Help! I can't find the CANCEL button on my brokerage account!
Do you know what it's like to wake up at 9:25 AM after going to sleep at 6 AM? I call it brain burn. It feels like heartburn but it starts at the vertex of your skull and slowly seeps down the front of your brain into your eyesockets where it collects and sears your retinas every time you try to open your eyes.
I was suffering from a bad case of brain burn this morning when I logged into my brokerage account to dump my entire investment in Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, a frighteningly unstable debt-ridden baby biotech. Out of the 100 or so small cap biotechs I closely follow, I had inexplicably selected MIPI as the best place to deposit ten grand and my "investment" had almost immediately submerged itself like a frightened angler fish. For once, fortune allowed me an escape from a dubious decision as the share price more than doubled after hours yesterday on positive results from a trial whose existence I hadn't uncovered in my due diligence (maybe I should cut that database down to 50 biotechs).
Satisfaction and relief at that development was enough to dull the pain of being kept an hour late on my night shift at the emergency room. I didn't mind the patient comment card that approved of my bedside manner but complained I was too short for her taste, or the 21 year old girl on her 9th ER visit this year for different complaints who refused to be discharged until I could do a test which showed the cause of the dull headaches she had been having for two years (she refused my offer of an IQ test). I couldn't even resist sharing my good fortune with my scribe, a poor college kid who makes about a 20th of what I do for the thankless job of transcribing my inane observations into the patient's electronic chart. I told him I was a big time investor and my stock was up huge after hours. "Wow," he said. "Who do you get your ideas your ideas from?" I bristled a little at that. "I don't. Other people get their ideas from me!" That was a bald-faced lie of course. Half my portfolio is cribbed from top CAPS players.
So there I was at 9:30 on Ameritrade watching MIPI actually opening 170% up at 4.04 (I had half expected the entire phenomenon to run its course in the after-hours and pre-market). I punched open the trading window and saw the bid was already down to 3.85. My profits flashed before my eyes and I frantically entered a limit sell at 3.8, which closed immediately (if you haven't used Ameritrade, I can tell you that the sale will close at whatever lower limit you enter regardless of where the bid happens to be at that moment). By the time I'd wiped the sweat from my brow, the real-time price was back over 4 and had approached 4.5 within minutes. I'd given up $3500 of my profits.
No worries, I thought. I'm still within the 20 minute cancel window that CAPS taught me about. I can just cancel that lousy trade, get my MIPI shares back, and sell them again at 4.5. But try and try and try as I might, I couldn't find the button to cancel the trade and sell my shares again at a better price. What gives?