Home > Lessons from the trading floor > $ Debbie: How do you trade a tough, range bound day?

$ Debbie: How do you trade a tough, range bound day?

Today ( oct. 7, 2009) is a perfect example of a day that will steal any and all profits a trader may have and put you into a nice red hole to dig out of for the rest of the month.

The following are my identified criteria for a crapy trading day.

1. Spy range bound

2. Spy choppy taking out the opening range by a few cents, creates an ugly melted candle on the 15 minute chart, comes in, repeates that “breakout”, and comes in again and takes out the 20 sma). In one—— ugly!

3. Strong stocks at open turn weak.

4. All watch lists mixed red/green.

5. Stocks on our list all mixed and most mot trending.

6. Vix not telling a clear story.

7. Ticks positive/negative/ positive etc..

Recognizing what type of day it is was probably the most difficult thing for me to do as a new trader. And, one mistake that I made was to focus on set ups without focusing on the bigger picture.

I trade a difficult, range bound day by..

1. Keeping loses really small.

2. Lowering my expectation of follow through.

3. Taking quick profits.

4. Lowering number of trades by increasing my pickyness in the trades I take.

5. Letting opportunity set up first in the broader picture and then looking for the set-ups within the overall set-up.

6. Sitting and doing nothing for longer periods of time and maybe the entire day.

7. Planning for the next trading timeframe (a.m., p.m., tomorrow etc..)


Profitable Trading All!!


  1. david
    October 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    100% agree

  2. Bart
    October 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Debbie, great comment.
    I would also like to add (from personal experience today) that entries have to be managed with great detail on days like today – I had a pretty nice trade on my hands but was shaken out because my entry was simply not good enough and today was not a day to take more than minimal risk on any given trade.

  3. October 8, 2009 at 8:28 am


    Agreed, today was not the day to take more than minimal risk. Knowing the type of day we are in is one of the most difficult things to learn and get right consistenlty.


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