Monday, October 31, 2011

A lot of movement today but with no direction

It was not an easy day to trade today mostly because the markets were in movement for sure but didn't know really (nor were they sure) where they were going. In such an environment, I found a long time ago (the hard way of course) it is safer to be in and out of positions quickly. I mean like staying in the market only for a few minutes (5, 10, 20) at a time. This tends to work well for me usually. That was pretty much the case again today except on the euro where I went long initially, then reversed short because the market was going against me, to finally exit at a loss because it was again going against me. Eventually that flip flop game would have paid off but I wasn't ready to get back in on the euro anymore at that point.

One person commented on Friday on this blog that I could possibly explain my trades in more details to enable some readers to learn. It is a good suggestion and I will try to do that more often in the future, although I have very little time to devote to this blog which is used more as a scorecard by me and people that could find here an interest in keeping up to date with my real trading results. Speaking of results, here they are for today: +$208 (commissions included) trading 1 contract. Details in picture below.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A good (but not glorious) trading day in the markets

I usually like to take it off early on Fridays because, well, it's Friday! Also, over the years I've noticed that once we hit the 11:00-11:30 AM mark, things go either wild or directionless, so there's not much sense for me sitting there waiting for something logical to happen. I had many good trades today but natural gas was the black sheep of the herd. It refused to come down as I expected it would/could. Well you can't win them all as we say. If all of my trade decisions had been winners since I started trading I would probably be richer than Georges Soros. But it's not the case. Making a decent living doing something I like above all may in fact be the most precious win. Net result for today trading 1 contract and including commissions: +$282. Details below.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

10-year notes were the most predictable again today

Among the 4 financial instruments I trade every day, I must admit that Treasury notes are the most predictable to trade. Not that they are "sure" winners every day, but compared to the wild gyrations of crude oil, natgas or the euro, they're a little bit easier on the trader if you see what I mean. Today was no exception to the rule. The easiest trade contest was again won hands down by t-notes. As for the others, I had all sorts of roller-coaster rides with each and every one of them. Anyway, what's important in fine is that I had a positive trading day. Net result today trading 1 contract (including commissions) is +$266. Details in the picture below.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A day of ups and downs that ended nicely

Boy, what a difficult trading day that was. The morning session was just awful with lots of bad trades. At one point I thought I was going to call it quit for the day. But discipline, patience, perseverance and the ability to cut losses early have to be the trader's best arsenal. To keep doing what one is used to do every day no matter the outcome is really the key to successful trading imho. But like anything else it is easier said than done. Anyway, I am glad this one is over. Result for today +$435 trading one contract.

P.S.: tomorrow I will not be able to trade because of some appointments, so there will be no post. Back on Wednesday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A small losing day because of a... forgotten trade

Something special happened today that had not happened to me in a long time. I blew most of my profits, and even a little bit more, because of a trade that I completly forgot I had. In fact, I thought I had closed it earlier before leaving my desk but obviously something wrong happened, maybe I didn't click properly on the buy button or something else but, anyway, the reality is that this short natgas trade sat there unattended for at least a couple of hours while I was busy preparing to drop my wife at the airport. Of course during that time the market went against my position (no luck here folks). Moral of the story: trading is a high risk activity and anything can happen when you indulged in that activity; good and bad. It's unfortunate because I had had a perfect day until that mistake. Net result: - $123 (trading 1 contract). Detail below.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A very high volatility day on the markets

What would best characterized the way markets were today is high volatility. Generally, it's a good environment for daytrader like me. But when its TOO volatile, its gets very risky to trade. The morning session was not as volatile so that's when most of my 9 trades were executed. The afternoon was wild and not suited for a conservative guy like me. Anyway, I am experienced enough now to know when to trade and when to be careful. All in all it was a good trading day with substantial profits. Results: +$489 (trading 1 contract). Details in pic below.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A losing day because of a couple of bad crude oil trades

Not much to say for today's trading results except that I got caught wrong footed on 2 specific crude oil trades. One came right before the release of the inventories numbers at 10:30 AM and the other one right after. I normally have a certain success trading those crude news announcements but that was obviously not the case today. After the losses, my objective was to recuperate as much from my losses as reasonably possible doing other trades, which I achieved up to a certain point. All in all, it was one of these days where you swim against the tide all day long. Results for today: -$642 (1 contract per trade). Tomorrow should be better. Details below.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More trend and volatility today on the markets

I had quite a few more opportunities to enter the markets in both up and down direction today mostly because we finally got a day where trend and volatility were back, at least in the morning session. Crude and natural gas were more active than the euro and t-notes markets as I ended up making 3 trades in each market. At one point during the trading session I was up more than 60 ticks net profits. Unfortunately, my second natgas trade went sour forcing me to reverse and lose roughly 24 ticks on the operation. My t-notes trades were also losers but to a lesser extent. All in all, not that bad of a trading day with a 34.5 ticks net profit result or +$345 (on a 1 contract per trade basis). Details below.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A good fishing trip... but could have been better

It seemed to me today that I spent most of my time fishing for either higher or lower prices through the use of buy/sell limit orders. Market orders were not on the menu du jour so to speak. That was that kind of day (for the instruments I trade at least) where markets lack conviction and do not commit to a specific direction or trend (see here for an example of a normal day distribution on crude). I found a long time ago that when in an environment like this, one is better off using well calibrated limit orders than to respond to trend following signals with market orders. But, from time to time, you miss good trades waiting for a specific price with a limit order, like the one that passed under my nose on t-notes by 2 ticks and, as it turned out, would have been a huge winner. Better luck next time. Today's net result (using 1 contract): +$417. Details below.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Slow grinding day

It seemed today like most of the heavy-duty action had been done during the overnight session, particularly on crude oil which ended up closing 3% higher than yesterday. I had a couple of good trades on it during the pit session. In fact, that's where virtually all of my profits come from today. The euro, which hasn't been kind to me lately, didn't provide me with any good real setup to trade today. So, I didn't trade it. My only 10-year notes trade went nowhere fast and turned out to be my losing trade of the day. Finally, I took 3 trades in natural gas. They were all small winners. For two of them, it would have been more profitable for me to show a little bit more patience. Sometimes, it is only a matter of holding on to the trade 10 more minutes. Anyway, overall a reasonable Friday trading session. Net result today (trading 1 contract): +$368. Details below.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A real yawner... until 1:30 PM

Not a lot of action during most of today's trading session as my trades kept being whipsawed by the markets. At one point around lunch time, my account was down more than 50 ticks. It was one of those days where volatility is dead and volume is low. But, suddenly, around 1:30 things started flying in all directions and I took advantage of the situation to bring back my account into positive territory, although only slightly. During days like that you really have to be patient and maintain your risk tight. My net trading result (one contract basis) for today is +$113. Details in the pic below.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

All in all a quiet day

Despite (or maybe because of) the release of the FOMC minutes, trading today went nowhere fast. Markets participants have been hesitant all day, at least in the instruments I trade. Crude oil ended the day 45 cents below its 9:00 AM open price. Euro and t-notes ended virtually flat from their 8:00 AM levels. Only natural gas was a real mover ending the pit session down 3.6%. Below are my results for today: +$296 (using one contract)