Here is a simple mean reversion twist in SPY that holds the S&P 500 just one day (from the close to the next day’s open or close). It’s an overnight trading strategy, the lowest-hanging fruit in the stock market (?).
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The 3-day down overnight trading strategy
In plain English, the trading rules of the strategy reads like this:
- SPY must be down three days in a row (from close to close).
- Entry on close on the 3rd down day.
- Exit the next day open.
Here is the equity curve from 1993 for SPY, which tracks S&P 500, until today (backtest done in Amibroker):
There are 661 trades, and the average gain per trade is 0.13%. This might not sound much, but in a liquid asset like SPY, this might be tradeable even though slippage and commissions are not included in the backtest. Please read our article about realistic slippage and commissions for liquid ETFs.
The win rate is 65%, and max drawdown is 8%.
Let’s change the rules and exit on the close instead of the open:
Exiting on the close the next day is even better: the average gain increases to 0.24%.
The drawback is that the win rate drops to 61%, and max drawdown increases substantially to 17%. The CAGR is 5% despite spending just 8% of the time in the market.
The strategy also works for Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) and many stocks, but not as well as for S&P 500.
Can the strategy be further improved?
Yes, in our Monthly Trading Edge for March 2022, we made a modified version of the strategy above that returned the following equity curve (less time in the market and smaller drawdowns):
- No. of trades: 419
- Average gain per trade: 0.35% (1.35% for winners and -1.15% for losers)
- Win ratio: 60%
- Profit factor: 1.78
- CAGR: 4.5% (assuming no leverage)
- Exposure/time in the market: 5%
- Risk-adjusted return: 84% (CAGR divided by time spent in the market which is 0.05)
- Max. drawdown: -10%
In the bear market of 2022 (out of sample), the strategy made 35 trades and the average gain was 0.3%.
The last strategy is one of 3 strategies that are part of the Three 24-Hour Day Trading Strategies Bundle.
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