James J. Cramer
readers about their
experiences. Here's what some had to say:
Just Say No
Say no to Perot.
I've been shorting this stock for my customers. Unfortunately, my desk is short on a DOT error (35 points in my face). I think the stock is a total joke. However, total jokes in this market have been known to destroy a few on the short side.
Since the error, I have watched each tick, shaking my head as the spread narrows and widens -- sometimes 5 points at a clip.
I have no clue -- I am actually really comfortable admitting that !
Totally agree with you. I have been following this stock continuously since my full-service broker was able to get me 300 shares at the IPO price of 16 (lucky me).
I sold 100 at 57 and 100 at 67.
Last Thursday, the stock opened up strong and ran up over 80. I tried to reach my full-service broker to put a stop loss at 80 on my last 100 shares, but I got his voice mail. The stock started dropping and moved under 80 and still no call from my broker. I then sold the stock short at 76 using my E*Trade account. When my full-service broker finally called me back, I sold my 100 shares with him and then covered my short with E*Trade.
I find it ironic that, given E*Trade's problems last week, that if it was not for my account with them, I would have gotten out of Perot a lot lower waiting for my full-service broker to call me back.
I have not traded the Perot stock, but for the last week I have seen a decided slowdown in the trades that I make through DLJ. Usually I get very good executions from them on market orders, especially on Intel, Microsoft, AOL, Dell, Cisco, Home Depot and Philip Morris. Very, very slow and options, you can forget about them. Don't know why, but it is really bad.
I tried to short Perot on Thursday -- went in with a market order, saw several downticks cross, but never got executed. Got a bad feeling, so I canceled the order -- took 60 minutes to confirm that I was out.
Perot acts more like a pink-sheet issue rather than a Big Board stock.
I'm staying away.
I gave up trying to trade PER because of the monster spreads and the order imbalances. I have no idea why someone isn't screaming about this kind of abuse, nor why people trading this aren't more freaked about a stock that seems to have imbalances every day. By the way, this is hardly an isolated example. I would be happy to trot out my list of offenders. None of the wild swings seem to have anything to do with low volume or demand.
I agree that market makers are having a field day and that no one seems to care or notice. Even in slow markets, I've seen prices print that are way below the current bid, way above the current ask. Yes, I've been squirreled out of fills, even when offering between the best bid and ask. I'm going through SSOES and ADPSIS, not through a broker.
Just another example of yet another stock or groups I can't afford to touch because nothing makes sense anymore. I'll bet the specialist in this one is down double-digit millions and the specialists in the discount broker listed stocks were probably hurting too till just recently.
I don't think the NYSE is ignoring the problem; maybe they just don't know what to do. Meanwhile I step away and try to find out of favor groups like steel and aerospace. I'm glad you like FA too. Have you commented on your position and I just missed it?
Just Say Maybe
I bought at the opening (Feb. 2) at 33 3/4 and sold at about 3:30 p.m. for 41 1/4. Trading seemed to be suspended for several periods of time during the day. It seemed to weaken in the low 40s, so I sold out. Of course, I regretted not hanging on for a couple of days to sell out at 80, but the market was beginning to look dangerous by last Tuesday.
Just Say Whoa
JJC: This stock trades like my father-in-law drives..lurch forward..halt...lurch backwards..halt. The specialist on the stock can't be this bad so it must be large one sided flow coming from daytrading shops.
I've traded PER. Made 20 points last week and gave 10 back Thu. in that free fall. Executions have been difficult at best. Just goes to show the specialist system can't handle this type of volatility. The spread is frequently unbelievable and it jumps like crazy, but then again look how the NYSE handles AOL.