August 3rd watchlist & poll

First, a poll:


USCN (OTC BB) – Potential short, absolute crap financials and it has been pumped endlessly. This should be a great short on green/red action although there likely won’t be any shares available to short when the time comes.

VHC – they did not win a patent ruling, only got a preliminary ruling that increases the odds of them winning. The fade after the brief spike following the news last Friday indicates that this will likely fall more, and it closed the day up about 100% so there is plenty of room for a 20% fade. I would look to short on green/red action. It may also be a decent buy if it shows strength but considering I got burned buying it Friday I will not play it that way. Friday it was shortable at IB.

INO – after PIPE financing news Thursday it fell 50% (from the insane price of $3.40 it closed at Wednesday from $0.80 on Tuesday). That move was overdone and it bounced Friday. I am not looking to play this as its next moves will be less predictable.

Reader Watchlists

I am perfectly happy to give my thoughts on stocks my readers mention. Keep in mind that I give only my  opinion and what I write is never personalized investment advice and should not be taken as advice to buy or sell particular securities. Preston mentioned a few in a comment on my last post. He said:

I know your not a fan of these but here is my watchlist.
I like AEM after Cramer pumped them and they had decent news, short above 58 and cover under 55.
MCD, long under 55 and sell over 58.
I also like ACH for a long term play on CHina but would like to see a pullback first, I bought this first around 12 and sold at 16 and of course it flew after that.

AEM & MCD just do not interest me. Their charts are too choppy and I have no insight into their fundamentals or why people would want to buy or sell them. ACH has a great chart and might be a buy over $30, but its average daily range (ADR) is very low. I am not a swing-trader so it doesn’t interest me.

One point I will make over and over again is that stock trading is like baseball with no called strikes. If you choose to not make a trade you cannot lose. So the best traders only trade when they have a clear edge. Stock trading is one of the few ‘jobs’ when you can show up drunk for a week and do nothing and you won’t get fired or suffer any harm (as long as you avoid trading). If you ask me my opinion on 99% of stocks I will say that I have no opinion. I can make plenty of money only if I have an edge in trading a few stocks on any given day.

Disclosure: No positions. I have a disclosure policy.

July 31st trading recap

As I wrote last night, I have some house-guests, so this is a short post.

Here are today’s trades, with little comment:

  • +    BOT    200    GGC    false    Stock    16.410    USD    SMART    09:31:38        1.00
    +    SLD    200    GGC    false    Stock    17.610    USD    SMART    09:41:51        1.00

GGC was negative in pre-market. I bought it just a minute after open after it jumped green. I had incredible patience for me, selling 10 minutes later after it twice failed to take out big offers at $18.10. This turned out just like I thought it would.

  • +    BOT    800    IBNK    false    Stock (NMS)    1.829    USD    BATS    10:01:47        4.00
    +    SLD    800    IBNK    false    Stock (NMS)    1.760    USD    SMART    10:16:04        4.00

Pre-leader long on breakout to new high. Small trade. My winning ratio on this type of trade is poor and I net about breakeven overall.

  • BOT    200    GERN    false    Stock (NMS)    8.8397    USD    SMART    11:12:34        1.00
    +    SLD    200    GERN    false    Stock (NMS)    8.970    USD    ARCA    11:13:50        1.00

Bought on red/green (a bit slow). Halfway decent trade.

  • BOT    500    INO    false    Stock    2.01    USD    BATS    11:21:02    BookTrader    2.50
    +    SLD    500    INO    false    Stock    2.040    USD    ISLAND    11:22:18    BookTrader    2.50

Pre-leader long. If I had given it more room to run I wold’ve had an easy 30 cent profit.

  • BOT    500    VHC    false    Stock    4.38    USD    SMART    14:26:39        2.50
    +    SLD    500    VHC    false    Stock    3.898    USD    AMEX    14:27:50        2.50

Dumb play on VHC, I had the right idea but I was slow to sell and buy. I am generally bad at quick-moving plays like this that can go either way.

  • +    SLD    3,000    PAL    false    Stock    3.110    USD    SMART    14:25:52        15.00
    +    SLD    3,000    PAL    false    Stock    3.088    USD    ISLAND    14:28:29        15.00
    +    BOT    3,000    PAL    false    Stock    3.020    USD    ARCA    14:59:31        15.00
    +    BOT    3,000    PAL    false    Stock    3.030    USD    SMART    14:59:48        15.00

PAL was what I call a fat-fingered short. I don’t mind going reasonably large in these; risk/reward is good although this strategy leads to occasional big losses. In this case it was CNBC pumping it. 40 cents (18%) vertical moves in 30 seconds are in general good shorts unless there is real news. It didn’t turn out as I predicted but I still had a halfway-decent profit.

For your reference, here are my year-to-date profits for the above-mentioned trading strategies:

Fat-fingered shorts:

Total Profit $2,889.99
Avg Profit % 0.55%
Wtd Avg Profit 0.86%

Pre-leaders longs:

Total Profit $67.89
Avg Profit % 0.66%
Wtd Avg Profit 0.26%

Today I netted +$348.39.

Disclosure: No positions.

Watch list for July 31 & daily recap

Sorry this won’t be the most organized or prettiest post: I’ve got house-guests coming tomorrow and need to clean up! First up, review of today’s trades.

INO – Arggh!!!!!!

It was shortable at Sogo. It was shortable at Sogo. Arrgh. I really should’ve shorted this, even after the 15% gap down. But no, I was too busy losing money on this next stock:

OHB – TimAlert trade

Readers of my twitter feed know I got back in that this morning. I should never have even gotten in considering it held up pretty well yesterday and closed green. My entry sucked ($2.87) and I made the mistake of not covering when Tim Sykes covered. If you trade illiquid stocks and you know a bunch of people are going to buy / cover, it pays to buy before they do. So that was two mistakes. My third mistake was tripling my original position on the spike caused by Sykes’ followers covering but getting bad fills. If I could have gotten filled at $3.50 or even $3.40 that would’ve been okay. Instead I got filled at $3.17 and $3.30. I later covered when it spiked back to $3.50; that was the only thing I did right in this trade. Total damage: -$1552. Annoying, but for someone with a big account like me, not huge. The loss didn’t even wipe out all of this week’s profits.


I saw this alerted in the IU stock chat. But, because I am horrible at buying breakouts, I did not buy at $8 or $9, I bought at $13. I scalped it twice quickly with 200 shares each time and made a respectable $121.34. Things I did right: kept my position small and actually tried buying a breakout that has run well previously.

DDRX – TimAlert Trade

TimAlert comes out: “Bought 300 DDRX On Probable Breakout At $24.83” I of course bought quickly, partly to get a few cents from slow TimAlert subscribers. Below are my actual trades copied from IB.

+ BOT 961 DDRX false Stock (SCM) 24.905 USD ARCA 14:44:04 4.80
+ BOT 6,000 DDRX false Stock (SCM) 24.950 USD SMART 14:44:07 30.00
+ SLD 5,468 DDRX false Stock (SCM) 25.033 USD ARCA 14:47:20 27.34
+ SLD 893 DDRX false Stock (SCM) 25.000 USD BATS 14:48:20 4.46
+ SLD 200 DDRX false Stock (SCM) 25.110 USD ISLAND 14:48:41 1.00

I held onto 400 shares long because I agreed with Tim’s thesis.

TimAlert comes out: “Sold 300 DDRX at $24.98, Looks Toppy”

+ SLD 400 DDRX false Stock (SCM) 24.958 USD ARCA 15:32:39 2.00
+ SLD 500 DDRX false Stock (SCM) 24.802 USD ARCA 15:34:45 BookTrader 2.50

I quickly sold (learning my lesson from OHB this morning) and went short a tiny bit. Holy crap that thing tanked quick.

+ BOT 500 DDRX false Stock (SCM) 24.680 USD ISLAND 15:35:01 BookTrader 2.50

Wait, it tanked over $2 and I covered my short for a lousy 14 cents??!!? Oyvey. I’m not gonna cry about this though. It is a garden variety mistake and the tank was not caused purely by Tim Alert subscribers; there was some big stop loss sellers. As it fell more I was incredulous that it would fall so quickly. I thought to play for a bounce but did not want to get burned.  So I placed a low-ball bid. Most of my 1000 share order was filled.

+ BOT 900 DDRX false Stock (SCM) 22.662 USD BATS 15:38:29 4.50

The bounce looked weak so I decided to take profits around $23

+ SLD 900 DDRX false Stock (SCM) 22.977 USD ARCA 15:46:31 4.50

Overall on DDRX, +$838.98 today. It helped to make up for my horrid $1552 loss on OHB. Some halfway decent trading on that and GGC helped keep this day from really sucking.


The only thing really interesting on my watchlist is GGC. They had financing news that looks like it will keep them out of bankruptcy. This is a low-volume stock; it was up 112% today on only 2.6 million shares. Back in March the stock was up 200% in one day, and the following day the stock went from $32 to a high of $50 and then closed at $42. Oh, and this company is heavily shorted. So I think this may be a great buy tomorrow. We’ll see if I actually play it. I would wait to see how it looks in the few minutes after the open before buying.

Wait — this was supposed to be a hurried post. Oops.

Disclosure: No positions. I am a customer of Tim Sykes and InvestorsUnderground and an affiliate of both of them. I have a disclosure policy that gives details on those relationships.

Watchlist for July 29

Not too much here. In this market it has been a lot easier to buy than to short, and I am a specialist in short selling.


OHB is a prime short as a Supernova with no news. I know this company from a fundamental perspective and they will be bankrupt within a year. Volume is very low and shares are not easy to borrow. IB had none today, SogoTrade had some.


I am short 3,000 shares of CHINA overnight, following a certain trader who shall remain nameless (although I would have thought of shorting anyway as it was a great afternoon fade and there is still plenty of room for this to fall tomorrow). This is a classic play to short, up only on hype-filled press releases since $1.50. Unfortunately the price action has been choppy. I will look to cover right after the open tomorrow and I will hope for a morning panic.

Disclosure: Short CHINA and I will likely cover the position early on 7/29/09. I have a disclosure policy.

Stock to watch: Cannabis Science (OTC BB: CBIS)

CBIS has surged from $0.08 to $1.14 on millions of shares of volume over 5 days. It is a top watch for shorting on green to red action tomorrow. Unfortunately it is hard to borrow at Interactive Brokers and as an OTC stock is unavailable to short at SogoTrade.


Here is some of the “news” that has sent the stock skyrocketing:

July 27: Cannabis Science to Apply to the FDA to Utilize Their Fast Track Procedures to Help Speed the Approval of Its Cannabinoid Medicines in Treatment of H1N1 Swine Flu as AP Report Predicts Swine Flu Could Hit up to 40 Percent in the USA

July 24: Today’s CNN Pandemic Report on H1N1 Pushes Cannabis Science to Move Faster to Release Its Anti-Inflammatory Cannabis Drug as Similarities Between 2009 and Deadly 1918 Influenza Pandemic Cause Concern; FDA Approved Drugs Needed Now to Meet This Urgent Situation

July 23: Today’s Wall Street Journal Reports on Cannabis Science Inc. in Article on Booming Medical Cannabis Industry; Indicates Great Demand for Products From a Patient Oriented Company

The common factor in all those press releases is that none of them are material to the company. The WSJ article only mentioned the company because the company’s CFO is involved in medical marijuana in California (the company is not). The other two press releases simply state that the company is going to try hard to get its cannabis drug approved quickly. Any self-respecting biotech would not even have put out press releases to say they are trying to get fast-track approval. Everyone tries it. Only a few of those who apply for fast-track approval get to use it. The press releases above therefore offer no real information and serve only to hype the stock. Once the hype dies down the company’s stock will head back to the gutter in which it belongs.

Note: as of the company’s most recent 10Q, it had a net worth of negative $870,000 and tangible assets of $2,467. It is hard to develop and market drugs with no money.

Disclosure: No position. I have a disclosure policy.