On the weekend I officially received 21 shares of EA stock from my latest round of participation of the employee stock purchase program. I written about my follies with the ESPP program in great detail in the past. I’ve held onto some ESPP shares too long as I’ve watched their value slide below the discounted price I bought them at. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the safe bet for these types of shares is to sell them the second the market opens after you get them. You realize your 15% gain and be happy you get that.

On Friday, I was just going to do that, sell my 21 for whatever market price I could get come Monday morning. I was going to put my order in and let the computer just execute it while I slept. On Sunday night, I changed my mind though. For the first time, I was going to be awake while the markets opened on the east coast. I wanted to see what EA’s stock price did as trading started for the day. Sure, I could have put in a limit order but what if the stock price kept going past that limit in the morning?

So far it’s been a very interesting experience. During the night, most financial web sites expected the markets to open in a negative trend, reflecting the performance of Asian markets during their Monday. This made me think that I’d probably have to sell within minutes of the markets opening as I tried to stem my losses as stocks across the board would be dropping in price. Then about an hour before the market opened, the news reversed as futures seemed to be rising ahead of the business day. Now reports indicated the stock market would be going up upon opening.

When trading began at 9:30am EST, I used an app to get real-time data on EA’s stock prices plus market indices. The initial bit of data I got showed everything in the red as stuff dropped for about five minutes. It didn’t go down by much though, so I decided not to panic. Then as the reports predicted, the market began to rise but not by much as well.

Trading began about 30 minutes ago and EA’s stock opened at $64.45. The latest real-time quote I have has it at $64.90. So in this very particular case, I was right not to sell it at soon as the markets opened. The problem remains, I’m still not sure what to do with it.

I’m tired and want to go to sleep. Here are my options. I can just go to bed and just let it ride. When I wake up I can figure out what happened. The price could drop $5 while I sleep… but it could also rise $2. Or I could put a limit order in. I can go to bed knowing if the price reaches my limit, the order will execute automatically. The question remains then, what do I put in for the limit price? $65? $65.25? $66? Those higher numbers fall on the greedy side, so the chances of the price getting there today are probably pretty low. A limit order also won’t protect me against a massive price drop. If I put in a limit order of $66 and while I sleep the stock drops to $50, there’s nothing I can do about that.

Ok, I’m going to bed. I reserve the right to make an order from my bed while using my phone. Wish me luck.

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