Day trading is speculation in securities, specifically buying and selling financial instruments within the same trading day. Some of the more commonly day-traded financial instruments are stocks, options, currencies, and a host of futures contracts such as equity index futures, interest rate futures, and commodity futures. Day trading was once an activity that was exclusive to financial firms and professional speculators.
Some day traders use an intra-day technique known as scalping that usually has the trader holding a position for a few minutes or even seconds. Because of the nature of financial leverage and the rapid returns that are possible, day trading results can range from extremely profitable to extremely unprofitable, and high-risk profile traders can generate either huge percentage returns or huge percentage losses. One of the first steps to make day trading of shares potentially profitable was the change in the commission scheme.
Financial settlement periods used to be much longer: Before the early 1990s at the London Stock Exchange, for example, stock could be paid for up to 10 working days after it was bought, allowing traders to buy (or sell) shares at the beginning of a settlement period only to sell (or buy) them before the end of the period hoping for a rise in price.
The systems by which stocks are traded have also evolved, the second half of the twentieth century having seen the advent of electronic communication networks (ECNs). ECNs and exchanges are usually known to traders by a three- or four-letter designators, which identify the ECN or exchange on Level II stock screens. The next important step in facilitating day trading was the founding in 1971 of NASDAQ–a virtual stock exchange on which orders were transmitted electronically. This combination of factors has made day trading in stocks and stock derivatives (such as ETFs) possible. The ability for individuals to day trade coincided with the extreme bull market in technological issues from 1997 to early 2000, known as the Dot-com bubble.
In March, 2000, this bubble burst, and a large number of less-experienced day traders began to lose money as fast, or faster, than they had made during the buying frenzy. In parallel to stock trading, starting at the end of the 1990s, a number of new Market Maker firms provide foreign exchange and derivative day trading through new electronic trading platforms. Some of these approaches require shorting stocks instead of buying them: the trader borrows stock from his broker and sells the borrowed stock, hoping that the price will fall and he will be able to purchase the shares at a lower price.
Trend following, a strategy used in all trading time-frames, assumes that financial instruments which have been rising steadily will continue to rise, and vice versa with falling. Range trading, or range-bound trading, is a trading style in which stocks are watched that have either been rising off a support price or falling off a resistance price.
Scalping highly liquid instruments for off-the-floor day traders involves taking quick profits while minimizing risk (loss exposure). Rebate trading is an equity trading style that uses ECN rebates as a primary source of profit and revenue. The basic strategy of news playing is to buy a stock which has just announced good news, or short sell on bad news. Candlestick charts are used by traders using technical analysis to determine chart patterns. An estimated one third of stock trades in 2005 in United States were generated by automatic algorithms, or high-frequency trading. Some day trading strategies (including scalping and arbitrage) require relatively sophisticated trading systems and software. Day traders do not usually use market maker brokers or discount brokers because they are slower to execute trades, trade against order flow, and charge higher commissions than direct-access brokers, who allow the trader to send their orders directly to the ECNs. Market data is necessary for day traders, rather than using the delayed (by anything from 10 to 60 minutes, per exchange rules) market data that is available for free. In addition to the raw market data, some traders purchase more advanced data feeds that include historical data and features such as scanning large numbers of stocks in the live market for unusual activity. Day trading is considered a risky trading style, and regulations require brokerage firms to ask whether the clients understand the risks of day trading and whether they have prior trading experience before entering the market. If you plan to make a profit you have to determine to choose or create a best intra-day trading strategy. Particularly at what point and at what point are you going to determine the volume of transactions in ascending or descending order to observe. The Best Stocks To Day Trade are stocks that have high volatility, meaning that they consistently move up and down, and high volume, both of which are necessary to quickly trade into and out of a stock. Keep in mind that the Best Stocks To Day Trade are stocks with high volatility and volume, so day trades can be executed rapidly. Trade of the Day: Navios Maritime Holdings (NM)Profit ScannerA number of the shipping names have started to look much more formidable going forward in 2014 and could be developing as some of the best stocks to buy. After a few days of consolidation with the broader market, the stock is trading in the $9 range.


Profit Scanner powered by Recognia can help traders of all levels find new trading customized trading opportunities for finding the best stocks to buy or short in specific sectors, price points, timeframes and so much more.
Strictly, day trading is trading only within a day, such that all positions are closed before the market closes for the trading day.
Many day traders are bank or investment firm employees working as specialists in equity investment and fund management. Some traders choose to focus on a limited number of strategies they feel can be profitable. Other traders believe they should let the profits run, so it is acceptable to stay with a position after the market closes. This activity was identical to modern day trading, but for the longer duration of the settlement period. A market maker has an inventory of stocks to buy and sell, and simultaneously offers to buy and sell the same stock. New brokerage firms which specialized in serving online traders who wanted to trade on the ECNs emerged.
The low commission rates allow an individual or small firm to make a large number of trades during a single day. The NASDAQ crashed from 5000 back to 1200; many of the less-experienced traders went broke, although obviously it was possible to have made a fortune during that time by shorting or playing on volatility. These allowed day traders to have instant access to decentralised markets such as forex and global markets through derivatives such as contracts for difference.
Besides these, some day traders also use contrarian (reverse) strategies (more commonly seen in algorithmic trading) to trade specifically against irrational behavior from day traders using these approaches. Scalping is a trading style where small price gaps created by the bid-ask spread are exploited by the speculator. Such events provide enormous volatility in a stock and therefore the greatest chance for quick profits (or losses). There are groups of traders known as price action traders who are a form of technical traders that rely on technical analysis but do not rely on conventional indicators to point them in the direction of a trade or not. Direct access trading offers substantial improvements in transaction speed and will usually result in better trade execution prices (reducing the costs of trading).
If a trade is executed at quoted prices, closing the trade immediately without queuing would always cause a loss because the bid price is always less than the ask price at any point in time. The spread can be viewed as trading bonuses or costs according to different parties and different strategies.
Pattern day trader is a term defined by the SEC to describe any trader who buys and sells a particular security in the same trading day (day trades), and does this four or more times in any five consecutive business day period. However, as day rates have moved up for the transport of commodities around the world, a number of the shipping names have really started to look much more formidable going forward in 2014 and could be developing as some of the best stocks to buy.
NM’s chart shows an emerging bullish continuation wedge, an intermediate-term pattern that tells traders that after a brief disruption, the prior uptrend is set to continue. Many traders may not be so strict or may have day trading as one component of an overall strategy.
However, with the advent of electronic trading and margin trading, day trading has become increasingly popular among at-home traders. Since margin interests are typically only charged on overnight balances, the trader pays no fees for the margin benefit, though still running the risk of a margin call. In the USA for example, while the overnight margins required to hold a stock position are normally 50% of the stock’s value, many brokers allow pattern day trader accounts to use levels as low as 25% for intraday purchases.
A trader would contact a stockbroker, who would relay the order to a specialist on the floor of the NYSE. Obviously, it will offer to sell stock at a higher price than the price at which it offers to buy. The liquidity and small spreads provided by ECNs allow an individual to make near-instantaneous trades and to get favorable pricing. Many naive investors with little market experience made huge profits buying these stocks in the morning and selling them in the afternoon, at 400% margin rates. Most of these firms were based in the UK and later in less restrictive jurisdiction, this was in part due to the regulations in the US prohibiting this type of over-the-counter trading. It is important for a trader to remain flexible and adjust their techniques to match changing market conditions. Some of these restrictions (in particular the uptick rule) don’t apply to trades of stocks that are actually shares of an exchange-traded fund (ETF). The contrarian trader buys an instrument which has been falling, or short-sells a rising one, in the expectation that the trend will change.


The basic idea of scalping is to exploit the inefficiency of the market when volatility increases and the trading range expands.
Rebate traders seek to make money from these rebates and will usually maximize their returns by trading low priced, high volume stocks. These traders rely on a combination of price movement, chart patterns, volume, and other raw market data to gauge whether or not they should take a trade. Since laymen have now entered the day trading space, strategies can now be found for as little as $5,000. Outside the US, day traders will often use CFD or financial spread betting brokers for the same reasons. The average commission per trade is roughly $5 per round trip (getting in and out of a position). On one hand, traders who do NOT wish to queue their order, instead paying the market price, pay the spreads (costs).
The fees may be waived for promotional purposes or for customers meeting a minimum monthly volume of trades. A pattern day trader is subject to special rules, the main rule being that in order to engage in pattern day trading in a margin account, the trader must maintain an equity balance of at least $25,000.
But, at the end of the day, the bulls win out as the break above the upper trendline signals a continuation of the prior uptrend. Then this could be either a temporary pullback (which is common) or perhaps a sign that the previous bullish signal was actually a false signal — sometimes called a bull trap.
While current expectations are that the company will report a loss, a better-than-expected report could easily send the stock up to the target. This means a day trader with the legal minimum $25,000 in his or her account can buy $100,000 (4x leverage) worth of stock during the day, as long as half of those positions are exited before the market close. Reducing the settlement period reduces the likelihood of default, but was impossible before the advent of electronic ownership transfer. High-volume issues such as Intel or Microsoft generally have a spread of only $0.01, so the price only needs to move a few pennies for the trader to cover his commission costs and show a profit. These firms typically provide trading on margin allowing day traders to take large position with relatively small capital, but with the associated increase in risk. The range trader therefore buys the stock at or near the low price, and sells (and possibly short sells) at the high. This enables them to trade more shares and contribute more liquidity with a set amount of capital, while limiting the risk that they will not be able to exit a position in the stock.
On the other hand, traders who wish to queue and wait for execution receive the spreads (bonuses). It is important to note that this requirement is only for day traders using a margin account. Because of the high risk of margin use, and of other day trading practices, a day trader will often have to exit a losing position very quickly, in order to prevent a greater, unacceptable loss, or even a disastrous loss, much larger than his or her original investment, or even larger than his or her total assets.
The market maker is indifferent as to whether the stock goes up or down, it simply tries to constantly buy for less than it sells. Retail forex trading became a popular way to day trade due its liquidity and the 24-hour nature of the market. A related approach to range trading is looking for moves outside of an established range, called a breakout (price moves up) or a breakdown (price moves down), and assume that once the range has been broken prices will continue in that direction for some time. Some use real time filtering software which is programmed to send stock symbols to a screen which meet specific criteria during the day, such as displaying stocks that are turning from positive to negative. Some day trading strategies attempt to capture the spread as additional, or even the only, profits for successful trades. To give an extreme example (trading 1000 shares of Google), an online trader in 2005 might have bought $300,000 of stock at a commission of about $10, compared to the $3,000 commission the trader would have paid in 1974.
Omar Amanat founded Tradescape and the rebate trading group at Tradescape helped to contribute to a $280 million buyout from online trading giant E*Trade.
Today there are about 500 firms who participate as market-makers on ECNs, each generally making a market in four to forty different stocks. Moreover, the trader was able in 2005 to buy the stock almost instantly and got it at a cheaper price.



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