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Friday, December 29, 2006

The Dow lost 38 points on the final day of trading for 2006. Volume was light. Advance/declines were negative. I took the GE trade that I was thinking about today. I now own some calls for my first trade of the next year. My thinking is that we will see a rally on Tuesday that will carry the big cap stocks higher. The stop loss order is in. I don't think this will be a long term trade and I will probably be out on Tuesday or Wednesday if things go according to plan. But we will see. Perhaps the market will open the new year lower. There are always risks. The market sold off pretty good in the last hour. Gold was up almost 2 bucks and the XAU sold off almost a point. Volume extremely light for the gold shares again. I'll need to check the charts here again over the long weekend. I do know the summation index will be pointing down again and the overall market was weaker than the Dow today. My thinking is that todays trading was more end of the year related. But who knows? Mentally I'm doing good and am anxious just a bit to see how we open on Tuesday. It seems like it's been a while since the last trade. I'd also like to start the new year off on a good note. It is a very difficult game.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Dow lost 9 points today on light volume. Advance/declines were slightly negative. I am thinking of getting some GE calls for January. GE had a big rise and is now consolidating the move. My thought is that there will be a nice gain on the first day of next year. The weekly charts project prices at least a couple of points higher than where we are today. I'm not sure this is the best trade in the world but perhaps it will work. Gold was up over 6 dollars today. The XAU only rose a point on light volume. The XAU hasn't moved as well as gold itself lately. I would like to trade the gold shares here but haven't. It is hard to get excited when the volume is missing. Not to mention the lack of confirmation in the XAU. So I'm sitting it out there for now. Mentally I'm doing as well as can be expected. I am trying to wait until the new year to get it going again but this GE trade could be my first. If the calls get to a price that I'm looking for tomorrow, I might just pull the trigger. You can never be sure of any trade and you really have to be nimble. Just yesterday I had said that I want to wait for the good set-ups. But they just don't happen all the time. There are reasons to take on this trade just as there are reasons to sit it out. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Dow was up 103 points on light volume again. Advance/declines were over 3 to 1 positive. I suppose in retrospect I should have got some calls when we were oversold and down big on the McClellan oscillator. I guess I just wasn't paying attention. I am in holiday mode. Trying to take a break and that's what I'm doing. Gold was up around 3 bucks and the XAU rose almost 3 points. Again the volume was light so I really don't know how to treat it. The gold shares are oversold here too. I just don't trust light volume rallies though. I'm on the sidelines there. The prudent thing to do at this point I believe is to wait until next year. That is what I am going to try and do. Mentally I'm going to stay in stand-by mode. There is no reason to try and force things here. I am going to try next year to only take the good set-ups. I will try and trade less but with better success. I know it won't be easy but that is the plan for now.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Dow rose 64 points on extremely light volume. Advance/declines were 2 to 1 positive. Oil was down today. There isn't much to make of a day like this. It's a holiday week. Gold was up around $5 and the XAU rose 3/4 of a point. Volume very light here also. Not much to say except that the trading will be light this week and it's probably best to just sit it out here. I don't see anything on the charts that stands out at the moment. Better to rest up and get ready for the new year.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Dow lost 78 points on holiday light volume. Advance/declines were negative. I was surprised we dropped that much but you really can't read much into it. Gold was little changed as was the XAU. Light volume there as well. Nothing earth-shattering to report. I'll check the charts over the long weekend and try to come up with something to start the new year. Otherwise it's time to relax.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Dow lost 42 points today on light volume. Advance/declines were negative. One more day before the holiday weekend and I don't expect too much. Should start a holiday rally sometime next week. Gold was down around 3 bucks and the XAU lost about 2 1/2 points. Light volume there as well. Again as I've said, we're just marking time. On a bigger picture, yesterday the price of copper breached $3 to the downside. This was one of my benchmarks for the overall world economy. We should expect a slowdown to accelerate now. I expect that worldwide GDP will lessen as we go forward. That doesn't mean inflation will be gone, just that I expect growth will be less. That will impact profits and eventually market prices. It also should lead to a stop in interest rate increases or perhaps some rate declines. That is my big picture scenario at this time. I was wrong last year on my market call and that's something I won't forget. But you gotta just keep moving on. Anyway this years trading resulted in a net loss of a little less than 3%. It wasn't a good year. I sustained my highest single trade loss ever. That will not happen again. My win % was terrible too. There are things that I need to work on and I am getting to that as soon as possible. But for now it's time to wind down and relax for a few days. The holidays are here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Dow lost 7 points on light volume. Advance/declines were positive. Not a lot of movement. I really think we are going into holiday mode here. No trades on the horizon. Gold was down a little over a buck and the XAU lost 3 points. This doesn't bode well for gold. NEM just broke its uptrend line. The volume in the gold shares was light which tells me that there's no interest at the moment. I think the dollar was a bit higher today. There just isn't a lot to say about the markets at the moment. 2 days left before a nice long holiday weekend. We are on standby. Mentally I'm taking a little break here. Just relaxing and getting ready for next year. Perhaps tomorrow I'll tally up the final % numbers for 2006. It was a small loss but we'll get it exact tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Dow gained 30 points on good volume. Advance/declines were slightly positive. The market just keeps on going. There is no good reason. A lot of money floating around I guess. How long can it continue is the question. We are in a bullish time period though. Even bad inflation news didn't keep it down for long. Gold was up over 7 bucks and the XAU rose over 3 points. As I said yesterday we were just about at an uptrend line. Technicals oversold also. The volume wasn't much today though. Gold was also helped today by the weaker dollar and a sniff of inflation from the PPI. As much as I'd like to get some calls here, I'm going to step aside for now. But I'll be watching it. Mentally I'm feeling a bit relieved after visiting the dentist this morning. But on the whole I'm really marking time. I don't anticipate any trades until next week or early next year. It is time to sit back, take a look at the past year and set some goals for 2007.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Dow lost 4 points on average volume. Advance/declines were almost 2 to 1 negative and the overall market was much weaker than the Dow. I think the only thing helping the Dow here has been GE, which has been up about 2 points in 4 days. The summation index has rolled over but the indices haven't really been hit. Gold was off a couple bucks and the XAU lost over 2 points. We are just about at an uptrend line for the XAU. The technicals are oversold also. I'd like to get long but just don't feel good about it. It's the sidelines for now. I do not think I'll be entering any trades until next year but you never know. The dollar has been stronger here and is coming off oversold conditions longer term. This doesn't bode well for gold. However money flows should remain positive for the next few weeks. It's never easy. Mentally I'm taking it easy. It's kind of like a vacation at this time of year. The big players are on holiday so I don't expect any earth shattering moves. The summation index needs to come off the high levels that it is at in order to rally again. So some weakness in the advance/decline line would be welcome for the bulls. There is no other news so it's kind of like time for a break. Of course the work still has to be done every day. But the urgency is gone for a while. There is also an extra week in this option cycle and that lends itself to marking time. So we will sit and wait for a decent signal and take it from there.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Dow was up 28 points on expiration heavy volume. Advance/declines were negative. We are overbought once again, however the market just shrugs it off and continues higher. It is momentum driven. The inflation data as benign. Gold got hammered and lost over $11. However the XAU only lost a couple of points. The gold shares have held up rather well considering golds recent demise. I think it has to do with long only funds simply buying shares in sympathy will the overall strong stock market. At any rate it is interesting and makes for difficult trading decisions there. The dollar has been stronger here lately too but the gold shares are hanging in there. I'm still looking at January for the gold shares but who knows? As for other trading ideas at this point, I don't really have any. I think we will be in holiday mode for the next 2 weeks. It will give me a chance to regroup and get ready for next year. Mentally I'm just hanging around. The trading year is essentially over and I ended up with a small loss. I'll have to review the year and try and do better in 2007...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Dow gained 100 points on good volume. Advance/declines were almost 2 to 1 positive. I had thought the market needed a decline and was wrong again. I almost put in an overnight order last night for puts when I got a signal from the McClellan oscillator. But those signals just haven't been working lately. There is so much money floating around out there that the only way to go is up I suppose. But it won't last forever. Inflation data tomorrow. I really don't expect any surprises. Gold lost a couple bucks today but the XAU rose over a point. Most likely in sympathy with the overall market. ABX was stronger than NEM now. NEM is having trouble getting through a multi-week downtrend line. The dollar was higher again today also. Options expire tomorrow. My thinking is that it will be a non-event followed by a couple of weeks of listless trading before the new year. That's my guess and I haven't been right about much anything in quite a while. Mentally I'm kind of in stand-by mode. I haven't come up with a gameplan for next year yet. My ideas for this year just didn't pan out. There isn't much to do here at the moment. I also missed out on GE, as I had just looked at the chart before it broke out. It had a decent double bottom but I really wasn't paying attention. You don't make any money like that.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Dow gained 2 points on average volume. Advance/declines were positive but not by much. My OEX puts got stopped out early in the day when we were up around 50 points. It was a 50% loss. Not a great trade but I knew that going in. Not a lot of money involved but I really should have just sat it out. The battle is always against myself. But I'm moving on and was at least able to stop myself from doing something stupid again for the rest of the day. Retail sales came out good so we didn't drop as I had anticipated. I still think we're heading down here. Gold didn't end up much changed. It sold off early and came back to be up a tad. The XAU had the same action. NEM came all the way back as did ABX. I wanted to get some calls with 2 days left but did not. It's even riskier than the OEX in my opinion but the technicals are oversold. However the dollar is acting firmer here, so it's a tough call. I think it will be better to just let it go and look to January. There is an extra week on those options. So that's probably it for this year for me. It is a down year but not by much. Mentally I should take a little break here. The holidays will most likely be slow. I'm not feeling too bad about todays losing trade. It was executed properly, as have all the trades since that blowout in September. I really don't have anything on the horizon. Perhaps some gold shares. That's it for today.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Dow lost 13 points on good volume. Advance/declines were negative. We were down over 50 points at one point but came back after the Fed announcement. I did put in an order for OEX puts and was filled. They are slightly under water. The Dow and the OEX would have been down much more but GE made a positive announcement. That issue alone helped the Dow stay up. Volume has gone up on the downside but I am not so sure of this trade. The stop-loss order is in. Retail sales will be announced tomorrow and we will key off of that. We'll see what happens. If we do head higher it will be solid because we will be breaking through resistance. If not then today was the final gasp up for the bulls. Gold was down a bit today , depending on which market for gold you looked at. The XAU was hit hard early too but also came back. NEM held up pretty well. The volume was so-so. I'm not looking to do anything there at the moment. So I'll wait until tomorrow. Expiration week has had a positive bias lately but we haven't seen much this week. I certainly don't want to wait until Friday for these puts. At this point I feel there is a good chance I will be stopped out. It isn't the greatest trade in the world. However if the market can't break through to the upside here, it will be worthwhile. Mentally, I'm a bit tired but ready to move on.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Dow gained 21 points on lighter volume. Advance/declines were positive. I'd like to get some OEX puts here but there really isn't a good signal. That said, there is some evidence that we could be forming a top here. Sometimes you can't wait for a perfect set-up. This could be one of those times. The Fed meets tomorrow and we are basically on hold until their announcement. I will probably do something if I can get a good price. Gold was down a bit today but the XAU rose over a point. I did put in an order for NEM calls, it didn't get filled and I canceled it. The open interest did expand pretty good on Fridays heavy volume. There was some good volume in those calls again today. However the volume in NEM itself was weak and it rose around 30 cents. I'm not sure what to do here. I might just sit it out. The trade number comes out tomorrow morning and that should be a dollar mover. The dollar was weaker today. There are only 4 days left on the options. The risk for whatever trade I do here is extremely high. Mentally I'm trying to do the right thing. That could be no trade at all. I will check the various charts tonight and take it from there. There is also opportunity here if I can find it. I certainly don't want to lose any money here. We'll see what happens.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Dow rose 29 points on lighter than lately volume. Advance/declines were negative. The employment report was better than expected but the session was rather lackluster. I would still like to get some OEX puts especially with todays action. We'll see about that on Monday. Gold was originally higher early but then sold off on some government officials comments. Early in the session, I canceled my open order for NEM calls. Gold ended down over 5 bucks and the XAU lost 2 1/2 points. NEM held up rather well considering and there was again heavy volume in the calls I'm looking at. I mean big volume. Open interest expanded yesterday with the volume. I don't know what is going on there but if the open interest expended again when I check on Monday, I might just have to buy those calls. The chart doesn't look good anymore though and if they're talking up the dollar it isn't a smart play. Not to mention the fact that there is only a week left on these things. Perhaps an announcement is forthcoming. I really don't know. Maybe people were just getting out of their calls too. I'll find out Monday I guess. Otherwise mentally today I was fighting myself not to make a trade. There really isn't a clear signal on the OEX but longer term it looks like a sell. Todays weak overall market lends credence to that. The low volume also suggests not much interest here. The summation index could roll over here too. I really need to check things carefully over the weekend. I do believe Monday that I'm going to do some type of trade.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Dow lost 30 points on good volume. Advance/declines were negative. I did not get any OEX puts but they look like they will work. We'll see about tomorrow and the employment report. My computer still doesn't work and I'm on the back-up computer. It is frustrating to say the least. Trading is tough enough without other outside problems. I need to focus on the markets but with other things in the background it isn't easy. However no excuses are good enough in this game. Gold was down early and then came back. The XAU had a good showing and was up over a point. It had been down a couple points early on. NEM is really acting well here and I am leaving in an overnight order for some calls. I don't know if it will work but I am going to give it a try. It is too late for the OEX puts in my opinion and I'd like to make some money before the expiration next week. The dollar has held up well the past few days but that could change at any time. It is a risky trade with just about a week left but I saw some heavy volume in these options today so I think there is some major buying. We'll see what the open interest says tomorrow. Mentally I'm pretty tired as I did not sleep well. The trading has been trying lately and the computer problems just add to the stress. And stress does not make for good trades. I'm just going to continue moving forward and see how it goes. Tomorrow should be an interesting day. I think it could be a weak one.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Early post today as I have to pick up my computer. 10 minutes to go and the Dow is down about 30 points. Advance/declines are slightly negative. I am thinking harder about getting some OEX puts tomorrow. We'll see. Gold got hammered today, down $12. The XAU has held up pretty good, only down a couple of points. I'm not sure that I will get the calls here though. The dollar is starting to rebound. This is a trade that may not work now. I'm going to have to think hard about it. Perhaps it will be better to wait. Tomorrow will tell. I'm leaning more towards the OEX puts before the employment report. That's all I have time for today.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Dow rose another 48 points on good volume. Advance/declines were positive. There seems to be no stopping this market. We remain overbought. I am still thinking about getting some OEX puts but it's risky. I will perhaps get some before the employment report. We'll see. Gold lost three bucks today and the XAU fell about 2 points. NEM held up quite well which was surprising. I am not so sure about getting long gold here. The dollar has stabilized and is way oversold. Any bounce in the dollar here will drain the gold shares. It too, is a risky play. I might have to look out to January as previously planned. I am having trouble here committing to a plan. The stock market could hold up here for a while. However I do feel there will be a short play in here soon. Gold may have had its run here. The volume yesterday was very weak to the upside although the weekly charts do look constructive. Mentally I'm trying to get to a good place. I need to remain objective and realize that there is no harm in staying on the sidelines. But there is no money made there either. I'm going to look things over tonight and take it from there.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Dow rose 90 points today on very good volume. Advance/declines were over 3 to 1 positive. New highs expanded. We have new recent highs on the S&P 500. Nothing seems to stop this market. We're overbought here but it could stay that way as it has recently. I do want to get some OEX puts but to buy them in the face of this isn't a good idea. At least I think it isn't. The Dow and OEX are lagging slightly here. The Nasdaq had a good day. I'm on the sidelines here. Gold didn't do anything but the XAU rose almost 2 points in sympathy with the overall market I'm guessing. I canceled the order for NEM calls. I still might do this trade but who knows. The gold shares, like the stock market, are overbought here. This type of trade looks good going out further, as it has for weeks. I'm waiting it out for a better entry I suppose. But in reality, this trade was missed. I'm not seeing open interest expand on ABX and NEM here, so I'm going to be a bit cautious. We'll see what happens. Not much else for today. Mentally I'm trying to get a handle on just exactly what is going on here. Less than 2 weeks now before expiration and I would like to make a decent trade. I'm not going to try and force things here though. Employment report on Friday and that is about it until the Fed meets. I'm going to look things over tonight and take it from there...

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Dow lost 27 points on good volume. Advance/declines were slightly negative. The market at on point was down 120 points and came back in the last hour. I don't know if it was beginning of the month money or what but it did come back. I'd still like to get some OEX puts but will now wait. We could be forming a decent top here. Gold was down another couple of dollars and the XAU lost a point and a half. The XAU also sold off more and came back too. I modified the open order I have in for NEM calls and left it for over the weekend. The gold shares are overbought here but don't want to sell off. Of course that could all change next week but I'm still looking for higher prices there. The dollar continued weaker. Only two weeks left in this option cycle so it gets tricky from here. There will be opportunity. I'll try my best to take advantage of it. Mentally I'm trying not to do anything stupid here and trade just for the sake of trading. I don't really see a good signal yet for the OEX but it could come next week. Volatility has picked up and I don't know if it a sign of things to come or not. Not much data out next week until the employment report on Friday. The Fed meets the week of expiration. So it will get interesting, that's for sure. For now it's the weekend and the charts must be studied. The plan from here must be formalized. Rest will come later...