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Friday, December 31, 2004

Another light volume, down day affair. The Dow lost 17 points on positive advance/declines. You can't make much of the action that happened this week. A lot of people were on vacation. The real game starts again on Monday. All the stocks I'm looking at had minor moves one way or the other. If anything, the options lost more time premium. I still think we will rally big at the beginning of the year. My hardest work will be where to exit the positions I currently own. I want to get out of the Intel trade as soon as possible. I almost bought some Microsoft calls today. My thinking is it will pop next week and money can be made. I didn't do it though. I already have a lot of cash out there in trades. This is a difficult game. I need to simplify it. Looking back over the last year, I really made some bonehead moves. I need to get better. I ended up with a gain of 22% on traded capital for the year. That just isn't good enough for the risks involved. Hopefully in the year ahead I will be able to control myself and make the right moves. It all comes down to patience and discipline. Until next year...

Thursday, December 30, 2004

We continue to drift through the week. The Dow was down around 30 points on positive advance/declines. Volume was light once again and the decline took place in the last 5 minutes. GE went nowhere as did Intel. MSFT lost around 15 cents making it a big mover. Pfizer was down around a quarter. Gold was up a couple bucks. The gold shares didn't do much. I didn't see what the dollar did. ABX was up better than most as its relative strength continues. Gold has lost some of its luster here though. I'll try and be patient. There will be a play there on the upside at some point. Tomorrow should be just as boring if not more so. New Years Eve and a bunch of the markets are closed. Should be a snoozer for equities. I've written my trading plan for next year, so I'm ready to go. That's it for now...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

More light volume inaction today. The Dow was down 25 points on positive advance/declines. I bought some more January GE calls. Why? I guess I am a firm believer in this trade. We are right at the trendline. If it holds here than this will be a winner. I expect it to hold. I expect a pop for the beginning of the year, which I have stated again and again. I also put in an order for some Microsoft calls. It didn't get filled and I canceled it before the end of the day. Perhaps I am too bullish. Time will tell. Intel didn't do much today and my options didn't move. Gold got clobbered, down over $9. The gold shares did not follow and were only down slightly. Again the volume was light. Hard to figure this week. But with light volume you can't put much emphasis on what goes on. Next week will be the key. Pfizer continues to impress and was higher again today. Missed that one, I guess. And so we wallow around in the meantime. The next couple of days won't mean much.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The week trudges on. Light volume rally today with the Dow up 78 points. Advance/declines were over 2 to 1 positive. GE did not participate, up only a few cents. My partial fill option order was filled. I think I have enough now. I don't like it when a stock does not follow the market up. It is not a good sign. I could rationalize it away by saying it is a holiday week. But I need to keep an eye on it. The technicals look good as they are not overbought. I'm hanging on until the new year. Intel was down a few cents, the options are losing time value. This trade looks more and more like a mistake, as I said days ago. Still gonna wait but it's looking like a loser. Gold was down and so were the gold shares. No volume and not much interest. Pfizer keeps rallying back. Wish I would have foresaw that one. Well it's only Tuesday. Would like to get through the rest of the week without anymore damage to my positions and hope the new year goes as planned. Interesting game but difficult.

Monday, December 27, 2004

It's a holiday week and the volume was light. The Dow lost 50 points and the advance/declines were almost 2 to 1 negative. It's not a surprise as I am looking for some downside here. I don't think it will last long but it should carry over to tomorrow. My open order for GE calls was partially filled. I hate that. Either fill it or not because now it's in limbo. The rest of it should get filled tomorrow but as you know, there are no guarantees in this business. GE was down around 20 cents as was INTC. The Intel calls are in the red again. No volume though so I am not all that worried but I'm not pleased either. I should have just bailed out of this Intel trade a while ago. I really don't know much about the tech biz. I am going to wait for the rally I expect at the beginning of the year but it could be too late by then. Gold was up around 3 bucks but the XAU did not rally much. ABX and NEM were up slightly on light volume. Dollar hitting new lows. I don't know how much you can read into the trading this week with very thin markets. I am sticking to my scenario until proven otherwise. Rally at the beginning of January, taking advantage of it with GE calls. I'll get some OEX calls if we keep dropping this week. Pfizer was up again today. No plans there but ya never know. We'll see if the rest of that GE trade can get filled tomorrow. I also added another trade at a lower price for the same calls. We'll see...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

OK, the week is over. Dow up around 15 points on holiday light volume. Advance/declines were positive. Not much action. Fractional moves with no interest in everything I'm holding or looking at. Time for a nice long weekend. I'll be looking for weakness early next week and hopefully get some more calls if that happens. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The rally continues with the Dow up another 56 points. Volume was light and the advance/declines were positive. Again GE did not follow suit and was down. This time INTC joined it. When your stocks can't go up when the market does, you are in trouble. I don't like it and I think this market will head down at the beginning of next week, if not tomorrow. The GE calls are profitable but they won't stay that way if this continues. The Intel calls are right where I bought them. Perhaps selling them is the wise move. But I am sticking to my guns and holding on until the beginning of the year. Pfizer was up almost a buck today and I sure wish I had the guts to play that one. Maybe if it drops before the new year. But I probably shouldn't. Gold shares were down today on light volume. Gold was down a couple bucks. Almost time for a nice 3-day holiday weekend. You gotta take a break once in a while or you'll go nuts. It will be good to get this year over with. I'll be looking for strong trading profits next year, if my prognosis proves true.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

So much for the decline. The Dow was up about 100 points today on 2 to 1 advance/declines. The volume wasn't all that good but it is a holiday week. This could move the summation index to the upside but we are overbought slightly with todays action. GE did not move, was off a couple cents. So much for relative strength. I don't like it when a stock doesn't move up along with the overall market. It isn't the most positive sign. Intel got an upgrade and rose 75 cents. My calls are back to break even. Perhaps should sell out here. But I won't. I'd still like to wait for the beginning of next year and I probably will. Gold did not move but the XAU was up over a point with ABX and NEM higher. Volume not all that good. I'm keeping an eye on it but I really can't see a play there right now. Perhaps it will be a safety flight play before the Iraqi elections. Don't know. Pfizer rose a little today. I could do something here but the risk is very high in my opinion. It has sold off a lot but it may take a while to form a base. Then again it may not. When in doubt, stay out. I'm sticking with the positive 2005 theory, with prices moving higher than expected. 15% to 20% for the year with the bias towards 20% or more. I think January will be a good month, with solid gains in the beginning of the month. It's all just a guess but what isn't in this game? Things should slow down the next couple of days before the long weekend. Hopefully the posts will be shorter.

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Dow was up about 10 points today on OK volume for a Monday. Advance/declines were about even. We were a lot higher earlier though and could see some more weakness tomorrow. But I am not looking for a big decline or any huge market moves. It is a holiday week. Probably going sideways to nowhere. And that is going to kill my out of the money Intel calls. INTC was down 7 cents today but the calls lost value and are now in the red. So I am stuck holding these things until the New Year bounce I am anticipating. The only good thing is that there is an extra week on the January options and that might bail me out. But I should have dumped them last week when my order didn't get filled. I could have lowered the limit price and been done with it. We are still stuck on the 50 day moving average there. Gold didn't move much. The gold shares gained a little after being up earlier in the day. Volume was light as there is no interest there anymore. GE was up around 30 cents and continues to be a good play. The relative strength is high. I still have an open order for some more January calls and the calls I own are in the black. Pfizer was down around a buck fifty but I am steering clear of this for now. But it might be playable soon. But who knows? Summation index still pointing down. Would like to just get through this week without any major damage and then take it from there.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Volume the story today as it is super heavy with the expiration and news from Pfizer. The Dow was down 55 points with advance/declines about even. Pfizer announced one of its main drugs causes heart attacks. They didn't say it like that but that's the jist of it. PFE got killed on massive volume. And I was looking to get calls. That goes to show you just how fickle this game can be. And dangerous. Overnight developments can ruin any position you have at any time. You've got to know this in the game. GE was down today and I am looking to get some more January calls. I'm still a believer in a nice pop at the beginning of 2005. The summation index has turned down and I did expect some weakness so I'm trying to take advantage of it. But of course, I could be wrong. Intel was down also and is right on its 50 day moving average. If it holds, my calls might make it. If not, they're losers. Gold was up a few bucks today as the dollar was weaker. The gold shares didn't move and the volume was light. There is no interest there for now but sometime next year they will perk up again and I hope I'm there to profit from it. So it looks like I'm pinning my hopes on GE and that's not a bad thing. Uptrend line is at $36 and if it holds I should be OK. If not? You know the story. Holiday shortened week coming up. I don't expect a lot of action. It will be a time to try and position for the beginning of next year. But the markets will be quiet. Sideways action could be the norm. As long as we don't tank, I think things will work out.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A mixed day today with the Dow up and the SPX down. The NASDAQ was down also. Dow up around 15 points. Volume was expiration heavy and the advance/declines were negative about 2 to 1. This will probably turn the summation index back down. I'm still looking for near term weakness. GE was down around 30 cents. Holding my options here. Intel was down and I had an order to sell my calls but it wasn't filled. Needs to hold the 50 day moving average line again or it's a loser. Don't know but I wish I wasn't holding any. Sox index is breaking an uptrend line. We'll see but I don't like it now. Gold was down as was the XAU, NEM and ABX. The dollar was stronger. Will look for calls on the gold shares when the dollar index gets to 85. Could be a while. Support for NEM at $42 and might go long there. Pfizer continued to rally and I think that I missed that one and probably will forget about it. Not really looking for anything else at the moment. I'm still a believer that next year will be good and that January should see higher prices including 11000 on the Dow. I will be looking to get long on the weakness I expect in the next few days. The trouble is with the holidays approaching there will not be much interest in the markets. That could skew things and make it harder to get orders filled. Perhaps stepping aside would be the prudent thing to do. However I will be looking for opportunity as I believe other players will be too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

This blog site is getting slower every day. The Dow was up 15 points on pretty good volume. Advance/declines were about 2 to 1 positive. The summation Index is turning back to the upside. We are overbought here though. I'm looking for some downside but hopefully not alot. GE went nowhere today. Intel was down a few cents and I'm worried about this trade. I'm thinking of just getting out while I can without a loss. However the technicals are oversold and I'm thinking it will bounce here before too long. Don't know. Gold was up around $4 but the XAU did not even gain a point. ABX and NEM were higher but on light volume. I'm on the sidelines there. Pfizer rallied to the 50 day moving average line, up a dollar. Looks like I may have missed out on this one. The tax selling I was anticipating may not come to pass. I'll keep an eye on it but it isn't looking good after today. The dollar was weaker but it isn't a headline factor for now. I'm looking for it to rise to the breakout point and then I will get long gold. I'm looking for some type of pullback in the overall market here. Then purchase some more calls on the OEX and selected issues. The game is hard and played for real by others with more savvy than me. This is known. However my skills are on the improve. I am learning more about myself. I am a successful trader for the year and not all can claim that. I will have an even better year in 2005 if I continue to pay attention. The game is interesting, time consuming and involves a lot of hard work. Not all are up to the challenge. But I am and will continue to be. I enjoy the game...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Gotta blog early again, need to get a haircut. About 5 minutes to go on another up day. Dow up around 30 on positive advance/declines. Volume looks average here. Fed raised rates another quarter point, which was expected. GE gave some in-line guidance, the stock is down a bit on heavy volume. Should go sideways for a while here. Gold was down over $3 but the gold shares are not moving down that much. Intel is up over 50 cents today and the calls I own are back in the black. I'm thinking of selling but will wait for tomorrow at the least. Pfizer is up, January calls are still too expensive for me. That's it for today.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The market is up 85 points with an hour to go. I am posting early due to playing 9 holes of golf after the market closes. Advance/declines are solidly positive right now but the volume seems lighter than usual. Gold was up $5 today but the gold stocks aren't doing much right now, XAU up around a point and a half. I think a longer bottom needs to be in place here. GE is still rallying, up another 75 cents at the moment. The calls are looking good. INTC isn't moving and the options are losing some time premium. Looks like a loser but it does have some time left. Pfizer announced a dividend hike, it's up a little. Waiting on the January calls there. Fed tomorrow and I think we will see some downside at some point this week due to a now overbought condition coming upon us. Summation index trying to turn but it would be better for January if it kept going down. We'll see how we close...

Friday, December 10, 2004

The market didn't do much today with the Dow down around 10 points. Advance/declines were slightly positive and the volume was lighter than lately. One week before option expiration. Then we've got the holidays. Could be a slow time. Probably want to stay on the sidelines unless something good presents itself. Intel was down today and I am worried about this trade. We are right at the 50 day moving average and it has to hold here. If it moves up I think I'll dump them. The weekly chart doesn't look good unless next week is higher by a point. GE announced a dividend increase and stock buyback today. It was higher on heavy volume, a good sign. My options continued higher. Gold was down around a dollar today. ABX and NEM were both down on light volume as the interest in the gold shares wanes for now. I'm keeping an eye on it but like I said before, it will take time for a base to build here most likely. Pfizer was down again and I am looking for the January calls here. I will most likely get some before the end of the year. Tax selling as I have said. I think this will be a good trade if the entry is done right. Well, we should slow down after next week. The Fed is doing something Tuesday. Probably another quarter point rate hike and we'll see how the market reacts to that. I'm sticking to my year ending in 5 theory. Summation index is still dropping which will hopefully set up for the rise in the beginning of next year. If we can stay in a sideways range, I believe my prognosis will prove correct. But in this game you never know...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

An interesting day as the Dow sold off early and then came all the way back to close up around 55 points. Advance/declines were slightly positive and the volume again was good. I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm not convinced that it is for real. The Bollinger bands on the daily OEX chart are very tight, which implies a big move one way or the other. The summation index is still pointing down. Tricky call. Gold was down another buck and a half today. However the XAU, NEM and ABX were all up. Not a lot mind you and the volume wasn't as good as it has been recently. I'm going to let a bottom build there. GE was up around 30 cents. Those calls are still looking good. I got filled on the Intel calls this morning. This too came all the way back but then sold off again. It has to hold right here or the uptrend line will be broken and it will be a loser. Volume was heavy so perhaps the sellers have sold out here but that is just a guess. And a hope. Pfizer was down, no trades there. I read something last night that said that money management was the most important part of trading. It is important but I feel it is not the most important. Let me ask you, if you lose all of your trades, what difference will good money management make? Successful trading requires more skills than just good money management. The trades themselves are the most important. If you can't figure out how to trade it doesn't matter how much money you have because you will lose it all. Someone with a small amount of money that knows how to trade will fare better than someone with a lot of money that doesn't. There is no most important part of trading. It's all important...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

We got some bounceback today, with the Dow up over 50 points. Advance/declines were positive and the volume was good. I think we will be going sideways here for a while, before the next leg up. That's my hope. Gold got killed today, down $15. What a move. It has been telegraphed by the weakness in the gold stocks. Today the XAU sold off big early but came back pretty good as did ABX and NEM. The XAU was only down around a point and a half. I'd like to let a bottom build here and then get long. But I might get some December calls for a bounce. Not sure. GE was up today and INTC was down. I have an order in now for some January Intel calls. Trying to buy them back. It is getting near the uptrend line. If it holds then the bullish case is still in play. If not, I'll cancel the order. Sounds good in theory, as it always does. Pfizer was up today, I'm watching it but no trades are imminent. Less than 2 weeks until expiration Friday. My best guess would be to stay on the sidelines and add to January call positions. That's the plan and I'll try and stick to it. Expecting sideways and weakness action for the next week. Summation Index still pointing down.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The market got clobbered today, with the Dow down 105. Volume was good and the advance/declines were 3 to 1 negative. A decline was expected here, now we just have to see how deep it is. My guess is we won't go down that much. But what do I know? My March GE calls finally got filled. It took all session as they were partially filled for most of the day. That usually means the market makers did not want to give them up. I am going to put in an order for some more at a lower price. GE was down today. I sold the Intel calls for a 70% profit. Perhaps could have held them but I took the money and hope to get them back. The open interest expanded from the time I bought these. That is supposed to be bullish but my studies on this factor are inconclusive. I will repurchase some calls when Intel gets to the uptrendline, perhaps later this week. Gold was down a couple bucks and the XAU continued lower. ABX and NEM were down. The dollar was weak so we have some disconnect here. I don't know what to make of it but I'm staying away as some trend lines have been violated. Too bad I didn't get some puts when I saw the gold price, gold share divergence. It's always easy to look back. Pfizer didn't do much today and that could be a positive when we were down so much. I'll keep an eye on it. The Summation Index has rolled over to the downside so I would expect more weakness but not a lot. I'm still sticking with the theory of a good year for 2005. This could be the opportunity to get your calls for early next year. We'll see...

Monday, December 06, 2004

Today the Dow was down 45 points on light volume. Advance/declines were negative. There were some downgrades of a few Dow stocks. GE was down a little. I still have the open order for March calls. However this weekend I checked the monthly charts and it looks like there is a lot of resistance here. I'll try and be patient. I'm still looking for some type of decline in the market here, we are still overbought. Gold was down a couple bucks. The XAU was off over a point. NEM and ABX were both down. The XAU is oversold on a daily basis but not on a weekly basis. I'll keep an eye on it but I'm not really looking at a trade here. The dollar was a little stronger. Pfizer sold off again today. I'm looking for January calls. I've seen them double and now come back to where they doubled from. I am going to wait until near the end of this month if I do anything here at all. I've still got the Intel calls. Debating on whether to put in a stop loss order or not. Probably should and then maybe buy them back cheaper later on. It does look like a breakout on the weeklies though. It is never easy. Now for some words on trading and life. It takes a lot of sacrifice and discipline to be a successful trader. Usually those around you, family and friends, do not understand the commitment necessary for that success. Sometimes you have to make decisions regarding your time that will be unpopular. But you must. You cannot expect people to understand or even have the faintest clue as to why you do what you do. If you are fortunate enough to have some other traders around, they perhaps can understand the time issue. But for the most part, trading is a solitary endeavor. It involves a lot of work that must be kept up to date or you will fall to the wayside. Again, you are going up against some of the brightest minds and biggest monetary forces in the world. It ain't easy. For success to become reality you have got to pay attention and put the time in. There are no shortcuts to profitability. Others usually do not understand this. Others go to their 9 to 5 jobs and only see things in those terms. On the otherhand you, as a trader, have taken on a higher calling. You are taking on the most intense challenge in business in my opinion. You're part of the biggest game in the world. Don't expect others to comprehend the enormity of what you are trying to do. Some of your time decisions will be unpopular. So be it. You can make up for it at a later date. Sometimes you've just got to keep you nose to the grindstone and forge ahead. The rewards for success are well worth it.

Friday, December 03, 2004

The market moved around and went nowhere today. The Dow was up 7 points on good volume. Advance/declines were positive. The employment report was weaker than expected. I'm looking for weakness near term for the market. We are overbought again. Bond yields went down and so did the dollar. Gold was up about five bucks but the XAU did not follow. The XAU was up around a half, with both ABX and NEM up slightly on light volume. I'd like to get some gold calls but not yet. GE was down a little today. I still have the open order for March calls. Perhaps it will get filled next week. Intel was up strong on heavy volume. The options I have lost a third of their value from the high first thing this morning. Intel lost around 60 cents from the open. The calls are still in the black and perhaps a stop-loss order would be prudent this time for a change. Maybe I could buy them back later. However the original plan was to hold them until January. I'll mull it over this weekend. Pfizer was down today. Perhaps the tax loss selling has begun. There might be some tax loss selling in Intel also. I'm not sure. I'm still believing that next year will be a good one for stocks and will try to position myself for that this month. 2 weeks left in the option cycle. Barring some stupid moves by me or a market collapse, this will be a profitable trading year for me. Even with all the stupid moves and mistakes by yours truly. Will wonders never cease???

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The market didn't do much today after yesterdays big rally. The Dow was down 5 points on heavy volume again. Advance/declines were negative. It usually isn't a good sign when the market goes nowhere on heavy volume. The employment report is out tomorrow and that will be the key for Friday. My instinct says the market is overbought and will sell off. But what do I know? Not much. Intel was down today ahead of its report after the close. The calls I own lost whatever profit they had and are break-even. The news looks positive after-market though. Still have a conference call to muddle through. GE was down but those March calls I'd like to get didn't move. The January calls are still in the black. Hopefully I'll be able to get those March 37.5's. Gold was down around 4 or 5 bucks today and the XAU got slammed again. It was off about 3 and 1/2 points. ABX and NEM were down on heavy volume. Could be the start of the unwinding of the long gold trade. Oil was routed again off over another $2. The dollar was up a little but anytime it doesn't go down is viewed as a positive. Bonds still in decline. Pfizer has done nothing but go up lately. I still am looking for the tax loss selling at some point this month for that issue. Might get some calls then. Like I said before, I would not be surprised if we got some sort of sell-off in the market tomorrow. But it looks like Intel is rallying pretty good in the after-market. Who knows?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Powerful move up today in the markets. The Dow climbed over 160 points on heavy volume. Advance/declines were over 2 to 1 positive. GE and INTC were both higher on good volume. I am now regretting adjusting the price on the GE March calls that I wanted. They would have been filled if I just left the ticket alone. But I went for a better price and it didn't happen. Perhaps GE will drop in the coming days and I will get another chance. But with todays action that isn't likely. The Intel calls are showing a profit and there is some kind of announcement from the company tomorrow. No matter. The longer term play is in GE and perhaps I should have just kept the focus on that. Gold was up a few bucks today but again, the gold stocks went nowhere. ABX was up a little, NEM down a little and the XAU basically unchanged. ABX has shown incredible relative strength here. The dollar was down again. Oil got killed today, down over $3. Probably helped the Dow rally. But interest rates are starting to rise. Sooner or later, that will affect the markets. For now though, it's still up and away. Employment report on Friday and we'll see what happens there.