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Remember: Day trading is a highly risky form of market participation, and should not be practiced for real until you have significant success (and experience) paper trading.
A day trader can defined as a person who trades for an occupation, or as a trader that opens and closes positions in a single day. Strictly speaking a day trader will always only do daily trades, and will never hold a position beyond the daily market close. In practice, some day traders hold positions longer than a single day.
Other types of traders include:
Scalper: A scalping trader will make very fast trades, only holding positions for minutes, or even seconds.
Swing Trader: A swing trader day trades, but may hold positions for a few days.
Position Trader: A position trader will hold positions for weeks to months.
Investor: An investor takes a vested interest in a company, and invests for the long term of several months to years.
There are many different strategies used by day traders to profit from the markets:
Technical Trading - technical trading involves using charting and technical analysis of a stock or financial instrument to determine a good time to buy, sell or short.
Momentum Trading - involves finding a stock or financial instrument moving significantly up or down on high volume and going along for the ride (and hopefully getting off before a change in direction).
Fundamental Trading - involves reviewing a companies fundamental data such as earning, dividends, and news such as earning reports, acquisitions, legal issues to determine what and when to trade.
Arbitrage - involves trading the same financial instrument on two different markets to profit from the spread.
Scalping - a trading practice used to profit from the spread (difference in the buy/ask) of a stock or financial instrument.
Technical Indicator of the Month
The MACD is an indicator used in technical analysis, and Day Trading to recognise trends in the price of a stock, and is in fact usable both over long-term and short-term trading. The indicator is a calculation that shows a difference between the EMA calculations of fast and slow differences (commonly the 12-day and 26-day EMA).
a Signal line is then calculated as a 9-day EMA and a histogram is usally represented against the zero-line to show the difference between the two lines, and this thus makes the MACD very similar to the TSI in calculations, but has the added benefit of the MACD histogram calculation.