RJ's "in Play" Small Cap Scalping Journal [Starting 4/17: $7,614] - futures io
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RJ's "in Play" Small Cap Scalping Journal [Starting 4/17: $7,614]

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RJ's "in Play" Small Cap Scalping Journal [Starting 4/17: $7,614]

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  #1 (permalink)
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 9 since Apr 2020
Thanks: 0 given, 5 received

Hello all, welcome to my trading journal!

Daily summary (includes all fees)
Overall: Days traded: 5. Profit: -$61. Ending balance: $7,553

Starting balance: $7,614
4/17/20: Stocks Traded: GENE, INSE, MRNA, RCUS. Profit: $499. Ending balance: $8,113
4/20/20: Stocks Traded: AVCT, CYCC. Profit: $578. Ending balance: $8,691
4/21/20: Stocks Traded: WATT, VXRT. Profit: -$644. Ending balance: $8,047
4/22/20: NO TRADING
4/23/20: Stocks Traded: CPAH, ENZ. Profit: $23.08. Ending balance: $8,070
4/24/20: Stocks Traded: MDGS, MBOT. Profit: -$517. Ending balance: $7,553

I'm a new trader of small cap "in play" stocks right after the open. I trade the first hour or two of the day and am usually wrapped by 11:00 or 11:30. I trade the largest and fastest moving stocks listed on any exchange, but don't bother with OTC penny stocks. I usually avoid stocks trading under $1 or over $20.

My starting balance is $7,614 and I use an offshore broker to avoid PDT. I hope to grow this balance to $20k in the next few months so I can move to regulated US brokers which saves on fees and significantly reduces the risk of getting exit scammed.

I intend to post here every day that I trade, which is most regular weekdays.

I will do my best to explain the justification for every trade, and because I'm so new, I know I'm making mistakes all of the time. Any feedback or questions that anyone has I am happy to receive. I'll be editing this main post every day with the topline results - profit/loss and tickers traded.

I screen record every day, so I can explain the price action and my thought process in a way that's probably way too detailed. So in every daily journal, I'm going to first write an higher level summary that hopefully folks can follow without actually seeing the tape. Under that, I'll write more detail.

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  #2 (permalink)
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 9 since Apr 2020
Thanks: 0 given, 5 received

This is my first daily post! Trading date Friday, April 17th, 2020. I still need to upload some screenshots and add the GENE trading, but I just wanted to put this up first.

Starting balance: $7,614.89
Trades: 9 (a buy and sell is considered one trade)
Shares: 9,300 (shares counted once)
Gross profit: $747.00
Fees: $132.14
Locate cost: $116.00
Net profit: $498.86
Ending balance: $8,112.75
Stocks traded: MRNA, RCUS, INSE, GENE

Ticker Summary:
MRNA - Trades: 1. Shares: 100. Gross Profit: $92.00. Fees: $6.52. Net profit: $85.48
RCUS - Trades: 1. Shares: 200. Gross Profit: $250.00. Fees: $7.08. Net profit: $242.92
INSE - Trades: 1. Shares: 1,000. Gross Profit: $70.00. Fees: $11.13. Net Profit: $58.87
GENE - Trades: 6. Shares: 8,000. Gross Profit: $335.00. Fees: $107.41. Locate cost: $116.00. Net profit: $111.59

Premarket Plan
Watchlist: DNJR, GENE, AMC, MRNA
Leaders gappers: AMC (+50.8%), DNJR (+48.7%), GENE (+34.6%), MRNA (+20.9%)

Stock is up from yesterday's closing price of $1.63 to a current price of $2.19, but is down significantly from the premarket high of $2.93. GENE pumped a few week ago, but only reached $2.78. Otherwise, GENE had ranged between $1.40 and about $2 for the past few months. Prior to this, GENE surged in January as high as $5 and traded between $3.38 and $5.37 until mid-February when it fell below $2.00. Stock difficult to borrow, costing $0.036 per share (plus $25 per-order locate fee). Because stock traded had traded higher between January and February, there are many long holders who are currently in a loss, dampening any move to the upside. This makes GENE a prime candidate to short if it 'spikes' above 2.50. The resistances are the mid-March high of $2.78, the pre-market high of $2.93, $3.30, $3.85, $5 and $5.37. Hoping to see stock spike on the open for a short opportunity. If not, wait for stock to break $3 and hold for a long opportunity.

Institutional owership of AMC is extremely high at almost 97%. I will probably not trade this stock at all unless there is a prime setup. Stock is up from yesterday's closing price of $2.44 to $3.68, but has retreated some from the premarket high of $4.05. Like many entertainment companies, AMC has been hit hard by coronavirus, having fallen from over $6.25 before the crisis to a range of $2-$4 over the past few months. AMC has also been downtrending significantly over the past year, having traded at $17.07 a year ago. There are so many long holders who are underwater that this makes AMC a prime short candidate on spikes. Locates are expensive, however, costing $0.012 per share. If we are able to break and hold $4, I plan to buy shares on dips, hoping to reach the next resistance of $5. Otherwise, I expect stock to drop on the open and perhaps not offer any spikes for shorting opportunties.

This is a lower volume stock that makes trading more difficult. Stock is up from yesterday's close of $1.95 to $2.89, and is only down slightly from the premarket high of $3.10. If we're able to break and hold $3.10, the plan is to buy on panic dips. The next resistance above $3.10 isn't until $4. If it drops on the open, look to short spikes below $3.00. The locate cost is only $0.005 per share, but with a $25 locate fee per order, I need to be confident trading several thousand shares to make shorting worth it.

This is a thicker float, higher dollar stock that I normally wouldn't trade. However, stock made yearly highs in the premarket, so it is an excellent opportunity to buy on panic dips. Stock is up from yesterday's close of $40.60 to $49.09, and only slightly off the premarket high of $50.20. Stock has surged in the past few weeks, with green candles nearly every day. The support on the daily chart is all the way down around $35.20. Because stock has moved almost straight up from $32 to $50 over the past few weeks, any short holder from that period is currently underwater. Therefore, the plan is to buy on panic dumps and quickly sell for around a $1 gain per share. Lower supports are $46.67, $45.50 and $44. If those supports don't hold, the next support level is yesterday's high of $41.55

Large offer to sell 10k shares at 49 appears right before the open, and stock opens at 48.85. Stock immediately starts plunging, and offer at 49 sizes up to 32,100 shares within seconds. Bid prop appears at 48 for almost 20k shares, but it's quickly taken out and falls under 48. I want to buy a dip on this stock but I need to first see where stock will be supported or else I risk getting run over. I need to see this selling momentum cool off first. By 9:31, stock has dropped to 47.40, and a few seconds later a bid prop appears at 47.50 for 13k shares. If that level holds, it will be a buying opportunity. However, a few seconds later that bid is dropped to $47 and stock falls even lower. A few seconds later those $47s are taken out and we drop into the $46s. Another bid prop at $46 appears around 9:32 and it's taken out a few seconds later. With a premarket support level of $46, I am expecting stock to finally bounce here, and if selling pressure lets up at all I will buy. Stock immediately dips as low as 45.6, but then I see some offers in the 45.80s getting lifted and bids reappearing over 46. Also the rate of selling slows down. This is signal that stock may be bottoming out, so I place an order to buy 100 shares at 45.85 at 9:32:10. My sell target will be in the high 46s, and I will stop out if stock drops under 45. Unfortunately, I am too slow with my order and stock jumps back as high as 46.50. I consider cancelling, but I leave a few seconds for my order to get executed. I finally buy the shares at 9:32:22, 12 seconds after I placed the order.

Immediately, stock drops to the 45.50s, then 45.30s, but it appears to be stalling around this level. I should have laddered in with another few hundred shares in the 45.50s, 40s, and 30s with the same sell target and stop out point below 45.00. I did not and instead waited for stock to bounce back into the 46s. A few seconds later, it did break over 46 and I tried selling at 46.50 but failed. Stock then retested 46s, and if it had definitively broken 46 I would have sold there. Instead, it bounced back up to the high 46s and I sold out at 46.77.

In total: 100 shares bought at 45.85 and sold at 45.77. Gross profit of $92.00, and net profit of $85.48 after fees.

RCUS was not on the premarket scanner, but it was a huge mover from yesterday, having risen from 15.50 and closed just under 30. On the open it popped up to 36. Because stock was so much higher than any price it had seen in the past year, any short is clearly in the red and therefore will look to cover on dips. My plan after seeing this spike to 36 is to buy on a dip against the psychological level of 30. If we drop significantly lower, say below 27, I will stop out. Because the premarket volume was so low, I am not using any of the prices from premarket as supports or resistances.

Quickly, stock rejects the 36s and begins falling. It cracks 35, then 34, then 33. I see the mid 32s being supported, so I try buying 100 shares at 32.55 but am too slow and don't get fills before we bounce above 33 again. This is a prime opportunity missed. I cancel the order and wait for another dip. After stock hangs out just over $33 for a while, I need to see a new low into the 31s before considering a buying opportunity. Stock then does crack 33, then 32, and there is a great opportunity to buy in the mid 31s again. I am, again, too slow and miss out, and stock bounces above 32 before I can buy any shares. I intend to try one more time for a dip into the 30.00s for a bounce over 31. A few minutes later, it happens and stock sinks into the low 30s. This is a riskier buy because we are now only slightly over the high from yesterday, so I wait to see if the price is supported. I give about a minute and see decent buy volume in the 30.20s, so I place an order to buy 200 shares at 30.25. The plan is to sell on the next spike above 31, hopefully in the high 31s. If stock cracks 30 psychological and holds below there, I will stop out. Within just 30 seconds we break 31s, and a few seconds later I sell the 200 shares at 31.50 for a quick $250. However, I was probably too quick to the pull the trigger and didn't even give stock a chance to break 32s.

In total: 200 shares bought at 30.25 and sold at 31.50. Gross profit of $250.00, and net profit of $242.92 after fees.

Another stock that wasn't on the premarket scanner, because volume was incredibly low premarket and it closed yesterday under $2. However, stock had spiked all the way up to $3.25 in premarket, so if it was able to get some volume I would consider trading. Around 9:47 stock popped up on the scanner having popped from $2.75 to a bit over $3 but on only 100k volume. So it would need to be a small sized short on a panic spike. With such low volume it could easily skip dollars and cause serious pain. The plan is to short right under the $3.25 high from premarket and sell on a dip down to $3. Only 1,000 shares is the plan. Stock is free to borrow. Less than a minute later stock pumps up to 3.19 and this is a perfect shorting opportunity that I missed. In my defense stock dipped back to $3 within one second.

A few more times stock tries making a push to the 3.20s, but every time I notice offers aggressively step in and sell back down. This tells me that stock will likely drop again if it reaches 3.25 unless it immediately punches through. At 9:51:48 stock finally reaches 3.25 and I give it a few seconds to make sure it won't immediately spike up higher. Ten seconds later, it hasn't, and I place an order to short 1,000 shares at 3.24. I get filled a few seconds later. My plan is to buy back on the dip to the low 3s, and to stop out if we break convincingly over 3.30. However, I cover within 10 seconds at 3.17, locking in $70. This is way too quick and not enough of a dip. I needed to give stock an opportunity to reach the low 3s, as it may have flushed below 3.00. Not surprisingly, within 15 seconds it falls to the low 3s. Within 2 minutes it cracks 3 and I should have sold in the mid 2.90s. This is sheer impatience and fear of a breakout. I didn't follow my plan and it cost me $200.

In total: 1000 shares shorted at 3.24 and covered at 3.17. Gross profit of $70, and net profit of 58.87 after fees.

This is the last stock of the day that I traded. I need to fill this area in!

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  #3 (permalink)
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 9 since Apr 2020
Thanks: 0 given, 5 received

Placeholder for today's trading, Monday April 20th, 2020.

Stocks traded: AVCT, CYCC. Trades: 4. Shares: 6,600. Gross profit: 756.00

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  #4 (permalink)
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 9 since Apr 2020
Thanks: 0 given, 5 received

EDIT: Sorry, looks like I can't edit posts from over 1 day ago. So I'm reposting Monday's trading. The final version with screenshots. In the future, I'll make sure everything is completed within 24 hours so I don't have to do this again!

Monday, April 20th, 2020

Stocks Traded: AVCT, CYCC
Starting balance: $8,112.75
Trades: 4 (a buy and sell is considered one trade)
Shares: 3,300 (shares counted once)
Gross profit: $756.00
Fees: $46.93
Locate cost: $131.00
Net profit: $578.07
Ending balance: $8,690.82

Ticker Summary:
AVCT - Trades: 3. Shares: 3,000. Gross profit: $651.00. Fees: $39.37. Locate cost: $131.00. Net profit: $480.93
CYCC - Trades: 1. Shares: 300. Gross profit: $105.00. Fees: $7.56. Net profit: $97.44

Short Version
The main in play stocks were AVCT and CYCC. AVCT was a newly listed stock with a previous all time high of 2.40. Premarket it traded well above that level, reaching an incredible 7.32, however it aggressively sold off to 4.50 with no bounce at all leading up to the open. CVCC was also up significantly from 6.27 to a premarket high of 11.40, and it had bounced around since then, but faded down to an opening price of 9.49. Because stock had just completed a 1 for 20 reverse split, previous supports and resistances were mostly useless. The all time high was only 11.44 from last week.

AVCT continued to plunge on the open, but with a premarket support of 3.27, that was a prime bounce area for a long. On the open, we immediately fell that low, and I missed the bounce opportunity when stock jumped back to just shy of 4. I did short three different times on spikes (1000 shares each) profiting a total of 651 before fees. As is often the case for me, I was too quick to cover my shorts and didn't give stock a chance to make its full dump.

CYCC was an incredible mover, blowing past all time high of 11.44 and continually spiked and dipped dollars at the time for the next hour. After a dip on the open, stock roared, halting several times due to upside moves. Being above all time highs, it was a perfect bounce play. However, I missed trade after trade, being just a few seconds slow over and over again. I only managed to catch one bounce! And it wasn't until 10:30, and was only a 0.35 bounce, from 15.55 to 15.90. Because stock had come off so far from the high of 19.25 and it was close to 10:30, I only went in for 300 shares with a tight stop of 15, and didn't add when stock dipped down another 30 cents into the 15.20s. I sold on the next pop when it failed to break 16.00. I left a ton of money on the table from all of the many panic spike, drop, and subsequent spikes!

Long Version
Premarket Plan
Leading gappers: AVCT (+115.6%), BRQS (+89.5%), CYCC (+58.4%), EROS (+42.6%)

AVCT has only been listed for two weeks and is up 114% from 2.06 to 4.50, However, stock surged to 7.32 right after 9am and has been selling off hard since then. The all time high is only 2.40, so in theory stock has no resistance and could be a huge runner. But it's faded so much in the past 20 minutes with no bounce, and the premarket range is so wide, that I need to be very careful trying to buy a dip on the open. It really should bounce but there aren't obvious support levels until all the way down at 3.27, a support level that held twice in premarket. If we do surge upwards and break/hold the 7.30 level, it is a nice candidate to buy on subsequent dips. Otherwise, I would generally want to short the spikes on stock. There is a premarket resistance level of about 6.00. Tape reading will be very important with this one!

Stock is up from yesterday's close of 6.27 to 9.80. However, stock has faded from the premarket high of 11.40, and since then has been rangebound by a 10.80 resistance and 8.40 support. A few days ago it pumped all the way from 6 to 11.44, but longer term it's tricky. Stock recently completed a 1 for 20 split, so we're at an entirely new price range. Supports and resistances aren't well defined. Given the 11.40 level has acted as resistance twice, a convincing breakout means a clear long on dips. Otherwise if it falls on the open, I will look to short pops with a stopout level of 11.40. Unfortunately, locates cost 0.13, but because it's higher dollar that's not insane. The premarket chart is ugly with a lot of chop so I'm not convinced this will aggressively trend.

Stock is up from 2.94 to 5.57 with a morning high of 6. BRQS has been pumped and dumped multiple times in the last few months, pumping to about 8 in both early January and last week. Because this is a pump and dump stock, it's a short opportunity as long as we don't break 8. However, shorts are ludicrously expensive at 0.15 per share making that unappealing. I'd rather wait to see if it can break over 8 for a long, and only short if I see an A+ setup.

EROS is up from 3.05 to 4.33. It reached a high of 4.85 from premarket. Stock also surged yesterday right before the close, jumping almost 50% from 2 to 3.05 just an hour before the close. However, EROS has over 100M float so I'm less inclined to trade it in general. Stock reached as high as 4.84 back in January, so that level has acted as resistance again. Above, there's an unfilled gap from 7.50 down to 5.46 from last year. Because it's such a high float, I'll keep an eye if it decides to break 4.85 for a potential long.

Right on the open every stock started fading, so no setups. AVCT broke below 4, CYCC cracked 9, BRQS dipped below 5, and EROS dropped below 4. No fun.

Summary: Trades: 3. Longs: 0, Shorts: 3. Shares, 3,000. Gross profit: $651.00. Net profit: $480.93 (locates cost $131.00)

On the open, stock continued to fall, cracking 4 within the first 90 seconds (stock opened at 4.30 and had aggressively sold off from 7.32 in the past 20 minutes with no bounce). However, stock stalled in the 3.80s-3.90s instead of immediately plunging further. While there was no prior support at that level, it set up for a very quick bounce play to the mid 4s with a stop if it fell below the premarket support of 3.27. I did not take the trade. Good thing, because it fell further to 3.50 and a hidden order to sell for at least 300k shares appeared. Stock fell further to the 3.20s and I probably would have stopped out.

However, not having any position that 3.27 support made for a nice long bounce opportunity, with a target near 4 and stop out below 3.10 (I would have used 3 but the halt level was 3.10) I did not take the trade and another hidden seller at 3.30 appeared for hundreds of thousands more. While I can never know how many more shares that person has to sell, once they do sell all of their shares I expect stock to bounce back up. Those shares were sold and stock surged to 3.75. Missed opportunity for sure.

I then looked to short on a pop over 4, but because locates were 0.106 per share I needed a big pop to make shorting worth it. The first opportunity was when stock first broke $4 at 9:43 and continued to run up. Once I confirmed it was a clean breakout of 4, I waited to see how high it would pop before shorting. I shorted the first 500 shares at 4.50, and added another 500 at 4.75 when it continued to run. Total 1,000 shares average price 4.625. Stop was 5.00 with a profit target of the low 4s. Stock then continued up and tested 5, but once it rejected 5 I knew there would be a dump. Stock then dumped down and I foolishly covered early at 4.50. I should have given a little more time for the panic drop into the low 4s, at least 4.30. Stock then dumped all the way to the 4.00s less than a minute after I sold.

I then waited for another spike to short again. After dipping into the 3.80s, AVCT broke 4 again and started spiking up. I shorted the first 500 shares at 4.15 (too soon and too low) and the next 500 at 4.40, for a total of 1000 shares at 4.275. The first 500 shares were way too soon! Otherwise, stock crept up towards 4.50 and I would have added another 500 there, but was instead stuck with an average of 4.275. Price target of the low 4s again, but I missed a 4.08 fill on the next dip and waited to see if we'd crack 4. We quickly dumped past 4 and I closed at 3.94 for a profit of $335.00

Right after 10:30 I did one more short on a panic spike, shorting 1,000 shares at 3.59 and covering at 3.399 for a $191.00 win.

Summary: Trades: 1. Longs: 1, Shorts: 0. Shares, 300. Gross profit: $105.00. Net profit: $97.44

I started seriously looking at this stock when it began running over the premarket resistance level (and all time high) of 11.40. There were several "drop and bounce" plays off the premarket support level of about 8.40 before stock started running.
At 9:38:51 stock popped to 11.22 and halted. Because we hadn't quite broken the 11.40 level, it wasn't setting up for a long quite yet. After a full 10 minute halt, it resumed at 12.00. Seeing stock immediately dump back to 11.40, it was a perfect play to buy the dip and sell on the next pop. I missed the fill at 11.50, however, and stock immediately spiked back over 12. This happened over and over with stock spiking (and sometimes halting up), dropping and me missing a long fill, and repeating. I won't detail every time it happened but I left so much money on the table by missing these fills.

I finally was able to execute one of these panic drop fills, but because it wasn't until almost 10:30, and because stock had already fallen significantly off the daily high with several consecutive red candles, I only went in for 300 shares and for a quick scalp, not looking for a huge move. I bought 300 shares for 15.55 at 10:29:22 with a sell target near 17 and a stop out below 15. Stock immediately dipped a bit further, falling into the 15.20s where I normally would have put on another few hundred shares, but because of the net downtrend I passed and waited for a spike. Stock then tested 16 and failed to break, so I sold at 15.90 on the next opportunity, locking in a profit of $105.00

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  #5 (permalink)
Legendary Recovering Method Hopper
Upstate NY
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TOS
Broker: TD Ameritrade
Trading: Equities, Treasuries, Gold
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Posts: 826 since Dec 2018
Thanks: 2,193 given, 1,826 received

Excellent journal so far! Your style reminds me a lot of SMB Capital. Have you read Mike Bellafiore’s books? The thoroughness with which you document your trades will improve tour trading at an exponential rate!


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  #6 (permalink)
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 9 since Apr 2020
Thanks: 0 given, 5 received

I've heard of SMB and watched a few of their videos. They seem like a legitimate prop trading firm and that they train and support profitable traders. They release a LOT of free content on YouTube with a lot of good information, but I find their videos to be quite fluffy, with maybe a minute or two of information in a fifteen minute video. Of course, a minute or two of quality content per day is far more than almost anyone else, but it can be frustrating to watch.

Thanks, I understand that what I'm journaling here is too detailed for a casual read, and without a video of the tape and chart, probably impossible to follow along. I'm doing this mostly for myself so I have some incentive to carefully review trading every day.

I certainly hope my trading does exponentially improve, thanks for the kind words!

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  #7 (permalink)
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 9 since Apr 2020
Thanks: 0 given, 5 received

Tuesday April 21st, 2020

Stocks Traded: WATT, VXRT
Starting balance: $8,690.82
Trades: 14 (a buy and sell is considered one trade)
Shares: 17,000 (shares counted once)
Gross profit: -$253.00 (loss)
Fees: $215.66
Locate cost: $175.00
Net profit: -$643.66 (loss)
Ending balance: $8,047.16

Ticker Summary:
WATT - Trades: 8. Shares: 11,900. Gross profit: -$239.00 (loss). Fees: $153.56. Locate cost: $105.00. Net profit: -$497.56 (loss)
VXRT - Trades: 6. Shares: 5,100. Gross profit: -$14.00 (loss). Fees: $62.10. Locate cost: $75.00. Net profit: -$151.10 (loss)

(In the below I just have the WATT trading, which was actually interesting. VXRT was me getting churned by fees )

Short Version
Frustrating day. Made a mistake in the morning trading WATT. Stock jumped on the open and I correctly shorted against the premarket resistance and covered for a profit. But only shorted 1,000 shares for this A+ setup, from 2.75 to 2.64 for a $110.00 profit in 9 seconds. Should have gone larger.

However, I then repeated the trade two minutes later when it tested the premarket resistance level and got run over when stock lurched higher and halted up.

What was especially bad was, after shorting the first thousand shares against the premarket resistance of 2.90 (fill 2.85), I then shorted another 1,000 shares at 3.12 about 30 seconds later. That second short was a pure mistake and never should have happened. When stock breaks higher than the morning resistance, I should move from a short-bias to a long-bias unless the tape clearly indicates differently or we move to a higher resistance level.

WATT then halted at 3.30 and reopened at 3.50. I covered the 2,000 shares at 3.54 for a $1,110 loss. Including fees and short locate it was a loss of $1241.36

I spent the next 40 minutes doing sane trades and made back $857.00 before fees.

In VXRT I'm not going to comment because it was strange price action and the trades were mostly tiny, not making or losing more than $120 on any of them.

Long Version
Premarket Plan
Watchlist: WATT, VXRT
Leading gappers: WATT (+175%)


This morning's leading gapper was WATT, which had surged from $1 to an open of $2.75. Stock had reached 2.90 in premarket. The chart over the past year is a strong downtrend, and even this premarket pump hit a $3 support from August and October. WATT is setting up for a nice short right on the open if it spikes to around 2.90, but if it breaks over 2.90 there is a good chance it can run up. If it holds over 2.90, buy on dips. Locates aren't insanely expensive at just $0.02, so I secured several thousand.

Stock up just 28% in premarket from 2.37 to 2.96. but stock was in play yesterday, spiking from 2 to a daily high of 2.60. The high from premarket is 3.35, but VXRT has a nasty daily chart with several spikes up to the 3.50 level. This is setting up for a short opporunity on pops under 3.35 and as high as the daily resistance of 3.50. The yearly high is that 3.50 resistance, so if it breaks past that level and holds, be ready to long.

One big mistake on an early WATT trade gave me a loss of $1,241.36 which set the tone for the day. I spent the rest of the morning clawing back and a recovering a "respectable" $600 of the loss. I shut down at just 10:12AM.

Summary: Trades: 8. Longs: 3, Shorts: 5. Shares: 11,900. Gross profit: -$239.00 (loss). Net profit: -$497.56 (loss) (includes $105 locate cost)

Right on the open it popped up to 2.75, and I shorted 1,000 shares there. I should have gone in for larger size because the immediate spike after the open is the best time to do this. Nine seconds later I closed out 2.64 for a quick $110 profit. Again, should have gone in larger.

However, after covering and seeing stock spike again towards the 2.90 level at 9:32, I should have NOT have entered another short and waited to see if stock would break the 2.90 level. I shorted 1,000 shares at 2.85, and indeed it broke 2.90, pushing over 3. That was a signal to definitely stop out, but instead I foolishly shorted another 1,000 shares at 3.12. Stock continued to run, and it halted to the upside at 3.30. Being short 2,000 shares at a 2.985 average is NOT GOOD when stock halts and we are over the high from premarket and have broken both the psychological 3.00 AND we are above the next daily resistance level.

If I hadn't been in this trade, already down 1k to the indicated resumption of 3.50, I would have been ready to go long if it opened at 3.50 and quickly dumped lower (but held over). Instead, I panicked and covered the trade at 3.54, and indeed stock dumped off to the low 3s. I took that long trade, buying 2,000 shares at 3.22 and selling 25 seconds later at 3.38.

Stock hung out in the 3.25-3.40 level and seeing its momentum stall, at 9:45 I shorted 2k shares at 3.37 for a quick scalp. I should have given this a price target of 3.20 or the mid 3.10s, but because I was trying to be careful to prevent further losses, I covered only 15 seconds later at 3.272.

There were a few more scalps like this both long and short, but for the sake of brevity I'll end it here. I am glad that I grossed $861 in WATT outside of that disaster $1,100 loss, but that was just a stupid trade all around. I had no issue shorting the initial pop right after the open, but after seeing it spike again a few minutes later I shouldn't have shorted again. And if so, I definitely shouldn't have added a position once it broke the $2.90 and $3 level.

Summary: Trades: 6. Longs: 1, Shorts: 5. Shares: 5,100. Gross profit: $-14.00 (loss). Net profit: -$151.10 (loss). (includes $70 locate cost)

I'm not going to go into detail with the trading on this one because it was honestly quite boring and the $151.10 loss was almost entirely just fees. The moves I tried capturing didn't work out and I got chopped up.

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  #8 (permalink)
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 9 since Apr 2020
Thanks: 0 given, 5 received

(Note: I did no trading on Wednesday!)

Thursday, April 22nd, 2020

Stocks Traded: CPAH, ENZ
Starting balance: $8,112.75
Trades: 3 (a buy and sell is considered one trade)
Shares: 4,000 (shares counted once)
Gross profit: $126.50
Fees: $48.53
Locate cost: $50.00
Net profit: $27.97
Ending balance: $8,140.72

Ticker Summary:
CPAH - Trades: 1. Shares: 1,000. Gross profit: $30.00. Fees: $11.12. Net profit: $18.88
ENZ - Trades: 2. Shares: 3,000. Gross profit: $96.50. Fees: $37.41. Locate cost: $50.00. Net profit: $9.09

Short Version
Today was an extremely boring day with almost nothing tradeable for me. I would have shorted CPAH several times on spikes, but locates were way too expensive to make it worth it. I captured one tiny long scalp, 1k shares for $30.00 that's not even worth talking about.

In ENZ, the stock was high institutional ownership and had some seemingly manipulated action. I made two tiny short scalps that barely covered the locate costs. I also found out that on stocks under $4, I have no leverage when shorting. On the first short scalp I initially went in for 2,000 shares and wanted to add more when it spiked further. However, I found out that without any leverage it wasn't possible.

Long Version
Premarket Plan
Watchlist: CPAH, ENZ, BRQS
Leading gappers: CPAH (+94.1%), ENZ (+19.4%)

Stock surged from yesterday's close of 2.21 to 4.40 in premarket. Rather than a spike and fall in premarket like most stocks, CPAH has been grinding up reaching the 4.40 high after 9AM and was set to open just a few cents lower. CPAH appears to have been pumped about once per month since January, with the January high of $6. The other two pumps were to lower prices than stock was currently trading. As a result, I'd be a bit careful shorting this over 4.40 because every short holder from the previous two pumps to 3.50 and 3.75 are losing money, making there a potential rush to cover on every up move. However, because of the long holders from January's $6 pump, going long isn't necessarily the best idea either. Therefore, the best play is to wait for stock to fall on the open and short against spikes during the morning. However, shorts cost literally 16 cents which makes this trade impossible. Therefore, I only play to do quick and easy scalps on the long side.

Stock surged from yesterday's close of 2.17 all the way to 3.75 in afterhours, but immediately faded back down and traded between $2.42 and $2.92 in premarket. Stock only up 19.4% and institutional ownership is high. With stock opening at 2.60 there is potential to short if a spike on the open below $2.90. After that resistance, the afterhours high of 3.75 is the next resistance.

I kept this on the backburner as a potential watch because the premarket volume was extremely low (only 50k shares or so) and it had pumped and dumped multiple times in the past few months, with shorts far too expensive for a $4 stock.

I'm going to leave this sparse because the trading was so boring today.

Summary: Trades: 1. Longs: 1, Shorts: 0. Shares: 1,000. Gross profit: $30.00. Net profit: $18.88

As stated above I couldn't short at all and unless stock cleanly broke 4.40 there would be no easy long play. And even then, given that stock had pumped to $6 in January I really wanted to see a clean breakout of that level to long. Stock fell on the open and there were ample opportunities to short, but shorts were
far too expensive making that trade impossible. I made one tiny long scalp buying 3.50 and selling at 3.53.

Summary: Trades: 2. Longs: 0, Shorts: 2. Shares: 3,000. Gross profit: $96.50. Net profit: $9.09 (includes $50 locate cost)

The volume on this stock was quite low from the opening bell, with only about 175k shares traded in the first minute. Stock moved up from the 3.60 open into the 3.70s before falling back into the 3.50s. Not nearly the move I was hoping for to enter a short position. A few minutes later, stock started slowing moving up to the high 2.80s, which is where I entered a 2k short at 2.89. In hindsight, this wasn't really a quick spike, so I shouldn't have entered the position. Stock then broke 3.00 and I tried shorting more, only to find out that I had no leverage on a short under $4 and therefore couldn't add any more shares. The tape began to slow and we dropped below 3. But the order book and tape appeared "jumpy", with blocks of trades would appear every few seconds and the book would only jump then, rather than a smooth move down. I covered 450 shares 2.88 and the other 1,550 shares 2.85 for a $96.50 gross profit. After fees this barely covered the short locate cost. I didn't like the lack of smooth trading action so I mostly turned off trading the stock.

I made one more tiny short scalp around 10am - 1k shares at 2.88 and covered for 2.85 for a meager $30 profit.

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  #9 (permalink)
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 9 since Apr 2020
Thanks: 0 given, 5 received

Friday, April 24th, 2020

Stocks Traded: MDGS, MBOT
Starting balance: $8,112.75
Trades: 2 (a buy and sell is considered one trade)
Shares: 2,000 (shares counted once)
Gross profit: -$440.00 (loss)
Fees: $22.39
Locate cost: $55.00
Net profit: -$517.39 (loss)
Ending balance: $7,552.85

Ticker Summary:
MDGS - Trades: 1. Shares: 1,000. Gross profit: $60.00. Fees: $11.13. Net profit: $48.87
MBOT - Trades: 1. Shares: 1,000. Gross profit: -$500.00. Fees: $11.25. Locate cost: $55.00. Net profit: -$566.25

Short Version
I am extremely frustrated with myself for today's trading. I woke up late and didn't sign on until after 10:15am. I should have taken the day off since I didn't have time to observe the morning price action and it was getting late. In particular, I made a very stupid short trade in MBOT at 11:15am, later than I should be trading unless setups are superb. Also, while the chart at 11:15am on MBOT did set up for a nice short, there was essentially no volume at the time. After I shorted, stock surged up and volume came in. At that point it was potentially tradeable, but not when I did it.

Just frustrating that I tried forcing a trade when it was outside of my parameters. Not a disaster in terms of money lost, but a real lapse in discipline.

Long Version
Premarket Plan
No premarket plan. I didn't open the markets until 10:15AM.


Summary: Trades: 1. Longs: 1, Shorts: 0. Shares: 1,000. Gross profit: $60.00. Net profit: $48.87

MDGS was the biggest premarket mover and the most active stock. Shorts were completely unavailable. The high from premarket was 3.10 and stock hadn't seen prices that high in almost a year. After breaking that high and rejecting the 3.48 resistance from a pump last July, it pamic dumped down to 3.02 at 10:29 and I missed the first opportunity to buy shares. Stock then bounced back to 3.17 and thus I completely missed the opportunity. There was a secondary drop to the 3.00s, and I should have moved on having missed the trade. Instead, I bought 1,000 shares at 3.04 hoping for another quick bounce. About 50 seconds later it bounced into the low 3.10s again, and after seeing it stall out and not move higher, I took the meager profit, selling at 3.10.

I would not call this a smart trade, but I got lucky to have stock dump further and walked away unscathed.

Summary: Trades: 1. Longs: 0, Shorts: 1. Shares: 1,000. Gross profit: -$500.00. Net profit: -$566.25 (includes $55 locate cost)

This was just a really stupid forced trade. I shorted 1,000 shares at 8.34 of MBOT at 11:15am when there was almost no volume. The chart had set up nicely for a short given the multitude of pump and dumps on this stock lately and 8.37 was the previous daily high that had held as sresistance. However, the complete lack of volume meant there weren't longs rejecting ever up move and stock could easily spike up further.

After I shorted, volume came in and stock spiked soon afterwards, flirting with 9.00. I waited for a pullback as sell volume began appearing. Stock pulled back to the high 8.50s and I should have covered there for a 25 cent loss. Instead I wanted to break even on the trade (STUPID) and it jumped back towards 9.00. I didn't want to panic cover, so I waited for another pullback, seeing the same sell volume. Several times I saw the bids get whacked and offers creep down to the 8.80s, indicating that stock might pull back. However, someone aggressively crossed a 12 cent wide spread and lifted a few thousand shares on the offer and placed bids in the 8.90s again. This happened several times in a row, and this sketchy price action caused me to cover the next time it dropped to the 8.80s.

In the end, this entire day was a mistake. If I didn't open charts until 10:15am, I had no business trading at all. Even that late in the day I'm usually wrapping up as the juicy trades are done. Rather than turning off entirely, I tried forcing a trade in MBOT and it backfired.

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