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  1. Knowing how to trade the Open is an important part of becoming a profitable trader, because it is here where you have the opportunity to start out correctly right out of the gate, or get impatient and do the wrong thing. I have fond memories of my P.E. class in junior high school, because of this game we played with "the ball". It wasn't any ball, it was a 5-foot high ball like a giant volleyball (and believe me, when you're in junior high school, that ball looked huge). The game was simple -- roll the ball over your opponents goal line to score. Starting out was the best part: about 20 kids on each side would start perhaps 20 feet from the ball, the teacher would blow the whistle, and then everyone would run toward the ball to start pushing. Inevitably whoever got there first had the initial advantage, and if he/she was a big kid, the initial push would send bodies flying on the other side of the ball, or sometimes the ball steam-rolled over some poor sap. However, this didn't mean that the initial move always followed through, because the kids who got the first move on the ball reached a wall of opponents that stopped them in their tracks, they would go flying over or bounce off the ball, and the other team pushed the ball in the other direction for a while. Sooner or later, one side would get organized and gain a steady advantage long enough to score. As much as I am enjoying this walk down memory lane, there is a point to this story -- this is exactly how the Open trades. I do NOT like trading the first 30 minutes of trading and rarely do it anymore; I always seem to lose money when I do. It is usually very difficult to see if any moves are a trend or just a short move that will quickly lose power. Last Friday, October 5, is a very good example of what I'm talking about. On Friday, the market had a few quick moves both up and down in the first hour of trading (just like bodies flying off the ball). At this point I'm still not clear if the market is going to trend and if so, in which direction, so if you do trade the Open, you better play a tight game -- only rarely does the market go in one direction all day from the Opening bell. After the first hour of trading, though, the market slows down and becomes easier to read -- the sizeable move up was countered and brought the market down to opening prices, then they started to go sideways. Then they started to slide slowly down from there, and that is when I'm starting to feel very confident about going short. That is waiting patiently about an hour after the Open before entering the first trade of the day. This is in-line with my general long-term trading style. This knowledge can certainly help you find other profitable strategies besides this one. Believe me, this is by no means easy to read. But with time and experience, you will start to get a better feel for what the market is doing. Many Profitable Returns, Trader Gregg Mr. Killpack has been studying the markets since 1988. He has read over 40,000 pages about trading and investing strategies, fundamental and technical analysis, and related topics. He began day trading in 2001.
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