Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Notes - Tale of Two Sessions

4:15pm I'll try to keep this simple.

Morning summary: I sucked and mentally "fired" my trader. I never could get the motor running and it seemed I was a step slow and dancing to the wrong tune. "He" was fired just after noon.

Afternoon summary: The replacement trader did great. Of course it helped that "he" also stepped into a market rhythm that suited his style, yet "he" seemed to dance quite nicely and only stepped on a few feet.

In all seriousness, it was quite an intraday turnaround in my trading, with the morning and afternoon performances contrasting as much as the market. And the change wasn't simply because the market climbed in the PM (hell, I could care less which way it goes ... so long as it goes). It was a change in pace with -- finally -- some emotion showing in the market as shorts got stuck in the afternoon squeeze.

In fact, the two performances were so distinct, that I broke the scorecard to the left into two columns -- one for each "session". The only area for improvement in the afternoon was that I stopped at about 3:45pm and passed on holding part of a long on the late afternoon retracement. Yet by that time, I'd turned a bothersome morning performance and P&L around and simply decided to shut the engine down and go back at it in the morning. Much of the afternoon's take was the result of short-scalping unsustainable emotional panic buying, which provided a fertile ground for both long and short scalps as the market chopped its way back toward the upper end of its hourly downtrend channel.

The increase in today's personal volume was largely the result of "fighting" my way back into rhythm by providing a great deal of liquidity while I was trying to get my game back, which is simply how I'm wired. Many traders often find their rhythm by backing off. I tend to instead sometimes step up the trading to get the adrenaline flowing and force myself back in rhythm. As always, different strokes for different folks.

In terms of today's charts and technical indicators, the VIX gets the chart of the day award, followed in second place by the hourly (lower right chart) and 120-minute charts, both of which showed the market significantly stretched to the downside. Yet the market certainly did its best to frustrate the hell out of "early" reversal traders -- both in the morning session for longs and in the afternoon session for shorts. And yes, I was early at times, although I kept the morning damage manageable which I think psychologically helped me keep hammering away as the afternoon rhythm took over.

And so I end the day still waiting for that first loss of 2009 which I fully expected would occur today. It and other losing days of course will find their way to the performance chart.

Yet apparently it will take at least another day.

Look for another post tonight with a link to an interview I gave to old friend Tim Bourquin earlier today.

No comments: