Jul 20, 2009

Vacation mode

Well... more like summer mode. There's always stuff to do around here and trading just happens at the worst time of the day for me (3:30pm). And, I'll be heading back to the US at the end of this week for close to a month.
I plan to trade on vacation whenever I feel like it. So, if I put together a healthy WL... I'll trade, if not - off to the beach or pool.
As for today - not so great. INFN, TEX, LFC, CBS and IBN... all losses but a lot were on reduced shares. I had been feeling pretty good about my trading too :)

Jul 16, 2009

Thursday's trade

Tough trading. Shorted SGMS and was stopped out. Made some money back with JRCC (although that was pretty choppy too). Looking like a zero sum week with one day left :)

Goldman Sachs is evil

Just read an eye-opening article from Rolling Stone. As an American, I can't feel anything more than a sense of hopelessness. GS essentially controls the US. How? Just look at all of the former GS employees in high government positions, their lobbying, and the fact that no one would be able to even take down GS without the fear of complete, financial collapse. My biggest diappointment was reading how Bob Rubin was so instrumental in the Internet Bust and the mortgage crisis.

It's also appalling how self-serving GS is and how the US has lost the meaning of 'for the people'.

Jul 15, 2009

Wednesday's trades

Sorry for the rushed post, but time is in short supply lately. Took 4 trades, 2 wins, 1 loss and 1 BE. Attached are the charts - no time for descriptions.

Jul 13, 2009

Monday's trades

The day's over and I'm none too pleased. Once again, passed on some good opportunities in ADY and MS... especially MS. Entered a couple of losers: AIG and CHU. Got stopped out on both.
Just hope there will be other good opportunities during the week. I've noticed in the past few weeks that I only get a good couple of days during the week to make my money.

EDIT: Just noticed SpiderScan is coming out with a new version. Seems like Greytrader has been working overtime. Looking forward to the new scans.

Jul 10, 2009

Friday's trades

I started off the day well with a short of PSMT off a break of the 10:30 bar low (:05). It was good for about 1R worth of profit. I saw some good, but not great, setups in SGR and RSX and decided to cut my risk in half and go for it. They were both busts: SGR (short 12:10, :10) and RSX (short 11:50, :10). Both were very narrow entries so reducing my risk meant I was risking very little.
All in all, I still ended the day positive but the week was very disappointing (although positive).

PSMT is about the best looking chart of them all so that's what I'll post:

Jul 9, 2009

Thursday's trade

Someone asked yesterday whether I considered proximity to a round number before entering a trade. I said yes, depending on the chart setup. My trade today with FLR is a good example. I entered long off a break of the 11:30 bar high. My entry was $47.99 but if you look at the chart, you'll see that it was a strong candle that formed right at the ORH and price action was very much in an upward trend. To me, it was a strong looking stock - regardless of the round number.

Now, after making an initial move... price became very choppy and I exited the trade with money in the bank. It continued to move where I wanted it to - just below the fib. ext.

Also, if you haven't checked out SpiderScan... do yourself a favor and do it now.

Jul 8, 2009

Wednesday's trades

Had some decent moves after starting the day with a loser. You know, it always seems my first trade is a loser. Anyway, shorted HOT, IBN and SLT. HOT went cold real fast and stopped me out. Not the greatest of setups (9/5) but worth a shot.

SLT presented a nice inverted hammer at the ORL which was hard to resist. Just didn't have the move in it. Made some profit and then revised my stop later.

IBN made a nice move after shorting on a break of the 10:50 bar low (:05). I partialed above the fib. ext. and wanted to see what the rest would do. Well, the rest started riding back up and I exited the rest pretty much at the fib. ext.

A solid day but I'm thinking there may be very few of these as we move further into the summer doldrums. Just need to be patient.

Jul 7, 2009

No trades

I kept deleting stocks from my WL until there was one... CEC. But volume was horrible so I just took the day off. No need to force things.

Jul 6, 2009

Welcome back... no trades

I lost internet access in my place yesterday morning and - in typical French fashion - I need to wait a day or two for them to mail me my router password. However, my neighbor downstairs allowed access to his wireless signal - but it was too late in the day.

I did manage to pull together a list of stocks but didn't really see any good setups. Some crazy action.

Jul 5, 2009

SpiderScan - the ultimate scanning tool

EDIT: SpiderScan costs $79... one-time fee, that's it.

I'm sure many of you have seen comments from Greytrader on this blog and on others. I've known GT for awhile now and about a year ago he talked about putting together a scanning tool. We both used Quotetracker, Interactive Brokers and, at the time, Prophet.net as a scanning tool and our trading styles are very similar so the idea of throwing out ideas to find out what would make a good scanning tool (without breaking the bank) was very easy.

So, GT had a great idea - since he's a programmer - to put together a tool that would basically collect information from various sources in a very quick way and all at the click of a button. After many tweaks, enhancements and feedback... SpiderScan was the end result. I have been using SpiderScan exclusively for about a 6-7 months now and ditched my prophet.net membership in the process. Spiderscan integrates information from sources/scans that include Interactive Brokers, Briefing.com, Prophet.net, Quote.com, Finviz.com and even a new Pre-market scan to help spot the early movers.

From a gap trader point of view... the benefits are really amazing. Yes, I am endorsing this product. And it's well worth the cost (and actually pays for itself after a month if you are a prophet.net silver member). But here are the reasons why SpiderScan rocks for me:

Simplicity - all I need to do is press one button to tally the results of a few different IB scans all at once and usually within a minute. Same thing goes for the rest of the scans.

Flexibility - Not only are there many different types of scans, but I can also set the volume, gap % and price which allows me to runs many different scans within the first half hour. There's also a Sector and Industry scan that shows what's up or down (and, again, does so very quickly).

Speed - not just in the fact that SpiderScan assembles many different scan criteria very quickly but there are built in features that allow me to quickly identify the kinds of stocks I'm looking for. For example, look at the screenshot below. In the 'Open' column on the far right you'll see some prices are in yellow and some are in blue. The 'blue' prices are what I look for... stocks gapping outside the previous day's range. And now, all I have to do is press Shift-B, press the spacebar and viola... all the results are quickly exported into QT and, just like that, I have my watchlist ready. Plus, all the columns are sortable and link directly into Quotetracker. So when I click on a stock... it automatically shows up in a QT chart.

Reliability - Spiderscan is just a solid product from head to toe. Plus, Greytrader is a great person to interact with and very quick to answer questions and... take suggestions.

Here's a good example of how I use SpiderScan. My first scan is at 9:34 in the morning and it's the IB scan (Spiderscan actually merges a couple of scans like the Hot Contracts By Volume and Top Close to Open - % Gainers). I would have to run 4 different IB scans, exported to Excel just to get the same results. I literally cut about 10-minutes out of my routine, not to mention all the aggravation. I adjust the volume to 50,000 shares and look for a gap of at least 1.5%. I also enter the minimum and maximum price. After about a minute I get my results. And by simply pressing Shift-B and the spacebar... all these stocks are magically transferred to Quotetracker.

Now, I run the Finviz scan at around 9:55. Again, I adjust the settings and click a button. This time when I get the results, SpiderScan knows which stocks I've already seen. To makes things simple, SpiderScan makes all new stocks orange, these are ones that did not appear in my previous IB scan. I can press Shift-C and import all these new stocks that are outside yesterday's range right into Quotetracker. Plus, SpiderScan knows what stocks are already in my Quotetracker portfolio and will not import the same stock... no overlapping.

Bottomline: Greytrader has offered to make SpiderScan available for a 10-day free trial period for a limited time. This product and offer is not available anywhere else right now so be sure to take advantage of it. And, if you're wondering... I have absolutely no financial involvment or business stake in SpiderScan. I just know a good product when I see one and Greytrader is as solid as they come. Plus, there's a really nice selection of demo videos and detailed information about all the bells and whistles on the SpiderScan blog: http://spiderscantool.blogspot.com/

I will keep this post as my first post for about the next week. All of my new trading posts will appear under this one.

Jul 2, 2009

Thursday's trades

What a slow moving day. I actually had some personal things that distracted me during the trading and - thank God for that as I most likely would've started banging my head on a table or something.
My first trade was a short of IWM off a break of the 10:35 bar low. I wish I was thinking a little more on this entry. Looking at it again, I really don't like it. I particularly don't like how the second bar dropped so much. Made the same mistake with SO earlier in the week. This can be easily corrected.
The better trades on the day - in the sense that I didn't lose money - were ERY and IYE. Went long ERY off a break of the 10:50 bar high (:10) after price retraced to the ORH and printed a textbook hammer. It jumped a bit but the choppy action later on just took me out on a revised stop.
Shorted IYE off a break of the 11:10 bar low (:10) and - just like ERY - after the initial downward move, price stalled and my revised stop was hit.
I wish I had another crack at VXX (11:10 bar high, :10). Just wasn't on the ball to take advantage of it.
It's been a good week so I can't/won't complain. Hope you all have a great 4th of July. And to all all my non-American readers... just have a good Friday and weekend.

Jul 1, 2009

Wednesday's trades

I feel like I put in a good day's work. Things started off with a questionable entry in GIS off a break of the 10:15 bar high (:05). When I entered, the candle was more hammer-like as opposed to what you see on the chart (I had to clear the chart later in the day and the backfilled info was a little different). In any case, it was a questionable entry because it did have a bit of an upper tail and I prefer my first bar to be more convincing. I actually stopped myself out of the trade a few bars later as price closed below the 5ema. More on GIS in just a bit.

I then entered SNX long off a break of the 10:45 bar high (:05). I really liked the entry and things looked good at first. But price came back down and went sideways eventually closing below the 5ema. So, I stopped myself out for a small gain. My original stop - for both SNX and GIS - was never hit. SNX would've been a nice gainer (I missed an opportunity to enter later).

Back to GIS. Further on in the day, price moved above the OR (notice the nicer looking first bar on the :10) and then pulled back to print a nice hammer and I entered again off a break of the 12:20 bar high. Price came pretty close to the fib. ext. and - as it was getting close to the end of the day - I decided to exit about .20 below my target. This worked out well as price dropped at the very end.