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Trader Jack on the S&P, 14th Nov '03

It's been one of those day trading yawn weeks. Various pundits will tell you that the S&P is 'knocking against 1060', or 'possible rate rises are causing confusion'. Me, I'm trading from a laptop on the veranda of a rented villa in Provence, and have NO idea why day trading has suddenly got so hard, but after only a coupla days rest, I want back in to the trading floor to restart day trading qqq, ndx, spx and the rest of the gang.r. The uplink clicks in, I log on to my day trading account at my spread betting company (my 'fun' account - the uplink is so flaky I won't risk trading my real account in case something goes down).

Its not even quarter to 10 and the market is racing for the higher L4 level at 1062 and change. In day trading, a penetration of L4 means breakout upwards, and sure enough, price forces thru and I have a LONG day trading position at 50 Euros a point (about the same as a single emini contract). Day trading often involves waiting. Not this time tho. 10 minutes later, price stalls and starts to fall. I've already been a complete S&P point ahead, so I regard this as a winner. "Never let a winner become a loser" as they say, so when price falls back to half a point above my entry price, I bite the bullet and close. My day trading account is now flat, and with spread trading commission etc, thats a lousy break even.

Doesn't matter tho, because it was the right thing to do - price starts to fall like a rock, penetrating the higher H3 at 1060 and ticks, and heading south. I jump on and open a day trading SHORT position at 50 Euros a point. Price smacks down to the lower L3 at about 1057 1/2 in a little over 10 minutes, and even after all this time, every nerve is screaming "Sell! Sell! Sell! Take the profit!" but I hold on - day trading training prevails over brute instinct. It suddenly reverses, so I close and reverse into a day trading LONG position as it penetrates back UP thru the lower L3 - a not uncommon day trading occurrence. Price then rattles around aimlessly and I start to smell a day trading fast exit coming up. Sure enough, the S&P goes nowhere for 20 minutes, so I close on the "20 minute rule". That one made no profit, but the previous day trade caught a clear 3 points.

The girl brings me coffee - some of that beautiful tighly ground Columbian stuff she does so well, and I sit back - day trading rocks! The S&P does a classic pullback and then a little after 11 penetrates the lower L3 AGAIN, so I'm now sitting on a day trading LONG one more time. Another 20 minute rule close later, I clear a half point - enough to pay costs. This is turning into a frustrating kind of day trading morning!

For the next 3 hours or so, the S&P's price bounces pathetically around, respecting the day trading L2 levels quite well. I don't day trade these, because (a) I'm too lazy, and (b) the levels are too close, and with only a spread betting account I can't squeeze a day trade into it.

Finally, at just before 2:30, price makes its mind up and crashes thru the lower L4. My God, we have had it all today. Don't think, day trade! So I'm SHORT again, day trading like a madman, and on the edge of my wicker seat as it makes me 6 points in half an hour in a perfect S&P price fall. Day trading doesn't get much better than this! Then it reverses, and 2 points later my trailing stop gets hit, so I'm out with another 4 points. That feeling of day trading regret kicks in "why didnt I close at 1048" and so on, but I quite the little voice and check my day trading position is flat.

It's close to 3:30 now, and the prospect of more day trading pales besides the urge for a large Vodka tonic with the girl down by the pool, even tho it is kinda cold now, so I shut up shop for the day - trading is over. Apart from a couple of dodgy connection moments, I thought that went quite well - something over 6 points at 30 Euros a point - close to 300 dollars for sitting on my ass and watching the Provence hills. OK, so not a day trading fortune, but on the other hand it's better than working! I pull on a fleece and go to join the girl, who is, as usual, wheeling and dealing on her mobile with her contacts in the Costa Blanca. Back to Boston next week.Sigh.

Trader Jack,

Mollans Sur Ouvrese