Weekly trading stats

$1199 weekly gain
$2102 month-to-date gain
$807 on 23,200 AA shares traded
-$97 on 13,400 NWSA shares traded
$489 on 5,300 COP shares traded

A few realizations: Swing trading is probably the easiest way to gain (or lose) a significant amount of money without even thinking. Even with the best technical tools utilized and stop gaps put in place, you can never be 100% sure of tomorrow's outcome.

That is why some trading firms, including my previous employer, would rather focus on active intra-day trading, no matter how stressful to an equities trader it eventually becomes.

This leads me to a second aha! moment, when active trading this week alone has become fun yet time-consuming. I disappointed myself this past week because I prioritized my active trade positions instead of studying pharmacology. I watched Bloomberg instead of having read Katzung. I slept late a few times instead of waking up early for my morning classes.

Instead of self-flagellating (I meant the whip, not the unicellular kind), I think it is best to stop this happy madness, at least until the semester ends on October. This will probably be my last weekend update for the semester.

Surely I will miss this kind of life, just as much as I long for those days in 2008 when I was officially a stocks trader, holding a real portfolio, betting real dollars, and contributing to the crazy volatility in NYSE.

Working towards being a competent medical doctor has serious demands of its own, and I still have a lot to learn, probably one step at a time.

The Week In Review
  • Early monday, investors were frustated by the sovereign-debt crisis ensuing in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Italy. European finance ministers were mulling over the possibility of another Greek bailout. Italy's debt on the other hand stands at 120% of GDP, the second largest ratio behind Greece in the Euro area. National leaders were still uncertain about the passage of essential austerity measures. 
  • The week was also the start of earnings season, with companies churning up second quarter reports to the shareholders.
  • First bellwether firm is Alcoa (NYSE: AA), an aluminum manufacturing giant, which presented huge earnings compared to the period last year but missed analyst estimates by a couple of cents per share. This sent Alcoa's earnings tumbling slightly the day after.
 Investors pulled out of Alcoa Inc. Monday just hours before earnings were released in the afternoon. Alcoa reported strong profit margins compared to last year and expects strong demand from China in the following months. image credits: Google Finance

  • Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) also announced cutting 10,000 jobs. It aims to cut at least 5,000 worldwide by the end of August, in order to improve profit margins. Cisco faces increased competition on sales of switches, routers, and other networking hardware from strong companies like Hewlett Packard. Cisco is trading at its lowest levels of this year-to-date.
  • Wednesday saw China's GDP for the second quarter grew by 9.5%, slightly lower from its first quarter by 0.2%. Asian stocks rose on that day, and the healthy contagion spread on European and American bourses.
  • Also, News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWSA) was embroiled in two news-worthy items this week. First, News Corp closed down News of the World over alleged phone hackings in several occasions, including those of phone records of victims of the September 11 attack and 7/7 London Transit System Bombing. Expectedly, NWSA prices tumbled. Second, Rupert Murdoch announced to withdraw his company's bid to acquire British Sky Broadcasting Group on Wednesday, which slightly pulled up NWSA prices off its monthly low.

Price of News Corp. fell dramatically in July of 2011 following allegations of phone hackings. However, it should be noted that the current stock price is just off the peak of its meteoric climb for the past 3 years, similar to September 2008 levels. image credits: Google Finance

  • ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) announced Thursday that it will follow Marathon Oil's corporate strategy to split the company apart into smaller groups. This sent COP to almost 5% higher on the opening bell than the previous day's close.
ConocoPhillips announced on July 14th that it will spin-off its exploration-production and refinery-marketing divisions into two separate, publicly-listed companies in order to refocus business strategies. Investors reacted to the news, opening at just above 80 from a previous close of 74. Its intra-day decline was unusually steepimage credits: Google Finance

  • Also, this week, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) reported strong earnings for the second quarter, raising expectations for both financial and tech sectors in the coming weeks.