Every trader has a morning routing when it comes to preparing for the market day. Some traders are more intense than others because they have more at stake. Regardless of the size of your portfolio, here are some tips that can help get your morning started right.
1. Wake up before the market opens: The stock market opens every day at 9:30 AM EST and by waking up before you have time to prepare for any potential market surprises or simply set a strategy up for the day. Some traders wake up three hours before the opening bell, some three minutes; it is all based on your routine you develop.
2. Read the Paper: Papers such as the Investors Business Daily (IBD) and the Wall Street Journal are an outstanding way to get updated on what the market is up to. If you don’t like reading online, than simply flip on CNBC and watch a few minutes.
3. Give the online financial news a quick check: For me I simply head over to Yahoo finance and read the headlines. More often than not it gives me a quick glimpse of what the market itself is up to and any stocks that have big news.
4. Check the pre-markets: This is almost a must if you are a day trader because plays can come about pretty quickly. Personally I use the NASDAQ pre market indicator for attaining pre-market quotes. Pre-market trading occurs from 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM EST every day. For the simple trader, the whole purpose of this is to get an idea of what stocks if any are on the move early.
5. Give your portfolio a quick overview: Sign into your online stock broker account and just give your portfolio a look. This is a good opportunity to see if your positions moved the previous night alongside update any stop orders you may have.
6. Active Traders, setup your trading station before the market opens: This is really a “duh” for those that trade out of their homes, but I can honestly say I struggled at this when I used to day trade. I would try to wake up 5 minutes before the opening bell, gather news and get myself setup, and more often than not it doesn’t work. Get your computer running early so you are ready if need be.