Wednesday in the $10K Day Trade…Final gain 14%

The SPY options trade had huge swings on the Fed announcement today.

The action was not in the calls which never triggered a system buy despite the AAPL news and gains, but in the 282 put, expiring today, first a plummet (see the chart below), then an immediate snap back to a new high for the day before a final grind down into the close. At its low the trade was down 43% and at its high up 84%, all within 20 minutes.

It was enough to make a trader, long the puts, as dizzy as whirling dervish.

Despite the gyrations, at the close the day trade managed to nab a 14% profit, $1469 on the $10K committed to the trade (see the white flag on the lower right of the chart below).

Still, not a bad day in options no matter what.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$SPY options – an 11% gain for a day

DAY-TRADING THE FOOL’S GAME:

At the time of the Tweet below, the weekly SPY ITM 265 call was up about 31%, basically the peak of the day. It sold off somewhat into the close, finishing a mechanical day trade for 11.3% profit.

The charts below reflect a $10K buy-in on the call (54 contracts at $1.82 per contract)

THE FOOL’S GAME

END OF THE DAY UPDATE:

I say ” mechanical” above for the finish of the trade because there was no real sell signal during the day.

However, when day-trading weekly options (expiring this Friday), it often helps to also be flexible and take discretionary profits from time to time. In this case (see the chart below) there were ample opportunities to close this trade out on the jags and zig-zags on SPY while the call was at the $2300 to $2500 levels (23% to 25% levels).

There are more exciting days in the Fool’s game but today may be more indicative. A 11% gain for a day is still a 11% gain for a day.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

Buying $SPY Puts for a 12% #DayTrading profit…

There are only three things that can happen if a trader BUYS an option – the option goes the trader’s way, the option goes against the trader, the option goes sideways losing on time decay.

Two out of the three are bad for the option buyer.

So is it a fool’s game?

Doesn’t have to be. Not for day traders.

Let’s take SPY options as an example — very liquid across multiple strikes, tight spreads, hardly any time decay on a trade for only a day, a stop-loss is close by and immediate, and the profits, if there is trend for the day, can be substantial, even rather astounding.

The key, as always, is an entry signal the trader is comfortable with. Each signal is for a buy-in of $5,000, up to five signals ($25,000).

TODAY:

Had four buy signals during the day (three early, one later, see the chart below) for the weekly in-the-money SPY 259 PUT. The net gain for the day on the close was $2400, or 12% on the four trades worth $20k.

Interesting to note before the market firmed up late in the day, the peak of the first three trade was $8000, and on the four trades was $7200. An intraday exit on the first red bar after the peak (see the chart) would have netted $6000 instead of waiting for the close.

Sometimes it pays to be nimble. But not waiting for the close, in other words “not being mechanical”, can often wreak havoc on a trader’s psychology and emotional stability over the long run. Just saying…

(click on the chart for a larger view)