How day traders are planning to beat the markets after President Trump shocker

Bryan Borzykowski, special to
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If there's one thing most traders could agree on before the election results came in, it's that Nov. 9 was going to be a busy day for the markets.

That goes doubly for day traders, who buy and sell stocks on small movements in the market and expect an especially wild few hours.

"It's going to be a day of extremes," said Jake Bernstein, author of "The Ultimate Day Trader," on Tuesday.

Based on what Bernstein had seen over the last couple of days — the has shot up 2.6 percent since Monday's opening, after falling a cumulative 3 percent over nine days — he expected Wednesday to be extremely busy. The market has had its best two-day stretch since Brexit, after its worst consecutive-days negative stretch since 1980.

And that volatility came as many professional fund mangers predicted along with everyone else a Clinton win. The Clinton wins-stocks rise scenario is history — history not made. So it's on to the fear that equities could tank with Trump being declared the victor. But intraday trading may be more complicated.

What to watch through the morning

Bernstein said he would be watching two things on Wednesday morning: the price of the market and something called a momentum indicator, which gives traders insights into where the market might be headed.

He wants to see price and momentum indicators diverge before he makes any moves.

With Trump's win, he would expect the markets to fall, and said he'll wait for the momentum indicator to turn more positive — indicating that the drop is nearing its end. At that point, he'll be a buyer.

If stocks and momentum don't diverge and they keep rising or falling, he'll do nothing.

Markets cautious on Election Day

Specific trades to make

Bernstein thinks the biggest moves will be in the market as a whole, in and Dow Jones indexes, but also in drug and bank stocks, both of which are targets of the Democratic Party. Biotechs popped at the open and some political pundits believe financial reform will also stall in a GOP-dominated government and provide relief to bank stocks. The KBW Bank Index ETF (KBE) was up 3 percent at the open. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up near-9 percent.

Mike Ser, a Richmond, British Columbia-based trader said he plans to look closely at high-beta names, such as Facebook, Tesla and Netflix. These companies tend to move more than the main indexes itself, he said, but should follow the general direction of the market. "These high beta-names move a lot more. These are the things I like to play."

Bernstein said he usually holds stocks for a few seconds to a few hours — but cautioned the average investor against being nearly as active. Day trading, says Bernstein, is hard work, and it's risky.

Still, investors should be looking for opportunities to either buy or sell. "Don't do the day trade. But there could be a chance to either buy stocks at a much lower price or, if the market moves higher, sell out of some stocks that you've been wanting to get out of," Bernstein said.

Ser said no matter how an investor typically trades, all investors need to prepare for plenty of ups and downs and think about how they might be able to take advantage. "It's the conclusion of all of the uncertainty that we've been seeing," Ser said.

— By Bryan Borzykowski, special to

(This story has been updated to incorporate Election Day results and Donald Trump's victory. It was first posted on Nov. 8.)