1.2 billion... har, har) volume. However, that afternoon reversal is probably enough to give the bulls a little pause, especially with oil down nearly $5 on the day.

Oil was odd today... a huge drawdown and the price plummets... I didn't have CNBC on all day (perhaps why I'm in a good mood) but I imagine they were talking about "profit taking" and wondering whether "the top" has been made in crude.

Does anyone else find it really difficult to trade in the Spring? I just want to be outside. I'll have a daily post up later...

NOTE: Top dog in my real office today was up over $7,000.

Feeling Vengeful

So, I'm gonna walk away and enjoy the day. Just know this, MON will probably trade up today without me... I got in at $125.50, watched it run to $126 on huge volume and then got stopped out at $125.30 when it came back down.

So, I was pretty sure I was just getting fucked, so I bought back at $125.28 and then got stopped out again just below $125.

The whole thing made me kind of angry. I feel pretty confident that it's going over $126, but I guess I'll have to miss out on the bonanza.

I'll take my $200 and move on... I don't see too much else for me and I don't want to give all my money back today getting angry with MON.

Obama The "Magical Negro"

Here, the Daily Show, in their inimitable way, discusses possible VP candidates for Obama.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Blur, "For Tomorrow"

I made money today... so I won't punish myself with Phil Collins...

Virtual Office, $725. SPY, +0.64, $139.23.

Timmay, $378 on 1700 shares traded.
Me, $344 on 4200 shares traded.
Denarii, $21 on 6000 shares traded.
Retardo, nothing.
Tokyo, vacation.
OBAT, -$18 on 6400 shares traded.


I can't say much, since I was absent most of the day. However, I'll say this, my real office had a nice day... I think they caught some of the nice moves in the oils, coals and ags. There was some decent movement out there today...

Tomorrow will be a regular posting day. Right now, it's time for dinner.

Oh, and fuck Tim Sykes for edging me out of the top spot...

Happy Birthday To Judy


I was surfing in the ocean today at 5:40, when most of you zombies were probably still sleeping. It's Judy's birthday, and I had to get in and out so I could be home in time to cook her breakfast and massage her feet.

Unfortunately, our fucking cat threw a wrench in that plan. He peed all over my daughter's "friend hippo." Frankly, I wasn't too upset at saying goodbye to the hippo, he was too big and animated looking for my taste. I like my stuffed animals to be subdued-looking and huggable. But that's another story altogether...

Anyway, since it's Judy's birthday I only worked the first hour and let one position ride. We then took our bikes into town for a picnic lunch. Now, she's teaching yoga and I'm watching our daughter for the rest of the day. Later we're going out to dinner, so the VO will be up but that's likely all for the day.

Back to your regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Phil Collins, "Against All Odds"

I'm gonna start posting "non DT" music until my P&L improves. Think self-flagellation.

Virtual Office, -$154. SPY, +1.17, $138.81.

Retardo, nothing.
Timmay
, no trades
Tokyo, vacation.
OBAT, -$22 on 2800 shares traded.
Me, -$41 on 6400 shares traded.
Denarii, -$91 on 5200 shares traded.

Goodnight market... sleep tight... don't let the bed bugs bite.

Really? Who has bed bugs anyway? Poor people? Well, I guess I might as well get used to them.

From here on out, assume volume sucks. Guess the NYSE was wrong about the hybrid increasing volume... and whatever happened to all that "added value?" It's still full of static and shitty low volume price spikes and fills.

Again, we just missed a new volume low on the year. I'm strongly considering just booking this month as a loss and enjoying myself the next few days.

Perhaps June will be different.

Wait... who am I kidding? This isn't some aberration... we're talking long term trend now.

Last year at this time, we were trading between 1.3 and 1.6 billion on the NYSE each day. Truly, the NYSE is fucked. No one wants to trade here anymore. The hybrid market is killing the NYSE. It's been clear for the last year and a half. It will never become a true news story I guess since CNBC is up the ass of the NYSE... reporting from there and everything... but it's a fact.

So what do you do in these slow times if you're a prop trader? Wait. Pray. Go to the beach. On that note, I'm looking forward to surfing tomorrow. No daily tonight... I get the feeling that stock traders/stock blog readers are still on vacation...

The Market Is Hungover



We're about halfway through a very dull trading session. Volume is below Friday's pathetic levels and the market is flatlining. It's dead.

I'm going out to mow my lawn. Even the blogosphere feels dead.

Preserve your capital today... don't get stuck in this low volume chop.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Great Weekend

Man, we had a very full weekend around here.  We went to barbecues, went out on a boat, hung out on the beach with hipsters, strolled around town and gawked at the "dig-me" crowd... just about everything that you're supposed to do on Memorial Day weekend in these parts.


I felt like I had a vacation even though I didn't stray more than 10 miles from my house.

So I feel recharged and ready for the week ahead.  Now I just need a good night of sleep.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Neil Young, "Ohio"

"Four dead in Ohio..."

Same Ole Story...

Great entries, poor execution of my exits.

There really wasn't much to look at today, and I planned on taking it easy. However, SLB opened up with good volume, and since he was hovering above $100, I decided to watch him closely should he start to show weakness.



Look at that... I made $50 in the stock... meanwhile, the thing never looked back from my second short entry at $101.47. Depressing.

I took another trade in GES and received an awful fill on my entry. For the last two days, I've really felt a lag in my esignal quotes, and today I think it cost me about 20 cents on this trade. I went to sell when my esiggy quotes showed 38 and was filled .22 cents lower... given that I was looking for a run down to $37.50 before the stock hit some support, this kind of took the steam out of the trade. I covered 100 immediately at a small loss, and then the other 300 when the stock bounced off of the $37.50 level. So I made nothing, but I seemed to have the right idea.



Other than those two, I had a lot of small losses. The volume was really light today and with the holiday looming, it's not surprising that there wasn't a lot of follow through. The other stocks I traded, IPI, WFC and DHR didn't have great movement, and I didn't miss out from my entries. I took small losses in each which isn't a problem.

The thing I can't take is the missed opportunity in the SLB. I absolutely must learn how to hold these winning trades when they come or I'll never break out of this +200, -$200 grind I currently find myself in.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the three day weekend. I don't plan on posting much, if at all. However, the mysterious Internet force known as Bloggerdotcom contacted me with tales of a new post... I will let you know when it will drop. Presumably next weekend, but I guess it could happen this weekend as well... you never know with bloggerdotcom.

I plan on going to a lot of barbecues this weekend. I told Judy, "Listen, take any invitations and accept them all."

So we've already got one tonight and tomorrow to attend. If I can't make money, at least I can mooch off friends for free meals. I also plan on watching my normally quiet town get taken over by "cityots" (mix of city and idiot). I will sit in town, sip a coffee from a bench, and quietly take notes on their actions, like an anthropologist watching monkeys or something. They always do something entertaining. Hopefully, we get a blog post out of it.

Be safe.

Here's the stats:
P&L,
-$60
Best,
SLB, $48
Worst,
DHR, -$60
7200 shares traded.

8 stocks traded, 3 winners, 5 losers.

Virtual Office, $165. SPY, -1.70, $137.81.

Tokyo, $221 on 2189 shares traded.
Denarii, no trades.
OBAT, no trades.
Retardo, no trades.
Me, -$56 on 7200 shares traded.


Well, we almost made a new low for the NYSE volume on the year. At least today it's not surprising, given that we're heading into a three-day weekend.

Not much action in the VO today, however, the market took it on the chin. Brokers got slammed, as people start freaking out all over again about "third-tier" companies like Lehman Brothers, and Goldman Sachs.

Additionally, all of the energy leaders got pissed on... sell in May, indeed.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. I'll have a daily post up in about an hour.

CHECK IT! MMMaria!

Funny Internet Comment

I was listening to this song on youtube and read some of the comments... one of them, was classic. Read below...

"jumesblant (2 days ago)

your beautiful words mixed with this music made me cry through my nose.from now on i belong to you xxxxxxx"

A Conversation Between Two Master Stock Traders

Stock bloggers kick ass because you could (in theory) learn good stuff. Fuck CNBC and their idiots. This right here is the future.

Here's a brief excerpt of a conversation I had with Jamie over on his site. As you know, I'm attempting to become more like him. He takes the same trades I do, yet he makes more money doing it. This doesn't mean he's smarter, and it doesn't mean Canada isn't pure evil...

(Note that I put his quote in a pretty shade of pink (mine is a masculine shit brown color). Sure he makes money, but that doesn't mean I won't try to emasculate him and ruin his self confidence. Stock trading is a zero sum game... and as far as I'm concerned, Jamie is my enemy.)

I said:

Nice trade in V... I mean, I had your entry, but you kicked my ass with the exit.

I noticed that you use 15-minute graphs to explain your trades. Do you use them as well when you're making your entries? I figure you have to use a smaller timeframe intraday, right?

I still need loads of work with my exits and I'm wondering if I should be focusing more on longer time frame graphs once I get my entry... because I tend to jump on profits... perhaps the longer timeframe would help me stick out the trades.

Have a nice long weekend.

-DT

Jamie said...

Yeah that V setup was a gift.

I use 4 timeframes daily, 1, (3 or 5), and 15 min. If the trade sets up nicely on all 3 intraday timeframes and has room to move on the daily, I take the trade. If I have a lot of confidence in the setup, once it gets going, I manage the trade on 15 minute. If I'm scalping, I manage on 1 or 3 minute chart. Most of my gapper trades are executed on the 15 minute.

If you're trading to win based on a setup you have confidence in, you might want to let your profits run, or partial out after 3 WRBs or obvious S/R levels. If the setup is less than perfect, or the markets are choppy, then, I sometimes use the trade not to lose strategy. After the initial BO I tighten stop after each new high. So on a three minute chart, my stop is just one or two bars behind the current price bar. This strategy usually insures a win unless the BO is a complete head fake, but if the stock really takes off, you want to give it more room, otherwise you'll get stopped out on the first pullback. This last strategy works best with highly liquid stocks.

NYSE Trading Volume Plummeting

Nothing new here for my readers. I've been talking about this everyday for the last year...

Gotta love the Hybrid Market... or do you? Ray still has hope.

(h/t Stockhunter)

Art Cashin, May 23, 2008. CNBC.

Again, Art Cashin is one of the only regulars on CNBC worth listening to. Today, Erin and Mark asked him about the price of oil.

Art Cashin: Well, China and India keep subsidizing things. China just had a huge earthquake and they're not going to stop subsiding right now and risk a populist problem... So, oil demand is going to stay.

Erin: People look a the last few years, and oil has tripled, but stocks have also done well. What do you make of that?

Art Cashin: Well, it's like that old story. You put a frog in a cold part of oil and start heating it up. By the time the frog learns it's hot it's too late. People have been accommodating to the high price of oil so far, but it's getting hotter."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sonic Youth, "Teenage Riot"

Stock Trades Add Up To Small Gain

I had another green day today. When you're down on a month, green is good, no matter what.

My best trade of the day came early, in V, an HCPG watchlist stock. They were looking for the stock to trade down to $78. I saw it was relatively weak off the open and so I was watching it closely. Volume wasn't great yet, but the weakness was enough for me to be transfixed. It traded down near $79 quickly and then bounced, but rolled almost immediately.



I covered quickly after the first move down. I missed the real move when it bounced back up to $79 before cratering down to $77. $79 on the bounce was a perfect reentry... just afraid to enter. I made another good entry on the stock around 11:30, through $78. Again, my exits were fucked up. I covered way too early and missed a nice 2 point move down close to $76. Not sure what it's gonna take for me to start holding for these larger moves.

Probably desperation, brought on by extreme poverty.

Anyway, I then managed to fuck myself up trading BTU short. I got stubborn, added to a losing position, and blew out near the top of the move (classic) for a $200 loss. I also had smaller losses in DVN and SLB. So despite my initial good trade, I was down and had some fighting back to get through.

I saw a couple of trades that didn't have "daily spots" but were trading with good volume. STP had a nice flat base and I felt safe entering at $47. I was hoping for a quick pop down. Had it popped up to $47.10, I would have taken the loss. This was a perfect entry. Volume came in and the stock quickly plummeted. Again, I fucked up the exits. See below...



I saw another opportunity in BTU, the same stock that I screwed up earlier. So I cut my size to 100 shares and gave it a shot.



This was a good trade despite the small size. BTU had visited the $76.25 level three times on the day and had met resistance there continually the prior two days. So when he bounced weakly off that level while running into both the intraday downtrend line and $77 resistance, I thought it was a good entry spot.

My worst stock on the day was SLB. Again, just a case of me not covering when I'm wrong. I'm really beginning to see that if I just cover when shit doesn't work immediately that I'll do myself much less damage than if I hold and wait for it to return to my level. Just cover. If necessary or applicable, reenter later. Just cover and take a small loss.

On the other side, respect the stops... if the position doesn't move against my original entry, I should try to at least hold 100 shares for a larger move.

Here's the stats:

P&L, $165
Best, V, $161
Worst, SLB, -$85

9400 shares traded.
9 stocks traded, 6 winners, 3 losers.

Virtual Office, $938. SPY, +0.09, $139.57.

Timmay!, $515 on 1700 shares traded.
Me,
$165 on 9400 shares traded.
Tokyo, $156 on 811 shares traded.
Denarii, $90 on 2000 shares traded.
OBAT, $12 on 4400 shares traded.
Retardo, zippo


My plan of firing the entire VO so I could be on top of the shit-heap is almost working! Soon, I will unleash the "paid services" section of my site, so you too can make $200 a day from the stock market! I just need to shake that Tim Sykes guy... developing...

Anyway... all the activity was in the morning today. Volume really tailed off into the afternoon and I can't help but wonder if tomorrow is gonna be completely dead ahead of the long weekend. I know I'm planning on trading for about 45 minutes. After that, I'm going to the store and stocking up on supplies, so I can huddle in my house and avoid the "city people" this weekend.

Look, we're in a tough environment for active traders. The VO is definitely reflecting that. Active traders need volume and VIX. This environment is better for swing traders it seems. Not sure what's gonna change that. Grind it out.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Cablevision Customer Service

They're still the worst...

My Internet has been going in and out the last hour making it impossible for me to trade with any confidence. So I called and got this wonderful message:

"We are experiencing a higher call volume than usual. Please call back another time. Thank you."

CLICK.

Fuck you too, Cablevision.

Dubai And Our Gas Dollars

Insane... put it on mute though... worst music ever.


Did You Know: Dubai And Our Gas Dollars - Watch more free videos

PDO... No Fucking Locate!

This had to be one of the most obvious trades of all time, and I couldn't take advantage because I could get a locate.

As you know, I've been watching MXC and PDO for the last few days. They've been trading together. This morning, MXC opened and immediately dropped 15 points. Or, it lost nearly a third of it's value in the first 5 minutes of trade. And it didn't gap down either... IT TRADED DOWN! Check the intra...



Now PDO gapped up and reversed as well, but there were a few precious moments where you could have sold up over $27... it lagged MXC, importantly, by a few minutes. 5 points, EASY.



Look at the daily on this thing... unbelievable! Gotta love the AMEX.



But perhaps it wasn't so easy after all... Timmay! got a little clipped in FPP, another stock that has run with these psychos.

Blog Post Confidential

Here's a huge article about blogging from the upcoming NYT Magazine. I haven't read it all yet, but it sounds like it's interesting.

Mass Layoffs In VO Lead To Violent Protests

I mean, tens of thousands of people are being laid off from the major brokerage houses, so the VO was bound to suffer as well. Goodbye to Ainkurn, Dehtrader, Evolution and Sanglucci.

I expected some anger, some outrage, but not an angry mob of people being whipped into a frenzy by a union agitator



After this speech the VO was ripped to shreds. It may take weeks for it to be operating normally again, but we need to stick to our principles. We've been through adversity before however, and I'm confident that we'll emerge stronger.

Meanwhile, the layoffs may not be over just yet...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dinosaur Jr., "Just Like Heaven"

One of the best covers ever... also, I like the band's name. Brings me back to college.

More Active, But Same Small Result...

I was very active today compared to my recent activity. I think mostly because there's just not much going on in HCPG-land in NYSE stocks right now, so I had to go "old DT" on the market.

I focused almost entirely on the energy stocks, and I'm going to continue with that for tomorrow. I'll just keep watching for intraday setups and try to stick with those trades.

My best stock of the day was PDO again... however, it wasn't really very interesting. I'm happy it closed near its highs. I'm hoping for one more gap up tomorrow and then for a fail. We'll see.

RIG, PBR, APA and NOV were my next 4 winners. None too big, but I was happy with each trade because I sold when they were breaking down out of bases. I think if I can take that part of the HCPG discipline, that is, waiting for a sound base before making buys or sells, and apply it to sectors with momentum that I could get more action.

The problem, is that too often these trades seem obvious to everyone who is watching and you're bound to have to endure shakeouts. And often, even if you're ultimately right, the trade fails. That happened to me a couple of times today in NUE. For example, my final cover of the day in this, my worst stock, came at 12:42, just before the fuck broke down... it's unbelievable that I keep getting shaken out at the worst levels like this just before the trade moves in my favor...



The one thing I noticed today is that when I trade more actively, more fluidly with the market, that I'm definitely prone to making emotional or revenge trades. I haven't done that in a while since I've been so controlled with my methods. So I need to watch that.

Looking forward to tomorrow. I'll just keep it at that.

Here's the stats:
P&L, $105
Best, PDO, $113
Worst, NUE, -$187

27,600 shares traded.
15 stocks traded, 8 winners, 7 losers.

Virtual Office, -$304. SPY, -$2.40, $139.39.

Me, $105 on 27,600 shares traded.
Denarii, $29 on 3000 shares traded.
Retardo, nada.
OBAT, -$28 on 9800 shares traded.
Tokyo, -$410 on 1289 shares traded.


Oil ripped again. It's now at $133.73 a barrel.

Everyone is blaming everyone else for the rise. The new buzz on CNBC is that it's the "index speculators..." Ooooh! Scary! Blame the heartless "index speculators." And if not them, BLAME CHINA! That's always safe...

Ignore that dude in the Hummer with the magnetic yellow ribbon and the American flag though... he's cool.

Anyway, it's only a matter of time before some sad "index speculator" gets called in front of Congress to testify. I wonder what an "index speculator" looks like...

There was good "juice" in the market today. We almost had a respectable volume level, as we traded nearly 1.4 billion shares on the NYSE, and the VIX rose a point, to 18.70. LEH is below $40 again and the talking heads are starting to yammer about the "ongoing" credit crisis... maybe the summer will be interesting afterall!

And what the fuck is up with Mike Huckman's stupid glasses? He's now a man who officially looks like an old lesbian.

As for the VO... shhhh! It's asleep.

Bottled Water or Tap? Volvic.

Readers of my blog know that I'm not a fan of bottled water.



Every time I go out surfing, I pick up 2 or 3 plastic Poland Spring bottles that have washed up with high tide and lay stranded amidst clumps of seaweed. Plastic doesn't go away... ever.

However, while I'm extremely influential, I understand a few of you may still be drinking bottled water. Fine... however, if you're gonna do it, perhaps buy some Volvic, at least until the end of August.

Why? Because for every liter you buy, they'll provide 10 liters of clean water to children in Ethiopia.

And I'm more "pro-children" than I am "anti-plastic."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

LCD Soundsystem, "Tribulations"

The Pain Play

(long, rambling, unedited post warning)

I'm trying this new system out, as you know. And I have to say that it has exposed a little something about myself that I'm only now realizing.

I get bored easily when trading.

Like, back in the day, I had loads of positions all the time and it was more about money management than about entries and exits. And there was a lot of exhilaration in that, and when I made money, it was fun, and I felt like I was playing a game.

Currently, trading feels like more work and waiting and it's not very much fun. I'm not stopping with this method just yet. I mean, my real office, filled mostly with guys who trade like "crack-addicts" isn't doing that great either... most are doing better than I am, but not with results that tell me I'm on the wrong path.

Right now, what I'm worried about is that I'm not going to have a $28,000 day anytime soon... last year, I pulled that one out of my pocket and it saved my year. I'm currently up about what I was this time last year, but I don't foresee another July and August of 2007 happening. So I'm worried.

And yeah, the vibe on the blog has been thick... a little heavy. But you know, I'm a real guy, going through this very real shit everyday, and I don't sugarcoat here. I have gains and losses and that's part of this job. This year I've had too many losses. And let me tell you, small gains aren't even fun. So it's been a grind. A fucking grind. And it's depressing and not much fun. Even my normally dark sense of humor is failing me. I even let Jake Gint get to me last night with his idiotic comments.

But I'm stressed out, for real. And so that's part of this blog too... it has to be, because it's all very real.

I could report my good trades everyday without any other color on my life, or my bad trades, but I don't think that would get me anywhere. What's this blog about? And who is it for? Ultimately, the answer to both of those questions is the same. It's for me.

If you read it daily and you enjoy it, that makes me very happy. But at the end of the day, this blog is a release for a stressed-out trader who has been struggling with this job, alone, for the first time in his 9-year career, since January of 2007.

I just wanted to get that out. I know the tone here has been despondent, depressing, and sometimes angry but that's the fucking point. That's what this is right now. It's a period, it's a phase, and hopefully, I get to the other side.

Because really, while some of you may trade because you like stocks, or research, or for whatever reason you trade, the only reason I trade is so that I can be free. I don't have career ambitions. I never have. I can't compromise myself working for someone else, taking orders, writing memos, whatever. I've tried it and I can't. Does that make me a dick?

Well, if you worked with me you might think so... I'm just not the cubicle type.

What's the point? I don't know. I guess what I'm saying is that for now, you'll have to bear with a slightly depressive DT. I've felt pressure the last couple of days to come up with some funny shit regarding the slowly disintegrating VO, but I've been unable to muster the interest.

Perhaps that's because since I've had access to the numbers of the other traders in my real office (the RO?), I'm no longer in need of comparisons from other stock bloggers to figure out if I'm trading relatively well or not. Also, right now, it's very obvious where I'm at... I suck. So I don't need to necessarily have that reinforced by watching myself make $300 one day while losing $250 the next, or vice versa.

I'm a chart with no pattern, a stock absent of volume and trend.

But I feel the need for a story to move us forward here... but the story here is my trading. So we'll just have to get through this together. It's quiet... it's a little dull. Something could be growing under the soil or the bulb could be shot. Time will tell.

Okay... enough of that... Now, lately I haven't been paying attention to my office mates. I haven't been joining in on the chats, I haven't been listening in on the call, I've just gone solo, me and the graphs, following only the HCPG newsletter and their style of trading (or approximating their style the best I can. I want to note that my failings here shouldn't reflect on their system. Just check out Wall Street Warrior to see how well the trades can work.) But as I said, I've been getting bored. And since I haven't been trading their system perfectly, I haven't had much success. And so I'm bored and frustrated... so today I turned on the office chat.

A friend of mine was getting blown out of PDO. It was around 10:15 and he just ate a five grand loss on a short trade in the stock. PDO and MXC are both currently beyond parabolic. They've had volume, wide spreads and insane volatility. Being in my bubble, I didn't even know they existed until 10:15 today. And all I can say is that instinct took over.

In the office, you'll hear someone say, "I'm taking pain on this GOOG. I'm 3 points out of the money and can't fucking take it!" and like vultures, other traders swoop down and start buying "on the pain." I don't know what it is... if it's out of respect for the pained trader as in, "he thought it was a buy 3 points ago, so it's that much cheaper now" or if it's out of competition, as in, "well, he's getting smoked... if i buy here, no matter what happens, I'll be less smoked than he is... and if it works out, I'll make more since I have a far better entry." I'm just guessing the psychology behind the "pain play." All I know is that today, when that very good trader announced that he was taking the big loss on PDO, I just felt the end of the move must be nigh.

So I located some shares and sold it. 300 at $22.50 and $22.61. About 10 minutes later I covered 200 for a small gain and then got stopped out of the last 100 over $23. But I kept watching... A couple minutes later, MXC took a ridiculous tumble.



I called out, "shorting PDO on MXC" and short 400 shares at $22.69.



It worked out and I have to say, I almost felt a little guilty about it... like, because I cheated myself and the new system. I wasn't "pure" to my current methodology. But fuck that... it felt real... visceral... like I was in the stock. A part of the trade, some electronic crowd, messages, bytes, communicating to bring the price in line, create order.

Now, I didn't have a great plan or anything... I threw a stop for 200 shares up at the high of the day, which would have meant a large loss, and I was going to cover the other 200 at market, based on how the stock acted. Had this trade not worked out, I might very well be feeling like this guy. I made $372 in the fucker and it saved my day.

I'm not going back to trading purely like a "crack addict." That's not the point of this post. However, I think that my current discipline, informed this "degenerate OTB guy" trade. I felt like I was in control, my emotions were in check, I was prepared to take the loss should it get there... I dunno. There's a place for these trades in my book, is all. I just need to keep working on getting back there.

Meanwhile, just to put the PDO trade in perspective, check out it's daily... below the PDO is MXC.





Here's the stats:
P&L, $218
Best, PDO, $372
Worst, GG, -$149

8600 shares traded.
8 stocks traded, 3 positive, 5 negative.

Virtual Office, -$326. SPY, -$1.25, 141.80.

Me, $218 on 8600 shares traded.
Tokyo, $10 on 1380 shares traded.
Retardo, no trades.
Timmay!, no trades.
Denarii, -$81 on 2100 shares traded.
OBAT, -$473 on 10,200 shares traded.


Man... I'm getting so depressed by this market that just today, I told Judy that I may stop eating organic food. That's right... I'm going back to preservatives and shit, not only because I'm now poor, but I'm thinking that maybe a little Yellow #5 will put me out of my misery a little quicker.

After I write this post, I'm gonna go snort me some Windex. Yum... (note to Mom: I'm kidding!)

Anyway, I have lots of VO news to report but I haven't the time right now. Life is busy for the Dinosaur household in the month of May and tonight is no exception. I'll say this, I'm really, really looking forward to this upcoming 3-day weekend.

Volume ticked up a bit today, and the bulls have to wonder why the Dow doesn't want to get above 13k. Could this market get interesting again? I hope so. For now, it feels like the bulls are living on borrowed time.

But then, I've felt we should be heading lower since last September... every rally feels false.

BTW, go check out Timmay's new site. It's pretty damn nice.

Lieberman Discusses Commodity Boom

Naturally, I dislike Joe Lieberman. However, this was a good interview.

In it, he and Sue Herrera discuss the commodity rise and ways in which speculation in commodities may have led to an undue increase in their prices.

Lieberman contends that "it's not just supply and demand" driving the commodities markets anymore, but instead "financial speculators are the largest single factor on the increase in commodity prices." He says many have simply been "buying commodities as a hedge on dollar weakness" and that Congress is considering "prohibiting pension funds from index speculation in the commodity markets" altogether.

Still, oil is up near $130 today, so I guess the commodity markets don't give a shit what Joe Lieberman has to say...

Somewhat Like Trading

I'm still in a bad/depressive mood and not up for writing fun shit. Since I don't want to make this blog any more depressing than it is currently, I present this guy... enjoy!


Insane Stunt Makes Dude Cry - Watch more free videos

Steve Ballmer Egged

The kid is angry that Microsoft charges public universities to use their software... I have to say, Ballmer handles it very well. It's almost as if he's been egged before.


Steve Ballmer Egged in Hungary - Watch more free videos

Monday, May 19, 2008

Animal Collective, "Water Curses"

Addicted To Hope?

As I sat down to lunch, down $450 with no positions, I began to think that this whole process I'm going through (because I know looking back from the future, that I will see it as just that, a process) wouldn't be so bad were it not for my utter hopefulness.

If I could just lose money everyday for 2 straight months without a glimmer of hope thrown in here and there, I may have already shut down this blog and moved on with my life. Who knows what I'd be doing, but the market would have shaken me out already. Instead, I get days like Friday, or even a solid trade in the middle of the day, and things like that give me hope. Hope that I'll figure this shit out and get back to being profitable, day in and day out, and be able to support my family and our lifestyle by being a trader as I have for nearly the last decade.

Hope seems to be killing me softly.

Anyway, besides trading I had a very busy day as well. I have to say, I'm not feeling very witty or anything. I think I'm just gonna go read and HOPE tomorrow turns out better.

I didn't have any particularly good trades or bad trades today. I just had a whole bunch of $60 and $70 losers and no winners.

I'll be back to regular blogging tomorrow. Tonight, I'm just too tired to get into it.

Here's the stats:

P&L, -$462
Best, ACI, $54
Worst, AKS, -$159

9800 shares traded.
11 stocks traded, 2 winners, 9 losers.

Virtual Office, -$224. SPY, +0.36, $143.03.

OBAT, $376 on 10,400 shares traded.
Tokyo, $238 on 1106 shares traded.
Denarii, $78 on 6400 shares traded.
Timmay!, -$454 on 3400 shares traded.
Me, -$462 on 9800 shares traded.


No time for typical VO post this evening... I'll have a daily up later.

I Am A Stock Trader "Money Philosopher"

Since most people assume that "stock traders" make money and I do not, I feel it's now an unfair title for me.

So, until further notice, I am to be called a "money philosopher."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

DT Takes On The Anti-Environment Set

Don't fuck with my bazooka.


Turkish Rambo - Watch more free videos

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Note To All Drivers

The left lane is for passing only. If you are in the left lane and not actively passing someone, you are an idiot.

This has been a public service announcement.

Thanks. Continue with your weekend.

Bush: Saudi Oil Boost Does Nothing

Really? How hypocritical... the 300,000 a day from the Saudis does nothing to help, yet that potential 1 million a day from ANWAR is worth ruining one of our last natural habitats?

What a silly man... what a silly argument.



Looking forward to January...

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Lucksmiths, "T-Shirt Weather"

Great song to listen to in the spring... read the lyrics while you watch the video.

Stock Trading

First of all, I was getting all excited about the coming Russell Rebalancing, but after watching the way MOCs have been acting lately (horrible) my enthusiasm is beginning to wane.

I had a couple of good trades today. Best news is that I didn't make one bad trade. I made a couple of bad trades by omission... or by covering too early, but I didn't have one bad entry today.

After the carnage I suffered last week, I was very happy with my performance this week. I had 3 up days, 1 flat day (-$11) and one down day. Closing with strength today gives me some confidence going into next week.

Anyway, my best stock of the day was BHI. This has been on the HCPG watchlist for awhile. With the early strength in oil, it was one of a few stocks I was planning on watching intently at the open.



Afterwards, I broke even on an SLB trade. Then, I noticed the run in ag stocks. CF was up near $142 but couldn't break above, so I short 100 shares at $141.73. This turned out to be my "worst" trade of the day, not because I lost money on it, but because I didn't respect my buy stop, at $142.01. Instead, I got nervous and took 15 cents, covering my position at $141.57. Look what happened after I covered...



Then, towards the end of the day, I made one final trade. It worked very well.



So, we'll see what next week brings. Hopefully, I can get positive on the month again. Whatever, for the weekend, I'll feel good.

Here's the stats:
P&L, $428
Best, BHI, $267
Worst, SGR, -$22

7200 shares traded.
9 stocks traded, 6 winners, 3 losers.

Virtual Office, -$5530. SPY, +0.16, $142.69.

Me. $428 on 7200 shares traded.
Timmay!, $346 on 5600 shares traded.
OBAT, $231 on 8400 shares traded.
Denarii, $77 on 3200 shares traded.
Ainkurn, -$152 on 200 shares traded.
Tokyo, -$218 on 190 shares traded.
Retardo, -$6242 on 40 contracts traded.


Holy fucking shit! I made over $400! Last time I made over $400 was way back on April 24th.

It's been a grind...

But the VO isn't just about me... there are other third-tier bloggers we need to discuss. Take Retardo for example. Dude sits on a position for weeks and then gets blown out of the water. Best thing he can do now is get famous like HPT and make a viral blowup video or something... at least that might get him laid. Go click some ads. Together, we can bring that loss down to $6240.

Speaking of viruses, check out this cartoon... I loved it.

Anyway, nice reversal for the bulls today. But guess what... we're still stuck at unlucky 13,000 on the Dow.

In fact, I'm going to make my year-end prediction for the Dow right now... 13,000.

All weekend, I'll be stuck in churches and luncheon places celebrating communions. It's gonna suck. However, I'm in such a good mood today that it isn't bothering me much yet. Tomorrow, when I re-enter my customary bad mood, I look forward to passing loads of gas-guzzling SUVs and laughing scornfully at the drivers.

Enjoy your weekend.

NOTE: Check out this classic post from "the Fly." Kind of describes how I've been feeling about the market for the last few months.

Bush Sacrifices Golf For The War Effort

Indeed, he's a mighty fine leader...

Ruby Suns, "Oh, Mohave"

I just came back from one of my best surf sessions ever.

I wish I had more time to get into it, but I want to be able to describe the feeling you get when you're on a wave and everything lines up perfectly.

The only thing I can say is that you just feel like you have more time. Not more time as in, you thought it was 9:30, but it's really only 9:27. More time as in seconds take longer to tick... they stretch out. You're just stuck, nailed to the moment and the moment sometimes feels like forever.

I've felt high since leaving the beach. I'm hoping it translates into a good trading session as well. I'll get more into the "stoked" thing later... I need to get to work. But I wanted to share something. Here's a great song to be "stoked" to.

Good luck today.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Beach House, "You Came To Me"

No Follow Through

I'm busy tonight, so this will be a very quick post describing my loss for the day.

Basically, today I got chopped. My biggest loser was for $67, but the problem was that my largest winner was also for only $67. I just couldn't get any follow through in my positions.

I had a couple that initially worked in my favor only to reverse negative. These included AGU at $89, BEC at $69, and MON at $125. In each of these trades I bought the stock, made a dime or so, and then got out as they quickly reversed through my buy points.

My worst stock of the day was ATW... this one I did as an "over lunch" hold. I short at $104, put my buy stop at $104.25 and went with Judy to watch our daughter's swim lessons. While I was out, the stock dropped all the way into the deep $102s, only to reverse strongly and stop me out at $104.34. A bummer, but not a bad play. I did have buy limits in, but they were below $102.

Close...

Sorry for the runty and humorless post. Enjoy the night.

Here's the stats:
P&L, -$249
Best, BHI, $67
Worst, ATW, -$67

10,800 shares traded.
12 stocks traded, 4 winners, 8 losers.

Virtual Office, -$1135. SPY, +1.80, $142.57.

Denarii, $44 on 5000 shares traded.
OBAT, -$37 on 14,000 shares traded.
Me, -$249 on 10,800 shares traded.
Timmay!, -$413 on 4000 shares traded.
Tokyo, -$480 on 113 shares traded.

Here's a good trading rule... don't trade hungover.

Well, looking at the VO, I may not have been the only one out on a Wednesday night... in fact, this must be one of the lamest VO boards of all time... hopefully I'll be able to announce some changes next week. It's still developing.

However, I have to say, I was a little underwhelmed by the response I got from last night's VO post, asking for some nicknames/historical characters etc. to name potential "ghost" VOers. Not that I don't have plenty of ideas, I just thought I'd get some good feedback.

Again, the volume sucks... again, energy and ags were on the move... this market is really getting dull. As we head into the end of May and Memorial Day, I expect it to get a little lamer. My real office was about 50/50 today in terms of up traders to down traders... a couple of guys had big days... I'm guessing they made good money on the oil stocks. A couple of oil names had crazy ranges. But in a good trading market, my office would be more like 80% green. This isn't a very forgiving market.

Crude oil was all over the map today, enjoying a $6 intraday trading range. WTF?

Anyway, lets hope for a more interesting day tomorrow.

"Groggy-Eyed And Fried"


Vagina, 2008.

About ten years ago, this essay was published. I read it, and liked it enough to remember it, but I didn't really get the full meaning.

Everything is on a scale, of course, but last night, while drinking a little bit more than I'm accustomed to, and enjoying the company of a new group of people, I thought of the essay again.

Judy and I had an excellent time. I'll work on a post describing the whole scene, but right now, I'm just focused on recovery. I will relay the following... the hosts made a gigantic tray of paella. The diameter of the tray was at least 3 feet. Honestly, I'm not even sure how you store something like that. But anyway, the tray was overloaded with huge clams and mussels.

A girl next to me picked up a clam that was slightly open and gave it an odd look. "I mean, how do you eat something like that?" she asked, "It looks like a vagina." In real life, as is often the case on this blog, I'm blessed with the gift of "smart-assism." However, that comment caught me a little off guard, and was actually, too much of a layup. I let it pass.

The girl quickly corrected herself, "Not my vagina...."

Judy and I ducked out of the party early and head to a local watering hole. We played backgammon and drank. The table next to us, was filled with Germans. They were being very rude to the waitstaff. I wondered, with the dollar as weak as it is, if that wasn't a glimpse into the future, as more Europeans take advantage of the exchange rate to vacation, or even buy second homes, here.

Perhaps soon, we'll be complaining about "loud and obnoxious Europeans" in the same way that Europeans now deride us "dumb Americans."