Monday, June 30, 2008
My surfing buddy is away. Today, I drove to the beach at 5:30, alone, and didn't go in. The wind was strong onshore and the swell was just a bit too wild and loose for my taste.
So I picked up wet helium balloons from the shore.
"Happy Birthday!" "Congratulations!" "You're 50!"
Instead, they should just say "Future Beach Litter!"
I found 5 balloons in about 10 minutes, tangled around seaweed or blown into the dunes. With a light drizzle, gray skies and blown-out surf, it made for a moody beginning to the day.
-Evil children and their environmental weapon of choice.
This place is full of tourists this time of year. Some guy pulled into the lot in an SUV with out-of-state plates (and incidentally, given where the wind was blowing from, his state was probably responsible for the balloon litter). Anyway, he ambled over to me while I was picking up a balloon and said, referring to the surf, not the beach, "When do you think it's gonna clean up?"
I said, "Probably never. The wind is going to be onshore, forever." I was kind of being a dick, but it was also true. There was no chance of clean surf today.
So it was with that darkness that I arrived home to take a look at the market.
Since it was the last day of the month, I wasn't looking to take too much risk. I'm solidly green, and happy to take at least a little check home. So I decided to just focus like a "frikken laser beam" on the HCPG plays.
MEE gapped up a bit, consolidated quickly, and broke out. It was a fast trade, and really all I needed.
I also caught a nice little move in MUR, scratched in JEC, and lost a bit in SU.
Anyway, since this is the first day without the VO, I feel the need to also add a bit of market commentary here. However, since I barely traded today (and probably won't trade too much all week, since it's a holiday week and should be slow) I don't have much to offer.
So how about this for market commentary? All things must pass.
I also haven't figured out how many other statistics (besides my newly absent P&L) I'm going to share. In short, this blog will be evolving again over the next few weeks. It'll take some time for me to figure out what to do with my free time and thought. Suggestions? Fire away.
Finally, if you're looking for the VO (and admit it, crackhead, you enjoyed it) you can find it starting tomorrow at Tokyo Trader's fine site.
It's like this... you know how you have a favorite band and you really liked their first couple of albums but then they changed their sound? Well it's like that around here. I just got a new drummer (old one died, overdose) and I'll be experimenting with some new sounds.
Some good music forthcoming.
I made a few trades right off the bat this morning, took my customary small monies from the stock market, and invested the gained confidence right back into my "trading confidence" account.
The account is rapidly growing in interest.
I will detail said growth in an upcoming June review post.
For now, I will take my daughter down to the bay beach, stand her up on my surfboard and push it around, all the while making swishy noises with my mouth.
We have beautiful weather here and she's not getting any younger.
Let's start off this week on a good note.
And listen... Tokyo Trader has adopted the VO. Him, Timmay and Denarii will continue to report their daily P&Ls over there. In addition, Tokyo is actively seeking out new members. I urge you to visit his well-written and interesting blog. It's definitely worth a daily visit.
Friday, June 27, 2008
The past couple of years, the Rebalancing of the Russell 3000 has been a big event for traders. It is a day of huge, exaggerated MOCs and wild moves in otherwise quiet stocks.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tokyo, $110 on 8 shares traded.
Denarii, -$36 on 600 shares traded.
The market got smashed.
I have to say, I'm a little sick of making $200 a day. Worse, I can't afford to be making $200 a day for too much longer. Even worser, I'm not even averaging $200 a day... more like half that... almost. In general, it's the worstest ever.
I called out a 9 point drop in MA today before it happened and took 50 cents. I'm pretty awful. It's a wonder I'm not panicking more... I must be in denial.
I may need to go back on hiatus soon. However, instead of letting the blog just die, I'll try and get someone from my office to contribute... I however, may need to just get back to focusing on trading again. I hate to do it, because I like to blog, but I'm fucking sick of being a mook.
Here's a brief paraphrase of what Art had to say today.
CNBC: The FED yesterday, GS today... do you see any silver linings?
Art: No. In fact, I'll bet the FED cuts before it raises this year.
CNBC: Wow... really?
Art: Well, I think GS is so convicted that there's gonna be some trouble and the rumor mongers are out again. And not just the in the financial companies but the automobile companies are in such trouble, that there's a rumor going around that one of them may be filing for chapter 11.
CNBC: We've heard that rumor too... sounds far fetched, no?
Art: Well, you never say never these days.
CNBC: Art will be guest hosting for 2 hours on Monday.
Art: TV is a vast wasteland.
"The White House Is Treating America's Environmental Policy Like A Spam Boner Pill Ad"
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I had a couple of decent trades today, in JRCC and ATW specifically. However, I want to focus on something that is definitely holding my P&L back... the shitty little losses I keep amassing.
In order to better focus on eliminating these shitty little trades, I'm going to start reporting my broken down P&L. I'll report my winners and losers as usual, and add up the total dollar amount of each.
Like, for example, I jumped the gun in AET, WCC and BG today. My three losses in those stocks added up to about $150. Nothing disasterous to be sure, but when I'm making $200 a good day, I have to figure out where all the headwinds are.
I've been over my inability to hold winners... that's been a recurring theme of this blog since, well... forever, and my most obvious failing. My other (within the current style I'm trading) is my trade selection. I'm just taking too many shitty trades still, without crystal clear entries and exits. I need to just stop that and focus on the 3 or 4 excellent trades that seem to present themselves each day.
Anyway, my best stock of the day was JRCC. It was my first trade in a 4-letter name with my new company and it was very satisfying. Mostly because it worked so quickly and easily. There was no retest of my entry or chop. It just cratered at my entry point. Of course, I covered it all too early.
My other decent trade came in ATW, another HCPG play. This was good just because once again, it worked right away. The reason I sold "early" instead of waiting for the $112 target was because the $OSX was so weak all day. I rather doubted the stock would reach the target, so I just took the easy money.
Anyway, I've been treading water the last few days with trading and my focus has been elsewhere. But I want to finish the month strong. There are 3 trading days left, and I'm setting the (sadly) ambitious goal of $300 a day average so I can hit the $2000 mark on the month.
With the Russell Rebalancing on Friday however, anything can happen. I'm still undecided about whether I should go at it lunatic style and take massive risk, or if I should play it close to my chest and take my small gains for the month... we'll see.
Here's the stats:
Best, JRCC, $256
Worst, BG, -$51
4000 shares traded.
3 winners for $409.
6 losers for $188.
Me, $226 on 4000 shares traded.
Denarii, -$86 on 6400 shares traded.
Tokyo, $-2665 on 961 shares traded.
FED day! Yay! (silence...)
I hate FED days, as do most traders in my office. It's just this expectation overhanging trade all day long... that said, the usual suspects in the RO made size. One dude just made 10 points shorting RIMM... and as another ROer said, "the rich get richer."
I don't have any stats for the RO today.
Tokyo got smoked. He had some swing positions that he decided to let go. It happens, but it sucks when it does.
Anyway, here we are mostly through June with a huge event coming on Friday. The suspense builds. Hopefully now that the FED is out of the way, the VO can look forward to some good trade for the next few days to close the month strong.
We've hit that time of year where it seems like it's 80 degrees and humid everyday. Naturally, there are songs that reflect this type of weather quite nicely.
Below, for your listening pleasure, I've added The Skygreen Leopards, "The Supplication of Fireflies" and The Zombies, "Beachwood Park" to my music collection. As a reminder, you can find all the music I've ever posted to this blog at my Imeem page, or, just click on the labels on the right-hand toolbar.
Anyway, any songs that remind you of summer? Put them in the comment section.
As far as trading goes, I had a decent morning and now I'm gonna go out into the sun to continue with the property clean-up while I wait for the FED numbers at 2:15pm.
My best stock of the day is JRCC, which I caught a nice short on... perhaps these 4-letter stocks will help me out afterall...
Enjoy the music.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
My neighbors are removing a half acre of trees from their property so they can put in a fucking pool. Meanwhile, we live about a quarter mile from a secluded and beautiful bay beach.
Anyway, the point is that when they started in on the trees today, I just couldn't concentrate on the market, since I was so enraged, and decided to spend the day at the beach surfing, instead.
It was a good decision.
They have much more work to do unfortunately.
Anyway, here's a quick glance at the VO.
Denarii, $251 on 8000 shares traded.
Timmay, $202 on 3000 shares traded.
Tokyo, $180 on 3005 shares traded.
Me, -$59 on 7400 shares traded.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Tokyo, $244 on 3 shares traded.
Me, $85 on 4000 shares traded.
Denarii, -$129 on 5600 shares traded.
Two words... summer doldrums.
We barely nudged over 1 billion shares today on the NYSE, and the VIX basically flatlined. It was dead. In fact, it was the lowest volume day of the year.
Now, that's not to say that the usual suspects weren't moving. Oil and gas names ripped higher, and there was plenty of intrigue in the fertilizer names... some moved higher, while BG got clipped.
In addition, the financial stocks seem to be heading straight to zero.
Anyway, not only can I trade 4-letter names now, but I also realized today that I wasn't able to get quotes on my Level 2 from either NYSE or NSDQ these last 6 months. Interesting. Not that I rely on the Level 2 too much, but still... Tomorrow, I'll be able to trade Nasdaq stocks, and I'll also be able to trade with complete information.
In theory, that should help my game, right?
As of noon today, my RO was completely smoked. The big winner was up about $2500, while the big loser was down about $10gs. I was #9 of 25 traders.
Meanwhile, shame on Obama for letting McCain steal this headline... this is what I talk about when I say we need to move forward, past oil. This is a good start. Much better than ethanol...
Going surfing (again).
Okay, so I passed my exam and I'm free (starting tomorrow) to trade the 4-letter names. The market should just send me a million bucks and save us all time... it's clear I'm gonna start killing it now.
In reality, it seems a little slow today. The RO is getting demolished and volume seems lame. In fact, it sounds like most of them are going golfing and taking the rest of the day off...
Good surf here for the next few days. I plan on "killing that" as well... Not going to force anything.
POLITICAL ASIDE: This is a bad position for Obama to take... I hope it evolves.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Timmay, $175 on 3000 shares traded.
Me, $16 on 4000 shares traded.
Denarii, -$79 on 6400 shares traded.
OBAT, -$126 on 3400 shares traded.
Tokyo, -$187 on 3019 shares traded.
The VO traded like a bunch women today. No volume, no risk taken, and no profits to show for it. Who needs Equine? Face it... we're a bunch of girls.
Not so for my RO. The midday data broke down like this... leader was up $10,175 and the laggard was down $2291. Remember, those numbers are gross. To make that kind of money, you have to trade a few hundred thousand shares typically, so commissions eat some of that up. I was #12 of 23 traders today...
Anyway, it was a somewhat eventful week for the market as we finally busted through 12k on the Dow. Volume today was ridiculous because of all the expirations. We traded over 2 billion. Expect more of the same next week, with the Russell Rebalancing.
I can't wait to get this exam out of the way so I can focus on trading again. See you Monday.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Me, $75 on 2800 shares traded.
Tokyo, $55 on 2201 shares traded.
OBAT, $18 on 5400 shares traded.
Timmay, -$60 on 2000 shares traded.
Denarii, -$62 on 5400 shares traded.
On a seemingly quiet day, my RO completely kicked ass. The head man (same guy all week, btw) was up $11,684, while the low man on the day lost $837. Overall, the traders were up over $30,000 on the day. Two guys accounted for $20k of that, though. Something about oil shorts. I was #14 of 25 traders today.
Anyway, for the VO, it was quiet. I studied and surfed more than I traded. I guess I won't be back at full swing, focused entirely on trading, until next week. Despite my small gain, I was very happy to break my lame 3-day losing streak.
Tomorrow look out for the quarterly expirations...
See you manana. Again, no daily post as I'm focused elsewhere. But I'll take the opportunity to post a good music video, since I made money... no more bad music.
I don't like to fly, but a couple of weeks ago, I had no choice but to fly.
It's mostly a control thing. I like to feel as if I'm in control, and when I have to sit, in one place, for hours, I am being controlled by the situation and not vice versa.
Incidentally,, I think it's why I took to the occupation of trading. Yes, it's stressful to not make money, or worse, to lose money, but at least (in theory) I'm in control. I'm losing money because of decisions that only I can make. I find a stock to trade, I click "buy," I click "sell," and I decide what quantity. There's really nothing outside of my control.
Well, that's not entirely true. There's Esiggy. It "loses data" and goes down all the time, and that's why they suck. I hate Esiggy because I have no control over Esiggy.
And, let's face it, their customer service is the worst.
Anyway, back to flying. I'm here at LaGuardia, sitting in a pretty empty terminal with time to kill and anxiety to burn. I haven't flown in nearly 5 years. There are trees in large white square pots lining the terminal with it's short blue rugs and pale gray walls. The seats are also pale gray and mostly stained. There is a trapped bird, a House Sparrow of course, hopping on the blue rug avoiding the chrome garbage bins.
What must that bird be thinking?
Anyway, shit... I have time and I digress. Judy is next to me, in her stained gray chair, reading The Yoga Journal and lightly bouncing her foot.
She loves to fly. Absolutely loves it.
Meanwhile, I'm here scribbling nervously into a small pad with large earphones on my head glancing up now and then to see who is walking down the terminal. I'd say that conservatively, 90% of the people are fat. It's disgusting. Worse, it's 90 degrees and humid and they're all wearing jean shorts and t-shirts.
Anyway, let me get back to the beginning... you know what my sister-in-law calls all the fat pasty people (women, specifically) of America? "POUNDCAKE." As in, "check out that poundcake in the jean shorts eating that donut."
But you know, Judy got her "feet done" for the wedding we're going to and she told me about how the salon was like a factory, with all these women getting something "done" while reading magazines like Allure, wide-eyed, trying to find ways to improve the way they look.
She said there was a 5-year old girl in there. Made me think about our 3.5 year old. Made me think about her trying to fit into someone else's idea about "how you should look" and it got me depressed and even a little angry.
I thought, well, better to just be happy with who you are, and with your body image. The beauty factory is just as scary as the "poundcake," but in a different way.
To be continued... probably after my exam.
It was a wild scene here at Dinosaur Trader blog last night. I'll have you know, I'm a control freak and don't like other people messing with my blog.
But it's over now. The iBCers are gone and peace has been restored. I never thought they'd leave. Check below for how they were dispelled from my illustrious third tier haven.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I know "the Fly" wants to blame Vinny and his wine, but of course, I have some exclusive footage of what really went down.
UPDATE: "the Fly's" blog is back.
I finished the day higher by a startling .4%.
Turrible, considering I positioned for this move down yesterday. I would have fared well but my port was chagrined via an inane PCLN upgrade. I shorted again at 131 intraday, and am ready to ride this bitch lower or get stopped out any higher.
Today was highly sensual from the perspective of a man long coal stocks. CNX (long a small boatload), WLT, FDG, whatever, just get drunk on wormwood and once you're blind buy 'em already you Canadian sissy. BTU anyone?
Other notes du jour:
LNN got slapped due to rising costs pressuring margins. And I quoteth:
The co is a little concerned that pricing is in an area where it may be making farmers reach some kind of a point of resistance that pricing is getting to a level where its causing issues in making effecting purchasing decisions. Co says though they haven't heard that farmers are ready to pull back or anything regarding a change of their buying behavior based on the current pricing.
You know what that says to me? Short DE, and do it mercilessly.
I added the emphasis to what is known as "corporate speak." No one in charge of managing a
Which also corroborates DE's shitty price pattern as of late.
Finally, the glorious iBC Machine Update. So glorious.
In case you ONLY read DT's blog (morbid curiosity?) and haven't yet ventured to our more fecund site, let me explain what the iBC Machine does.
It peers up the market's skirt in a masterful fashion and tells you what's up there, for better or for worse. I don't need to post my track record (I can't, our site is down) but it is impeccable, as it has called nearly every turn in the market with relative impunity.
Today was highlighted by distribution. It wasn't exceptionally heavy, but it was pronounced. This is good and bad. Huge distribution as per my machine might portend some kind of snapback rally, but what we get is death via papercut, rather than guillotine.
In other words, we're probably not done yet to the downside.
The iBC Machine is NEUTRAL meaning that momentum is slowing and more breakouts will fail. Cash and selective shorts should be added, while longs closely watched. A rising tide can't lift all boats when the tide is falling back--this alone week has experienced 50% more sell strength than buy strength, and this is on the back of last weeks 2:1 ratio of selling vs. buying.
The Machine's proprietary Overbought/Oversold oscillator is at 45 on a scale of 0-100, indicating we aren't at an inflection point.
Monthly breadth is still negative, which also indicates distribution. The slowest moving measure of The Machine is still bullish, though it is deteriorating, and is at its relative low.
The iBC Machine isn't signaling an edge for tomorrow's trade, but generally speaking, I am using it's warnings to build cash and shorts in gay ass homo stocks like TSCM.
I will note however that we may trade up into OpEx. Always a possibility. However, I will highlight that there likely won't be strength behind the move, and it should be met with skepticism.
Posted by D1 at 6:34 PM
You see, there is a certain symmetry in this world. Call it Karma, if you will.
If you doubt what I am espousing, just click on iBankChange. Have a little look-see, to find where the link takes you.
Other than that, should iBankCoin not be back up, maybe I'll visit this godly site, and put up a post. Or maybe I'll just take the night off.
Posted by Jeff at 6:21 PM
I guess it's back to my old spot for now. To find me all you have to do is type in madstocks.com, and that's where I'll be.
Today I deserve 3rd tier status, as I found myself closing out longs instead of profiting from shorts. I also closed out my puts in PCLN, I now hate this stock more than POT.
I did catch a nice win in TTES, thanks to the guys at wallstreak. Be sure to drop by tonight, I will have a few updates.
Posted by Ragin' Cajun at 6:06 PM
Finding myself back on a shitbox blogspot address is awfully humbling. My "Godly" site, iBankcoin.com has been deballed, thanks to the ineptitude of "Vincenzo the IT guy."
It all started when my IT guy, Vincenzo, took a nap inside of iBC's cold room---where our servers are stored. Unfortunately, he left a giant bowl of spaghetti and meatballs (with extra gravy) on top of one of our equipment racks, with an open bottle of "vino" next to it. Next thing you know, I stormed into his fucking office, via kicking down his door. Startled, he woke up from his afternoon siesta, scared shitless, and bumped his head into one of our racks: knocking over the "vino," spaghetti and meatballs with sauce all over our high tech stuff---effectively destroying our website, indefinitely.
To make matters worse, he proceeded to clean up his fuckery with a rag, soaked in extra virgin olive oil. I began screaming at him, with the furious fury of a mountain lion inside a gay bar. As a result, he fell on the floor (again) and knocked over an oversized barrel of balsamic vinegar, resulting in immediate power loss at iBC's HQ.
In short, iBC will not be up and running for awhile. Stay tuned.
In other news,"The Fly" made ridiculous coin today, via short sales in CATY, EWBC, PACW,CSE, FED and BBT. In addition,some of my long positions, which include FTK, RIG and PCZ, bucked the downtrend, yet again---enabling Senor Tropicana to close the day higher by 1.9%.
My theme is simple and concise: get long energy and short everything else.
Fuck the banks and the assholes who buy them. Which reminds me, Doug Kass aka "Fucktarded short only hedge fund manager who is long bank stocks," is dead wrong and will lose his entire book of clients, if he is not careful here.
To sum up this post, DT is unbelievably lucky to have "The Fly" grace his 3rd tier blog with such succinct rantings. Upon seeing my site down, immediately, DT emailed and begged me to guest blog. He even donated $100 to my favorite charity: "The Tent for House program," located in Southern California.
Posted by Broker A at 4:06 PM
Timmay!, $631 on 10,500 shares traded.
OBAT, $9 on 2600 shares traded.
Me, -$27 on 4400 shares traded.
Tokyo, -$61 on 3216 shares traded.
Denarii, -$96 on 3200 shares traded.
A sleeper for the VO.
Not so much for the market however... we tested 12,000 and bounced nicely, only to retrace much of that bounce into the close. Volume was mediocre, but better than yesterday, which admittedly, isn't saying too much.
After I made the mistake of letting our wonderful president raise my blood pressure by watching CNBC (always a mistake), I spent the day getting through the mass of material for my 55 exam on Saturday. Now I just memorize the practice exams for the next 2 days. Fun.
In other words, I don't have much color on today's trade. However, apparently you can shave coal down and make crack and cure cancer with it all at once... Will these stocks ever take a breath?
More bad music, forthcoming. And perhaps some hot guest blogging.
UPDATE: Just got my office numbers... about 2/3 of traders were positive. The range was $7150 to -$799. On a whole, the office did very well.
George Bush: "We've raised fuel efficiency standards to ambitious new levels."
Har... Har... Har... LIAR.
Here's the truth about CAFE standards... we're worse off now than we were in 1987. Largely because of your beloved SUVs.
"The US fleet average peaked in 1987 at 26.2 mpg. In 2003 (latest data available), the average new vehicle (fleet) mpg was 25.0. Why? The proliferation of inefficient SUVs and the increase, as a market share, of light trucks. "So go ahead and announce that you want to lift the ban on off shore drilling. It will make it that much easier to beat McCain in November. You don't like the high price of oil? Perhaps you should have thought of that when you bought that SUV. The cumulative effect of all you idiots buying those hulking monsters has added to the wild demand that has caused gasoline prices to skyrocket.
It's not just demand out of China and India, as some news stations would have you believe.
The US uses twice the oil of China and India, COMBINED. Fact. Check out this nice pie chart... And you, who I imagine espouses the merits of personal responsibility... you don't think your SUV plays a role there?
Anyway, speaking of McCain, this is just the beginning of his problems... see below.
16 billion barrels off shore. Total. Not going to get it all out in one day to increase supply immediately. Not going to do a damn thing to ease prices. This is simply a short term political mistake.
What will ease prices? Demand destruction... brought on by EVEN HIGHER PRICES.
Keep focusing on drilling more. You'll pay at the polls. The winner in November will be looking towards the future of our energy policy and needs. Not the past.
We've put men on the moon. We built "the bomb." We can figure out a better energy solution and lead the world again.
Either that, or we're doomed to be led.
Okay, back to studying...
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
So painful... I better get back to making money... this posting of bad music thing on losing days hurts me very, very much.
I've started a new designation for when I am forced to post "bad music." It's under "bad music" so that it doesn't screw up my "music videos" label. Clever, eh?
Tokyo, $205 on 6605 shares traded.
Denarii, $122 on 3000 shares traded.
OBAT, $74 on 2000 shares traded.
Me, -$449 on 8200 shares traded.
Looks like we're back in the volume doldrums for awhile. Last week I got prematurely excited about the volume coming into the market. We reached (gasp!) 1.4 billion shares a couple of days, and I thought for a moment that perhaps we would avoid a summer slowdown.
Wrong. Today was one of the lowest volume days of the year as we failed to reach even 1.1 billion traded on the NYSE.
And naturally, this has changed the trading landscape somewhat. Today, the market chopped lower, grinding its way back below 12,200 on the Dow.
I should have listened a little closer to the message that the market sent me yesterday. While I didn't have any one disaster, almost every position I entered failed. That's just a clear sign to wait this market out... however, the rest of the VO did well. And the last information I have for my RO was pretty good... about 2/3 of the traders were positive, and the range was $7853 to -$1003. I was #20 of 26 today which accurately reflects my poor performance.
Meanwhile, no word from Timmay in two days... and this after I streamed his damn live show all day on Friday... could a firing be imminent?
I'm not sure if I'll have a daily post up this evening. I'm heading off to the beach for a full moon chanting session. Clearly, Judy is in the driver's seat around here... so I'll just post the bad music now.
Man... this is not a market for breakout trading.
Volume is lame and I'm just getting chopped. So, like I said yesterday, instead of swimming against the current, I'm going to focus on taking my exam. I scheduled my test for Saturday, which means I pretty much better start studying... like, right now.
The blog will be somewhat "no frills" for the next few days as I focus on studying, but once I take the exam, I'll be able to trade the "4 letter names" again, which in theory, should let me be much more selective about the trades I take, since I should be able to find many more opportunities.
I'll be posting the VO each night as usual, and daily posts if I make trades.
Posted by Dinosaur Trader at 12:03 PM
The Daily Show (unlike U2) keeps getting better with age. This clip is ostensibly about all the false rumors being spread about Obama, but really, it's about how much the mainstream media, especially Fox, sucks salmonella-encrusted tomatoes.
Bloggers... we are the future.
Here's a brief paraphrase of Art's comments with Joe and Carl this morning... As you know from reading this blog, he's one of the only useful CNBC contributors.
CNBC: Art, what's most intriguing to you today?
Art: Well, first of all, the possible rate hike died at 8:30 Friday morning when the unemployment numbers came out. They can't raise rates with rising unemployment. If they did, they'd probably face riots.
Also, crude oil had a frustrated breakout attempt yesterday. I'm watching all the hearings about trading in crude and speculators.
CNBC: Art, why is "speculator" such a dirty word right now?
Art: I don't know... I remember Bernard Baruchs comment about speculators looking ahead. They try to figure out what's on page 13 today, that will be on page one tomorrow.
CNBC: Headline inflation came in at the fastest pace in 6 months. What can the Fed do?
Art: The Fed is trapped for now. They want to jawbone it... inflation is going up all over the world. The romance countries are saying, our economies aren't doing that well, put that gun (raising rates) back in your pocket.
For now, central banks around the world are dealing with rising inflation and weak economies.
I've always hated cars... Okay, maybe I don't hate them, but I've never been too interested in them. I view them in purely functional terms. I've never thought a car was "beautiful" or wanted to "take a drive" in a friend's new "baby."
That said, here's one that I find interesting.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I've spent more money pruning trees and raking leaves in the last 3 days than I have trading.
I've been looking for trades early, taking them if they're there and then heading outside at 11am or so. I do yardwork, as I attempt to limit the tick population around my house, and then come back around 2:30 to see if anything has set up for the afternoon.
So it's been slow. At the same time, it hasn't been a bad kind of slow, because I haven't wasted time staring at the monitors. I've been productive. It almost feels like a mini-vacation or something.
Anyway, the yard is pretty damn clean now, so I'm going to focus again on studying for and taking the Series 55. We're at a slow time here in the market. Volume seems to be on the wane and we're a few weeks away from earnings season. People want to be outside, the beach weather has returned... thoughts are drifting away from Wall Street.
Seems like a good time to trade less and study more...
This morning I forced trades and paid the price. My worst was in WG, which I bought at $46.10 hoping for a run to $47. The problem with this trade wasn't really my entry (although I was later than I had to be), it was my exit and position size.
I wanted to buy at $46, but looked away for a moment. The next thing I know, it was trading $46.10. I bought 500 there, kind of in a panic. What I should have done, since the stock was already past my buy point, was reduce my size. 500 is about my max right now... I should have gone with 300 after I missed my ideal fill spot.
So I bought and the stock immediately reversed. I was slow to sell. I waited until it traded below $45.85 and received the bulk of my shares around $46.75. So I lost 35 cents on 500 shares. It was totally avoidable, and it's the reason why I finished in the red today.
Too bad since it broke my recent winning streak. I had 9 green days in a row there... can't remember the last time that happened. Despite today's loss, I feel that I'm on the right path. In addition to my recent string of green days, I haven't lost more than $100 in a trading day in almost a month (last time was May 19th). That means that even if I'm only pulling $100 or $200 a day from the market, it's adding up.
It's only a matter of time before I have a nice $500+ day again... and since I'm keeping the losses small, it will really count.
Looking forward to it. However, I'm keeping my patience. The market feels kind of crappy right now for trading and I'm not going to force anything.
I want to make one more point about my day. I screwed up the WG and let it effect a couple of other trades I made. I had an excellent entry on CF at one point, got scared, and took 5 cents only to watch it run 2 dollars more from my entry... so I wrote the following down. I'm including it among my "stock trading rules" tag, even if it's more psychological than anything else...
"View each trade as a separate event. Do not let one bad move (or good move) influence your next decision."
Anyway, the worst part about my loss is that it means I must post bad music tonight...
Here's the stats:
Best, MON, $65
Worst, WG, -$73
4000 shares traded.
5 stocks traded, 2 winners, 3 losers.
Denarii, -$1 on 3400 shares traded.
Me, -$89 on 4000 shares traded.
OBAT, -$121 on 4800 shares traded.
Tokyo, -$224 on 3124 shares traded.
Wow. Everyone lost money. The volume was light and my main office also pretty much sucked, I guess it just wasn't a day to trade.
Half of the traders in my RO (real office) made money, and half did not. The range was $3296 to -$1156. I was number 13 of 22 today.
Perhaps everyone is waiting on the earnings news from GS tomorrow. Who knows, but the script that has been leading the market for the last few months remained intact... long coal, long ag, long oil and natty gas.
The HCPG guys took this week off. Perhaps they're onto something there... I'll be taking it easy until trades begin to show themselves again.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tokyo, $507 on 3515 shares traded.
OBAT, $228 on 7400 shares traded.
Me, $201 on 1600 shares traded.
Denarii, -$234 on 8200 shares traded.
Well, I had a day much like yesterday. I traded for a little while and then went outside to continue my War on Ticks. They don't know what they're up against. I walk into the woods, remove leaves and sticks and find 4 or 5 on me. I then remove them and give them a nice DT Alcohol Spa Treatment which kills them in seconds.
Anyway, the VO has had a nice uneventful but profitable week. Sure it's a little dull, but everyone is stacking slowly, which is nice. As for my real office, I was #11 of 23 traders. The office range was -$4964 to $5261 (gross).
Volume wasn't abysmal for a summer Friday as we clocked in at over 1.2 billion shares. And we got a nice little rally, which is good for creating bear flags in a bear market.
Have a great weekend. Enjoy the solid weather.
HOLY SHIT, TIM RUSSERT DIED!
Clearly, if you stand up in front of a live chat for 8 hours, you have some balls. Say what you want about Timmay, but the man is dedicated. I'll be going on soon to harass his ass.
Here's a link to the show.
NOTE: By clicking on the quotation marks, you automatically enter the chat room. Please enter and ask Timmay! to "pinch his nipple" as I did and tell him DT sent you. So many of you have strong feelings about Mr. Sykes. Now, you can get him to pinch his nipple for you... do it, it will take some of the hate away.
UPDATE: I have taken the show down to prepare for the VO. The only thing that would have made it better is if he pumped this site more... still, well done, Timmay.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
My trading day was fairly uneventful until around 10:00am, when I bought BG. Looking back, I really haven't the slightest idea what I was thinking, which is remarkable, because I had no other positions at the time.
For 20 minutes, I bought the stock and then sold a half point lower. I did this 4 times with 100 shares and was down close to $300 in the stock. For the day, I was down over $400. I wish I could say that I made good, well thought out trades to bring me back, but instead, I bought BG again, this time at $115. I put my stop a half point away and went outside to start clearing some brush.
(I'm too lazy to explain the graph below... think of it as an art piece titled Frustration #119.)
A half hour later I came back and was up exactly $1 in the stock. I sold at $117.62 and counted my blessings.
I was still down on the day, but another short I put on, in SU had begun to work and pulled me back into the green.
After that, I was basically flat. I was relieved to have battled back from down over $400 (not an easy feat with my current position sizes) but also felt somewhat humbled all over again. I've felt real progress lately and I really can't explain what I was thinking with the BG. What I think happened is that I was influenced by the chat my office was having. It seemed like an active morning and I wasn't seeing much so I think I "forced" the trade...
Ultimately, BG retraced seven points. I've said it before that trades like this are in my future, but right now, I need to stay away from them... especially on a day where I was down a little. If I'm up $500 on the day and feel like risking $200 on a high volatility trade, I can do that. However, until I really have everything on track, I should really stay away from these plays. I mean, in the 20 minutes I was involved with the trade I went through all the worst kind of emotions you can have while trading... fear, self loathing, disappointment, paranoia... it's just not worth it.
It was a good lesson. I'll be staying away from these trades until I'm consistently making good money again.
So I went outside and spent the day ripping apart old woodpiles and removing leaves from the wooded lots adjacent to what passes as our "lawn." This in an effort to remove tick and mice habitat to lessen the chances of our daughter getting another tick bite.
I came inside for a drink of water and switched on the monitors to see if I was missing anything. I noticed SOL, from the HCPG watchlist, setting up just at $19. I had located 500 shares of the stock pre-open in case I needed to sell it. As it turned out, I decided to sell 400 of them just as the stock broke through the fig.
As you can see, the stock dropped 2.5 points from the entry. I made about 25 cents on the play... frustrating indeed. However, it points out how necessary it is the be able to let go of past mistakes. I was still turning over the BG trade in my head and happy just to be positive. I wasn't thinking about all the potential I was overlooking in SOL. My head was thinking about what had happened, not about what was happening at the moment.
Apparently, I still have a long way to go before I can call my trading "zen-like."
Anyway, here's the stats:
Best, SU, $164
Worst, RIG, -$54
5600 shares traded.
8 stocks traded, 4 winners, 4 losers.
Timmay, $669 on 3000 shares traded.
Tokyo, $170 on 603 shares traded.
Me, $120 on 5600 shares traded.
OBAT, $94 on 6800 shares traded.
Denarii, $4 on 6400 shares traded.
It's been a long day around here, and I apologize for the late post. Ever since my daughter was bitten by that Lone Star Tick, I've been engaged in tick habitat destruction (as opposed to pesticide spraying). So, I wasn't around for the end of the trading day, instead, I was ripping apart old woodpiles and chopping wood.
Anyway, it was a solid day for the VO. The market got the little bounce it was hoping for, but I'd call it less than satisfying for the bulls. For one, volume declined. Also hurting the bounce was the fact that we closed far from the highs of the day. Indeed, the market puked up a 200 point gain to go flat, only to bounce 50 points at the very end of the day. Not exactly confidence building.
Also, Lehman Brothers (LEH) closed down again, another point, to $22.70. Maybe this will be the weekend where they get bought for $2.00. Hey, sounds crazy but it's happened before.
In my real office, I was #11 of 23 traders. The range was $6964 to -$737 (gross). I'll have a daily post up later. I had a wild trading day even though it ended early.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I made a point on my first trade of the day, and on my second trade of the day, I lost a point.
That was enough to give me pause.
I had just come back from surfing, and hadn't done much research or eaten breakfast. So I stared at the screens for a moment and just took a big breath. Let me give you a little background.
My alarm went off at 4:30, so I could pick up my friend and be in the water by 5:30. I was having this wild dream. I live not far from some water, and across from that water is an island. There are no bridges to this island, but in my dream, there were bridges, long rope bridges like the kind you see over gorges, and I was walking across one when a huge set of waves started rolling towards me. There was no way off the bridge since I was right in the middle, so I just wrapped myself up in some of the rope and hung on. The wave was about to hit me when I woke up. Anyway, I got my shit together and drove to pick up my friend.
A little while later, we were surfing. The sun had just risen and I was enjoying nice big breaths of the clean ocean air. Everything was perfect. But then, since the surf was on the small side, I said to my friend something like, "wow, we're out here making waves out of nothing at all." Not a second later, the Air Supply song "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" entered my head and wouldn't leave. I mean, it had a real grip. I was trying to think of any other song, because it was ruining my beautiful morning.
That's when Pat Fucking Benatar and "Love Is A Battlefield" popped in.
At this point, I was rather beside myself. I mean, if you read this blog you know how I am about music. But then, in order to rid myself of Air Supply and Pat Benatar, I started thinking, "what could be the exact opposite of that shit?" And that's when I got the "America, Fuck Yeah!" song in my head from the South Park movie. That was in there for awhile, but eventually it disappeared and I was able to surf in peace. In fact, I had a great session.
I drove home in a big rush and was greeted at the back door by my daughter. "Daddy," she said, "Docky peed not in his box." In other words, our fucking cat, the same fucking cat that terrorized us last summer by making our house smell like a goddamn urinal, is at it again.
I stepped in, got a good whiff of that sour smell, and asked Judy, "Where's the cat?"
She said, "He knows he did something wrong. He's under the bed."
She told me that because she figured that because "he knew" he did something wrong that that was somehow punishment in itself.
I ran upstairs (with my daughter following fast on my footsteps) and lifted the bed skirt. The cat let out a low growl and shimmied back a couple of inches, just out of my reach.
What happened next is really surprising, even to me, but it speaks to what your body can accomplish when enough adrenaline is flowing through it.
With one arm, I lifted the bed (it's low to the ground and not easy to fit under) and with the other, I made a grab for the cat's head. I got the scruff behind his neck and dragged him out. What he did to my arm is somewhat like this... it was painful. I threatened him in some crazy way (I told him I'd "ruin his face") and threw him in the bathroom.
I looked at the clock. It was 9:23.
Now, you must be wondering, why the fuck is he telling me this shit? It's simply because I wanted to lend some insight into what had already happened in my crazy head BEFORE 9:35 when I made, and then lost, a point in the same stock, on two successive trades.
In short, I was scared. Anything could have happened next.
Instead, all the excitement was behind me, and things settled down.
I made a nice trade in CMI, and scratched in everything else.
I'll take it.
Here's the stats:
Best, CMI, $301
Worst, XCO, -$51
4400 shares traded.
6 stocks traded, 3 winners, 3 losers.
NOTE: That Air Supply video is perhaps the best music video ever... my question to you is, were they being ironic?
OBAT, $403 on 3200 shares traded.
Me, $251 on 4400 shares traded.
Denarii, $71 on 5000 shares traded.
Tokyo, -$57 on 3575 shares traded.
Damn, Lehman Brothers (LEH) is completely fucked, eh? It's never good when you drop 33% over 4 trading sessions on gigantic volume.
Volume was good again today, not a good sign for the bulls. However, I wouldn't be surprised to get a little "relief rally" tomorrow off of 12,000 should we get there. We may need to consolidate a bit before "testing the lows." We'll see.
We have two big events looming as far as trading is concerned. The Russell Rebalancing at the end of June and a (hopefully interesting) July earnings season. Remember how much last earnings season sucked?
I do. We had such low volume that I wanted to eat my television set.
Anyway, another decent day for the scaled down VO. I'm still trying to entice my "real office" members to report their stats to me. Without whores, blow, or money to offer, it's been tough.
Meanwhile, in my real office I was #7 out of 22 traders today. The office range (gross) was $1632 to -$3624.
This one kills me... I just like the way the kid sidles up to the horsies... sizes them up and then just goes for it.
Horse Takes Kid for a Ride - Watch more free videos
Anyway, I've had a sweet morning. I was in the water at 5:30 catching clean 2 foot waves that were breaking outside and moving all the way to shore. I was on 6 or 7 for the entire move. Great way to wake up.
I rushed home with my hair still wet and sand behind my ears, sat down at 9:25 and made a quick point on my first trade in CF. Great. Problem was that my next trade, also in CF, I lost a point. Still, I kept my cool and made a few decent trades to be up my customary $200. We'll see if anything develops for the afternoon.
As for now, I'm heading off to the local dump. A friend let me borrow his truck and I have it loaded with branches. Remains of the storm that ripped through here the other day. Also, I cleared out all my woodpiles, since they're good tick habitat. Naturally, I refuse to spray pesticides, so the only thing I can really do is reduce the habitat around here... fuck ticks.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
If I was a Japanese Candle Stick, and really, there's no way for you to know if I am or not, today I would have looked like a pretty solid hammer formation.
My first trade of the day was also my worst, short DSX through $32. As you can see, it didn't break, and then traded with absolutely no volume up to $32.50. I could have covered immediately for a 15 cent loss or so, but instead, I let the stock trade up to my stop, which was around $32.25 and due to the thin trade, I got out 12 cents higher, at $32.37. So I ate nearly $200 in the first few minutes.
Later, I made all my money back in him when I caught the actual break of $32.
My best stock of the day was WFR, which I was watching for a break of $62. I don't think this was an easy trade or anything, so I'm happy I took my money and left him alone.
Shortly after my DSX mess, I had another mess in SID. And really, I made the same mistake as I did in DSX. I sold expecting the stock to break the fig, but then didn't cover fast enough when it bounced. But, like DSX, I kept watching the stock and made back my losses later, and then some.
So I'm happy with the way the day turned out for me. I even mowed my lawn in the middle of the day while SID died for me. In fact, I find I'm a better trader when I put trades on and then walk away. If I stayed, I'm pretty sure I would have covered the SID early... to "lock in profit."
Perhaps letting my winners run is as easy as doing more yardwork. Who knows?
Anyway, I'm happy with the way I kept my cool after I got clipped early. Despite the nice performance put in by my real office, I don't think I missed too much today from the HCPG system. Like I said yesterday, I feel I'm improving. I'm not going to look too far ahead just yet... just try to get green tomorrow as well.
Here's the stats:
Best, WFR, $147
Worst, FCX, -$34
8200 shares traded.
7 stocks traded, 3 winners, 4 losers.
Me, $210 on 8200 shares traded.
Tokyo, $193 on 2308 shares traded.
OBAT, -$10 on 7000 shares traded.
Denarii, -$151 on 4600 shares traded.
Another decent volume day as we nearly reached the 1.4 billion share mark. And another day where select financials got taken to the woodshed. Take a look at LEH, FED, and ABK.
Smells like bankruptcy, no?
All of the recent winning sectors, ags, coals and oils took a breather today, which was necessary. Indeed, even oil took a breather, closing way down at $131.70.
It was a pretty quiet day in the VO. However, I want to note that yesterday, Denarii had one of his best days ever, netting $472 on 7000 shares traded. Unfortunately, he sent his numbers to Tokyo, and by the time I received them, it was too late. He gave back some today, but has a decent two-day total nonetheless.
In my real office, I was #15 of 22 overall traders. So it seemed to be a good day in general for traders. Whenever I get this data, I'll share it.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the thunderstorms that are forecast for the area this evening. May they take this heat and humidity with them.