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The First Hour Is For Day Traders

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When it comes to trading, active markets are always the best. If you have traded the markets for a considerable amount of time, you know that the best part of the trading day is within the first hour to ninety minutes. This is a time period when there is typically high volume in the market. Higher volume indicates more participation in the markets, especially by institutions. This activity allows for the key support/resistance levels found on charts to be great trading points.

If you have ever looked at an intra-day chart of a stock or index, you will notice that the trading volume declines dramatically after the first hour to ninety minutes of the session. The morning period is when day traders must seize the moment, as the markets are most active then. Once 11:00am ET rolls around the markets become manipulated by the institutional traders during the light volume. The institutions aim to stop out the small retail futures traders for a loss. Also they will push the retail options trader contracts worthless at expiration. Remember, it is not the retail trader moving markets. The unfortunate case for most inexperienced retail traders is that they are often late to the game; they buy the top after the move higher occurred and sell the low before the bounce higher begins. As a retail trader, you need to understand what the institutions are doing, how they trade, and use it to your advantage. 

Take a look at the choppy sideways range experienced in the chart below after 11:00am ET, you will see an example of this. This type of game playing goes on everyday in all active stocks, indexes and options. Sure, once in a while the markets will be active throughout the entire session, however, that is not normally the case. All leading stocks such as Google Inc.(NASDAQ: GOOG), Chesapeake Energy Corp.(NYSE: CHK), and Broadcom Corp.(NASDAQ: BRCM) become difficult to trade after the early morning session. These are just a few of the countless stocks that will trade in an erratic manner after the first ninety minutes of the day. Keeping this in mind, day traders should focus on the morning session. Leave the three hour lunch time game playing to the institutions who take the money of the inexperienced.

Knowing exactly what the institutions do and the games they play will allow you to increase your profitability, and decrease your potential for losing. Enjoy your profits and only trade when the time is right. 

Nick Santiago

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted-In: Markets Trading Ideas


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