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Juggling Risk And Reward In A Raucous Market

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·3 min read
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It’s been another week of solid results in a choppy market. As with last week, I’m green on all five days with roughly $180,000 in gross profit. Nevertheless, there were quite a few points where I had to reclaim some lost ground after a chart just broke down.

One trade that did not succumb to chop — but easily could have — was my biggest trade for the week. Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MIST) was gapping up about 110% in Thursday’s premarket on a news catalyst. It was trading more than 100x relative volume when I first started trading it. In total, the stock ended up netting me 40% of my total gains for the week, roughly $15,000 of which came during premarket trading.

However, by the open MIST was up about 130% over its previous close and I was a little wary it was over-extended. It seemed equally likely to fall apart as take off once the bell rang, so I was cautious at the open.

It ended up squeezing up more than a dollar in the first one-minute candle and, fortunately, I was ready with a large order that ended up doubling my premarket gains. I was able to tack on another $15,000 in subsequent micro-pullbacks, however, this was when the worm started to turn and MIST started losing ground and I started getting stopped out.

All told I manage to walk away from my pre-market and opening trades in MIST with about $40,000. Still, the chop was very real in the minutes following the initial open, stair-stepping down to below the open before it started seeing solid positive price action.

While this goes to show how quickly you may need to change gears and adapt when you trade stocks like this, it also reinforces the benefit of using stops as a tool for risk management while day trading. While I suffered some drawdown in my final few opening trades, I managed to retain the lion’s share of my gains because I identified early that the stock was trading way above it’s normal volume and was likely to see some drawdown as other traders took profit.

All told, I ended up with $73,500 in Thursday’s trades on MIST, another outstanding homerun stock. While I am still cautious about the number of false breakouts I’m seeing through any given week, it’s hard not to press down on the accelerator when I’m also seeing stocks like MIST continue to take off.

In the end, I’m just going to keep balancing my fear with my greed and do my best trading the market I’m in. It’s done me well so far.

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