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Watching the Clock

As swing traders we do not normally watch the clock to time our trades but believe it or not it is a useful strategy to use for the best possible entry.  Day traders are more apt to use this system and I know we have some day traders among us so tonight we will give you what we think is the best time of the day to trade based on the conditions of the market during the 6.5 hours it is open. 

Using the day trade watch list we send out each day I will usually buy the hottest stocks (the ones I want the most) anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes after the opening bell.  Once I have taken my positions I can then watch the clock and determine if I will hold or sell based on the conditions described below. 

Opening hour
A strong open rarely lasts more than 30 minutes.  This is a good time to sell especially if stocks have gapped up.  If they did gap up and do not make a new high within 30 minutes you have probably already seen the high for the day. 

A weak open on light volume usually lasts less than 30 minutes.  30 minutes after the open is a good time to buy if the market opened weak. 

A mixed open could last longer than 30 minutes and any action on your part should be delayed until some direction is decided. 

10:30 to 11:00
A sell off may develop if the open was strong
A rally should start if the open was weak. 

11:00 to 11:30
If a sell off started before 11:00 now is the time to start buying. 
If a rally started before 11:00 there is a good chance sellers will come in now. 

11:30 to 12:00
Any sell off that started earlier in the day is by now losing steam. 
Any rally that started earlier is running out of gas now. 

12:00 to 13:00
Professionals normally take lunch and volume dries up during this time.  Any rally or weakness is on light volume and will not hold. 

13:00 to 1400
Any lunch time rally will be sold when the professionals get back to their desks. 
Any sell off during lunch will end as the professionals scoop up the cheap shares

14:00 to 14:30
Important pivotal time of day when trading decisions to hold or sell are being made. 
Most traders tend to take profits either by selling or covering their short positions. 

14:30 to 15:00
The Margin desks start making their calls adding to any market weakness or dampening any rally. 

15:00 to Close. 
CNBC is telling the truth this is the most important hour of the trading day. 
Any rally that started before 14:00 will probably see a reversal at this time. 
If the rally starts after 15:00 the close will probably be higher than it is now. 
Sell offs that start after 14:00 could reverse sharply at this time and stocks should end the day higher than they were at 14:00 

If the sell off starts after 15:00 the market is going to close much lower than it was at 15:00. 
Institutional buy and sell programs kick in the professionals are closing the market and volume usually picks up into the close. 

This system of time patterns throughout the day is very reliable but it is subject to volatility in the market.  Naturally if the market is slow with no volatility that day then this system will not yield much gain due to limited swings in your stocks.  The important thing to remember is that if a certain condition exists then you can anticipate the direction of the market during the next time period. Keep in mind these are only temporary reversals that are not long in duration.  You will need to be nimble if trading the clock.

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