Feb 29, 2008

A few trades

The bad:
MLNM - I shorted this stock on a break of the 10:30 bar off the 10-min chart. I knew about the strong first bar, I knew about bars 3 and 4 and yet, after entering and price worked against me... did I exit for a small loss??? No, I took a full hit. I need to start grading my trades and plan my exits around the grade. So, say it's a scale of 1 to 3 with 1 being the worst... I would look to exit or partial at the first sign of trouble. Need to work on this.
The good:
CMED - dropped like crazy from the open. But it started basing below the ORL on the :15 and I entered short off a break of the 11:15 bar low. Price action was really crazy so even though the chart looks steady... it was a wild ride. I bailed at $46.

CTSH - this was just the happy little stock that was willing to cooperate... never make me sweat and slowly ease its pretty little bars all the way down to my price target. Entered short off a break of the 11:45 bar low (15-min) which was a failed reversal setup. Exited at the fib. ext.

Feb 28, 2008

AAPL - Long

Missed a nice short entry in WNR (4/15 - a little late getting everything together today) that moved downward nicely. Took a long entry in AAPL off the 10-min chart after the 10:30 bar closed strong above the 10 and 15-min ORH. As usual, I managed the exit off the 15-min chart. Paritialed out on a break of the 1pm bar low and sold the rest right below $32.

Didn't really see much else today.

Feb 27, 2008

Active day

I felt like I traded a lot today when I really only entered 4 trades (YGE twice). I hesitated and missed some nice trades (COGT, ENOC) that were right in front of me. Might have to do with the layoff.

I entered YGE the first time when I probably shouldn't have as I don't really like indecision candles at the ORL (black arrow). However, I liked the contraction after the wide bar. I was stopped out a few bars later. My second entry was more like it. Decreasing volume, inside, narrow range bar right below S2 with a nice upper tail (very bearish). Sold all my shares at the fib. ext.

New week

Back from vacation. Took a nice 4-day trip to Luzern, Switzerland... which is absolutely beautiful. I keep going to different cities here in Europe and I always ask myself, "would I want to live here?" The answer with Luzern is yes. Reminds me a lot of Colorado except the city is right on this wonderful lake whose water is as clear as any pristine beach in the Virgin Islands. Problem with Luzern is that it's crazy expensive. While the franc is on par with the dollar right now... cost of goods is about twice as much as a typical store in the US.

I'll try to post some pics this week. Speaking of pics... this will be the last trip I take photos with a simple point and shoot digital camera. My Canon 40d SLR is due to arrive in a couple of weeks and I can't wait. I have a planned trip to Barcelona in March which should prove to be a wonderful place to 'break' it in.

It was a nice break and I didn't even look at a computer for a solid three days. Okay... well, I did eye one at the airport. Oh, then there was another at a Starbucks :)

Feb 22, 2008

Two trades

Traded FNM ( short 12/15) and was stopped out. I really thought price was gonna drop after entry. Also went short FRE (7/15) and managed to partial and get out with some cash before it moved against me. Pretty ho hum day.

I'll be away on Monday and Tuesday so have a good weekend good luck trading!

Feb 21, 2008

BPFH - Short

I was 1 for 3 today and you know what... that's just fine with me. I got stopped out of NTES (long) and took a loss in ONB (long) but did manage to partial out.
My big winner came from BPFH. I actually traded off the 10-min chart on this one. It really doesn't matter what timeframe you use, so long as you follow the same trading rules. So BPFH formed a nice 'failed reversal' at the ORL (bars 6-7 moved down, bar 8 moved up and bar 9 moved back down again).
I exited during the 1:10 bar as I was happy with the gain (tried to hold out till the fib. ext. but I just couldn't resist).

EDIT: Looks like I should've held on longer... dropping as I type.

Feb 20, 2008

TRAK, NDAQ - Short

TRAK AND NDAQ offered similar setups and I also looked at the price action in the opening few bars to determine whether I was going to stay the course of the trade or try to take profits early.
I ended up taking 2R from both. Exited TRAK during the 11:50 bar and NDAQ during the 11:40 bar.
Oh, and
Jamie... thanks for reminding me of the volume spike tip. Came in handy with NDAQ today (really both trades).


Feb 19, 2008

SIGM - Short; SID - Long

Fairly satisfying day today as the trades I entered moved immediately and I exited without much regret.
SIGM is not one of my typical trades but since price peeked down below then back above the ORL (bars 4 and 5), I waited for a nice entry candle that closed below the ORL. I exited during the 12:30 bar (although more towards the middle of it) as there were multiple down bars in a row and a pullback was expected. I didn't want to risk getting stuck in a price spike similar to what happened in bar five. Turned out I was correct as price whipped up above the ORL then back down again. Had I followed my typical stop rules this trade would've resulted in a slight loss. Just goes to show that sometimes you need to follow your gut and don't be greedy!!!

SID was a nice looking setup on the 5-min view with my entry bar not only closing above the ORH but also breaking out of the previous range. I exited right above $39 on this one which proved to be the high of the day. After all those up bars, I figured it would pull back and I was happy with my gain at the time.



Really looking forward to this week's trading as I spent the weekend looking over 5-min charts in my watchlist from the past 2 weeks and re-thinking my entry criteria. Just like my 'dummy' trade last Friday in ACI, I may be zooming in on price action at the ORH and ORL. If I like a setup and a nice candle forms at these areas, I will consider entry outside of my 'retracement' rules.

Let's see how things go.

Feb 15, 2008

ACI - Short

ACI presented a nice setup off the 5-min chart but because price had been in the upper part of the OR range (15-min) I decided to wait for a setup at the ORL.
What I saw at the ORL were 3 consecutive inside bars with upper tails (9, 10 and 11). I took a dummy entry off a break of the 11th bar low. Price dropped immediately and then dropped hard. I always hate wide range bars because you know there will be a pullback... but you don't know how much. So, I tried to be reasonable and wait for price to fall back down but it didn't happen. I partialed on a break of the 1:30 bar high and sold the rest about .10 below my entry.
That big blue line you see then is the intraday fib. ext. I noticed this area acts like resistance/support sometimes. It proved to be support today... unfortunately. Overall, I've been seeing the charts much better lately which is good. I wish I would've followed my gut and enter long, PCLN off the 11:15 bar high (:15).

Feb 14, 2008

The return of the 5-min chart

If you all remember, I decided to abandon the 5-min chart last November due to changes in my personal life. Well... those changes have - well, changed. I've actually had the opportunity to trade the 5-min chart for about a month but got so used to the :15 and :30 that I just forgot about it.

However, after seeing some posts by Tom C. and my own recent struggles to find good opportunities, I figured I would revisit the faster timeframe. I like what I saw and will open a new window on every trade with the 5-min chart.

The good thing is that I don't really have to change much of my current trading style to accomodate the faster timeframe. In fact, I think the 5-min chart can actually help shorten my watchlist and keep me focused and better setups. And, I may start adding to my position if I get in early on the 5 and find another setup on the 15 later on.

We shall see.

I couldn't trade today but if you look at AMKR (10th bar) and NTGR (17th bar) on the 5-min chart... you'll see some nice entries.

Feb 13, 2008

Dangers of trading

If anyone wanted a good example of the inherit risks of trading... look no further than today's CEPH chart. It was in my watchlist as it gapped up and there were a couple of areas I looked to enter but never did. However, at 1pm the bottom dropped out of the stock. Even if you had a stop in place... you would've been burnt by major slippage. If you didn't have a stop... you were toast. I'm still wondering how this could happen on a stock that gapped up and had a fairly orderly rise to the ORH and then BAM!

Maybe some of you guys can offer theories as to how and why this could happen?

Feb 12, 2008

TAP - Long

Today's TAP trade is what I absolutely look for in every setup. Strong first bar, orderly 3 bar pullback (2 down bars) into the 5ema. Entry bar was strong with very little upper tail. I exited my entire position after a 1 point gain (including the entry... there were 6 straight up bars in a row before I exited). The long lower tails on the bars after entry did make this a 'white knuckle' trade at times.

Feb 11, 2008

Not once, but twice

Stopped out of both of my trades today. Went long on the ES and was stopped out at what is now the low of the day. Incredible... then it pops up over 20 points. The one thing I find hard to do with futures is reduce risk (other than taking just 1 contract). I'm trading off the 5-min chart right now and when the trade goes against me it could be a wide stop. So far the winners vastly outweigh the losers but when the losses happen it could be a good size loss.

I also traded MPWR off the :30 (8th bar) and that just flat out sucked. I liked the inside, NR, strong bar entry but I was below the ORH and there were some upper tails before it. While it met my criteria for entry, I really should've waited for it to close above the ORH before initiating a position.

Feb 9, 2008

One trade

Went long ER2 for a 1.3 point loss. Took my signal and it went against me. Didn't see any stocks that looked good enough for an entry.

Feb 7, 2008

WMS... I wish

I managed another 6 point gain off a short of the ES early this morning. The gain was a bit of a double-edged sword as it put me in a position of only wanting to take 'great' setups in equities. I wish I would've taken WMS as it had an overwhelming amount of good qualities. My only concern was that my entry bar was below the ORH coming off a steady downtrend. The next bar would have been a nice entry as well but it was outside of my rules and I wasn't in the mood to start straying.

Feb 6, 2008

Finally... futures

Finally got an honest-to-goodness alert to trade ES today. Managed to go long and take away 6 points. The way I'm approaching futures doesn't provide for many signals but when they come along they're usually worth it. I may have mentioned this before but here are my futures goals per week (any single one option will work):
-6 ER2 points
-12 ES points
-3 ER2 points, 6 ES points
I'd like to make these kinds of gains consistently with my current system before decided to jack up the contract amounts.
So, since today's ES trade finished by around 10:20 I spent the rest of the day being an equities snob.
"No, you're not good enough!"

"Pffft... as if I'm going to enter with that lower tail."
"Yeah, let's talk when you hit the ORL, okay???"
I did place an order to short CAKE but it was never triggered.

The Hawaii chair

I may get one of these for trading when I move back to the states:

I also can't wait to take the 'work' out of 'workout'.

Feb 5, 2008

Same old story

Boy finds stock.
Boy shorts stock.
Boy adjusts stop to near breakeven after 1R gain.

Boy gets fucked as price hits his adjusted stop earning him decent change but then reverses and falls back down to the original price target which was the fib. ext and boy now feels stupid that he didn't just keep his original stop especially on the :30 chart which he knows he has to be patient on and then ends up writing one of the longest run on sentences in the history of daytrading blogs.

Boy posts chart.

Boy says goodnight.

Boy mentions he hasn't traded futures the last two days either.

ZOLT - Short

Another late post - sorry - but I crashed after my ZOLT trade. I entered shorted off a break of the very weak 12:15 candle (marabuzo). Spread started acting funny which worried me but I stuck with it. I exited during the 2:15 bar because a) I was happy with the profit and b) it's hard to trade with your eyes half shut. Also, $33.15 was a strong daily pivot area and I didn't want to risk a hard bounce there.

Feb 4, 2008

Funny commercial

I'm a fan of the dramatic hamster, so...

Dig this one too:

How 'bout them Giants??

No, I'm not a Giants nor Patriots fan but there is one channel here in Paris that carries North American sports and I stayed up to watch the game. Why?? Well, I figured it would be an historic game no matter what the outcome. If the Patriots win they'll just add to their dynasty and, of course, attain the perfect season. If the Giants win, well... they would've beaten the most prolific offense in NFL history.
While I'm blurry eyed as I write this, I still can't believe Manning didn't get sacked during that play and the receiver actually caught the ball. Just an amazing play. One that I'm so glad I watched live (on TV).

And, come on, did you really want to win: Brady - Mr. GQ, 3-time Super Bowl winner, who bangs a supermodel after dumping his pregnant girlfriend but still comes across as squeaky clean or Eli - the pimple-popping QB with the 'gosh darnit' attitude who just doesn't seem to fit in the dog-eat-dog world of New York City? If you weren't rooting for Eli you most likely use the term 'wicked' throughout the day.

Congrats to the Giants!

Feb 2, 2008

Friday's trade

Had a bunch of stuff to do Friday night and Saturday morning so sorry I couldn't put up a post. Had a trade that was good then turned bad... DRIV (not the best setup but I made the case to enter). What saved the day was ALTR. It wasn't the greatest of opening bars but did manage to pop through the ORH and retrace back. I entered on a break of the 1pm bar high and selling during the 2:15 bar.