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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I bought some Intel calls today. What? Yeah, I was checking out some charts last night and it looked like this issue was forming a cup and handle formation, which is bullish. I placed an order overnight. Intel went down a lot today and the order was filled. But the amount it went down kind of negates the pattern. Oh well. It is oversold so we'll see what happens. The Dow lost 47 points on increasing volume. Advance/declines were negative. We closed on the low and unless we rally from the start tomorrow it's trouble. GE was up slightly. I still have an open order for March calls. GE is also short term oversold. Gold was down a few bucks today and the gold stocks got slammed. The XAU was down over 3 points, with NEM down over a buck and a half. ABX was down also. The volume was heavy on the gold stocks. The Summation Index could be beginning to roll over here and that would be a negative. It could set up for a good January but that remains to be seen. My hope is for more sideways action into the middle of the month. I'm still a believer in the year ending in 5 theory and will be purchasing calls accordingly. Perhaps a wait and see attitude would be prudent here. Pfizer was up again today on an analyst meeting. I expect it to pull back though with tax selling. I could be wrong. It's happened before...

Monday, November 29, 2004

Opened higher, sold off 100 points, came all the way back and then closed down 46. Volume was light and the advance/declines were negative. GDP report out tomorrow. Don't exactly know where we go from here. Sideways will work for a while but a breakdown would be negative. GE was down again today. Not much though. I adjusted lower the order I have in for the March calls. January calls still in the black. Gold was up almost $5 today as the dollar was a little lower. The gold stocks did not follow again as the XAU was only up fractionally. ABX and NEM moved slightly. I can't see this as a positive for gold but it does keep rising. I'm on the sidelines there. Pfizer was up about a half today. Waiting on that one. A lot of talk on the dollar still. Time for that trend to take a rest I believe, with all the recent publicity. We'll see. Employment report on Friday and we could just wait around for that. End of month tomorrow, perhaps skewing things a bit. But that, like everything else, is just a guess. I'm sticking with the GE plan. It's short term oversold and I believe it, along with the market, will rally in January. Got a month to got though. Would actually like to short ABX here if I had the guts. It is going against the primary trend though and perhaps a better strategy would be to wait to get long. When in doubt, stay out and that's what I'm doing. Until tomorrow...

Friday, November 26, 2004

Holiday light trading. I don't even know why they bother to open for a shortened session. Volume super light, Dow up 2 points, advance/declines positive. GE was down, the March calls weren't filled. The gold stocks rallied pretty good on light volume as the dollar was down again. I even had an order in for some NEM calls but of course it wasn't filled. Gold was up a couple bucks. It seems everyone is focusing on the dollar now. If it stops going down I think that will be the catalyst for the next market upmove. It could be the excuse used for the next leg up. If there is one of course. I'll be enjoying the weekend and will be back on Monday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Holiday light volume as the Dow closes up close to 30 points. Advance/declines almost 3 to 1 positive. Typical pre-holiday fare. GE was down a little on an acquisition. I still have an open order for March calls there. Gold was up over a buck but the XAU was down a half. ABX and NEM were also down and the volume was good for a day like today. The dollar was weaker. Don't know what to make of the recent gold stock action. It certainly isn't following the metal. I'll wait it out on the sidelines for now. Pfizer continues to fall. Patience required there also. Off tomorrow and a shortened session for Friday. Looks like the start of a nice long weekend. Plenty of time to check the charts but better still a chance to take a break from the game. Recharge and regroup. Plan the next move but really just relax for a few days. Like anything else if you overdo it you'll burn out. And you're going to burn out enough just from the trading itself. So you try not to make it any harder on yourself than it's going to be.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Dow sold off for most of the day but came back to be up 3 points. Advance/declines were positive and the volume was light. I expect another light volume day tomorrow. GE was down and I placed a GTC order for some March calls. Volume was pretty good to the downside there. We'll see what happens. Gold was off a buck but the XAU dropped 2 and 1/2. ABX and NEM were also down on good volume. The dollar was down also. I'm thinking the dollar has got to stabilize somewhere in here. Hasn't happened yet. Gold did break out with the XAU not breaking out. That usually isn't the case for higher prices. But time will tell. If the gold stocks get oversold, I'm going to buy some calls. Gold is around $448 and I'd like to see it get to $430. I think it too is due for a rest in December. Time will tell. I'm still bullish on the overall market and will be looking to play it that way. OEX calls could be in the picture. Consolidation for now and get some bearish talk going so we can continue to the upside. It's all a guess but what isn't in this game?

Monday, November 22, 2004

We have entered the Thanksgiving holiday week. Usually the market goes up. The Dow was up today over 30 points on light volume. Advance/declines were 2 to 1 positive. I'm guessing we will consolidate here for a while, but who knows? GE was down a little today. I still want to get those March calls but they just don't seem to come down much in price. The January calls I own are still showing a profit and are in the money by a point. Gold was up again today almost at $450. ABX continues to soar, up almost 50 cents on heavy volume again. I don't know what is going on with that stock because the XAU was only up a tad and hasn't broken out like ABX has. Needless to say I wish I had some calls there. NEM also has yet to break out. The dollar was a little weaker and has gotten a lot of press lately. It seems to me everybody in the game knows about its weakness at this point and I think some type of pause is due. But I said that a couple points ago too. The technicals there are blown out to the downside. I'm going to try and be patient for the gold but really think a correction is due. Timing is everything in the game, that must not be forgotten. Controlling risk is another key element to success. However taking risks is the way to huge profits and I feel that soon I will be taking some. I am still a believer in the year ending in 5 theory. I think this market will take off to the upside at the beginning of the year. I will be setting up the January trades with this in mind. Pfizer is falling off the radar screen for me here. It was down again today and I'm not sure I will trade this issue afterall. Unless it forms a decent bottom in December with the tax selling that I anticipate, I will pass. It's possible I will concentrate my activity in GE and go from there. At this point that's how I'm leaning. But I'll let the market action dictate what I'll do, hopefully. I'm going to try and sit tight this week. Perhaps let December roll around and prepare for January. It's hard to say. I also am looking at some OEX calls for next year. The ideal scenario would be for a consolidation here and up and away from that. We'll see.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Finally a down day as the Dow was off 115 points on good volume. Advance/declines were over 2 to 1 negative. Excuses included Greenspan, the dollar, oil and option expiration. We've been overbought for a while so a decline was expected, really. I don't think it is the start of a long downtrend. GE sold off around 60 cents. Not enough to get those March calls yet. Gold was up over $4 and seems like it will never come down. The XAU was up almost a point and a half. ABX continued to soar up another 75 cents on very heavy volume. How long will it go on? A new gold ETF was launched yesterday and I'm thinking that is some of the reason for the rise. NEM was only up 50 cents and hasn't broken out like ABX. Neither has the XAU as it is at its previous high around 110 and hasn't gotten above it yet. The dollar sunk on Greenspans comments. There is a G-20 meeting over the weekend and the market will wait to see what comes out of that before trading again on monday. Holiday week next week also. I'll still be looking to get some March GE calls and perhaps some January ABX calls. Oil was up over 2 dollars but I think it's just a snapback, not the beginning of a new up trend. I also believe that a pullback towards the breakout that we just had in the indices is in the process now with todays action. It will give you another chance to get some calls. Pfizer was down again today and is looking weaker than I thought. Holding off until the December tax selling is over for that one. Perhaps will stay away for good on that idea also. The weekend has arrived and maybe I will return here before monday.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Dow up over 20 points with advance/declines about even. Volume was moderate. GE continues to be way overbought and up another 40 cents today. It needs a pullback. Gold was off 3 bucks or so today with the XAU down a couple points. NEM was down around a dollar and ABX was around unchanged. The relative strength of ABX is amazing and should be played to the upside on a pullback. Trouble is a pullback just hasn't happened. I've somehow got to be patient or else I could get burned. Pfizer was higher early on but then closed down for the day. Options expire tomorrow, that could skew things. Holiday week next week so some time premium should erode. I would not expect a lot of volume either. So maybe it is time to just sit tight for a couple weeks and plan the next trade. I'm looking for the March GE calls and now the January ABX calls. No plans for a December trade now but that will probably change. Dollar was a little stronger today. Not much else to say here...

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

It was an up day in the market today. The Dow gained over 60 points on heavy volume. Advance/declines were 2 to 1 positive. We were up twice as much at one point. Consumer inflation was higher than expected but it didn't seem to matter. That's the way it goes when the advance is strong. The news doesn't matter, it just keeps going up. Gold is the same way for now. It was up almost $5 today. The dollar continues to drop. The XAU was up over a point and a half. ABX was very strong on heavy volume. NEM was up but not as much as it could have been. The money continues to pour into ABX and I am kicking myself for not taking advantage of this situation. I don't know what is worse. Losing money or missing opportunities. I'm hoping today was a blow-off for ABX and that I'll be able to pick up some calls in the coming weeks. Way overbought and staying there, much like the overall stock market. GE was up a little today, at one point up a lot. Time for a rest there I presume and maybe a chance to get those March calls. Pfizer rallied today but I do want to wait there. It is frustrating not to participate in the gold advance. Especially when you lose money going the wrong way and you know the trend is up. But that's what happens when you suck as a trader. Controlling oneself is the key to profits. It can be done, you've just got to be good enough to do it. If not you lose money and eventually will be out of the game. The major trends are there to be taken advantage of. Try to remember that going forward...

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Dow down over 60 points today as we finally take a rest. Advance/declines almost 2 to 1 negative, with volume a little lighter. Producer prices came out higher than expected. No trades on the OEX for now. Gold was up over $3 and the XAU up a point and a half. ABX and NEM were both higher but not by much and volume was light. No trades pending there either. GE was down 5 cents and continues to remain strong. Need some downside to enter the March call trade. Patience will be required. The January calls remain a winner and I will ride them until the beginning of the year. Pfizer was down a little and I will be waiting around for that trade also. So it looks like I could be in a dormant period here for a while, simply waiting for market conditions to come around in my favor. Or perhaps I am wrong and should step up and buy things now. Always lots of questions in the game with no clear answers. perhaps some short term puts on the OEX could be profitable here. Not sure and will most likely sit it out after the recent lousy trades in gold.

Monday, November 15, 2004

A treading water kind of day with the Dow up 11 points. Volume was monday light and the advance/declines were positive. Got to figure a pullback is near. Option expiration week so anything can happen. I have some ideas but no solid plays. Gold was off a buck and the XAU down 1 1/2. Both ABX and NEM were down. I'm still thinking the divergences are there for a drop but we all know how poorly I've traded gold lately. GE was down a little but not enough to get some calls for this week. I'm still holding the Januarys and looking to go March. Pfizer was up today but no play there yet. Looks like I could be on the sidelines all week. Hope not. Next week is a holiday week. So I'll be just hanging around for that week most likely. I see the dollar was up a little today and perhaps a short covering rally is due. Don't know though. Not much else to say here except the patience and discipline mantra. I'm still learning...

Friday, November 12, 2004

15 minutes to go. I am an idiot. Sold the ABX puts for a 60% loss. Is this a rerun of the last losing trade? Yes. What happened? First of all the timing on the entries was right on. However the macro trend is up on this stock and the gold market. I was going against the flow of money. Stupid. Each time the options doubled. Each time I thought it was the start of a bigger move but these were just down blips in an ongoing uptrend. There's one of the reasons they went wrong. In hindsight, stop-loss orders should have been placed for overnight each time. But I didn't do that. Because I'm a lousy trader. It's true. A legit trader would have protected himself against adverse overnight moves. For some reason I never get this right until it's too late. I look back and say, yeah that's what I should have done. Because it's really all about reducing risk. Although the game involves risk, you don't have to add to it by doing dumb things. The trend here is up for the gold stocks. No sense in buying puts. It's a miracle that they even showed a profit at some point. Now I must learn something from these mistakes or I am doomed. Each trade is different, but these 2 were so much alike it is scary. Fortunately there was not much money involved. But it's still a dumbass loss to take. And who knows, maybe hanging on until next week would have proved worthy. But I bailed out and now my confidence is shot and it will be hard to go on from here. I'm still way in the black for the year and I'm thinking of just hanging it up for 2004. I say that today, Friday but Monday will be a different story. The Dow continues to plow upward, 60 more points today with 5 minutes left. Advance/declines are 2 to 1 positive and the volume is good. GE is up again and I am looking to get some more long term calls on a pullback. Looking for March now. The January calls are still looking good. Stop-loss order in there? No. Way too much time on these. Another point about the recent loss was the commission. It was higher due to more contracts purchased. It seems that perhaps the optimum number to trade is 20 at a time. Of course when the trade is going good, you want as many contracts as possible. But reality says half the trades are going to be losers, so commission costs must be watched. I'll try to regroup over the weekend...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

It's still up, up and away for the market. Dow up another 85 points today on 3 to 1 advance/declines. Volume was a little lighter though. We've got to see this thing take a rest. No big decline but something to the downside. GE was up again and the November call trade doesn't look like it's going to happen. I'm thinking of going out to March now. The January calls have tripled. I'm holding and hoping. Gold was up a little today as was ABX and NEM. The volume was light here and I am looking for more downside. My options are only up 50% now and an up day tomorrow will kill them. However the stochastic has rolled over, the negative divergences with RSI remain and I am somewhat confident that lower prices are in the offing. But who knows? The dollar was down a bit today and the steep drop has taken a rest for now. That doesn't mean it won't resume tomorrow. Trading is a difficult game as I have stated many times. There are very few easy trades. The money is out there to be made though, if you're good enough. I suppose I'll be hoping gold gets weak before the weekend. Like I said, the technicals support holding on for more downside here. I'm still checking out Pfizer but it hasn't gotten oversold completely yet. Don't know if I'll do this trade but I'll keep an eye on it. Option expiration is next friday. Will try something if conditions merit.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Up and down, mostly up and then flat at the close. That was the story of the Dow today. Advance/declines were positive, volume was average. The Fed raised rates the expected 1/4 of a point. And ho-hum was the day. GE was flat. I'm still looking to get some November calls there but not yet. Gold was off a couple bucks. The XAU was down a little less than a point. The dollar was up slightly. NEM was down and so was ABX, both on expanding volume. Hmmm, could the divergences be for real? The ABX puts I bought yesterday have doubled. Did I sell them? Of course not. Not that I'm greedy but if the divergence there is real, then ABX should drop some more. How far? If I knew that... The uptrend line is a point away. I probably won't wait that long but who knows. Perhaps a stop-loss order will be called for this time. It couldn't hurt. PFE was down again today. I really need to wait for December on that one. I'll try but you just can't tell in this crazy game. Patience and discipline. They are just 2 of the keys to unlock the door to successful trading. Tomorrow is a semi-holiday. The stock market will be open but I think the bond market is closed. Until then...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Market marking time. Dow off around 5 points on lower than lately volume. Advance/declines were positive. I still feel a pullback of some sort is necessary. GE was up around 30 cents today. No chance for a November trade here yet. Might not happen at this rate. Gold was up 2 1/2 bucks. The XAU was down a bit and ABX and NEM were up a bit. I bought some ABX puts again. Not a lot of money in this trade. There are some divergences. I don't know if this will work but should know by tomorrow with the trade numbers coming out. It's gotta be a short term thing. If ABX is up tomorrow, I am out with a small loss. I think it has a chance to be correct but who knows. The trend looks to be up and it is. But the volume is shrinking and a rest perhaps is in order. Maybe I should have just stuck to GE. Hindsight will tell. But I am giving it a shot, will not dwell on the consequences and we'll see what happens. Pfizer was down again today and patience will be needed there. Not much else to say here...

Monday, November 08, 2004

The markets traded flat today with the Dow up 3 points on lighter than usual volume lately. Advance/declines were solidly negative though. We are overdue for a pause. The Fed meeting is this week with the announcement on Wednesday I believe. The trade number will out that day also. A lot of chatter about the dollar here. It was up a touch today. It has been dropping for so long it is interesting that only now it is getting some notice. Must be near a bottom then. Gold was off under a buck today, with the XAU and NEM down a little. ABX continues to rise though. I wish I had the guts to get some puts on that now. I'm on the sidelines there for now. GE went nowhere today. I plan on buying some November calls when we get a pullback this week. That is the gameplan for this week. Patience and discipline will be required. Wish me luck. Pfizer was down around 40 cents today. I'd like to get some calls there but am now thinking of waiting to purchase them in December after some expected tax selling. It's a longer term deal like the GE January calls that I own. They are still showing a profit and I doubt they will get back to the price I paid for them. At least I hope not. Anyway perhaps we will get the decline I expect here. Nothing serious I think, because those that missed the recent rise will be looking to get on board. I'll still be watching gold and ABX looks like the leader in this group. Not any other ideas here...

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Ahhh, stupid trades and bad trades. Reflections of a loser. Actually not all trades are going to work, of course. It is inevitable in the game. However you don't have to help things along by being dumb and not listening to what the market is saying. How can you avoid the brain cramps? I sure wish I had an answer for that. But I don't. At this point it's more of a where do you go from here question. You've got to move on and not dwell on the mistakes. Learn what you can from them. But don't let them get in the way of being a successful trader. Try not to be too hard on yourself. I admit, it's a problem for me. The winning trades kind of take care of themselves. But the losers seem to stick with me for a while. I suppose I don't like being wrong or losing. Nobody does. But you have got to get on with it. There is no use in beating yourself up over bad trades. You need all your energy for the markets and to play the game. You've got to try to keep the losses small and take profits when you've got them. Especially when you make a stupid trade to begin with. It's easy to look back and say these things. It's a lot harder in the heat of the moment. But try you must and try again. It's the nature of the game...

Friday, November 05, 2004

Market continues higher with the Dow up over 70 points. This is about as overbought as I have ever seen it. Volume heavy again but advance/declines were slightly negative. It has got to take a rest. GE up a little. The employment number came in with much more jobs created than expected. But the dollar could not rally and gold went higher by $4. The XAU, NEM and ABX were all higher on good volume. I bailed out of the ABX puts for a 50% loss. What an idiot. From a 100% gain to a 50% loss all in the same week! This was a dumb trade from the start. I had a chance to just get out even when I knew it was a stupid trade, yet I stayed in for a loss. I could have put in a stop-loss order and I didn't. My idea was that gold was going higher, it did and I lost money because? Because the battle versus myself is the hardest one to conquer. Even when the technicals signaled higher prices to come, I still couldn't sell the puts. Foolish. I will never survive with trades like that. The money involved was thankfully minimal. But the trading tactics or lack there of is what is killing me. It does nothing for your confidence when you can't get it right. Just how could you do such a dumb thing? If I had the answer then maybe I could correct it. Sometimes you just screw up. Gotta somehow forget about it and move on with 2 weeks before expiration. There will be opportunities and there will be no time to feel sorry for myself. I canceled the open order in Pfizer but will be keeping an eye on it. I'll try to be back here over the weekend...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The market is on a tear. I mean just an incredible breakout rally. Dow up over 175 points. Heavy volume and 3 to 1 advance/declines again. My thoughts are that there will be no stopping it. The GE calls I own have more than doubled. And they're for January. I suppose I should have been paying more attention but I don't know. Sometimes you're just in a fog I guess. Of course I wish I had some more of those calls but at least I have some. Gold was up around 5 bucks today. The ABX puts I own are now break-even. ABX and NEM were both up on good volume but the action wasn't all it should be in my opinion. The XAU was up 2 1/2 points also. Gold could break out here also. I most likely should have sold the puts when I had a chance. The dollar was down a little today. Tomorrows employment report will be the key for this ABX trade. If the dollar rallies, gold should fall and the puts will be worth something. It's a guess as to what will happen. Pfizer went down big today on some false rumor. I put in an order for the December calls again. I'll try it again for a few days. Anything in the Dow will probably work at this point. Hindsight is everything. One thing about rallies like this. You can throw the technicals out the window. I have been waiting for some type of pullback since we are overbought and it is just not going to happen. You gotta just jump on board. At any rate, we'll see what the dollar and gold do tomorrow and take it from there.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Bush wins and a rally ensues. Dow up 100 points on heavy volume. Advance/declines 3 to 1 positive. Way overbought here. But it can stay that way for a while I suppose. GE was up but nothing spectacular. Gold was up $4 and the XAU was up over 2 points. ABX and NEM had good gains with ABX having good volume. The options I have are barely profitable now. Yesterdays 100% gain is a thing of the past. The dollar lost ground today and its downtrend may resume now. The employment number friday will be key. If it's weak the dollar could fall further and that would be positive for gold. The gold stocks charts aren't completely oversold yet so it's a toss-up really. Not sure what I will do here. Probably hold on until friday but we'll see. As I have said many times before, trading isn't easy. The toughest game in the world I believe. At any rate, decisions have to be made and the consequences have to be dealt with. I'm expecting some sort of pullback in the stock market but it hasn't happened yet. I'm a little tired here so that's it for now.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day. We had a one day reversal. Opened higher and closed lower. Volume was heavy. Advance/declines were positive. Still overbought and I would expect some weakness in the next couple of days. But I believe the trend is up here. Still holding the long term GE calls. Canceled the Pfizer open order. Perhaps if the price comes down, I'll try again. Just missed it last monday. Gold went down big today, around $7. I'm not sure why. The dollar was up but not by much. NEM was down over a buck and ABX lost 50 cents. The ABX options I have are over 100% profitable. I've got a limit order in to sell them. A short term uptrend line on the XAU was broken today. I should be out of these options within a week. But you never know. I'm still a longer term bull for gold shares. I guess we'll see who wins the election and take it from there. If there is no clear winner after today, I would expect a sell-off tomorrow. Busy day for sure and it doesn't get any easier. Employment numbers on friday. You gotta love the game though.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The Dow was up 20 points on light volume. Advance/declines were mildly positive. Election Day tomorrow. All are calling for a rally when the election has ended. We are overbought here and quite so. I'm looking for a pullback. It doesn't have to be a big one but a pause is due. When everybody is calling for a rally, it just doesn't usually happen. We'll see. GE was down a few cents, the options are still showing a profit. This is a long term trade which I must remind myself. Gold was down a buck and a half, ABX and NEM were both down over 50 cents. Those stupid ABX puts I have are showing a profit. It's possible that the XAU will break an uptrend line here and that would bode well for those options. It's still a dumb trade. Pfizer was down around a quarter and the open order remains. I might cancel it before the close tomorrow. Will need to check the charts. 3 weeks before expiration so now is the time to look for the opportunities. OEX puts perhaps for the short term. We have an employment number on Friday and the Fed next week. Not sure any downturn has lasting ability here so I'll play it careful for now. Perhaps will look for the Gold calls near the Fed meeting or before, depending on how it plays out before friday. Kind of in a holding pattern until wednesday but you never know.