Dec 22, 2008

Trade - 12/22/08

Didn't think I would (or want to) trade today but I had some time in the morning so I thought I'd fire up my scans and see what develops. PRU set up nice off the 5-min chart and I went short off a break of the 10:45 bar low after price kept finding the PDL as strong resistance. I didn't have the whole day to trade and actually needed to leave at 12:10 or so and that's when I dumped all my shares. Wish I knew how to place IB orders to sell 15 minutes or so before the end of the day. Got to read up on that.

A decent day with a nice entry and a good run. While I hate missing the runs... I do like seeing the stocks I enter do well.

Dec 16, 2008

Chop, chop

Got chopped to bits trading off the 5-min charts all day. Finally took a breather at 1pm and decided to wait for the FED decision. Glad I did. Entered NQ e-mini at around 2:17 and within 5 minutes made everything back and then some. Then, did a kinda bonehead move and went long GG without any kind of entry point... it crossed over $31 and I entered. Price bombed right after entry and I just stuck with it (yes, giving back everything I gained from NQ and putting me back in the whole again). I had faith that the rate cut would have folks investing in gold as the dollar's value is gonna get whacked. Price came all the way back up but I sold at $31.23 for a modest profit. Pulled another one out of my you-know-what but I had the right plan.

Sorry... no chart, no screenshots because I've got no time. Packing and heading off early in the morning. Take care and I hope to trade on Thursday in the morning. 

Jim Cramer speaks out

Stock review - CLF (12/15)

I mentioned missing CLF yesterday and I just wanted to post the chart to show what a nice setup it was. Shame I didn't have the time to catch it.

Price gaps up but then falls back down to find support at the PDH at around 10am. Stocks tumbles around in no man's land till about 12pm when it hit the PDH again. So, we look to see if it again finds support or breaks through. Price breaks through and under the PDH and consolidates. There's a nice little trendline from 12-12:30 from the higher lows. The 12:30 bar not only breaks the trendline but also closes very weak right at the PDH confirming what was support is now resistance. At the same time, the DOW seemed to be running down off an overbought situation. In hindsight, this was a good time to go short on stocks but I prefer to find a good setup that pretty confirms everything instead of solely relying on the DOW. 

A $1.5 gain could've easily been achieved as price fell down to the 38.2 retrace level (which was also the intraday pivot point).

Textbook setup. I will permanently etch this in my brain. Brrrrzzztt... done.

Dec 15, 2008

No trades

Very boring out there for me. Although there were a couple of good opportunities on the 5-min timeframe (AAPL, CLF)... I just couldn't sit in front of the computer the whole time today.

Kinda sucks because I'm leaving for the States on Wednesday for two weeks and was hoping to get in a couple good days before I left. While I'm hoping to trade Thursday and Friday - depending on conditions - that may be it for the rest of the year. I'll probably throw in a post here and there though.

Dec 12, 2008

Friday's trades - 12/12/08

Very quiet today and actually no equity trades at all. Just one futures trade that I wish had moved just another 1/2 point or so in my favor so I could've had a nice day. Instead, I decided to ride the pullback out and ended up giving back a lot of profit.

Entered on a break of the 12:30 bar high as price confirmed PDL as support. Target exit was the 38% retrace from yesterday's low but it just didn't make it there. Missed a later entry (red arrow) as my son wanted to play Pokemon cards. Thanks son.

Dec 11, 2008

Thursday's Trades - 12/11/08

I'm changing my name to The Magician Trader. Instead of pulling rabbits out of a hat I pull trades out of my ass. Today was a complete slaughterhouse for me in the morning. There were a couple of trades that, while they made sense, I shouldn't have taken. But even taking those trades out of the mix (SCHW, COST) it really didn't make a different to my bottomline.

What saved me again and brought me back into decent profits???? ES emini. I went all in again... twice as much as last Friday and ended up catching a nice 9-10 point swing. Of course, it kept dropping after my exit but I was happy to leave when I did. I make fun of pull this trade out of my butt... however, it was probably the best setup of the day - coinciding with the DOW drop. I got spooked out of ACI, JPM and CMI before the dropped big, which really sucks. Can't list all the trades but here are some of the better looking charts and entries. The second arrow shows where I either re-entered the stock or, in the case of ES... added more contracts.

Peace out.

Dec 10, 2008

Wednesday's trades

The day started out well but then turned nasty. I saw nice profit vanish and I ended up closing two positions at BE which was the right call. CAT was a nice winner today and it looked as though my exit was once again premature (probably still was) but the stock tanked later in the day so I don't feel too bad. At least I stuck it out till the original price target was hit (yesterday's high).

Entered MOS and BHP off the 5-min chart and was quickly stopped out of BHP (my only loser). I then added more shares to MOS off a break of the 11:30 bar high (:15). I felt shortly after my second entry that MOS wasn't gonna do anything and just decided to move my stop to BE. 

Shorted KGC off a break of the 10:30 bar low... then closed the position after the long tail on the next bar. Re-entered long off the 11:30 bar high but then closed it all for a minor gain.

Dec 9, 2008

Tuesday's trades

More of the same for me today. Start with some losers... end up with some nice entries then decide that - despite everything I know - I'll just take the money and run instead of waiting to see if my target exits will be touched.

It's tough for me right now to let good money slip away after being down early. I will get over it.

Good trades:
STI... break of 1:05 bar low (5-min chart). Liked how price broke through yesterday's low then retraced to form 2 inside bars. Since the spread was very small, I had a decent amount of shares. Scaled out here and there for a good profit. Original price target was around 29.85 which was hit later on.

GE... technically entered on a break of the 12:45 bar low after the 61.8% kept proving to be tough resistance. I was actually looking at this on the 5-min chart but decided to enter off the :15. Again, had a good amount of shares, scaled out a bit then sold all at 18. Not too disappointed as my price target was actually 17.75 which, say it with me, was hit later in the day.

Bad trades:
BNI... thought this trade would do better but it didn't and I was stopped out quickly.

NQ emini... eh, took a shot at a short - just one contract and my spread was small.

Dec 8, 2008

Monday's trades

Today offered a little bit of the same (not letting winners run) and something a little different (messed up an order in my favor). COP was a bust (get it... oh man) and got me started off grumpy. Then I entered POT off a break of the 10:30 bar high. I liked the narrow range bar that formed right at the ORH. Price then fell back to the ORH and printed another nice entry where I bought more shares (11:15). That was about the only good thing I did with this trade. With the up and down price action I got nervous and sold all my shares at just above $59.

I was okay with exiting POT because my next trade did well right off the bat. I entered HIG short off a break of the 12:45 bar low after price fell down and through the ORL and came back to print a weak candle just below the ORL. This is where I messed up. After price moved 1R I went to place another buy-stop order for 1/2 my shares... but I actually entered a sell-stop order and added more shares. I quickly exited and pocketed some change but I was a bit frazzeled so I exited earlier than what I wanted. Probably worked out best as price shot back up and I would have closed the position anyway.

Long story short... made money and did not manage my exits well again. It will happen one day.

Dec 6, 2008

What should've happened

These are the setups I should've been interested in and focused on. All the entries occurred after a fib. level (and some pivot levels) had proven to act as support. The entries were also supported by the action on the QQQQs (first chart) - which is what I use for market direction.

Patience is the name of the game which is what I lacked yesterday. I should've stuck to my plan.

Dec 5, 2008

Divine intervention

Don't know what else to call it. Started off the day as usual and with a good, healthy WL. However, a lot of the stocks on the list gapped down and continued moving way down during the second and third bars. I have been drawing my fib. lines from the PDH to the PDL and sometimes to the ORH/L depending on how much it gapped.

This has been working all week.

No need to change right?


I said... let me go ahead and draw the fib. lines from the intraday high to low. Then, once price retraced I could look for an entry. What a disaster. The first trade I entered turned against me immediately (BHP). I then shorted ADI on a break of the 11:30 bar low and that went nowhere. Then, I had an alert set for ES e-mini futures which triggered and I made a couple entries as price was breaking above yesterday's low (:05 chart). And just like that... I was in the hole big. I then said I was just going to trade my way out of it or dig a deeper hole but I wasn't just gonna stand by and be smacked like that.

I then entered AMZN and HES and, one by one, they all were stopped out. In the hole even bigger. So, I watched the ES e-mini on the 5-min chart... and noticed a cup and handle pattern forming right below yesterday's low. It was around 12:30 to 1pm and I actually thought a bear flag was forming till the very end. When I saw price take out yesterday's low on a strong bar, I crossed my fingers and loaded up on contracts. It was make or break.

I'll save you the suspense and let you know that I made just about 13 points off the ES e-mini (almost to the 38.2% level from yesterday's low)... put me back in the profit column and I have since renewed my faith in God. I also had to give up hookers and crack for life.

What's the moral here? Well, I changed what was doing well for me this week and was slapped for doing so. While I didn't change it drastically - just applied the fib. levels differently - at the end of the day I would've spotted at least two to three good trades from my list without the worries. I just feel thankful I was able to end the week on a positive note and keep the winning streak alive for another day. Another thing... it always seems like when my back is up against the wall is when I make really good trades. Joking aside, there's got to be something there I can extract and use on a daily basis. I think it's the lack of fear and being aggressive. Sometimes it's just an attitude change.

Issue of time

My trading schedule right now is not conducive to making money throughout the entire trading day. By around 1:30pm, it's pretty much hit or miss whether I monitor the markets for new opportunities. By that time I'm juggling more than a few tasks at once and can easily miss a few :15 trading sessions. I think we all know that the market can be a bit two-faced. What it does in the morning could be something different come the afternoon.
What I'm getting at is that I missed a few very good setups yesterday due to the fact that I was pre-occupied and had essentially lost interest. Here are a few charts of some afternoon entries that coincided with the market downturn. These are not random entry points... these are setups that I actively look for at key support and resistance areas. For golfers... hitting the perfect drive keeps them coming back for more - despite the number of slice shots. For me, my motivating factor involves not missing opportunities on an already reduced watchlist. This hindsight crap is costing me money!!!!

Dec 4, 2008

Tough day

I was profitable but the positions I entered just didn't stick. The market seemed to lack direction until late in the day and by that time I was out. Entered AMZN long and APH and CS short. AMZN was the only one that provided decent returns the rest were breakeven.

Dec 3, 2008

A few trades

So... I'm a bit under the weather right now. In fact, I'd rather be curled up in the fetal position than posting charts - but this... this is what I do for you.

Okay, so I tried some new things out today and ended up profitable, so that's a positive sign. Really just messing with the fibonacci levels. Oh, and I removed the 5ema from the charts along with the pivot areas (for now). I just found them so distracting and a bit of a hinderance. May end up haunting me. Anyway, got a date with a bottle of Nyquil.

Coulda done better with my GE exit the first time but I managed to get in later in the day and scalp some profit.

Dec 2, 2008

No trades

Not a lot that I liked. Pretty whipsaw day with the market up, down then back up again. Lost interest at around 1:30.

Dec 1, 2008

If I only...

Let them ride. A bit frustrated right now as I missed some nice moves by being a chicken shit. Slightly negative on the day... blow me. HAL, VNO, CHK, FCX, CAM