This earnings season I must say - I've been trading very well, but some days I come short of my profit target by not allowing my winners to run.
This is partly understandable given that lately a lot of overnight winners have been next day losers. Check out this post by my man @TheArmoTrader for reasons why: Earnings' Pops Are Being Sold.
This is no excuse for the type of weak hands I've had. I made joking comments about how this season I've had the Midas Touch - but when it comes to holding the trade, just call me Mr. Glass Fingers.
My execution and entries have been on point - but my exits are lacking. It may seem as though I am only reviewing winners - however, this is far from the case. I'm reviewing trades which I learn the most from.
I've been paying attention to my average gains and my average loss (which I will post in an Google DOC Excel file at a later point) and my losers are cut instantly without hesitation. Soon I will be reviewing some lessons from losers - but for now, let's stick to my focus, which I've been saying since last week and which I believe I failed to execute this week: holding with confidence.
The trade I'm going to review was from yesterday (28th) and was made in $CROX.
This was my morning watchlist for the 28th:
$GMCR was spready at the open - not my taste. I took it off my main focus. Let's take a look at $CROX...
$CROX beat earnings after hours on the 27th, so it was in-play (fresh news, as all the stocks I trade are) and the main levels I was paying attention to were 29 and 28.75. I was looking to get long as long as the bids held it above these levels.
Immediately at the open it pushed above 29 but chopped around a bit until I saw the bids holding at the whole and taking some size. I put in my bids:
As always, I took some off on the initial spike (it spiked quick, bullish sign) but I took the rest off way too early when it had trouble at the half (29.50).
Obviously I was cussing myself out as it pushed up to 30, and as it was immediately rejected I looked for a new place to get long. I RARELY trade breakouts, unless I can find a place BELOW the level to get long, such as if a big buyer shows up just below and won't drop the bid (this is a lesson for another post), and then I usually sell most of it TO the breakout buyers and keep a piece in case it keeps moving. Then, if it pulls back to the level and holds, only THEN will I buy more.
In $CROX - it immediately went to re-test the level, and this is exactly why I don't trade breakouts: the breakout failed and could not hold above 30. When I saw the offers holding, this offered me a shorting opportunity.
When a stock makes a marginal new intra-day high it is my FAVORITE to fade. Why? Because all the breakout buyers got hurt and are looking to get out which creates a panic to get out the door. Also, because of this, they will probably NOT be buying the 2nd test of the breakout level because they got hurt the first time. This formula screams short-term downside.
I shorted the re-test of 30 after the fail and got filled at 29.97 - it began dropping and I believe I made a decent cover around 29.53. At this point I had made money long and short, pretty satisfied.
A lesson from this trade is that the stock STILL never came anywhere NEAR my first long position at 29, and came to close near 31. After the pullback I shorted it trended up nicely for the remainder of the day.
In retrospect, everything looks so simple, of course, but in the heat of the moment it is all different. I truly trade with no feelings, but sometimes my trigger finger is just too itchy. I never hesitate to pull the trigger entering a trade, and exiting I am just as smooth - but sometimes it works against me.
Continuing, my main focus will remain to get better at holding for the remainder of the day. What I really plan to do is to take a trade like this, book significant gains through scalps, and hold a core like I said from the initial buy, and then take the stock off my screen for a while.