1 0 Tag Archives: market volatility
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Daytrading Stocks During a Bear Market

The US stock market appears to have entered a new bear market since its high at the end of April. While Wall Street generally defines a bear market as a 20% decline, the average bear market drops quite a bit more. As of this writing, the market has declined over 14% from its April high.

Daytrading stocks during market declines can prove to be quite the challenge for day traders no matter how much experience they have. This is due to the fact that market volatility has a tendency to increase during most market declines, whether they are short term corrections or the typical bear market. This increase in volatility can wipe out the trading capital of even the experienced trader if they do not adjust their trading.

Generally speaking, after large run-ups in stock prices, or in any market, there will be violent pull-backs. While this increase in volatility can produce some big directional moves, there may be sizable intraday swings that can catch a trader off guard.

With this in mind, how does a daytrader prepare for these changing conditions? Well, most daytraders are not in the business of forecasting market direction, but it can be very helpful to pay attention to some technical and psychological indicators that may provide a clue regarding market direction. Those indicators include price and volume, the TRIN, New 52 week highs and lows, the advance/decline line, the number of bullish vs. bearish investors, etc. A more detailed discussion regarding these indicators is more suitable for another article.

When a day trader becomes aware that the market character has changed to a bearish tone, then it is time to adjust their thinking when it comes to managing trades. First of all, due to the usual increase in market volatility, the trader should scale back position size. While it may have been reasonable to trade 1,000 shares in a stock during a bull move, 500 shares might be more reasonable in a bear move. The novice day trader will think they are losing out on a sizable profit opportunity by trading smaller during these major down moves. The experienced trader realizes that it is more important to preserve capital for time periods when the market is more predictable and less volatile.

One other issue facing daytraders during these bear markets is that the market has a tendency to have sharp intraday reversals, and there tends to be more sizable opening gaps. As some day traders actually do carry positions over night, it is a good idea to carry smaller positions over night due to the greater risk of a market reversal.

The day trader should also be aware that the overall long term market tendency is for stocks to trade higher each day. As such, even while the market is in a downtrend, quite a few trading days will close to the upside. During the current down move, nearly 40% of the trading days have closed to the upside. If a daytrader can recognize that even bear markets will pause for a breather, they will recognize significant opportunities to profit after these brief pauses when the market resumes its downtrend.

Day traders should also consider trading other vehicles besides individual stocks during bear markets. This is due to the fact that it costs the trader extra to short a stock, since they must first borrow the shares from their broker, and pay interest on those shares, in order to sell the stock short. Therefore, day traders should consider trading stock index futures, or ETFs that rise when the market falls. It is important that traders consider the cost of their trades, not just whether they make a profit or loss.

While it is definitely possible to trade profitably during bear markets, there are significant pitfalls. For many novice day traders, it may just be a good idea to sit on the sidelines and observe the market action so that they are prepared for the next bear market downturn when it comes along.

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04. Jun, 2011
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Financial Spread Betting Compared To Share Dealing

You are into financial spread betting due to the various advantages it provides over conventional stock trading. It is therefore in your interest to ensure that you look at all possible opportunities to reduce costs so that every transaction you make gives you the best return possible. Considering that the number of trades is generally more frequent in this type of trading, even small savings can mean a lot over time.

You must therefore choose a company which allows you tight spread. Wider spreads would erode your profits. Realizing that they are losing customers, some margined trading companies have cut down on their spread and the hope is that customers would get such news from other companies on other instruments as well.

It is worth nothing here that a small spread does not necessarily mean a trade that is cheaper. You have to consider slippage, the chances of a re-quote and other complaints. Similarly, the margin amount that you have to pay with different spread betting companies would be different and you could negotiate for something that is convenient to you. Some companies increase the margins depending on the market volatility and that is not something you can always keep up to. Hence compare financial spread betting companies based on their policy on margins.

Yet another factor is that of stop losses. The stop loss functionality would ensure that you do not lose more money due to a trade going wrong. However not all spread betting companies offer this facility for free and do charge a fee. This could be in the form of a percentage or a flat sum. Some companies offer this facility only for major markets. Policies on this do differ and that is one more reason why you should get it clarified before signing on with a company.

Though spread betting has been seen as an absolute gambling instrument, it need not be so. It is just another form of trading and people who hold positions over a period of a few days cannot be considered mere speculators as they often tend to hedge their positions adequately. It is mainly the intra-day scalpers who can be put in the bracket of speculators and even a one or two point movement on a stock can be beneficial for them.

Last but not the least, even after comparing the various offers of companies, you must sign the agreement only after checking for any fine print.

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04. Jan, 2011