Definition of Intraday


In this article, we’ll delve into the concept of intraday trading, exploring its definition, strategies, advantages, disadvantages, and real-world examples. Discover how intraday trading can be a powerful tool for short-term traders looking to capitalize on price fluctuations within a single trading day.

Intraday: a closer look

Intraday, a term derived from “within the day,” is a vital concept in the world of finance. It specifically refers to securities, such as stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), that are traded on financial markets during regular business hours. Moreover, it also signifies the price highs and lows these assets experience throughout the trading day.

The basics of intraday trading

For traders, intraday is all about identifying new highs and lows within a single trading session. An “intraday high” indicates that an asset reached its highest price during that session, which can sometimes match the closing price. Traders keenly observe these price movements through real-time charts, making it a crucial strategy for short-term traders.

Short-term traders typically utilize various intraday charts, including one-minute, five-minute, 15-minute, 30-minute, and 60-minute charts, depending on their trading style. Scalping is a common intraday strategy, involving numerous quick trades to profit from small price changes. Other strategies, like range trading and news-based trading, also play a significant role in the intraday market.

Advantages and disadvantages of intraday trading

Intraday trading offers several advantages. First, positions are shielded from overnight news that can significantly impact prices. Tight stop-loss orders help minimize losses, and traders enjoy increased leverage and hands-on learning opportunities. However, it comes with downsides, including frequent commission costs and the risk of insufficient time for positions to turn profitable.

Weigh the risks and benefits

Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks to consider.

  • Positions are unaffected by risk from overnight news.
  • Tight stop-loss orders can protect positions.
  • Regular traders have access to increased leverage.
  • Numerous trades increase hands-on learning experience.
  • Frequent trades mean multiple commission costs.
  • Some assets are off-limits, like mutual funds.
  • There may not be sufficient time for a position to realize a profit before it has to be closed out.
  • Losses can mount quickly, especially if margin is used to finance purchases.

Intraday pricing and mutual funds

Mutual funds are not suitable for intraday trading; they are designed for long-term investors and can only be bought or sold through a broker or the fund’s investment company. These funds calculate their net asset value (NAV) at the close of the trading day, reflecting all intraday movements of the fund’s assets. In contrast, ETFs, their passively managed counterparts, are priced based on intraday market value during a trading session.

Real-world example of intraday

Let’s illustrate the concept of intraday with a real-world example. On April 4, 2022, Apple Inc. (AAPL) opened at $174.57 and closed at $178.44. Throughout the day, AAPL shares reached a low of $174.44 (the intraday low) and a high of $178.49 (the intraday high). Day traders and technical analysts closely analyze these price movements to identify patterns or significant gaps in the price.

Examples of intraday trading

Intraday trading offers a multitude of opportunities for traders to profit from short-term price movements. Here are a few examples of common intraday trading scenarios:

1. Scalping

Scalping is a popular intraday strategy that involves making numerous small trades throughout the day to profit from minor price fluctuations. Traders executing scalping strategies aim to capitalize on short-lived market inefficiencies.

2. Range trading

Range trading is another common intraday approach that relies on identifying key support and resistance levels. Traders buy when prices are near support and sell when they approach resistance, aiming to profit as prices move within this range.

3. News-based trading

News-based trading is particularly dynamic in intraday trading. Traders monitor news events and economic releases to seize trading opportunities during periods of heightened market volatility. For example, positive earnings reports or unexpected economic data can lead to rapid price fluctuations.

4. High-frequency trading (HFT)

High-frequency trading strategies involve the use of sophisticated algorithms to exploit small or short-term market inefficiencies. HFT traders execute a high volume of trades within milliseconds, profiting from tiny price differentials.

These examples illustrate the diversity of intraday trading strategies. Traders choose their strategies based on their risk tolerance, market conditions, and trading preferences. Successful intraday trading requires a deep understanding of the chosen strategy, effective risk management, and the ability to make quick decisions in a fast-paced market environment.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about intraday trading

What is the primary goal of intraday trading?

The primary goal of intraday trading is to profit from short-term price fluctuations within a single trading session. Traders aim to buy low and sell high (or sell high and buy low in the case of short selling) within the same day, capitalizing on small price movements.

What are the key differences between intraday trading and swing trading?

Intraday trading involves executing trades within a single trading session, typically lasting a few hours or less. Swing trading, on the other hand, extends over multiple days or even weeks. Intraday traders seek to profit from short-term price movements, while swing traders aim to capture larger price swings.

Are there specific times during the trading day that are more favorable for intraday trading?

Yes, certain times during the trading day are considered more favorable for intraday trading. The first hour after the market opens and the last hour before it closes tend to have higher volatility and trading volumes, making them popular among intraday traders.

What is the role of technical analysis in intraday trading?

Technical analysis plays a crucial role in intraday trading. Traders use technical indicators, charts, and patterns to make informed decisions about entry and exit points. Common technical tools include moving averages, relative strength indicators (RSI), and candlestick patterns.

How do intraday traders manage risk?

Intraday traders manage risk through various strategies. They often use tight stop-loss orders to limit potential losses. Additionally, they may diversify their trades, avoiding putting all their capital into a single position. Risk-reward ratios are carefully considered to ensure potential gains outweigh potential losses.

Is intraday trading suitable for beginners?

Intraday trading can be challenging for beginners due to its fast-paced nature and the need for quick decision-making. It’s advisable for beginners to gain a solid understanding of the basics of trading, practice with paper trading or virtual accounts, and gradually transition to live intraday trading as they gain experience.

Are there tax implications for intraday trading?

Yes, there can be tax implications for intraday trading, depending on your country’s tax laws. In some regions, intraday profits may be subject to short-term capital gains tax, which is typically higher than long-term capital gains tax rates. It’s essential to consult with a tax advisor or accountant to understand the specific tax implications in your jurisdiction.

Can mutual funds be traded on an intraday basis?

No, mutual funds are not designed for intraday trading. They are intended for long-term investors and are typically priced once a day at the close of the trading session. Intraday trading is more suitable for securities like stocks and ETFs, which can be traded throughout the trading day.

What are the psychological challenges of intraday trading?

Intraday trading can be psychologically demanding. Traders often experience stress, anxiety, and the temptation to overtrade. Emotion-driven decisions can lead to losses. Successful intraday traders must develop discipline, emotional control, and a well-defined trading plan to overcome these challenges.

Can intraday trading be done part-time or as a full-time career?

Intraday trading can be pursued either part-time or as a full-time career, depending on an individual’s goals and circumstances. Some traders engage in intraday trading alongside their regular jobs, while others choose to make it their primary source of income. The decision depends on one’s risk tolerance, financial stability, and commitment to learning and practicing trading strategies.

Key takeaways

  • Intraday trading involves buying and selling securities within a single trading session, aiming to profit from short-term price movements.
  • Common intraday strategies include scalping, range trading, news-based trading, and high-frequency trading.
  • Advantages of intraday trading include protection from overnight news, tight stop-loss orders, increased leverage, and learning opportunities.
  • Disadvantages include frequent commission costs, limitations on trading certain assets like mutual funds, and the potential for rapid losses.
  • Mutual funds are not suitable for intraday trading, while ETFs are priced based on intraday market value.
  • Successful intraday trading requires a deep understanding of chosen strategies, effective risk management, and the ability to make quick decisions.
View Article Sources
  1. Best Trading Apps of India for August 2023 – Forbes
  2. Thinking of Day Trading? Know the Risks. –
  3. Income Tax On Intraday Trading – ClearTax