Trading software

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

S&P to hit 1600?

The S&P made a new closing high yesterday of 1593.61. Will we hit 1600 soon?

 S&P500 three-month chart:

While it could be argued that 1600 is just a number like any other, it's not really as big round numbers are attractive to people psychologically. A lot of people will say things like "I will buy/sell when the price hits 1600" but are less likely to say "I will buy sell when the price hits 1598".

You see this too in sports betting where the market will 'congregate' around traditional prices like 5/4, 6/4 or 2/1 or whatever.

So the 1600 price is interesting - we can assume a lot of people that have gone short on the S&P may have stops placed just above 1600. Similarly, some traders will be waiting to buy once they get confirmation that the price has gone through the barrier. People have lots of different reasons to buy and sell around these prices so very often, we will see resistance before we get a breakthrough. Of course, the S&P is an index of 500 companies and isn't a stock in itself - but many funds buy collectively into those stocks at a ratio so the overall price of the index does have meaning.

At the moment, I'm just jobbing along on this market and buying the gaps (buying the index if the morning price is lower than last night's closing price), taking profit when the gap closes.

Is this the week we smash through or is there a wall of resistance in store?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fake tweets and rallies

An interesting day yesterday. The S&P had a nice big rally yesterday and now sits above 1575 in the pre-market trading:

Unfortunately for me, I only made a paltry twenty quid from this market yesterday, even though I was a buyer just before it rallied!  I wasn't around to manage my trade so I had it take my profit automatically when it hit the previous night's close. A profit is profit as they say - but ten times the profit wouldn't have been a hell of a lot nicer.

There was a bit of panic at one stage and we had a 'flash crash'. A fake tweet from The Associated Press' account which had been hacked sent the markets tumbling for a very short time. The tweet said that the White House had been attacked and that Obama was injured. Have a read of this, it's quite interesting:

Fake Tweet

The interesting thing here is that the tweet was picked up by the automatic trading bots. These bots now read news feed and are programmed to recognise good and bad news. A few years ago, I was amazed when I heard that bots could effectively 'read' the news and trade it but there's since been a few cases where it has gone haywire and in some ways, it's a little refreshing to know that computers are not yet as advanced so that they can replace humans.

On Betfair, I had a couple of wins and a small loss in the place markets resulting in an overall profit of 26 quid. Nothing to get excited about but it's still early days on this particular strategy.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Place laying

I mentioned before the I've found it hard to crack the place markets and never really managed to make them pay. I've been giving it a go again laying horses for a place. My liability on each bet is €20 and I've had about 22 bets so far. It started quite well and I was a few points ahead but a poor few days saw that swing around and I'm now about 39 quid behind. I'm going to stick with it for a while though - I'd love to be able to pull a few quid out of those markets as it would open up more opportunities. As I say, I'm not going to panic as it's only the loss of two bets really - I'll report back on progress over the coming weeks:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The one and only Arkle

I went to visit the National Stud and Japanese Gardens on Sunday - had a really nice time and there were pony rides for the kids etc. You can visit some ex-racehorses such as Moscow Flyer and Beef Or Salmon and there's also some well-known stallions which you can visit too.

In the horse museum, they have Arkle's skeleton and I've since been looking up some of his races. We've been going on about Kauto Star and Sprinter Sacre lately (both brilliant of course) but to put it into perspective, Arkle's Timeform rating is 212, compared to Sprinter at 192 and Katuo at 191. Amazing really.

It's probably hard for those of us who weren't around in his era to appreciate just how amazing he was but it's great to read about him and look him up on youtube to watch some of his races. If you are near the Kildare area, it's well worth a visit.

Myself and "Himself" :

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Aintree Grand National 2013

Here we go again! It's the day when everyone and their granny has a bet. A good case could be made for at least ten runners and it's hard to finally decide on one (or two!) but that's what it is all about. Here's today's Irish Independent article:

RICHARD Nixon once said that finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver but finishing second in politics gets you oblivion. Coming second in horseracing is not quite as bad as all that as you still get compensation by way of place money; and in races like the Grand National (4.15 Aintree), that compensation can be a hell of a lot of dough. Still though, there are not many table quizzes that will ask you to name the runner-up of the Grand National and it’s only the winner that gets immortalised with his name carved out in the hall of fame. Some very good trainers like Evan Williams haven’t yet managed to land one of the top-two spots in the greatest steeplechase of all but nonetheless, his record in the race is better than many with Cappa Bleu finishing fourth last year and State Of Play finishing fourth, third and fourth in 2011, 2010 and 2009 respectively. It must be frustrating to go so close but four places in as many years is something Williams can be proud of. Now rated 2lbs lower this time around, Cappa Bleu might be the one to get Williams into the record books and last year's big-race experience can only do him good. Prepared again with the Grand National in mind, they haven't given the eleven-year-old a hard time in the past twelve months, racing just twice. At Carlisle in November, jockey Paul Moloney went easy on his mount when it was clear that Across The Bay wouldn't be beaten while in his trial run at Ascot in February (finished second), Cappa Bleu responded well to pressure although never looked like beating Vino Gregio. But a fluent round of jumping will have oiled up any creaks and he comes to Aintree in tip-top shape. It will be interesting to see what tactics his Irish jockey will employ in this year's renewal; last year, he found himself hampered at
Foinavon early on and a patient ride in an attempt to conserve energy left the horse with too much to do. Perhaps a slightly bolder ride this year might play to the horse's strengths. He's generally priced around 11/1 and with some bookmakers paying up to six places, it goes without saying that he should be backed each-way. Willie Mullins' On His Own has very strong claims too but at 7/1, his odds are a little skinny. He was travelling really well (traded near 7/2 in-running) when coming down at second Becher's last year and a lot of people have commented on how natural he looked up to that point. He's only been seen once since when he readily won a Grade 2 hurdle at Navan in February, and off the same mark as last year, he's got to be a major threat. That Tony McCoy has chosen to ride Ted Walsh's Colbert Station over Sunnyhill Boy is noteworthy and the nine-year-old is less exposed than most of the 40-strong field today - but the fact that he's only raced five times over fences puts a question mark over his head. Sunnyhill Boy came home second in a gripping finish last year but I doubt he'll be as efficient with an extra 10lbs to contend with today. It would be fantastic to see Ruby Walsh's sister Katie become the first female jockey to win the race on Seabass, which is another one trained by her father, Ted, but an extra 5lbs may be enough to stop him matching last year's excellent run in third. Alongside Cappa Bleu, I can't help having a nibble at the 20/1 on offer about the 2011 winner Ballabriggs. He was racing off a 150 rating the year he landed the prize and wasn't disgraced when sixth last year off 160. He's back down to 152 today although I do concede that he's not getting any younger. Another one to consider is Gordon Elliott's Chicago Grey who is 9lbs lower than last year and comes from a yard which is bang in-form at the moment.

Soccer: With the title on its way back to Old Trafford, Monday night's Manchester Derby is for bragging rights only. United are favourites but with City looking to restore some pride, this could be close and a draw is fancied at 5/2.
Horseracing: While everyone is focused on Aintree today, don't let
Van Der Neer slip under the radar in the Listed International Trial Stakes at Lingfield (3.00). A classy looking sort, he was second to Kingsbarns in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster and should prove very hard to beat back down in class today, priced around 5/6.  

2.15 Aintree: Bailey Green
2.50 Aintree: Solwhit
3.00 Lingfield:
Van Der Neer
4.15 Aintree: Cappa Bleu (e/w)
4.15 Aintree: Ballabriggs (e/w)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sprinter Sacre

Absolutely can't wait until 3.05 today for the Melling Chase to see the majestic Sprinter Sacre in action. I was blown away by his performance at Cheltenham and I expect him to take the step up in trip handy enough. I'm a big fan of Finian's Rainbow so I hope he gets back to some sort of form and like most Irish people, I hope Flemenstar can make a race of it. But if you ask me, the market has this right at 4/11 and it's a race best enjoyed without a bet.

I didn't get to trade at Aintree yesterday but I hope to get some done today if I can get tomorrow's newspaper article completed in good time.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Twelve grand

No, I didn't win that amount (!). That's how much I turned over trading today. I only got to trade 27 of today's races as I had some other stuff to do but it went reasonably ok with a profit of €23.49.

I was trading with a bank of €490 so I suppose it a turnover of €11,775 isn't too bad and I got my money through the markets a few times over in some races.

I guess twenty three quid doesn't look spectacular but it's an increase on my bank (which I set up the other day) of 4.69% in a day so I'm happy enough. Anyone who understands compounding would bite your arm off for that kind of increase every day. I'm slowly finding my stride again with trading but I'll keep stakes low for the moment while I shake off the cobwebs. May increase the bank size in a few weeks if I'm doing OK at it and kick on a bit.