Monday, April 14, 2008

Deerhunter, "Strange Lights"

Note to "mdawsz:" What's with Get Short being private? Where's that new blog you were promising last week?

Stock Trades In Monsanto

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

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

So first, the bad trades.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's the stats:

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

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

Virtual Office, $178. SPX, -5.80, 1329.80.

Ainkurn, $290 on 250 shares traded.
Me, $170 on 6600 shares traded.
Dehtrader, $146 on 2750 shares traded.
OBAT, $11 on 8400 shares traded.
Timmay, no trades.
Retardo, no trades.
Sanglucci, -$439 on 10,600 shares traded.

Shhhh! The VO is sleeping...

I can't remember the last time that volume was so low on the exchange. We traded just over 1.1 billion shares on the NYSE. My main office got killed today, I think they all got caught up in PBR somehow but I'm not sure exactly what happened.

I, for one, made some good trades in the morning, but wasn't aggressive enough. The carnage in my main office told me to trade lightly. Then, at 10:30 I went to the beach to surf for 3 hours. So I don't have loads of color... but based on the anemic volume and the numbers coming out of my main office, I don't think it was a happy day for active traders.

Anyway, hopefully we get some action now that earnings season is upon us. However, I feel oddly pessimistic about the whole thing... like it will be worse than ever or something. Clearly, the environment for prop traders has changed radically in just a few weeks and guys who aren't switching their game up are getting punished.

There's lots of opportunity out there though... a huge amount, in fact, in the same sectors that have been moving for weeks, the coals, ag names, oils, and financials.

Pick your spots. Don't overtrade this market.