# Day Trading Options Strategies – Beginners Guide (Backtest)

Last Updated on May 30, 2023

Are you one of the many traders looking for a way to maximize gains while minimizing risks in the stocks market? If so, **day trading option strategies** may be just what you need. Trading options can be a powerful tool for any trader looking to increase their exposure and take advantage of news and volume information. With **limited downside**, the **covered call strategy** is also worth considering.

But first, let’s start with the basics: what exactly are day trading option strategies? These strategies involve the trade options of buying and selling **weekly call options** based on stock moves. One popular strategy is the covered call strategy.

Day trading option strategies involve buying and selling options contracts within a single trading day in order to profit from **short-term price movements** in the underlying asset, which can include futures, stocks, or other preferred assets. These strategies can be used by traders of all levels of experience and offer a range of benefits over traditional stock trading, with trades typically lasting only a few days at most.

For example, one major advantage of using options and futures is that they allow traders to limit their risk exposure while still potentially earning significant profits from day trades. Because options and futures contracts have fixed expiration dates, traders can use them to take advantage of specific stock moves or market conditions without having to hold onto positions for extended periods of time. This makes options and futures a useful tool for traders looking to profit from short-term fluctuations in stocks.

Of course, there are also risks involved with day trading option strategies – just like any other type of investment. However, by understanding the fundamentals of how these strategies work and keeping up-to-date on relevant news and volume data, traders can minimize their risks while maximizing their potential rewards. Traders can consider using weekly call options to take advantage of stock moves and increase their chances of profiting from options contracts on various stocks.

So if you’re ready to learn more about how to trade options and utilize day trading option strategies to take advantage of stock moves, weekly call options, and interest, keep reading – we’ve got plenty more insights and tips coming your way!

## Understanding the Greeks in Options Trading

Options trading can be a complex and risky endeavor for an investor, but understanding the Greeks can help day traders make more informed decisions. The Greeks are mathematical calculations used to measure the risk of an option, including Delta, Theta, and Vega. Volume is an important factor to consider when analyzing these measurements, as it can be represented on a graph to provide a visual representation of market trends.

### Delta: The Relationship Between Underlying Asset and Option Price

Delta is crucial for day trading options as it measures the relationship between the underlying asset and the option price. A delta of 1 means that for every $1 move in the underlying asset’s price, there is a corresponding $1 move in the option’s price. Day trade options with a delta of 0.5 mean that for every $1 move in the underlying asset’s price, there is a corresponding $0.50 move in the option’s price. Understanding delta is essential to determine premium and downside risks when day trading options.

Delta can also be used by an investor to determine their directional bias on a share. If you believe that a share will increase in value, you may want to buy call options with a high delta and premium. Conversely, if you believe that a share will decrease in value, you may want to buy put options with a high delta and downside.

### Theta: Time Decay of an Option

Theta measures the downside time decay or how much premium value an option loses each day as it approaches expiration. As time passes, all else being equal (including volatility and trade volume), options lose value because there is less time for them to achieve intrinsic value before expiration.

For example, suppose you trade options by buying a weekly option with a theta of -0.05 and an expiration date one month away while holding all other variables constant (underlying stock price does not change). In that case, your option’s premium will decrease approximately $0.05 per day until it expires.

Traders who sell options benefit from theta decay because they receive premium upfront but must deliver on their obligation at expiration if assigned by their counterparty. An investor who wants to trade options on SPY can take advantage of this strategy to generate income with high volume trades every day.

### Vega: Sensitivity of an Option to Changes in Volatility

Vega measures the sensitivity of an option to changes in volatility, which is crucial for investors trading SPY options. When volatility increases, the premium of options on the SPY tends to rise, as there is a higher likelihood of the underlying asset moving significantly. Conversely, when volatility decreases, options become less valuable because there is less chance of a significant move. A graph of Vega can help investors visualize how changes in volatility can impact the value of their SPY options.

For example, suppose you are a day trader who buys a call option with a vega of 0.10 and an implied volatility of 20% for a premium. As an investor, if you day trade options and the implied volatility increases by 1%, your call option’s value will increase by approximately $0.10.

Investors who sell options benefit from low Vega because they receive premium upfront but may have to deliver on their obligation at expiration if assigned by their counterparty even if the market moves against them. This is especially beneficial for those who engage in day trading.

### Resistance Levels are Important to Consider When Trading Options

Resistance levels are price points where an underlying asset has historically struggled to break through. These levels can be useful for investors and day trading options, as they provide insight into potential support and resistance areas that can affect option prices. Additionally, traders can use these levels to determine the option premium when entering or exiting positions.

When trading options, it’s essential for the investor to consider resistance levels as they can impact premium, Delta, and Vega measurements. For example, if an underlying asset has historically struggled to break through a particular resistance level, buying call options with high Delta values may not be effective as the underlying asset may not reach those levels during the option’s life cycle. It’s important to note that day trade strategies should also take into account these resistance levels to make informed decisions.

## Basic Options Strategies: **Long Call and Put Options**

Long call and put options are two of the most basic options strategies used by investors in day trading. These strategies allow investors to buy or sell an underlying asset at a fixed price, giving them the right to purchase shares in the future or profit from a decline in the market. The premium paid for these options contracts is determined by various factors such as volatility and time to expiration. In this section, we will discuss how long call and put options work, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as some tips for trading them.

### Long Call Options

A long call option is a contract between an investor and seller that gives the investor the right, but not the obligation, to day trade options of an underlying asset at a fixed price (strike price) on or before a specified date (expiration date). The investor pays a premium for the option, hoping that the price of the underlying asset will rise above the strike price so they can profit from buying it at a lower price.

One advantage of long call options is that they provide investors with leverage. Instead of buying shares outright, investors can control more shares with less money by purchasing call options. Weekly call options expire every week, providing traders and investors with more flexibility and opportunities to trade options throughout the day.

However, there are also some disadvantages to using long call options for investors who trade on a day-to-day basis. If the underlying asset does not rise above the strike price before expiration, then the day trader loses their investment. Furthermore, selling call options can generate income for traders but also limits their potential profits if the underlying asset rises in value, which may not be ideal for investors seeking maximum returns.

### Put Options

Put options give traders the right to sell an underlying asset at a fixed price (strike price) on or before a specified date (expiration date). Investors who buy put options hope that the price of an underlying asset will fall below its strike price so they can profit from selling it at a higher price. Day traders often use put options as a way to hedge against potential losses in their portfolio.

One advantage for an investor of buying long put options is that it can be used as insurance against potential losses in other parts of their portfolio. If you day trade stocks that you believe may decline in value, buying long put options can help you protect your portfolio from potential losses.

However, there are also some disadvantages to using long put options for investors who want to trade for a day. If the underlying asset does not fall below the strike price before expiration, then the day trader loses their investment. Selling put options can generate income for investors but also limits their potential profits if the underlying asset falls in value.

**Put-Call Ratio**

The put-call ratio is a popular tool used by day trading options investors to gauge market sentiment. It measures the number of open put option contracts versus open call option contracts on a particular stock or index. A high put-call ratio indicates that more traders are betting on a decline in prices, while a low put-call ratio indicates that more traders are betting on an increase in prices.

To calculate the put-call ratio for day trading options, divide the total number of outstanding option positions with option premiums for puts by the total number of outstanding option positions with option premiums for calls. For example, if there are 1000 open call contracts with an average option premium of $50 and 2000 open put contracts with an average option premium of $25, then the put-call ratio would be 2:1 based on option prices.

Investors can use this information to make informed trading decisions throughout the day. If they see a high put-call ratio on a particular stock or index, they might consider buying call options because it suggests that other traders are overly pessimistic about its future prospects. Conversely, if they see a low put-call ratio, they might consider buying put options because it suggests that other traders are overly optimistic about its future prospects.

## Bullish **Options Trading Strategies**: **Bull Call Spread** and **Long Call Butterfly Spread**

Bullish options trading strategies are designed for the investor to profit from a stock’s upward price movement within a day. Two popular bullish options trading strategies are the bull call spread and long call butterfly spread.

### Bull Call Spread

An investor interested in day trading options may consider a bull call spread strategy. This involves buying a call option at a lower strike price and selling another call option at a higher strike price, which can limit both profit and loss potential while still benefiting from an increase in the stock’s price.

The purchased call option gives the day trading options investor the right to buy shares of the underlying stock at the lower strike price, while the sold call option obligates them to sell shares at the higher strike price. The difference between these two prices represents the maximum profit potential for this day trading options strategy.

However, because both options have different premiums, there is also a cost associated with this strategy, known as the debit spread. This cost limits the maximum loss potential for this strategy, making it a viable option for day traders looking to minimize risk.

Bull call spreads can be used in various market conditions, including day trading options, when traders expect moderate gains or when they want to hedge against short-term losses in their portfolio. This strategy involves buying a call option at a lower strike price and selling a call option at a higher strike price, which helps reduce the option premium and limit the potential losses of an option position.

### Long Call Butterfly Spread

Another bullish options trading strategy for the day involves buying two call options at lower and higher **strike prices** and selling two call options at a middle strike price, creating a long call butterfly spread.

The purchased option position calls give traders the right to buy shares of the underlying stock at their respective strike prices, while selling option premium calls obligates them to sell shares at that middle strike price. The goal of this option position strategy is to generate profits if there is limited movement in either direction by expiration day.

This trading strategy has limited risk since it involves purchasing one option but also has limited reward potential due to its nature as a credit spread. It can be used as part of an overall options-trading approach or as insurance against riskier trades.

### Calendar Spread vs Box Spread

While discussing bullish options trading strategies, it is worth mentioning two other popular options trading strategies: the calendar spread and box spread.

A calendar spread involves buying and selling options with different expiration dates. The goal of this strategy is to benefit from time decay while still having limited risk in case of a sudden price movement.

On the other hand, a box spread involves buying and selling four options with different strike prices and expiration dates. The goal of this strategy is to profit from an arbitrage opportunity where the cost of entering into this trade is less than the total payout if held to expiration.

Related reading: swing trading Options strategies

**Bearish Options Trading Strategies**: **Bear Put Spread** and **Long Put Butterfly Spread**

Bearish options trading strategies are designed to profit from a decrease in the underlying asset’s price. These strategies can be used by traders who believe that a particular stock or index is going to decline in value. In this article, we will discuss two popular bearish options trading strategies – the bear put spread and the long put butterfly spread.

### Bear Put Spread

The bear put spread is a strategy that involves buying a put option with a higher strike price and selling a put option with a lower strike price. The two options must have the same expiration date. This strategy is also known as a debit spread because it involves paying for the more expensive option and receiving money for the less expensive option.

The goal of this strategy is to profit from a decline in the underlying asset’s price while limiting potential losses. If the stock or index drops below the lower strike price, both options will be profitable. However, if the stock or index rises above the higher strike price, both options will expire worthless, resulting in maximum loss equal to the initial cost of entering into this trade.

For example, suppose an investor believes that XYZ stock, currently trading at $50 per share, will decline in value over the next month. They could enter into a bear put spread by buying one XYZ put option with a strike price of $55 for $3 per contract and selling one XYZ put option with a strike price of $45 for $1 per contract. The net cost of entering into this trade would be $2 per contract ($3 – $1). If XYZ stock declines below $45 at expiration, then both options will be profitable.

### Long Put Butterfly Spread

The long put butterfly spread is another popular bearish options trading strategy that involves buying two put options with different strike prices and selling two intermediate-strike puts. This strategy profits when there’s little movement in the underlying asset’s price, and it limits potential losses.

The long put butterfly spread is established by buying one put option with a low strike price, selling two at-the-money puts, and buying another put with a higher strike price. The goal of this strategy is to profit from the time decay of options while limiting potential losses if the stock or index moves too far in either direction.

For example, suppose an investor believes that SPY (an ETF that tracks the S&P 500) will not move much over the next month. They could enter into a long put butterfly spread by buying one SPY put option with a strike price of $280 for $5 per contract, selling two SPY put options with a strike price of $290 for $2 per contract each, and buying one SPY put option with a strike price of $300 for $1 per contract. The net cost of entering into this trade would be $0 ($5 – ($2 x 2) +$1). If SPY remains between $285 and $295 at expiration, then this trade will be profitable.

**Neutral Options Trading Strategies**: **Iron Butterfly and Iron Condor**

Iron Butterfly and Iron Condor are two popular neutral options trading strategies that can be used by traders to profit from a stock or index that is expected to remain within a certain range. These strategies involve selling both a call and a put option at the same strike price, with different expiration dates. The profit and loss graph for these strategies resembles the shape of a butterfly or a condor, hence their names.

### Iron Butterfly

The Iron Butterfly strategy is a popular approach for day trading options. It involves selling an at-the-money (ATM) call option, an ATM put option, and buying one out-of-the-money (OTM) call option and one OTM put option. This creates a symmetrical profit and loss graph that looks like the wings of a butterfly.

When using this strategy, traders hope that the underlying asset will remain within a specific range until expiration. If it does, they can realize the maximum profit potential. However, if the stock price moves outside of this range, losses can occur. This is where money call option comes in handy.

For example, let’s assume you sell an ATM call option for $5 and an ATM put option for $4 while buying an OTM call for $2 and an OTM put for $1. Your total credit would be $6 ($5 + $4 – $2 – $1). If the stock remains between your strike prices until expiration, you would earn your maximum profit of $6 per contract. However, if the stock price moves outside of your strike prices on either side at expiration, you could potentially lose money.

### Iron Condor

The Iron Condor strategy is similar to the Iron Butterfly but involves selling both an OTM call option and an OTM put option instead of ATM options. This creates wider ranges where profits can occur but also increases risk since there is more room for the stock price to move outside of those ranges.

When using this strategy, traders hope that the underlying asset will remain within a wider range until expiration. If it does, they can realize the maximum profit potential with money call option. However, if the stock price moves outside of this wider range, losses can occur.

For example, let’s assume you sell an OTM call option for $2 and an OTM put option for $1 while buying another OTM call for $1 and another OTM put for $0.5. Your total credit would be $1.5 ($2 + $1 – $1 – $0.5). If the stock remains between your strike prices until expiration, you would earn your maximum profit of $1.5 per contract. However, if the stock price moves outside of your strike prices on either side at expiration, you could potentially lose money.

### Graph

The profit and loss graph for both Iron Butterfly and Iron Condor strategies resembles a butterfly or a condor with wings spread out to both sides of the central point where traders sold ATM options in Iron Butterfly or sold OTM options in Iron Condor.

As shown in the graph above, both strategies have limited profit potential but also limited risk since traders receive a credit when selling options. The maximum loss is equal to the difference between strikes minus the credit received.

### Soy Beans

While we have used stocks as examples above, these neutral options trading strategies can also be applied to commodities such as soybeans futures contracts. For instance, selling an Iron Butterfly or an Iron Condor on soybeans futures contracts allows traders to benefit from expected stability in soybean prices while limiting their risk exposure.

**Dividend Capture Strategy** with Covered Calls

The dividend capture strategy is a popular approach among traders who want to earn income from dividends. This strategy involves buying stocks before their ex-dividend date and selling them after to capture the dividend payment. On the other hand, covered call strategy involves selling call options on a stock you own to generate income and limit potential losses.

By combining these two strategies, traders can reduce their risk while maximizing profits. The idea behind this approach is simple: sell covered calls on a stock before its ex-dividend date to capture the dividend payment while generating additional income from the call option premium.

### How does it work?

Let’s say you own 100 shares of XYZ Company, which is trading at $50 per share. The company pays a quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share, and its next ex-dividend date is in two weeks. You decide to sell covered calls on your shares by writing one call option contract with a strike price of $55 that expires in four weeks for $1 per share.

If the stock price remains below $55 until expiration, you get to keep the premium of $100 ($1 x 100 shares). If the stock price rises above $55 and someone exercises their right to buy your shares at that price, you still make a profit because you sold your shares for $55 plus received an additional $1 per share from the option premium. You also captured the dividend payment of $50 ($0.50 x 100 shares).

However, if the stock price falls below your breakeven point (which is calculated as your cost basis minus the premium received), then you will have losses on both sides – capital loss on your stock position and loss on your option position.

### Benefits of using this strategy

One significant benefit of using this strategy is that it allows traders to earn income from both dividends and options premiums while reducing their risk. By selling covered calls, traders limit their potential losses if the stock price falls and can still profit from the dividend payment. Moreover, this strategy can be used in any market condition – bullish, bearish or neutral.

Another advantage of using this strategy is that it provides a steady stream of income for traders who want to generate regular cash flow from their investments, including money call option. This approach is particularly useful for retirees or those who rely on investment income to meet their financial goals.

## Key Options Trading Strategies for Profit

### Predicting Stock Moves with Options Trading Strategies

Options trading strategies can be a profitable way to predict stock moves. These strategies involve buying and selling options contracts, which give the holder the right to buy or sell an underlying asset at a certain price on or before a specific date.

To choose the right options strategy, **technical analysis** is crucial. Technical analysis involves studying past market data and identifying patterns that can help predict future market movements. By analyzing charts and indicators, traders can identify trends and make informed decisions about which options strategy to use.

### Preferred Strategies for Profitable Options Trading

There are several preferred options trading strategies that traders use to make a profit. One popular strategy is buying in-the-money (ITM) options. ITM options have strike prices that are closer to the current stock price, making them more expensive but also more likely to result in a profit if the stock price increases.

Another preferred strategy is using limited downside by purchasing out-of-the-money (OTM) put options as insurance against potential losses. OTM put options have strike prices below the current stock price, giving traders protection against downward movements in the market.

### Strike Prices and Term Options for Successful Trades

When choosing an options strategy, it’s essential to consider strike prices and term options carefully. Strike prices determine whether an option will be profitable or not. In general, ITM options are more expensive than OTM options because they have higher strike prices.

Term options refer to the length of time between when an option is purchased and when it expires. Short-term term options expire within a few months, while long-term term options can last up to three years or longer.

### Using an Options Chain for Maximum Profit Potential

An option chain is a tool that traders use to identify upside potential and profit from stock price increases. It displays all available call and put option contracts for a particular security along with their prices and expiration dates. By using an option chain, traders can compare different options contracts and choose the one that offers the best profit potential.

## Backtesting day trading options strategies

When it comes to backtesting options strategies, it’s essential to have access to historical market data and a reliable options backtesting platform. You can follow these steps to backtest your strategies:

- Define your strategy: Clearly define the entry and exit criteria for your options trades based on the strategy you choose.
- Obtain historical data: Use a reputable financial data provider or a trading platform that offers historical options data. Ensure the data includes options prices, volumes, and other relevant information.
- Choose a backtesting platform: Select a reliable options backtesting platform that allows you to input your strategy rules and test them against historical data. Some popular options include TradeStation, Thinkorswim, or custom coding using Python libraries like Backtrader or QuantConnect.
- Input strategy parameters: Enter your strategy rules into the backtesting platform, including indicators, trade triggers, and risk management criteria.
- Run the backtest: Execute the backtest on the historical data and assess the performance metrics of your strategy, such as profitability, win rate, and drawdowns.
- Evaluate and refine: Analyze the results of your backtest to identify strengths and weaknesses in your strategy. Make any necessary adjustments or refinements to improve performance.

Remember, backtesting is a crucial step in evaluating the viability of a trading strategy, but it does not guarantee future success. Real-time market conditions, slippage, and transaction costs may differ from the backtest results. It’s important to combine backtesting with ongoing market analysis and risk management to make informed trading decisions.

## Day Trading Using Options: Near Month and In-the-Money

Day trading options can be a profitable way to make money in the stock market. This involves buying and selling options within the same day, taking advantage of small price movements. One strategy that traders use is to focus on near month and **in-the-money options**.

**Near Month Options**

Near month options have a shorter expiration date than longer-term options, typically less than 30 days. These options are cheaper than longer-term options because there is less time value associated with them. However, they also have a higher level of risk because they expire sooner.

Traders who focus on near month options are looking for quick profits. They may enter into a position early in the day and close it out before the end of the trading day. This allows them to take advantage of short-term price movements without holding onto an option for too long.

### In-the-Money Options

In-the-money options have a higher market price than out-of-the-money options because they give the holder the right to buy or sell an underlying asset at a favorable price. For example, if you own an in-the-money call option, you have the right to buy shares at a lower price than what they are currently trading for.

Buying in-the-money put options can provide cash inflow and limit losses. If you own shares of stock that you believe will decrease in value, you can buy an in-the-money put option to protect yourself against losses. This gives you the right to sell your shares at a higher price than what they are currently trading for.

### Weekly Options

Weekly options have a maximum expiration date of one week, making them even more short-term than near month options. Traders who focus on weekly options are looking for even quicker profits than those who trade near month options.

Weekly options can be risky because they expire so quickly, but they can also be very lucrative if traded correctly. Traders who focus on weekly options need to be able to make quick decisions and react quickly to market changes.

## Conclusion: Day Trading Option Strategies

Congratulations! You now have a solid understanding of day trading option strategies. By exploring the Greeks in options trading, basic options strategies like long call and put options, as well as bullish, bearish, and neutral options trading strategies such as bull call spread, bear put spread, iron butterfly, and iron condor.

You also learned about the dividend capture strategy with covered calls and key options trading strategies for profit. We discussed day trading using near-month and in-the-money options.

Now that you know these valuable strategies, it’s time to put them into practice. Remember to always do your research before making any trades and to stay disciplined with your risk management. It is also important to consider the potential benefits of a money call option.

With these tools in hand, you’re on your way to becoming a successful day trader in the world of option strategies.

Happy trading!