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Day Trading Lesson: Understanding The Gap And Slow Day

Apr. 20, 2011 3:23 PM ET
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Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2009

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 Often day traders watch the markets for 'gap and go' trading sessions. This is when the S&P 500 futures trade higher 7.0 – 10.0 points before the opening bell and rallies throughout the rest of the trading session. Often day traders will look for small pullback and jump on board for a move higher into the close.

Today the market made a 'gap and slow' day. This is when the market gaps higher by 15.0 to 20.0 points at the open and then stalls out for the rest of the session. Many inexperienced traders will usually buy the highs thinking the market is about to break out. Wrong, the market will usually trade sideways and sometimes even drift slightly lower into the end of the session. Day trading requires experience. Traders should not just guess or assume, that is gambling.

Day trading is a very calculated endeavor and it is imperative to know what type of trading day it is. For example, today the SPDR S&P 500 Trust(NYSE:SPY) made a high around 10:00 am EST, since that time the SPY has traded in a 0.30 cent range for the rest of the day. Welcome to a gap and slow day.

Nicholas Santiago

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