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Intraday Trading of Overactive Stocks via Opening Range Breakout

April 3, 2024 • Posted in Individual Investing, Technical Trading

Can day traders get rich with an Opening Range Breakout (ORB) strategy that buys (sells) unusually active stocks with positive (negative) opens that break out to new highs (lows) during the first five minutes of the trading day? In their February 2024 paper entitled “A Profitable Day Trading Strategy For The U.S. Equity Market”, Carlo Zarattini, Andrea Barbon and Andrew Aziz test a 5-minute ORB applied to stocks with unusually high daily trading volume (Stocks in Play). Rules for this strategy start with screening listed U.S. stocks for:

  1. Opening price above $5.
  2. Average daily trading volume at least 1,000,000 shares during the last 14 trading days.
  3. Average True Range (ATR) over the last 14 days more than $0.50.
  4. Opening range interval volume relative to the last 14 days (Relative Volume) at least 100% and among the 20 with the highest Relative Volumes.

Each day for each stock surviving this screen, they place a stop order to buy (sell) if the stock moves up (down) in the first five minutes and then again reaches the high (low) of this range after the first five minutes. For each executed trade, they set a stop-loss order at 10% ATR distance from the executed entry price. If the stop loss does not trigger intraday, they close the trade at the market close. They size each trade such that the loss on a triggered stop-loss would be 1% of capital deployed and impose a 4X leverage constraint. They assume $25,000 starting capital and impose $0.0035 per share commission (per Interactive Brokers Pro Tiered as of December 31, 2023). Using the specified data for all U.S.-listed stocks (over 7,000) during January 2016 through December 2023, they find that:


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