Day Trading Through Choppy Markets


What’s up trader’s, it’s Ross Cameron here! Today was another reminder of the challenges that come with day trading. After facing a couple of modest losses on Friday and Monday—$650 and $70, respectively—I was feeling the pressure to score a big win. These recent red days were tough, but thankfully, the losses were small compared to previous months like March, where I faced significant downturns. Today, I was keen on making a comeback, but with the slow market conditions, a strategic, patient approach was necessary. Let’s dive in and talk about how my day unfolded!

Starting the Day with Market Scans

The day began early, just after 7:00 AM, with a scan for potential trades. Initially, the market looked quiet with stocks like PALI and PRSO showing little promise for a viable trade and no significant movers on the radar. This scenario is always a bit disappointing as it hinted at the possibility of a no-trade day—an outcome I was hoping to avoid. The lack of activity raised a red flag about the market’s momentum and left me wondering if today would end up being about minimizing risks rather than capturing gains.

A Roller Coaster Ride

At 8:30 AM, my scenario changed when PALI hit my scanners, indicating breaking news that could influence its stock price. This was my step one: finding a stock that’s moving. The catalyst was clear, and so I moved to step two, which involved checking the daily chart and ensuring there were no immediate red flags. The recent reverse split made PALI an interesting candidate for a trade.

My first entry was cautious—a test of the waters. After watching a significant dip to $4.75 from $5.80, I bought a modest 1,500 shares at $5.80. The stock rebounded to $6.30, allowing me to lock in $300 of profit quickly. Despite the volatility, I decided to re-enter the trade, buying another dip at similar share size and price points. My strategy was paying off until the stock peaked at $7.80, and then the instability of the stock began to show.

The stock’s action was anything but smooth. It faced choppy price actions and liquidity issues, which made each trade challenging. After my peak profit hit $2,000, the stock began to show heavy selling pressure and made it difficult to maintain my gains. The price fluctuation was intense, with swings of over a dollar in mere minutes.

After several re-entries and dealing with the stock halting down at the open, I decided it was time to step back. The final straw came with a drop that saw the stock diving from a high down to the low $6 range, eroding my earlier profits and underscoring the day’s volatility. While I attempted a few more trades during the day, the conditions didn’t improve, leading to my decision to cut losses and preserve capital. All said and done, I was able to lock in around $880 profit on the stock.

The BTTR Trade

In the midst of monitoring PALI, I also engaged with BTTR, a stock that showed some movement. My trades here were more conservative, starting with smaller positions and aiming for quick gains. However, just like with PALI, BTTR proved challenging with its price fluctuations and ended up rolling over after a brief peak, leading to a minimal net gain of around $200.

Reflecting on Market Conditions

The overall market sentiment today reflected a cautious, retracting mood, with the S&P 500 experiencing a slight pullback. This environment contributed to the cold streak in smaller cap stocks, which lacked the explosive moves seen in previous weeks. Despite some stocks showing movement, the absence of dynamic, high-percentage gains kept many traders, including myself, on a more cautious footing.

Maintaining Discipline in Uncertain Times

Through the ups and downs of today’s session, the importance of discipline stood out. In day trading, the temptation to chase large, risky trades can be overwhelming, especially after a few setbacks. However, today reinforced the value of focusing on consistent, manageable gains and not succumbing to the fear of missing out (FOMO) that can lead to substantial losses.

My approach has always been about making steady, disciplined trades rather than swinging for the fences. This strategy, while sometimes less exciting, has helped me maintain a steady course in the volatile world of day trading, emphasizing the need for patience and steady, strategic moves over lucky swings.

Closing Thoughts

Despite the tough trading conditions and the market’s slow momentum, the experience was a valuable one. It offered lessons in patience, risk management, and the necessity of maintaining a disciplined approach regardless of market behavior. For fellow traders, today’s market reiterated the importance of adapting strategies to match market conditions and not forcing trades where there are none. Thanks for reading, and until the next trading day, keep scanning, stay disciplined, and manage your risks wisely. Happy trading!

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Warrior Trading was founded by Ross Cameron in 2012, and is now a thriving community of thousands of day traders. You can learn more about joining the Warrior Trading community here.

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