Thursday, January 24, 2008

About Books

"David" left a link to this Youtube video in the comments section of my post Immersion in which I asked my esteemed readership for book ideas. Perfectly played!

Civics Exam

Here's a good test to take in an election year. It takes about 20 minutes. Don't cheat!

Let us know what you got via the comment section.

I answered 46 out of 60 questions correctly for a somewhat disappointing, 76.67%.


In keeping with my attempts at being more "professional" and more "focused" in my work, I've also been trying to read topical stuff when I'm not working; books about finance and financial stuff.

Right now I'm reading "When Genius Failed" about the rise and fall of LTCM and after that I have "The Black Swan" ready to go. I'm simply trying to "immerse" myself in financial stuff, but in a positive way.

I'm looking for finance books that are fun to read. If you have any suggestions, please leave your favorite in the comment section below.



Violent Femmes, "Fat"

So much for college... we're back in high school.

Stock Market Digests Gains

I expected things to be churny today. Unfortunately, I was right. Although, I can never tell if it works out that it's more of a self-fulfilling prophecy...

After making decent money in the early morning, I gave it all back and went negative thanks in part to a bad decision I made sizing up in PCR.

I bought 1000 shares as it traded down to $34 at around 10:00 am. With other stocks in the sector, namely FLR and FWLT ripping higher, I thought it was a decent risk. I figured he'd find some support near the opening price, but he didn't. So I lost a quick 30 or 40 cents.

To use a toddler phrase, "it ouched me."

Luckily, despite some cursing, I caught nice shorts in DE and FLR to bring me back into the green. But the truth is, I just couldn't get real traction today. I was up $1000 at around 10:45 and just churned it all day long losing $40 here, and $80 there.

I also noticed that lots of good traders were struggling in the chat room as well and so I took a cue from that and decided to call it a day.

There are many aspects to being a good trader. Confidence and money management are huge. It's not just about picking the right places to buy and sell. I've been working on thinking more positively and growing my confidence.

So, while I don't normally stop trading in the middle of the day, I'll take my $652 and be happy with it instead of struggling to "get back to my highs." That would be forcing my hand in this market and for me at least, it would be a mistake. Score one for discipline... not one of my strengths.

I'm just not feeling it right now and I'm afraid this may be the new normal for the next few days.

Anyway, here's the stats:

P&L, $652
Best, FLR $394
Worst, PCR,
23,600 shares traded. 
26 stocks traded. 10 winners, 16 losers.

Virtual Office, $2570. Dow, +108.44, 12,378.61.

Evolution, $1005 on 60,500 shares traded.
Me, $652 on 24,200 shares traded.
OBAT, $523 on 15,400 shares traded.
Dehtrader, $402 on 6900 shares traded.
Akalawoo, no trades.
Retardo, no trades.
Misstrade, no trades.
Denarii, -$12 on 2200 shares traded.

It was definitely slower today. However, I want to send a special message to Melissa Lee.

She's sitting in for Maria, so I assume she feels the need to be annoying. I won't even start on her voice...

Anyway, between 3 and 4 she said on 3 separate occasions that "volume was really, really light." No.... we traded over 2 billion shares today... that is not anywhere close to light. Where was she for the last 4 months when we were trading 1.3 and 1.4 billion shares a day regularly?

Seriously... CNBC needs to find informed anchors. It shouldn't matter if they're fat and ugly. They just need to know about the market. Otherwise, the channel is useless. Let FOX have the sexy stupid anchors... CNBC has the opportunity to corner the market on "smart" financial TV.

Okay, enough of that.

So we traded almost 2.2 billion shares on the NYSE but the VIX headed downwards. It felt really choppy out there despite the volume. After the first hour of trading the futures were ruthless mostly chopping around in a 10 point range.

Check the links below. I find this new "rogue trader" theory very interesting. Should it be true, then as "the Fly" pointed out there is absolutely no reason to cut rates again next Wednesday. A non-cut could make the market interesting again...

Greenspan Disputes US Recession Signs

The Rogue Trader Theory (h/t Ducati)

HPT's Blog Blows Up

I know it's not funny that he lost $31 grand, but it's pretty damn funny to look at his stats freak out...

He went from 200 visits on Sunday, to 15,000 on Monday, to 37,000 on Tuesday!!!

Sex With Robots? NEVER!!!

It's a little slower today as expected... so here's some midday humor.

Morning Link Love

First of all, something to think about from today's IBD:

The nine biggest up days in Wall Street history all occurred during the bear market of 2000-02.

Moving on...

  • Hopefully, this guy will find his way over to my old company, and blow them up too.
  • The ECB is still talking tough. No interest rate coming.
  • A new presidential poll is out and it shows Obama gaining. My wife's grandmother is supporting Obama. She's an 85 year old conservative Italian who has never voted Democratic in her entire life. I'm just saying... he's a true "uniter."
  • If the Bond Insurers go you may want to build that bomb shelter and start hording food.
  • Sometimes the truth isn't so exciting. Brian at Alphatrends speaks some truth.
  • Do individual daytraders make money? Dr. Brett digs deeper.

Good Morning

Time: 6:47
Mood: Good

Note: Be sure to check the up volume report today in Big Charts. That will tell you where the money moved yesterday.