Yes, for most it's Black Friday, but for others it's buy nothing day.
I missed it, true, but you can make any day a "buy nothing" day. Go check it out.
Friday, November 28, 2008
What an egregious waste of wealth there at the end of the day.
Apparently, there were many leftover Thanksgiving turkey legs... and whoever controlled the final prints in the REIT stocks decided to shove them directly up trader's asses.
Why do stocks with published buy imbalances print down multiple points when the market is ripping? What does it all mean? Cold winter? End of days?
Anyway, let's get back to our holiday. This day will go down in infamy. I'm sure none of us will be trading the day after Thanksgiving in 2009.
Out of 18 traders today, 5 were gross positive, or 28%. Pathetic. 8 traders lost over $1,000 gross, while 2 traders made over $1,000 gross. Worse yet, "Trader D's" bot is the "Lucky Pierre." I can't imagine the joy "Trader D" is feeling right now, reading this, knowing that he missed a disaster. I was #13 of 18 or really smoked. The Manservants rule.
"Chambermaid" - Trader A, -$32,076 on 504k shares traded.
2. Trader P, -$19,126 on 257k shares traded.
3. Trader Z, -$9,764 on 278k shares traded.
4. Trader V, -$4,912 on 66,800 shares traded.
5. Trader C, -$4,509 on 73,400 shares traded.
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader 10*, $8,092 on 2,000 shares traded.
2. Trader T, $1,043 on 0 shares traded.
3. Trader H*, $625 on 1,900 shares traded.
4. Trader U*, $174 on 0 shares traded.
5. Trader 6*, $79 on 0 shares traded.
Click here for today's "heatmap."
Sounds boring, but imagine you were leading an army to war each day... your troops get tired, they get unorganized, some of them "get gay." So it makes sense on a half day for me to just sit back and reorganize my screens and get my troops back together, so to speak.
In a way, it's almost therapeutic to make my sectors "tighter" and to make my layout more efficient. Crazy, but it's true, I find it relaxing.
If I bother to trade at all, it will be the last 30 minutes. And I could be wrong, but I don't think I'll have an RO post up this evening, because it looks like "Trader N" is being "all French" and taking a vacation day.
However, I will say this... I have a history post about 70% done. It won't be up today, but perhaps I'll work on it and have it up for next week. I'll make this promise... it will definitely be up by December 7th, because I can't go a full year without writing one.
Anyway, I hope you all had a restful holiday. Our family dinner featured a rousing discussion of squirrels... are they crazier this year than in the past? Most people at the table seemed to think that yes, the squirrels are "acting out" more than usual this year.
What does it mean? Cold winter? The end of days?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Today, the market was supposed to be slow and sleepy ahead of the holiday, but instead, we ripped. My bottom call from a few days ago looking safe for now.
We're 1200 points from the lows.
However, despite the market rip, I got shaken out in the morning. So I went surfing, got eaten alive by the gnarly waves, dinged my board, and came home to see the RO up size. Man was I pissed. But it just proves that you always need to keep an open mind in this job... I say it over and over, but it's so easy to talk yourself out of trading. The truth is, there's almost always opportunity. You just have to find it.
Moving on, anyone have experience with Turducken? Seriously? Not that I want to eat one or anything, I'm just wondering who I need to block from the blog.
I imagine that most of you are already getting ready to stuff your fat American faces with food, so I'm just going to get to the numbers. If you're not American disregard that comment.
Out of 22 traders today, 17 were gross positive, or77%. 14 traders made over $1,000 gross, which I find pretty amazing the day before Thanksgiving. Only 2 traders lost over $1,000. I was #11 of 22. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Be safe.
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader D, $26,517 on 389k shares traded.
2. Trader B, $22,182 on 126k shares traded.
3. Trader 10*, $10,714 on 3,900 shares traded.
4. Trader P, $8,026 on 290k shares traded.
5. Trader J, $3,803 on 130k shares traded.
"Chambermaid" - Trader 7, -$8,274 on 10,400 shares traded.
2. Trader A, -$1,442 on 552k shares traded.
3. Trader Z, -$666 on 6,530 shares traded.
4. Trader E, -$92 on 10,200 shares traded.
5. Trader U*, -$87 on 0 shares traded.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Anyway, I tried to get "Trader A" to post a song but the man is too damned honorable. He didn't officially spray since he didn't beat Trader C by double, and so he wouldn't take the song saying he "didn't earn it."
And since I lost money, I'm now forced to post bad music.
I could see catching some flack for this one, but for me, this song marked the end of anything good that came from the Smashing Pumpkins. Two good albums then shit.
The report will be late tonight. Just know, DGX ruined my day.
UPDATE: So yeah, I was having a decent day and threw it all away on an end of day trade in DGX. The stock had a decent buy imbalance but basically went straight down. I had 4k of it. Painful.
But enough about me, the RO, once again, found ways to make money. And really, that's what trading is all about, finding a way to make money. I've been nervous recently just thinking about how people may step away from the market after all this lunacy, but all it means is that we'll have to find another way to make money. Perhaps we'll have to hold stocks longer term, who knows? I'm confident we'll figure it out.
Some dude was on CNBC today and basically said that proprietary trading was gonna die, and soon. The good news is that 99% of what you hear on CNBC is dead wrong. If he's not, this blog will quickly morph into a blog about anxiety.
Anyway, it's late and I'm tired. I've been suffering from a small bit of insomnia which began the other night when I left "Trader P's" place at 4am. I haven't slept since. Naturally, I blame him. So I'm going to go listen to some complex music in my headphones and get taken away by the trails.
Out of 24 traders today, 16 were gross positive. 7 traders made over $1,000 gross, and 3 lost over $1,000 gross. I was #15 of 24, gross positive, net negative. Very disappointing. However, on the bright side, I thought the market showed some very healthy action today. I, for one, am looking forward to more up days. Bosses win.
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader A, $26,682 on 1.1 million shares traded.
2. Trader C, $16,298 on 120k shares traded.
3. Trader P, $6,516 on 242k shares traded.
4. Trader Z, $5,901 on 348k shares traded.
5. Trader N, $3,242 on 177k shares traded.
"Chambermaid" - Trader B, -$4,391 on 141k shares traded.
2, Trader R, -$2,227 on 120k shares traded.
3. Trader N, -$1,029 on 39,000 shares traded.
4. Trader F, -$955 on 200 shares traded.
5. Trader L, -$918 on 32,000 shares traded.
I haven't watched CNBC for months and months. I just remembered why...
-Dennis Fucking Kneale
Obama just spoke on the economy again. He's going to hold a press conference each day THIS WEEK. He does this because it shows leadership... it gives people confidence. Someone is steering this fucked-up ship afterall.
(FYI, Bush held 17 his ENTIRE first term! A term that, never forget, included 9/11.)
Anyway, so immediately after the "presser" Dennis Kneale gets the first comment, "What happened to the great orator?" he whined. "He sounded like a boring technician up there."
It's a fucking PRESS CONFERENCE you fucking idiot! You wanted the "Yes We Can" speech again, during a press conference on the fucking economy that only months ago you were saying was in good shape? The same economy that you argued was being "talked into recession?"
You are irrelevant Mr. Kneale. Looking forward to seeing you hit the unemployment line sometime in 2009. Oh, and you're a dick.
I feel like this is probably a site that you all know about and I'm late to the party, but check out Finviz for a great page on Industry groups. (h/t "Trader C")
Just click "Screener" and then pick the parameters that you want to screen for. Here's a screen I made for "Residential REITs." Back in the day, we'd pay $1650 a month for Bloomberg terminals that gave us this information... now it's FREE!
Anyway, like I said yesterday, I'm tightening up my layout and my baskets. Knowing exactly which stocks do what, and what stocks they trade lockstep with, is important.
A lot of trading is about making good decisions in the face of constant market uncertainty. But a lot also comes from knowing your shit. You have to put in the work if you want to be successful.
(BTW, what the fuck is wrong with Charlie Gasparino? Charlie... why are you such a dick?)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Look back in my archives and you'll see that I've been bearish on this market for well over a year. I have to say that after I read the C news last night I felt bullish, in a giddy way, and that feeling didn't leave me all day.
Folks, I believe our long national nightmare may be over...
I'm impressed with the volume today, and I'm impressed with the leadership that Obama and his team are showing. I feel good about the market here and will be somewhat surprised if we see 7449 again. We'll see.
Despite my bullishness, I was unable to convert to big gains. I underperformed the RO all day, and underperformed them in the end as well. That's okay... the RO is so good, that you'd make a nice living underperforming them on a daily basis.
If you're a prop trader, these are the markets you wait for... stack it up and save it. We'll have dry spells again. If you want this to be a career, you need to be responsible with your gains and put them away... call it a confidence stack.
If you're working in a shitty firm where the majority of traders aren't making any money and everyone just worries about getting tenths of pennies shaved from their commission rates, drop me a line (email located under my profile), the RO is always hiring active traders who have their Series 7.
Finally, I'd like to highlight "Trader N" for a second. Here's a dude who started trading a year ago. He took some hits along the way, but he's kept a positive mindset throughout and he's been active with the group of traders we have. He's learned a lot and I can see him becoming a leader among our group in 2009. Trading is a very difficult job, and it's great to see a new guy succeed.
As for me, I plan on taking it real easy into Thanksgiving now that we've had a strong rally. I plan on tightening up my layout, getting some hot keys reconfigured, and basically getting ready for December.
I'll post the RO each day and comment, but otherwise, this blog will be quiet until next Monday.
Anyway, out of 22 traders today, 20 were gross positive, or 90%. 16 traders finished up over $1,000 gross, and 1 trader lost over $1,000 gross. In fact, the trader who lost over $1,000 gross was a "Chode" today, which means he went from "Lucky Pierre" all the way down to "Chambermaid." Ouchie. I was #9 of 22.
The Bosses dealt the Manservants a severe blow:
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader A, $54,636 on 1 million shares traded.
2. Trader N, $40,537 on 150k shares traded.
3. Trader Z, $26,579 on 261k shares traded.
4. Trader P, $18,849 on 316k shares traded.
5. Trader C, $12,424 on 157k shares traded.
"Chambermaid & Chode" - Trader D, -$3,665 on 349k shares traded.
2. Trader 3, -$532 on 10,000 shares traded.
3. Trader I, $57 on 800 shares traded.
4. Trader U*, $205 on 0 shares traded.
5. Trader 8, $238 on 3,400 shares traded.
See you tomorrow.
I'm all for volatility, believe me, but I've never wanted a rally to stick like I want this rally to stick.
Look, we need some good news to talk about over Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving isn't supposed to be depressing... that's what Christmas is for.
I like today's trade so far. The rally is being led by the banks and brokers, which is exactly what we need. If these stocks can hold on for the rest of the day, I'm looking forward to a strong close... potentially, very strong.
Unfortunately, I'm not making much money so far today... the RO is doing well without me. Sometimes that happens.
Let's see if I can catch up though later in the day. I'm feeling optimistic about the market for the first time in, I dunno... a year?
So if the market does rally into the close, this trader is going to be very long.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Fuck yeah. Read the article here. Excepted below.
“We’ll be working out the details in the weeks ahead, but it will be a two-year, nationwide effort to jumpstart job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy,” Mr. Obama said. “We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels, fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead.”
Friday, November 21, 2008
Call it the "Obama rally," or, more specifically, the "Geithner rally" since it began when word was leaked that Obama had chosen him as Treasury Secretary. 500 Dow points when you're in the mid 7000s is nothing to ignore... that's a substantial rally.
Depending on what happens with Citigroup over the weekend this rally could have turkey legs.
It would be nice, but I'd be seriously surprised.
I just wanted to relay the topic of a conversation I was having with "Trader P" last night... how hard it is to be satisfied with your job performance as a trader. If you do well, someone has done better, or you let a good trade go too soon. If you do poorly, you just feel like shit no matter what. Really, the only way to feel good, is to be the "Lucky Pierre" day in and day out. Easier said than done.
Anyway, after my 4am drive home from the city last night, I'm shot. The RO did well that last hour and the Bosses finished out the week on top. I'm just getting straight to the numbers.
Out of 24 traders today, 20 were gross positive, or 83%, a nice number. Better yet, 16 traders finished over $1,000 gross, while only 2 traders lost over $1,000 gross. I was #7 of 24, good for no sleep, but man did I mook out of that last move...
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader B, $53,371 on 770k shares traded.
2. Trader A, $41,601 on 908k shares traded.
3. Trader Z, $21,078 on 391k shares traded.
4. Trader F, $12,822 on 192k shares traded.
5. Trader J, $12,746 on 156k shares traded.
And the Manservants...
"Chambermaid" - Trader C, -$6,425 on 222k shares traded.
2. Trader E, -$3,659 on 266k shares traded.
3. Trader 8, -$626 on 8,600 shares traded.
4. Trader 9*, -$231 on 4,400 shares traded.
5. Trader K, $45 on 1,000 shares traded.
With the largest US Bank looking very much like it's going under, I was wondering where all those deposits will go. As an investor in HCBK, I'm hoping there. But do you think that other smaller banks will benefit?
It's going to be a scary weekend if C goes under. Look for a press release to be put out before Asian markets open Sunday night. I wanted to take off next week, but just can't with the markets at their lows. Like I said a couple of days ago, we're gonna get one of those monster short-squeezes soon and I want to be massively long for it when it comes.
Also, this weekend I'll work on a post to describe my evening last night. I dined with Traders B, D, E, K, N, P, and Z. I'm hoping to begin a series of interviews with each trader in the office. Developing...
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I'm driving into the big city tonight so that the RO can take me out to dinner and buy me drinks and women.
Needless to say, the RO report will be egregiously late.
Also, the RO kicked ass...
UPDATE: Okay, here we go. I'm tired and drunk, so no analysis. I'm in Trader P's empty apartment, another victim of the "housing crisis."
Out of 27 traders today, 18 were gross positive, or 67%. 14 traders made over $1,000 gross and 6 lost over $1,000 gross. I was #12 of 27, simply okay.
The Bosses came back in a big way today, really taking it to the Manservants in an uncomfortable, "non-lubricated" sort of way.
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader D, $54,547 on 813k shares traded.
2. Trader B, $45,347 on 995k shares traded.
3. Trader E, $22,261 on 191k shares traded.
4. Trader C, $21,475 on 272k shares traded.
5. Trader P, $13,965 on 259k shares traded.
And the Manservants...
"Chambermaid" - Trader H*, -$14,747 on 8,400 shares traded.
2. Trader 10*, -$2,358 on 8,400 shares traded.
3. Trader J, -$2,219 on 183k shares traded.
4. Trader 6*, -$1,555 on 0 shares traded.
5. Trader 3, -$1,176 on 14,400 shares traded.
I'll be trading from the physical RO tomorrow. I haven't traded in the big city for years. I haven't traded next to real people for years. I'm almost sure that means I'll get really smoked. Still, I'm looking forward to it.
As I puzzled over the cost of the dinner tonight, "Trader B" told me I need to stop thinking about money. Make a lot, spend a lot, lose a lot. If you're going to be a good trader, there's something to that...
The market can make you feel dirty. It's fucking awful out there today. Guys have had massive swings and if you haven't covered at perfect times, you're getting stomped.
When the market makes me feel bad, I now turn to the Neti-Pot. See below.
Sure it looks funny, but it'll clear your head out like nothing else. And sometimes, that's what you need to trade right.
UPDATE: Here's more info.
One of the signs of a bottom according to the IBD is when you start seeing bears on the covers of major news magazines. When the national media (not just CNBC and other 24-hour "news" outlets) become obsessed with the bear and the bottom, the fog will soon clear. So it actually made me feel pretty good this morning to read this article in The Times, that seemed to suggest we were screwed beyond repair.
Below is an excerpt.
But it was financial stocks that bore the brunt of the selling, and, for many analysts, seem the most worrisome. Financial shares are plunging far below the levels plumbed in October, when panic gripped the markets. On Wednesday, Citigroup, the hobbled financial giant, plunged 23.4 percent to a mere $6.40 in an avalanche of sell orders. Once the most valuable financial company in America, Citigroup is now worth less than U.S. Bancorp.Another newer sign that Mr. O'Neill and his group might be interested in, is the bearish commentary left on blogs. If you read "the Fly's" blog, you might have noticed that the "head bear" in the comment section, "DevilDog," has been particularly triumphant lately, explaining that he has the perspective of real pain, and therefore knows that we're screwed beyond belief and that this time it's different and that we're never going to bounce and that America is dead forever.
Big banks like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo & — all of which, like Citigroup, have received billions of dollars from the government — fell more than 10 percent.
Goldman Sachs, the former employer of Henry M. Paulson Jr., the Treasury secretary, sank to its lowest level since it went public in 1999. Analysts predicted that Goldman, the most profitable bank in Wall Street history, would suffer its first loss as a public company.
Even Warren E. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which owns the Geico Corporation and recently invested in Goldman Sachs, fell 12 percent, its steepest decline in more than two decades. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 427.47 points or 5.07 percent, at 7,997.28. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index closed down 6.12 percent or 52.54 points at 806.58 while the technology-heavy Nasdaq ended down 6.53 percent at 1,386.42.
But even as markets tumbled, analysts saw few signs of capitulation, that final burst of panicked selling that typically marks a market bottom. If anything, Wednesday’s new lows are a sign that Wall Street has farther to fall.
I agree, in many ways we are "fuckified," but these bears assume fear is stronger than greed. It's not. The two are equal and they're what make the market work.
Remember the idiots in 2000 who were saying silly things like "Dow 30,000!" in just a few years? Well, they're cut from the same cloth as the idiots who are now saying Dow 4000 until 2040.
Greed just won't let that happen. This is short-term myopia. The market has been around for hundreds of years and human psychology hasn't changed much since then... why should it now?
And of course, the fact that once again I considered buying a gun and storing grains and water in my basement mean sometime in the next couple of days there's gonna be a massive spike. Hopefully, this time it will hold.
Anyway, the scariest outcome from a trading and investing perspective is what reader "Jawbone" mentioned last night in my comment section. That we could have an "L-shaped" bottom, whereas we decline and just stay there for an extended period of time. That truly scares me, because it would make trading nearly impossible on a short-term basis.
Anyway, for now, I'll take a bet that this time is bad, but no different from past panics we've had, because greed will soon rear its beautiful head again.
NOTE: However, shit like this gives me pause...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
That's a 20-year graph of the Dow. Make sure to take note of the little blip back there in 1987, just to put things into perspective.
I'm not a mathematician, but I think back in 1987, we had a 38% move from the top to the bottom. Now, purely for fun, and acknowledging that we've already moved a huge amount from the top of the market, a 38% move from the start of this month would put us at around 5985 on the Dow... I think. Again, math isn't my thing.
But anyway, my point is that 7000 is no longer scary. This sell-off is way too controlled. We're heading into the 6000s. However, I'm not even sure how we'll get there. I mean, I guess C can go to $1, BAC could go to $5, and JPM could go to $12... I just hope they don't stay down there too long.
In short, everything is a big mess. It's hard to imagine how much lower stuff is going to go when everything already looks completely oversold (if we were in normal times). And again, when I start to feel like the end of the world is coming, it normally means we're due for a bounce soon.
My best case scenario for a meaningful, long term, bottom is a complete washout through 7000. I mean, blast it like it doesn't even matter, touch down at 6482 (I just like that number) and then shoot back above 7000, all in the same day. Then, hopefully, never look back, just like how in 1987 they never saw 1616 again.
At this point, if you're hoping something worse happens, you're really fucked up.
Speaking of fucked up, the RO saw more blood today. But again, our results are mixed. So the volatility is there, the opportunity is there, but it's not easy. The risk/reward ratios are not as favorable as they were even a month ago. "Trader A" (yes, he's still alive) explained to me that the Average True Range of the indices (based on a 5 period) is about half what it was a month ago. Additionally, volume is down.
Those two things together may go a long way towards explaining why short-term aggressive trading has been more difficult.
Anyway, out of 24 traders today, 15 were gross positive, or 63%. 8 traders lost more than $1,000 gross, and 12 traders made over $1,000 gross. Not bad on the face of it, but Traders B and D held hands and skipped together towards death, destructing the office.
Indeed, they took the term "Manservant" to a new level today.
I was #8 of 24. Happy enough, but I could have easily been in the top 5 had I a pair of balls.
Here are the Manservants:
"Chambermaid" - Trader B, -$52,792 on 614k shares traded.
2. Trader D, -$38,873 on 412k shares traded.
3. Trader H*, -$8,320 on 3,300 shares traded.
4. Trader C, -$2,493 on 64,600 shares traded.
5. Trader 10*, -$1,948 on 2,600 shares traded.
And the Bosses (congrats to A, N and Z for strong bouncebacks from yesterday):
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader A, $15,501 on 109k shares traded.
2. Trader N, $12,325 on 68,600 shares traded.
3. Trader Z, $11,062 on 147k shares traded.
4. Trader J, $5,472 on 86,400 shares traded.
5. Trader V, $5,008 on 72,400 shares traded.
This is old, but on point, especially since we're considering more bailouts. Meanwhile, the anchorwoman pretty much is clueless. (h/t "Trader Z")
I mean, check out this interview with a real life pirate... sounds like a nice guy. Just wants a little money.
They even eat with their hostages!
Q. [There are 20 crew members, most of them Ukrainian, being held hostage.] How are you interacting with the hostages? Eating with them? Playing cards?
A. We interact with each other in an honorable manner. We are all human beings. We talk to one another, and because we are in the same place, we eat together.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The RO made some bad decisions today and finished in the red. Especially "Trader A."
So tonight I come to you, hat in hand, asking for a bailout.
I mean, look, if "Trader A" has to take his loss today, it could have a negative psychological effect on him which could potentially lead to him trading less. Or he could start to lose money all the time. If this happened, the U.S Government would see an immediate tax revenue hit.
Moreover, should "Trader A" be allowed to fail, the NYSE would lose even more trading volume creating a worse liquidity problem for traders everywhere. This might appear to be inconsequential at first, but consider how added liquidity helps all traders and then you get at the scope of the problem... it's huge. If "Trader A" is not bailed out, traders everywhere will start to make less "cake."
End result? The US Government will lose even more tax revenue. Oh, and terrorism.
So again, while I don't ask you, my cherished readers, for much, tonight I ask you to bailout "Trader A."
All we need is $45,140 by tomorrow. I've done a quick calculation... Perhaps 700 of you will read this before midnight... would you shell out $64.48 to save the stock market? Sounds hefty? Well think of it like this... it's $64.48 tonight, but next month, it could cost you $876 billion.
I apologize for the serious tone I'm striking here, but it's your children's safety and happiness that we're talking about. You thought we were talking about a stock trader? No. Not at all. I'm talking to you about your children. Should you fail to cough up the $64.48, your children will die.
Anyway, out of 25 traders today, 13 were gross positive, or 52%. 8 traders made over $1,000 gross, and 8 traders lost over $1,000 gross. Again, we have volatility, but not an easy trading environment. Volume on the eminis came in at 2.8 million, not bad... so still not sure what's making this month more difficult than last.
I was #9 of 25, gross positive but net negative. Shitty.
The Manservants win. This is happening too much.
"Chambermaid" - Trader A, -$45,140 on 461k shares traded.
2. Trader N, -$16,313 on 60,600 shares traded.
3. Trader C, -$9,699 on 174k shares traded.
4. Trader Z, -$4,244 on 190k shares traded.
5. Trader H*, -$4,037 on 1,800 shares traded.
And the Bosses:
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader D, $17,884 on 167k shares traded.
2. Trader B, $4,767 on 478k shares traded.
3. Trader P, $2,430 on 49,114 shares traded.
4. Trader E, $2,339 on 89,200 shares traded.
5. Trader F, $2,086 on 98,600 shares traded.
NOTE: Attitude Trader is back with his Attitude Index. Check it.
Dedicated to myself, for being so damn lazy about posting these last couple of days.
The season is changing, I have a ridiculously large beard going, and I'm settling into winter. I'm not in the mood to just post shit, so you'll have to wait until I feel inspired again. Of course, the RO will be up as usual.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Today, my blogging and trading was decidedly third-tier.
I'm not going to apologize though. I feel like I'm just getting back in touch with my roots a bit. You never want to forget where you came from.
I remember a week ago thinking that the market was dead and that I wouldn't ever be able to make money again. But then Thursday came and I made a shitload. I told myself, "I just need to be patient. Have to pick your spots in this market."
I felt smart for not overtrading the slow market of the previous week.
However, on Friday I gave back half of my gain from Thursday. I told myself, "Holy shit you're a fucking idiot." Then today I traded lightly and made $50. I don't have any great feeling about it. I'm not smart for making $50, and I'm not an idiot.
I'm Joe The Plumber. It sucks. I want my hair back.
Anyway, all day the RO bitched about the market action. I don't get it really, because we had a 200 point rip in the middle of the day followed by a 200 point tank at the end. We traded decent volume in the eminis, about 3.4 million shares. But for whatever reason, no one made great money.
In fact, the Manservants took the day, but largely because of "Trader D" and his new long term account, "Trader 10." In fact, since he was a double Chambermaid, the office coined a new term for this ultra-rare occurrence, "The George Michael."
Here are your Manservants:
Trader 10*, -$8,825 on 24,100 shares traded.
Trader D, -$7,701 on 135k shares traded.
3. Trader H*, -$4,744 on 4,600 shares traded.
4. Trader C, -$2,760 on 73,000 shares traded.
5. Trader T, -$937 on 1,800 shares traded.
And the Bosses:
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader A, $4,910 on 71,400 shares traded.
2. Trader B, $3,907 on 315k shares traded.
3. Trader Z, $908 on 51,448 shares traded.
4. Trader E, $516 on 31,000 shares traded.
5. Trader N, $460 on 22,600 shares traded.
I found myself wondering what made these two terms different and I found the following joke. (The real answer involves numbers and boring shit.)
A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.
A depression is when you lose your job.
Friday, November 14, 2008
The bloodletting is too heavy.
Today was my single worst day ever trading, and I think "Trader D's" worst day as well. It also may have been "Trader Z's" worst. Naturally, I blame "newequity."
We all had decent exposure to the market just after 3pm, when it really took a dive. The selling was so intense, and quick, that it didn't feel sustainable, and we were slow to exit our longs. In fact, I know I was adding a lot before I finally got washed out. As a little lesson, I took my loss with 20 minutes to go in the trading day... it was a hard loss to take, but it was the right thing to do.
The only consolation, is that we all did well yesterday. Truly, if you need life lessons in "impermanence" and the importance of always keeping perspective, trading is a great job to have.
These lessons aren't always easy to learn. In fact, they're downright painful lessons to learn.
Anyway, this day is over.
Out of 24 traders today, 5 were gross positive, or 21%. 14 traders lost over $1,000 gross while only 2 managed to make over $1,000 gross. It was a bloodbath, plain and simple. I was #18 of 24, or completely smoked.
The Manservants got their revenge on the Bosses today in a big way.
"Chambermaid" - Trader D, -$59,866 on 509k shares traded.
2. Trader H*, -$23,705 on 4,600 shares traded.
3. Trader Z, -$22,431 on 245k shares traded.
4. Trader C, -$11,730 on 165k shares traded.
5. Trader B, -$10,919 on 741k shares traded.
And the Bosses:
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader N, $3,213 on 76,000 shares traded.
2. Trader E, $1,442 on 112k shares traded.
3. Trader 9, $857 on 500 shares traded.
4. Trader 3, $140 on 15,800 shares traded.
5. Trader 7, $81 on 8,000 shares traded.
I made a nice chunk today, took my family out for dinner and then, after that, met friends for drinks.
I came home slightly buzzed with my new Pitchfork 500 in my hands... one click purchasing could be a very expensive habit.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Does anyone around here remember the blogger "Momojuicing?" He had a nice blog, funny as shit, but then one day, just deleted the whole thing, "paranoia-style," in a matter of minutes.
I still hear from him on email all the time. He's always asking me about what he should trade, how he could be a better father, how he could be a better husband... shit like that. And I take pity on the guy because deep down, he's into cabaret and stuff... it must be hard.
Anyway, the other day we were talking about when "the bottom" would come (again) and he said something like, "the next time you want to buy weapons, buy stocks instead."
He didn't say it so eloquently, of course, (English may not even be his first language, I really don't know) but that was the gist of it. Looking back on today, when I made that post with the 3 stock charts, in my gut I really was scared, and thinking about buying guns and storing grains in my basement.
I actually went onto the Home Depot site and priced generators...
I hate to say it, but the dude was right. I went into my long term account and bought UYG at $6.12 and UWM at $16.85... true story. Minutes later, the market took off.
It was a wild day in the RO. Most of the traders were deeply red at some point or other. The swings that Trader A took, were legendary. And B and D were both down over $30,000 at completely different points in the day.
So make sure you respect those numbers I'm about to post... it's not easy even if the end result is often positive...
Out of 26 traders today, 22 were gross positive, or 85%. 17 traders finished up over $1,000 gross, 10 finished over $10,000 gross. Only 2 traders finished below $1,000 gross... one of them was a swing account. All told, excellent numbers. I was #7 of 26, very respectable.
The Manservants got fucked up today.
Here are the Bosses:
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader D, $178,595 on 843k shares traded.
2. Trader B, $150,697 on 1.4 million shares traded.
3. Trader A, $92,027 on 717k shares traded.
4. Trader Z, $77,754 on 493k shares traded.
5. Trader F, $54,588 on 311k shares traded.
And the Manservants:
"Chambermaid" - Trader 9*, -$2,798 on 0 shares traded.
2. Trader I, -$2,409 on 29,000 shares traded.
3. Trader E, -$731 on 278k shares traded.
4. Trader M*, -$30 on 400 shares traded.
5. Trader 7, $102 on 6,400 shares traded.
More about energy independence. Kudos to the Daily Show for hammering on this issue.
How about reducing our dependence on foreign oil by 30-50% in 10 years? Impossible?
T. Boone points out what we've been lacking... LEADERSHIP!
Oh, and look who's all the way down there at #5. Sorry Danny, DT Wins Again!
NOTE: This blog looks interesting... dedicated to CNBC sucking. My friend, please, you are not alone in your hatred of CNBC and your love of Barry Obama. We are kindred spirits. However, my blog kicks your blog's ass whenever anyone searches for "Dennis Kneale Is An Idiot."
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I'll tell you what, a year ago, no way would I have even attempted to come back from a $5500 loss in one day. In fact, we just passed the year anniversary of my FSLR blow-up. Funny, read some of the comments... remember that JJ troll guy? Check out SWC today... $2.40. He apparently put his life savings into it in the teens... LOL! DT WINS AGAIN!!!
Anyway, today I was able to come back largely due to the guys in the RO, they're good... even "Trader D."
If you're just starting out in this business, I can't over-emphasize how important it is to surround yourself with good traders. Through the good times and the bad, it helps to be around, and trading with, other people who understand your situation.
(At this point let me drop a brief reminder that the RO is always hiring... email me with questions. My email is under my profile.)
You could argue that I was around the same traders this morning when I first loss my money, but that'd be a "dicky" thing to point out. Don't be a dick.
In fact, if you are a dick, might I introduce you to "the Fly's" blog? The comment section over there needs you. Tell Jake Gint I said "Hi!"
Anyway, I'm starting to get a good feeling again about this market despite my intraday massacre. We should have a massive bounce again soon... it'll be short-lived, sure, but it should make for good trading. I hope it happens before Thanksgiving week, when I plan on taking off.
The Bosses took it to the Manservants today in an embarrassing way. In fact, most of the Manservants were swing accounts. Out of 26 traders today, 20 were gross positive, or 77%. 14 traders finished up over $1,000 gross today, while only 2 lost more than $1,000 gross. Great numbers.
I was # 18 of 26. Right now, I can look and say that's disappointing... however, if you told me at 11:00 that I'd be flat on the day, I would have taken it. So while I've had 2 straight days of gross underperformance versus the RO, it could've been far worse.
I'm happy and will tighten my game up tomorrow.
Here are today's Bosses:
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader A, $28,628 on 275k shares traded.
2. Trader B, $15,859 on 435k shares traded.
3. Trader H*, $12,265 on 14,000 shares traded.
4. Trader Z, $9,975 on 127k shares traded.
5. Trader C, $7,794 on 224k shares traded.
And the Manservants:
"Chambermaid" - Trader 6*, -$1,980 on 200 shares traded.
2. Trader M*, -$1,359 on 700 shares traded.
3. Trader Q, -$875 on 17,800 shares traded.
4. Trader U, -$216 on 0 shares traded.
5. Trader I, -$116 on 2,400 shares traded.
I, for one, take those lemons and squeeze the lemon juice into any available open wound on my body.
I'm completely smoked, like historically smoked for me, down 5 grand, mostly because of this shit PLD.
What I've learned the hard way in this market, is that 20% moves in cheap stocks is quite common. The only silver lining I see right now, is that there's good volume in the market and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to make at least a portion of my loss back this afternoon.
NOTE: As of 12:00, the Manservants are solidly in charge. I'm second worst in the office currently, and I'd be worst were it not for "Trader C" blowing up. But there's loads of big red numbers right now that hopefully we can pare.
UPDATE: My day is only getting worse, as my neighbor (and nemesis) has begun to blow his leaves onto my property.
I'd like this guy more if he didn't fuck up his views on the Iraq war so much. Anyway, here he is on The Daily Show talking with Jon about our energy infrastructure and the "green bubble" that needs to form.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Trading is a cutthroat business. You have guys who wish you well to your face, but behind your back, they only want to see you fail.
Lately, talk in the office has been about how "bossy" I've been and how popular I am on the Internets.
People said things like, "Hey, DT, good going lately!" and, "Wow, your blog is 'neat-o.' I wish I could write like you do!" and shit like that... but I knew, they were waiting, no, hoping for my demise.
The fact that a group of traders made loot today, secretly, scummishly even, without me would hurt more if it wasn't so expected.
I've mentioned that the RO is hiring. But look, you don't want to work with these assholes.
(I'll finish this post later this evening...)
UPDATE: Okay, so I was a little churlish after the close there because the RO completely outperformed me. I forgive them. Plus, I was kidding, naturally... they're just better traders than I am.
Anyway, I think in yesterday's post, someone asked about the volume figures that I quote each night. I use only the trades made on the NYSE, not including ECN trades. It's a pretty reliable indicator about volume in the market, however I think I'm going to start focusing on another volume indicator instead; the total volume traded in the S&P e-minis.
Why? Because this is what I watch intraday to decide whether or not I should be trading actively. If the volume is less than 25k traded over a 5-minute period, that's light. In the office, we call this the "whisper line" after "Trader A" who we also call "Whisp." We call him other things too, but nothing appropriate to mention here. Anyway, total volume in the E-minis today was 2.1 million shares... very light.
The RO had a solid day. Out of 24 traders, 14 were gross positive, or 58%. 9 traders made over $1,000 gross while 5 lost over $1,000 gross. I was #11 of 24, or disappointed with my performance. Still, it beats being "Trader D," who is breaking all kinds of "Chambermaid" records.
The Bosses easily beat out the Manservants today.
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader Z, $12,589 on 43,800 shares traded.
2. Trader C, $8,491 on 134k shares traded.
3. Trader A, $7,075 on 137k shares traded.
4. Trader F, $6,661 on 22,600 shares traded.
5. Trader N, $4,609 on 32,000 shares traded.
"Chambermaid" - Trader D, -$4,454 on 101k shares traded.
2. Trader E, -$1,840 on 61,600 shares traded.
3. Trader M*, -$1,163 on 0 shares traded.
4. Trader 6*, -$1,153 on 0 shares traded.
5. Trader J, -$1,019 on 37,400 shares traded.
I'm all about maximizing my reading audience.
I mean, ostensibly, this is a finance blog, and I cater mostly to those who trade stocks. But apparently, I also serve onanists who are into "Japanese Candle Rape."
See below. (h/t "Trader E")
Click here for a map that shows just how fucked certain states really are.
Nevada seems to be the most severely screwed, with nearly 50% of homes worth less than their mortgages. Also, two huge states, California and Florida, are near 30%.
No data for Wyoming however. Most likely this is because more than 80% of the state is Dick Cheney's bunker.
Monday, November 10, 2008
We enjoyed unseasonably warm weather around here the last few days and with it, the market has reentered its summer volume doldrums. We barely edged above the billion share level today on the NYSE. It was one of the lowest volume days since August.
That doesn't bode well for trading. It also seems to me that we're due for some consolidation here, another negative. However, as "Trader P" pointed out to me today, the VIX is still trading near 60, and that should mean the market in general is good to trade for some time. There will be slow periods, but the volatility isn't going away too fast.
The lesson here is that as an active trader, you need to pick your spots... don't overtrade a dead market. We'll have our chance again to trade like crack-addicted hyenas.
A perfect example of solid trading today goes to our #1 and #2 Bosses, "Trader A" and "Trader Z" respectively.
Trader A traded hard right out of the gate. He had a plan, it worked out and he took his money. Most of which was made in the first 15 minutes of the day. "Trader Z" on the other hand, stayed on the sidelines until just after 3pm and hit the close hard. Neither trader churned away precious profits or whittled away hard won confidence by trading the low volume middle of the day time period.
Anyway, overall, it was a fairly crappy day for the RO. Out of 26 traders today, 11 finished gross positive, or only 42%. 4 traders finished up over $1,000 gross, while 5 lost more than $1,000 gross. I was #6 of 26, or happy.
The Bosses barely edged out the Manservants thanks to afternoon trading.
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader A, $6,708 on 110k shares traded.
2. Trader Z, $4,527 on 41,200 shares traded.
3. Trader E, $3,026 on 39,800 shares traded.
4. Trader N, $2,138 on 23,000 shares traded.
5. Trader T, $775 on 3,600 shares traded.
And the Manservants:
"Chambermaid" - Trader D, $7,416 on 76,100 shares traded.
2. Trader R, -$2,520 on 60,000 shares traded.
3. Trader C, -$1,341 on 61,600 shares traded.
4. Trader B, -$1,131 on 225k shares traded.
5. Trader H*, -$1,089 on 4,000 shares traded.
See you tomorrow.
I've stayed away from the news for the last few days. The election is over, time to take a breath. Luckily however, I ran across Al Gore's recent piece from the NY Times. It reminded me why we should feel good going forward if we can finally get on the right path.
Below is an excerpt, click here for the full piece.
Here is the good news: the bold steps that are needed to solve the climate crisis are exactly the same steps that ought to be taken in order to solve the economic crisis and the energy security crisis.
Economists across the spectrum — including Martin Feldstein and Lawrence Summers — agree that large and rapid investments in a jobs-intensive infrastructure initiative is the best way to revive our economy in a quick and sustainable way. Many also agree that our economy will fall behind if we continue spending hundreds of billions of dollars on foreign oil every year. Moreover, national security experts in both parties agree that we face a dangerous strategic vulnerability if the world suddenly loses access to Middle Eastern oil...
...What follows is a five-part plan to repower America with a commitment to producing 100 percent of our electricity from carbon-free sources within 10 years. It is a plan that would simultaneously move us toward solutions to the climate crisis and the economic crisis — and create millions of new jobs that cannot be outsourced.
Volume today is already tracking very low and it's only 10:15. We have no major economic news all week and the indexes, unfortunately, could be setting up for some low volume consolidation.
This is probably good for you swing traders, but bad for active daytraders.
I'm just guessing here. Anyway, I'm gonna listen to some music and take it easy with the trade until I see some intriguing reason to enter the market. Enjoy.
Meanwhile, if you're not a fan of rock, and like trippy electronic music, be sure to check out that track by The Field.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
As you know if you've been reading this blog, I think the Smashing Pumpkins suck. However, before they started to suck, they made one really great album which can easily bring me back to 1993, a good year for DT.
Smack dab in the middle of the album is this song, and the build from 1:50 to 2:45 (or so) is one of the highlights. Enjoy some real music for the weekend... however, don't watch the video too closely... way too many close-ups of bandmembers trying to look blissed out and spacey.
I won't be able to get the RO report up until late this evening or perhaps tomorrow.
UPDATE: Okay, as "Jd" or "Trader P" mentioned in the comment section, it was an ugly end to the week.
After the carnage of Wednesday and Thursday, we welcomed a little buying off the open which was followed by a fairly steep midday sell-off and then some ultra low volume consolidation heading into the afternoon.
The fun really began after 2:45.
Obama was giving his first news conference as "President Elect" on the troubled economy and the market seemed to be holding its breath. Just before he spoke, the Dow ripped 100 points. Then, when he began to speak, it dropped a quick 200. Finally, at the conclusion of this speech, the market decided to rip 200 points back to the highs.
So, if your strategy was to position for a continuation of the trend of the morning, you were frustrated and quite possibly, "ass-mangled" in the wild afternoon chop.
Anyway, out of 23 traders, 13 were gross positive, or 57%. That's not awful. The problem was in the extent of the losses. The bottom 7 traders all lost over $2,000 gross, while only 6 traders finished over $1,000 gross. You see the math doesn't add up well for the bosses... I was #5 of 23, or bossy.
Given the fact that I had 3 hours sleep and a sick kid, my bossiness should serve as a rebuke to the entire office.
Here are Friday's Manservants:
"Chambermaid" - Trader D, -$20,344 on 305k shares traded.
2. Trader B, -$19,010 on 365k shares traded.
3. Trader N, -$6,018 on 65,400 shares traded.
4. Trader C, -$5,350 on 124k shares traded.
5. Trader V, -$2,369 on 36,200 shares traded.
And the Bosses:
"Lucky Pierre" - Trader A, $10,456 on 144k shares traded.
2. Trader H*, $6,701 on 2,100 shares traded.
3. Trader F, $1,653 on 25,000 shares traded.
4. Trader M*, $1,485 on 0 shares traded.
5. Trader S, $1,223 on 18,400 shares traded.