Finally, ended my losing streak, which was an important psychological milestone and great way to go into the holidays, during which I will be taking a break from paper trading until Monday. May post over the weekend on a couple things. The GFG trade was from yesterday. Today’s winners were a short of ARTC and an end of the day pharm play on ANPI.

ARTC gapped down big on Friday from $16. It ran up to $5 spiking. It was a HOD play that can be risky to short, but RSI was very overbought, and I was certain there would be some profit taking if it didn’t cross the dollar threshold. I wanted to get in at $4.97, but turned away for a couple minutes and it dropped very quickly. My entry was a little late, and fortunately I covered at $4.64 as it ran up to $5 a couple more time in the afternoon. ANPI was a drug penny stock – I spotted the spike on TD Ameritrade’s Motion Detector. Looked for news, there didn’t seem to be any. But these types of stocks always seem to run and then over extend a couple days later. I got in a couple pennies too late at .30 cents and almost got spooked out, but my stop was not triggered. I decided to sell at the bell and take profits at .37 cents. It was up more in afterhours and these tend to gap up the next morning. Message boards say big news coming, lots of insider trading. I just didn’t want to risk it and wasn’t planning on trading tomorrow and wanted to end things on a positive note for once. Looking back at the chatroom after the bell, I see ANPI was a big alert, and I’m glad I can now spot those on my own.

Today, there were several other plays that I just didn’t make my moves quick enough. I knew EPIX would likly break down, but didn’t play that. There were several stocks I drew support and resistance lines and then when I went back a half hour later, they bounced off them and went in the direction I had thought, like GNW. Several good shorts (like AVR) I wanted to play, as always, I couldn’t get shares to borrow (I simulate this by flipping a virtual coin – if I relied on TOS’s paper money borrow function, I would not be able to short the majority of these gutter stocks as it deems most of them as “Hard to Borrow”. So when I short, I use the buy and sell function but just reverse the results).

A couple more reflections that I’m going to add to my trading policies that I wrote about yesterday.

  • Get back into the practice of identifying at least four stocks prior to trading to watch more closely during the day and to be very familiar with their average day range, resistance and support levels, etc. I said I wanted to do this a month ago, but I have been lax recently.
  • I have come to the conclusion that I am more confident and less distracted when I am not actively following the chatroom at Investor’s Live. Its part information overload, part being intimidated some, etc. I’m able to spot many of the same stocks on my own. Lately I’ve been doing the chatroom every other day, but from now on, I’m just going to hang out during pre-hours, check in when I have no trading leads, and read the logs afterwards to see how stocks have been played but keep chat in the background during market hours until I am further along and can deal with the extra data coming in.

If I could average $150 a day profit for a couple weeks paper trading, that would be great progress. My main goal in coming weeks is to make more trades each day – with a target goal of five every day. I need to stop hesitating, execute as soon as I make a decision to enter, and be more efficient in managing my screener and monitoring the charts on my watch lists.

I will be back this weekend, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.