It’s official, March marks my first red month in more than a year. It’s disappointing, but I’m going to take the lessons I’ve learned over the month and move on. Bigger and better things, right?
That’s why this first week of April has felt like a good refresh. I started April off with two solid green days, followed by a stellar Wednesday where I rang the register for nearly $12,000. While I ended Thursday in the red, I feel good about how I finished the day on my terms, walking away below my max loss limit.
In the interest of my new “bigger and better” mentality, I’m going to spend this week’s article looking at the trade that really made Wednesday such a strong day for me. And, while the result of that trade speaks for itself, there were specific steps I took in that trade that I and other traders can replicate to make the most of any trading setup.
The trade in question was my first of the day in Ocean Power Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: OPTT), which I actually made my entire profit from that day over several positions.
From the jump, OPTT was already a perfect candidate. It was at the top of my morning gap scanner, having jumped more than 75 percent in premarket on a headline, its float was 416,000 and it was still trading below $10 at around $8.70. Almost too good to be true.
That was my instinct at least, which proved to be helpful in keeping me from jumping the gun and buying into the stock in the premarket. Although I may have gotten in a little earlier, I don’t buy premarket because stocks that gap up as much OPTT did can get overextended and, once the bell rings, completely collapse.
Instead, I kept an eye on the tape, queued up an order at $9 and waited for the bell to ring. Once 9:30 came around, I executed on my first position that netted me more than $2,600.
Of course, there was more to it than that. I ended up not waiting for the $9 target because the time and sales on OPTT were all already executing above the ask price and I knew if I waited, I’d be too late. Instead, I got in as it was breaking above $8.75.
This is where I made another good move. Instead of charging ahead with a 9,000, 12,000 or even 15,000 share order. I kept my initial entry low at 6,000 shares. If OPTT was going to move like it had in the premarket, I would only need that much to make a good profit. I could reassess and increase my risk after I’d already rung the register, but if I went all-in the chart fell apart, that would be the end of the day for me.
I started trimming my position around $9.40, $9.25 and $9.15. Like that, I had already surpassed my average daily goal of $2,000 in just 10 seconds of the open.
Following that trade, I just kept sticking to my fundamental trading strategy, waiting for consolidation and looking for the first one-minute candle to break a new high above $9.50. As buying pressure started to pick up, I took another 3,000 share position at $9.38. As soon as it made the high, the bids on OPTT shot to $10.60 and I was able to cash out for another $2,400.
I ended up taking more trades in OPTT in my IRA account that netted me another $6,800, but my initial trades in my main account were so well executed that I wanted to break down exactly what went so right. While most trading setup aren’t as perfect as my Wednesday position in OPTT, the way I executed on it was exactly what makes trading such a rewarding career.
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