How I Day Trade the SPY

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We like to explore, educate, and share ideas involving options trading. Come along with us on our journey to demystify the complex yet rewarding world of options trading. Many people think day trading is gambling: I agree—yet I day trade the SPY almost every day. I day trade very little capital, and I direct the profits into my less risky weekly options day trading strategies that work.

So why bother if day trading is gambling? Simply put, I can increase my odds of a successful return using money management techniques. I fully expect to some day lose all of the money in my day trading account—the goal is to multiply the capital I started with many times over before that happens. This strategy works because I day trade with a tiny percentage of my entire investment portfolio, and the amount I am willing weekly options day trading strategies that work risk remains constant—meaning that I do not attempt to compound my returns; profits are removed from the account right away.

Already this year I have doubled the money in my day trading account not bad considering that we are only 8 weeks into the year.

This is what I mean by money management: Though day trading is gambling, you can leverage technical indicators and your own expertise to enter and exit trades with higher success rates. I only trade the SPY, which I have monitored for so long that my gut often predicts how it will move. I use weekly options to add leverage and reduce the capital required.

This option normally has a delta around. I try to be in a trade for 40 minutes max. Sure, sometimes a trade lasts a few hours, but I always close the trade at the end of the day no matter what. I like to enter my trades around 1: I enter a trade knowing whether the SPY is bullish or bearish on that day, and I never buck the trend: I make only one trade per day.

If I am trading more than that most likely I am either cocky and think I can make more money or I am trying to fix a loss trade—both are bad ideas. If the conditions are right I scale into a trade up to 4 times the dollar-cost average. I only scale down, never up—meaning I buy more as the price drops, and when I close the trade I sell everything I do not scale out.

Doing so protects me in the case of an upward spike in the market and frees me from being glued to the computer screen. The SPY is not crazy volatile and almost always I have some money left if a trade goes against me.

Plus, I never risk more than Weekly options day trading strategies that work can handle losing. Stop losses are bad because sometimes the market really weekly options day trading strategies that work to fall before it can pick back up. I rely on my gut to time my exit one of the reasons I have not automated this trading style.

If a trade goes against me I simply wait for an uptick and use that opportunity to close the losing trade. Almost every day some buyer comes in and pushes the SPY up or down faster than normal in one big trade, but if not I sell at 3: I have set these rules for myself over many years of day trading. From the start of the day the market was bullish—notice how the chart is pushing up rather than down—so I was looking to trade calls.

Notice that the MACD histogram bars clearly resemble rolling hills. I benefitted from a big seller coming in right before I entered the trade, pushing the SPY down. If this event had happened weekly options day trading strategies that work I might have scaled in and purchased more calls, but on this day one open and one closing trade did the trick.

Most winning days play out just like this example. I just painted you a pretty rosy picture of how you can generate outsized returns day trading. The thing is, every day is different and a few bad days will certainly wipe out your account. But if you adhere to the overflow method you can use day trading profits to juice the returns of a less risky trading strategy. Day trading is also a good way to stay engaged with the market every day and sharpen your trading skills.

And, of course, day trading is a fun rush. Join our newsletter today for free. You won't regret it! But How Do You Trade? I buy only calls and puts—no fancy spreads. The times in the graph are PST. Like what you weekly options day trading strategies that work Options Cafe Newsletter Get our latest news delivered to your inbox.

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I rarely come across a trader that has not traded options. Options strategies come in many shapes and forms, but they are all intended to do one thing: Though I still trade options, I have a totally different perspective on how and when to trade them. Because of the boom in technology over the past 15 years, most of the trading done today is all electronic as opposed to picking up the phone and calling a broker or the pit.

And the economy of today is now global instead of being country specific. These factors have led the trading industry to look at the markets in a broader perspective where our markets will react with what happens in Europe or Asia. Not only this, but the markets are becoming a 24 hour market instead of just the standard 8: Since the markets are based on a 24 hour basis, we now can see how the world values our markets and get a better understanding on how our markets will perform based on how the world has traded.

I start my trading day early 5: Though equity options cannot be traded until after 8: Knowing this, by the time the U. Because of this, I like to give the market one hour before entering into an options trade. This gives the U. Looking a Chart 1, you can see the direction of the world markets and how it affects the U. Chart 1 To trade options, I use a basic strategy. If the market is going up, I buy calls or sell puts. If the market is going down, I sell calls or buy puts.

I prefer to be a seller of options rather than a buyer; however, there are some equities that move well enough in a day that buying the option pays better than selling the option and waiting for it to deteriorate. Apple is a good example of this. Apple is one of the stocks that track very well with the E-mini for this reason I will use it as an example in this article. Though stocks have individual news and can move more at times or less , they will generally trend with the E-mini.

I then look at where the E-mini is trading based off of its open up or down and the overall direction of the market for the day, and see if Apple is trading in the same direction based off its open. If so, I will buy an at-the-money, or first strike out-of-the-money, call if heading higher, or put if heading lower.

I then give the market 30 minutes to see if the direction I traded is right. If so, I place a stop at half of the value I paid for the option, i. If the market has turned and I am not getting paid, I will get out of the position and look for another opportunity later.

If the trade is going in my direction, then I will reevaluate it at 1: If the market reverses, then I get out. If the market continues in my direction, I stay with the trade and move my stop just to the other side of the open by about 10 cents and then look to re-evaluate the trade at 2: Chart 3 shows Apple and the E-mini on May 26, The E-mini started higher and continued the trend going into 9: The closest strike would have you buying the June call on Apple.

Chart 3 Chart 4 This is just one example of a stock that can be traded throughout the day. Using the direction of the futures to get the trend shifts the odds in your favor of getting paid. There are many stocks out there, just verify that they trend with the E-mini before using them in this manner.

Tom Busby is founder of DTI and a pioneer in the trading industry as a world-recognized educator. He takes a complex subject, the global markets, and puts it into an easy-to-understand language for all levels of traders and investors. He is a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group and has been a professional securities trader and broker since At Connors Research, we are using it as an overlay to many of our best strategies to make them even better -- now you can, too.

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