Trading Strategies: Day Trading

Day trading is a trading strategy where traders aim to profit from short-term price movements in financial markets by buying and selling securities within the same trading day. Day traders rely on technical analysis, chart patterns, and intraday price action to identify trading opportunities and execute trades for quick profits.

Let’s take a look at an overview of Day Trading:

  1. Identifying Intraday Trading Opportunities:
    • Day traders focus on stocks, currencies, commodities, or other financial instruments that exhibit significant intraday volatility and liquidity. They look for patterns and signals that indicate potential price movements over the course of a single trading day.
    • Technical analysis plays a crucial role in identifying intraday trading opportunities, with day traders using indicators such as moving averages, RSI (Relative Strength Index), MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence), and volume analysis to make trading decisions.
  2. Setting Entry and Exit Points:
    • Day traders establish entry and exit points for their trades based on technical indicators, support and resistance levels, and intraday price action.
    • Entry points are typically based on signals such as breakouts, pullbacks, or trend reversals, while exit points may be determined by profit targets, stop-loss orders, or predefined risk-reward ratios.
  3. Risk Management:
    • Risk management is crucial for day traders to protect their capital and minimize losses. They use stop-loss orders to limit potential losses on each trade and employ position sizing strategies to ensure that no single trade exposes them to excessive risk.
    • Day traders often risk a small percentage of their trading capital on each trade, typically ranging from 1% to 2% per trade, to preserve capital and survive the inevitable losing streaks.
  4. Short Holding Period:
    • Unlike swing traders or long-term investors, day traders hold positions for a very short period, typically minutes to hours, and close all positions by the end of the trading day.
    • Day traders aim to capitalize on intraday price movements and avoid overnight exposure to market risk, including gaps and news events that can occur outside of regular trading hours.
  5. High Frequency of Trades:
    • Day traders execute a high volume of trades throughout the trading day, taking advantage of small price fluctuations to generate profits.
    • They may use scalping strategies to capture small price movements or momentum strategies to ride intraday trends for quick gains.


Let’s say a day trader named Sarah identifies a potential day trading opportunity in Company XYZ, a technology stock, based on intraday price action and technical indicators.


  1. Identifying Intraday Trading Opportunity:
    • Sarah notices that Company XYZ has been trading in a tight range between $50 and $52 per share for the first hour of trading. She observes a bullish breakout above the $52 resistance level on high volume, indicating potential upward momentum.
  2. Setting Entry and Exit Points:
    • Based on the breakout signal, Sarah decides to enter a long position (buy) in Company XYZ at $52.50 per share, anticipating further upside momentum.
    • She sets a profit target at $54 per share, aiming to capture a $1.50 per share profit, and places a stop-loss order at $51.50 per share to limit potential losses.
  3. Risk Management:
    • Sarah calculates her position size based on her risk tolerance and the distance between her entry point and stop-loss level. She ensures that her position size allows her to risk no more than 1% of her trading capital on the trade.
  4. Short Holding Period:
    • Sarah plans to hold onto her position in Company XYZ for a few hours, closely monitoring intraday price movements and market conditions.
    • She aims to close her position by the end of the trading day to avoid overnight exposure to market risk.
  5. High Frequency of Trades:
    • Throughout the trading day, Sarah executes several other trades based on intraday opportunities in different stocks, taking advantage of short-term price movements to generate profits.

While these are the basic steps that any Day Trader would take, there are also a number of different strategies that they could employ to further guide their investments and decisions. Just like the Swing Trader, Day Traders also make use of Momentum, Range, and Breakout trading strategies to help them turn a profit however, there is 1 tactic used that is unique to Day Traders and that’s Scalping.

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