Trade, Thursday 14th March 2019

It’s been a busy week. BA had some tradeable moves again yesterday, but the huge swings from the first two days of that news cycle seem to be behind us. With the USA grounding the fleet as well, the worst news for Boeing is probably now behind us (unless they find a fault that affects older models of the 737 as well, I guess).

So just one quick trade to post today, because it was a four-figure win of the type I said don’t come along every day. Here’s DG:

The setup wasn’t quite as clean as I like, so I was very vigilent on the exit button. In the event though, momentum was there and the trade worked out exactly as the strategy suggests. Exited after hitting the target, seeing momentum dry up, and the price starting to rise.

Just over a thousand dollars. profit in ten minutes or so on this stock. So it was one of those dull bread and butter trades that turned out to be more…brioche? I’ll stop with the metaphors!

$4,580 Profit From One Stock

Let’s look at something other than BA, which although it had another massive move, was less interesting than it has been for the last couple of days. Here’s what happenend on ROKU:

This was a three-biter, and two of those bites were pretty chunky. The first was a classic entry, but the momentum wasn’t really there and the price didn’t follow through. As one of my golden rules is to never let a winning trade turn into a losing one, I got out with a modest 10 cent/share gain, taking just $100. Not a good win then, but crucially not a big loss, meaning we live to fight on.

There was another possible entry about twenty minutes later, but again the momentum was lacklustre and having seen one trade not work out, I was waiting it out to see if something better would come along.

Something better did come along about ten minutes later. Volume ramped up, momentum took hold, and down we went, taking more than two thousand dollars on a trade that lasted about ten minutes.

The third and final bite at the ROKU cherry came about fifteen minutes later and the drop was even more precipitous, giving us another couple of thousand dollars and change in another ten minutes The exit was when momentum dropped away to nothing. A retracment was highly likely, and having made more than four and a half thousand dollars already, I was quite happy to get out and call it a day. Besides, it was getting on for lunchtime!

Here’s one more:

Not so exciting, but a simple, standard setup with a good regular target (easily hit), which made for almost five hundred dollars profit. Like ROKU, the trade only lasted about ten minutes. Yes, there was more to be had earlier, but as we all know by now, it’s about taking the easy middle.

The Boing Carnage Continues (Trades)

Given the worsening news for Boeing (large parts of Europe banned the 737 Max from their airspace on Monday), the stock was another obvious candidate for trading. Yesterday I wrote about the ethics of profitiing from a disaster, so I won’t go into that again today. Here’s the chart:

Knowing that this was highly likely to produce a trade, I stayed out of other stocks, keeping my capital free for BA, which is priced much higher than anything I would normally select to watch. That meant I could go in with a 500-share position. So although the trade made a bit less than yesterday’s, the larger position made up some of the difference. As we were into day two of this story (and, if I’m honest, because I had more capital at stake), I was a bit more cautious and scaled out, taking half off as soon as things faltered and we were at a natural exit point, and the other half off when it was pretty clear the run was over — at least temporarily. There was more to be had later on, but when trading something outside of my comfort zone, I prefer to stick to the basics that I know work everywhere. Besides, more than two thousand dollars profit on a single ten minute trade is more than enough — no need to get greedy.

The trade itself was fairly textbook then. And although less profitable than yesterday’s in final dollar value, for anyone who counts (the largely useless) profit-per-minute stat, it was actually about twice as profitable.

Getting out of BA relatively early meant I had funds freed up for DKS, which came along right after

Another textbook setup, though the exit was on the failure of a target rather than hitting one. Again, if counting dollars per minute in the trade, this was in the $100/minute territory, which is nothing to be sniffed at.

Is It Ethical To Profit From A Plane Crash? (Trade)

I’m only posting one trade from yesterady, but it’s a biggie. And it raises a question of the kind that often comes up on these kinds of trades

Boeing openend with a massive gap down. For anyone reading this blog in the future, that’s because on Sunday (the day before this trade was taken), a Boeing 737 Max aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines, crashed, killing all 157 people on board. It was the second aircraft of this type to crash in less than five months. Within 24 hours, several airlines had announced they were grounding their 737 Max fleet pending the crash investigation. By all measures, this was a major incident, so it was inevitable that when the markets openend on Monday morning, BA would open down. What we didn’t know was where it would go next.

As day traders, we don’t need to know whether the stock is likely to go up or down on the day, we just want to know that it’s going to move. Preferably with good volume. BA was an obvious candidate for any stock day trader’s watch list on Monday.

As a stock, it did not disappoint, making (relatively) huge gains, even though it still closed down on the day. As far as my own strategy goes, it gave a perfect set up and blasted through several potential exit points without taking a breath. When two targets coincided and when the momentum took a break, I was out.

BA is a much higher priced stock than I would normally trade, but as I have talked about before, dynamically sizing your position to take account of the high price is one of the advantages of trading stocks. I had cash tied up elsewhere, and I don’t know BA as a stock at all, so I went with a fairly conservative 300 shares. The half-hour trade netted a final profit of $3,444.

Ethical Trading?

Here’s the inevitable question though: is it ethical to profit from a disaster? Is making more than $100 a minute profit from the fact people died something to be proud of? Or even just comfortable with?

Everyone has to make up their own mind, but here’s my take. The accident happened. It’s terrible, awful, and of course my thoughts are with the families of those who where killed. I hope beyond hope that the cause is found and that it helps engineers reduce the risk of such a crash ever happening again. But the fact remains the crash has happened. It’s in the past. We can’t change that. We cannot bring back the dead. Trading the resulting stock price movement is not going to alter what has already occured.

The wild swings in Boeing’s price were inevitable. They were going to happen whether or not people like me traded them. To shift a stock the size of BA the amount it moved requires institiutional amounts of money. It takes hedge funds and pension funds pulling out to cause such a drop. After that, algorithmic trading kicks in. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not. So we can either put our fingers in our ears, avert our gaze, and try to pretend it’s not happening, or we can accept the inevitable and get on with our job.

The job of trading almost always, if we think about it, involves acting on good and bad news. Stock prices move for a variety of reasons, but the big moves happen in response to news. Factory closing? The stock price will probably move. Do we stop to think about the people who will lose their jobs as a result of the closure though? Probably not. Just as we probaby don’t stop to celebrate the good news events that are disconnected from our own reality. We just watch the chart and trade the moves.

As horrific as a plane crash is, it is a news event and most of what happens subsequently is inevitable. So I see nothing wrong with continuning to do my job. There’s nothing to be gained from ignoring it.

Did you make money from BA yesterday? If so, perhaps consider donating some of your profit to people who can make a difference, like the Red Cross or Save The Children.

The Opportunity Cost of Shorting Apple

It’s been a while since I posted an Apple trade on here.

AAPL is a stock that moves far and fast. It’s not for the faint hearted, but when you get to know it you find that actually, beyond the very short term whipping about, it moves as predictably as any other stock.

The high price can be something that puts off a lot of traders, which is understandable, but it’s not a reason not to trade the stock. Here I traded 1000 shares, giving $880 profit in ten minutes (exiting when it failed to hit the target — just!) But a smaller account could trade 500 shares, or even just 250, which would still have yielded $220. Sizing our position in relation to the price of the stock is one of the great advantages of trading stocks over futures.

But that’s not the whole story of this trade. We need to look at another trade I took on BZUN:

This was another ten minute short, taking a clear entry and exiting when it just kind of petered out. In relation to the price of the stock, this trade was way more profitable than the Apple one above. Had I not had cash tied up in Apple, I could have increased my size four-fold on this one, turning a $450 profit into an $1,800 one (as opposed to $1,320 for the two trades combined). So actually that seemingly nice Apple trade actually cost me $480 in lost profit. Opportunity cost is real.

Want To Make $200k+ A Year?

Here are a couple of textbook quickie trades. I will warn you that they are dull, but there’s a reason I’ve posted boring trades today. First, a little short on HUYA:

Standard fare with a clear setup and a good target, easily hit. There was more after lunch, and even a late rally for anyone who likes that kind of thing. Obviously I was long gone by then, happy with my $480 made in ten minutes in the morning.

Here’s another, ELAN:

Another textbook short, essentially the same trade as HUYA and happening a few minutes earlier. The price dropped relatively more quickly, but the range was reduced so it only made around half the profit, “just” $260.

There’s nothing exciting about these trades, they’re not the massive $1k+ winners that I know some readers love to look at. But the fact is these kind of trades are very much the bread and butter of day trading life.

It’s easy to find three or four trades like these every day. They are simple to trade, low risk, low stress, and cobined they add up to a four figure profit. Do that just four days a week, take four weeks vacation, and you’re looking at making a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year, minimum. Minimum? Yes, because let’s face it, if you trade four mornings a week you’re going to come across some of those big winners as well every now and then, which will boost the bottom line even further.

$200,000 a year is not a bad “salaray” for working only about three hours a day, four days a week, from home (or anywhere else in the world). There might be other jobs that pay as well, but off the top of my head I can’t think of any. Certainly none that offer the kind of freedom day trading can.

I’m not posting these figures or charts to boast or brag. I post it because every week I get questions like “how much can I make day trading?”. There’s no single answer to that kind of question, but I hope this post at least gives an idea of what’s possible.

The Easy Way To Profit From Ebay

I’ve never got on with Ebay, personally. I think I’ve bought two items there over about the last fifteen years, and both times they never arrived. A one hundred percent failure rate caused me to lose confidence in the place. I prefer Amazon, even if it’s trendy to bash them these days for a multitude of reasons I won’t go into. Mrs Walsh, on the other hand, loves Ebay, and can regularly be found emptying the family coffers on the site.

Ebay is occasionally useful to me for one thing though — as a stock to trade. It popped up on my list on Friday, and provided me with this nice little short.

A classic entry, right out of the book, off-chart confirmation, and a couple of clear price targets made it a no brainer. I nearly exited the whole lot at the first one when it coincided with momentum dropping away, but reading the price suggested there was more to come, so I only took off half. As it happened it did indeed drop further, hitting the second target quickly once it got going. All of which added up to a $500+ profit in under half an hour. That’s a much better way to do ebay!

Here’s another quickie from Friday — CMCSA:

Nothing exciting, just another standard setup which yielded only a couple of hundred dollars. But they were stress-free dollars, and that counts for something, especially on a Friday.

Twin Trades

Here are a couple of quickie textbook trades. Coincidentally, they produced identical profits. First off, CPB.

A bog standard momentum trade taking $600 in about ten minutes. There was a bit more to be had in the last hour too, for anyone hanging around at that time.

Next up, WLL:

Another pretty much textbook trade. There were some substandard entries before the one I took. One of those I rejected for the usual off-chart reasons, the previous one I actually missed because I was watching another chart. Sometimes missing an entry is a good thing! Once in, it was a smooth ride, jumping ship when the momentum ran out for another $600.

Trades, Friday 22nd Feb 2019

This first trade looks more complicated than it was. The first entry was a dud — momentum dropped off a cliff so it was time to get out. Fortunately there had been just enough momentum at the point of entry to get me over the line so I could exit with enough to cover commissions (and a few bucks extra), so not a total loss. It’s always about escaping with your account intact. I’ll keep banging that drum forever. We can take tiny losses for days or weeks, and we can take tiny profits forever. It’s about protecting capital and being there for when the winners come along.

As it happens, the winner came along on the second go. Then things moved far and fast. I scaled out, taking half off in an obvious place and letting the rest run risk free. Sometimes that yields more than just getting out at the first sign of trouble (as was the case here), and sometimes you end up with a bit less. Again, it’s about being there for the bigger winners. In all, more than fifteen hundred dollars profit from this trade, but it was definitely more ‘hard work’ than I prefer!

The second trade I’m posting (and here’s your regular reminder that I don’t post all my trades here, just a selection that I think are interesting), was much more vanilla. Textbook in and out for a quick profit.

There was (a lot) more to be had for anyone taking a second entry on IQ, but I was out by then. Volume was drying up and we were heading into lunchtime. With a decent profit for the day already banked, I wasn’t prepared to risk another entry. My loss.