Jan 30, 2009

Couldn't hold the break

If trading was a tennis match, yesterday I broke the market's serve. Today... it broke back. Stopped out on AMZN, SGP and UA. Not the end I was looking for. On to February!!

Jan 29, 2009

Hello 2009

Finally, my first good day of the year. None of this nickel and dime crap. Overall, I'm happy with the end result but I'm still just a tad disappointed with one trade... PSSI. I exited too soon after an initial move my way. I usually only sell 1/2 my shares at BE once price moves 1R but I decided to move my exit to BE since I did well with CCL early on. Other than that I did very nice with my FO trade and (as of 3:27pm) my exit seemed to be timed just right. It took 29 days but I finally feel like I had a good day's work.

F-U trades: FO (final exit at 33.87)
Brick wall trades: CCL (exit at fib. ext.), PSSI (BE)

Jan 28, 2009

Fist full of hair

I was thinking this would be a good day as, statistically speaking... I was bound to have a good one after two lackluster performances. And things were pretty good. But my best trade of the day, GD, turned on me and, trying to be the good trader and practice good money management, I let those profits slip away. I was lucky to have scaled out at 3R to have some kind of saving grace. The rest of the trades had promise but never materialized.

F-U trades: GD*, NEM, BBY
Brick wall trades: FXI, AET**

*GD could also qualify has a brick wall trade.
**Rat bastard. Stuck around for over an hour with nothing happening, exited and then the stock moved.

Jan 27, 2009

66% not good enough

2/3 of my trades today were winners. But... I still lost money. That's because I was chopped around a bit with my winners and the loser was a full stop. Traded CHKP, MCK and CNX (the rat bastard loser). 

Jan 26, 2009

Hitting a brick wall

Two trades. Stopped out on both. Entered DUG short off a break of the 10:45 bar low (:15, brick wall setup) and was stopped out. Also tried PNC long off a break of the 10:20 bar high (:05, brick wall again) and nothing. 

Jan 23, 2009

No trades

Flirted with ABX but stuck to my plan, waited for my setups and nothing happened. No regrets. Have a great weekend.

Jan 22, 2009

Fleeting success

I'm feeling pretty good now that I'm narrowing my entries to particular setups. I missed AFL (9:55/5-min) as it was too early and wavered on JEC (10:20/5) because of the long lower tails prior to entry. I ended up short ADBE twice (stopped out the first time) and the second entry worked out well but price moved against me before hitting the fib. ext. 

I then wanted to short SNE off a break of the 11am (:15 chart) bar low but price never triggered my order. However, I forgot I still had my order in and it was triggered during the 11:30 bar. After looking at the 11:15 bar and seeing it was a NR, inside bar below the ORL, I decided to stay in the trade but manage my exit really tight. Made some money on it... but, like ADBE - price went against me. Also traded ETP but was stopped out.

Jan 21, 2009


Boy, I was just waiting for that first F-U post title. Went long IBM and things were looking good but then it got very choppy. While my original stop was never hit, the swings in this trade justified a scale out exit strategy. Of course, I wish I could've seen the trade through to at least $91 but. Also traded KGC short for a minor gain as well.

Jan 20, 2009

Inauguration blues

I decided to head out to an inauguration event over here so my trading was pretty sporadic and short. However, in the amount of time I did trade I was able to pull off a loser in IYF. Missed a good entry with PNC early on due to other distractions and was generally out of it today. Hopefully other opportunities present themselves tomorrow.

Jan 19, 2009

My pledge

So here are the facts:
I've been trading full-time for close to 3 years now.
I've essentially traded only gap stocks.
I've used the :15 OR for most of my setups and...
I've used the fibonacci levels for my targets.

Now the question I have is - why haven't I made consistent enough profits to convince myself that I can daytrade for the forseeable future? I have really struggled with this question as I know I have the knowledge, the tools and the capital to spot and enter good trades. So why, in my opinion, haven't I been able to take the next step to consistent profits?

For me, it comes down to patience. I guess since I consider trading my defacto full-time job that I feel I need to enter trades every day and try to make money any way possible. What I end up doing is forcing trades and losing focus. Straying from my plan. Yeah, I have a plan. Sometimes I stray because I missed an entry due to distractions or being away from the computer. I take a gamble which is not where I want to be right now.

Here's my pledge: I, OONR7, pledge to only take setups that meet my criteria. I will not stray no matter how bored I may be. I will not force trades because I missed some. I agree that it's better not to trade than to force a trade. And lastly, I agree to only trade setups that match the following charts:

Hangin' out:
After breaking through the OR, price consolidates in the lower (shorts) or upper (longs) part of the breakout bar and near the OR.

As price approaches the OR and prints a strong countergap candle (ex: hammer for shorts, shooting star for longs) look for the following bar to say 'F-U' and breakthrough the OR with a strong/weak candle.

Brick wall:
After breaking through and on the first pullback, price reacts strongly to the OR. If the first retrace fails to recognize the OR then ignore the trade. There are other setups... don't obsess.

While all these charts are to the downside it's only because that's what the market's been giving lately. Same rules apply to longs.

Jan 16, 2009

If it wasn't for bad luck...

You know the rest. Really wasn't much happening in my WL today except for AVP. I shorted off a break of the 10:25 bar as the ORL showed good resistance. Everything was going really well and I moved 1/2 my shares to breakeven after a 2R move. I was then stopped out the rest of my shares at my original stop. Price then proceeded to drop straight down and past the fib. ext. 

Just not my week. I hope next week turns out better for me. Enjoy the weekend.

Jan 14, 2009

Bitch slapped

So many bad trades today, I don't even know where to begin. So I won't. This trading day is officially over. Pretty sure DT, X, TraderAM, Tyler and Anarco made some money so you may want to check with them till I get my act together.

Jan 13, 2009

My own worst enemy

I made money today so this isn't a horror post. But I'm coming to realize that the biggest obstacle to my trading success is me. My second entry in NQ e-mini today was nice (although I was almost stopped out of it as well) but, once again, I just couldn't see the trade through. That's two straight days I've let nice winners just slide on by. Once I learn to stick with a trade and stick with my target then maybe I can consider doing this for a living. Otherwise, it's just a hobby.

Jan 12, 2009

Boring and frustrating

Made such a boneheaded move today in my NQ e-mini trade that I'm still fuming. Long story short, I got a great short entry and I went to go move my stop but, instead, I placed a Market order and took myself out of the trade completely. 

So, I made money but price continued to drop a considerable distance. Compound that gaff with the stupid DE and AEM trades and that makes for one disappointed trader. I was able to find another NQ entry late in the day to make me feel better. 

Yeah, poor me. I know, I can feel the compassion oozing through the broadband connection. Hey anon... f you! 

Jan 9, 2009

No trades

I was at my computer for only limited amounts of time today. Didn't see anything that stuck out at me. 
Have a good weekend.

Happy Friday

Jan 8, 2009

Active day...

But breakeven in the end. Market is just so indecisive right now. I'm holding positions as long as I can only to see nice profits evaporate. Today I traded the following:

COH (twice, wish I traded it 3 times), ANF, CVC (wish I traded it twice), VAR, AU and ES e-mini.

I was stopped out of CVC and ES, made good money with ANF and the rest were washouts. I also had an order ready for BLUD (break of 12:15 bar, 5-min) but in my hesitation price jumped too far away from my entry. Would've been a good trade (cup & handle setup). What made me hesitate? Well, mostly I was watching the DOW chart and it looked like the market was going to take a downturn. Not sure I like following or relying on market direction for entries. It's done me more harm than good. Thinking about resorting back to taking the DOW info off my screens and solely looking at the charts.

First chart
Shorted ANF off a break of the 10:50 bar low after it found hard resistance at the 38% fib. level from yesterday's high to the morning pivot low. Stock performed well but just didn't have enough steam to finish the move. I was lucky to have scaled out of this one to protect profits. Completely exited at 21.91.

Second chart
Shorted COH the first time at the black arrow after yesterday's low was showing resistance. Stopped out. Entered again at the red arrow and made my money back from the first trade. The blue arrow is where I wanted to enter again but didn't have the cojones. But you can see is was a nice cup and handle setup that moved higher and eventually tagged the 38% fib. level from yesterday's low.

Third chart
BLUD - I didn't take this trade, but I wanted to show it anyway. Another nice cup and handle setup. I really don't look for c&h setups but there seemed to be a lot today and the 5-min chart really makes them pop. In a very indecisive market this stock knew exactly where it wanted to go... the fib. extention.

While I'm bummed this hasn't been the kind of start to the year I was expecting I am pleased with the fact that I'm making good decisions overall. Seeing multiple entries in a single stock is a sign that I'm understanding price action and how it relates to resistance and support levels. I still have hope I can salvage the week with a few good trades tomorrow.

Jan 7, 2009

Losing interest

Got stopped out of my first two trades in X and SLB and was pretty bored with the 'weird' action in my watchlist. Managed to short BP off a break of the 12:45 bar to make a good portion of my losses back. However, I had a limit buy order at 47.20 and missed it by 1 cent... bastard. This week is really is turning out to be very forgettable.

Hmmm... can't upload the BP chart right now. I'll try later or tomorrow morning.

More charts

It's always interesting when I review my charts the next day to look at what I passed up. Below are charts (in addition to what I posted yesterday) from stocks in my watchlist that presented valid entries according to my rules. There were 14 potential entries in total from my WL and I entered 6 of them. Not a bad percentage, but I need to either close the gap and enter more trades or get better at identifying the higher probability setups (which I think is difficult to do). I don't need to go 14-14 (nor do I want to), but just a few more entries would've made for a very good day. In particular, I specifically passed on DUG, PBR and SSO. I completely missed the ICE trade late in the day as I was mentally done but it was a nice, NR setup that provided a nice return.
These setups are all about price confirming a support or resistance area.

Jan 6, 2009

No traction

A lot of trades today just didn't go very far. They went far enough to move my stop to BE a few times. While I didn't make a whole lot of money today, I did feel like my entries were justified, had solid control over my watchlist and generally didn't make any foolish mistakes. I really like the patience I'm showing right now and I know the payday will come soon. Don't have too much time for analysis but here's a snapshot:

Stocks traded: NE, SU, VLO, MS, NQ emini and MT. Made cash on all except VLO and MT. I regret not entering MT off a break of the 1:20 bar high (5-min) after being stopped out earlier (entered on break of 12:50 bar high). On my first entry, I also like the setup off the :15 chart (12:30 bar) using the first pivot high of the morning (5-min) as my ORH.
When drawing my fibs., I always use the previous day's high/low. However, for big gappers I use the first pivot high/low of the morning off the 5-min chart. Most of the times it coincides with the :15 ORH/L but sometimes it does not.

Jan 5, 2009

Warm up day

I was really looking forward to the the start of trading today, despite the fact that I'm still totally jet-lagged. If I am going to trade for a living when I get back to the US - this is going to be the year. No excuses. No changes. Just 100% focus.

With that being said. Today was a dud. In my defense... this was one choppy session. Just look at the peaks and valleys in the DOW chart below. 

Made 4 trades and it really should be a scratch day but, instead, I ended with a very minor loss. It was a good loss, though - if there ever was a good loss. I felt like I focused and waited on my entries. Looking forward to continuing to be patient and follow my plan for the rest of the year. But make no mistake about it... I need to make good money this year and that will be my goal each and every week. I have no resolutions for the year... no goals. I just want to trade the way I have been the past 6 weeks and I know I will catch some nice moves. Good luck to everyone and I hope this is a tremendous successful year.

Short ALTR off a break of the 10am bar low (5-min)... stopped out.
Went long JPM off a break of the 10:25 bar high (5-min)... scaled out near PDL.
Short NQ emini off a break of the 12:20 bar low (5-min)... stopped at BE.
Short MFE off a break of the 12:20 bar low (5-min)... scaled out then stopped out for a loss.

Jan 2, 2009

Happy New Year

I arrived back in Paris today... early in the morning. I was greeted with a light dusting of snow which I found strange after being in the warm sunshine of South Florida for the past two weeks.

Sorry for not posting much but I was having an excellent trip. Friends, family, presents and alcohol - love it.

Couldn't sleep a wink on the plane and crashed after an hour back in my apartment. Woke up right after the market opened, got my scanner running and waited. To be honest, I really wasn't in the mood to trade and after looking at the low volume my interest further waned. Blah, blah, blah... I didn't trade today. However, in between picking through bags and checking the charts, I missed this nice setup in the ES e-mini futures.

I love how price breaks through yesterday's high, then falls back down to the PDH and prints a strong, narrow range candle. The rest is history.