Day Trading Options for Income Like a Pro

  • January 30, 2018

Watch our video on day trading options for income. Our second video below shows an example of how we trade options during the day in under 60 seconds. We teach you how to day trade stocks, options and futures live in our trade rooms daily.  

Is Day Trading Options for Income a Profitable Strategy?

  • Day trading options can be a very profitable trading strategy, especially when trading weekly expiration options. Many traders buy weekly options with 1-2 week expiration's, either at the money or 1 strike in the money, and then sell them for profit. Effectively "scalping" their way to consistent gains. These traders are trading the price action, Getting in and jumping out.  Easier said then done though! Buckle up, you have a lot to learn. 

Options trading...Oh man what a fun subject! This type of trading is a one way to make money in the stock market that might fit your style.

The video above gives an overview on day trading options and our blog gets deep into it. We help people learn how to day trade options in our trade rooms, so feel free to come and join our community and access live daily streams.

We also have advanced options tutorials under the "members only" section of our website which is for annual members to take their training to the next level.

If you want to learn how to day trade options and build a small account, then join our live trading room! Dan, Signet, Creed and others in the room are showing options trading setups throughout the week.

We are typically using day trading options strategies with high volume, liquid, tight spread, high open interest options that are volatile for day trading. If they don't have that criteria then we typically move on till we find what we are looking for. ATR is also very helpful to review prior to taking the trade (Average True Range)

Day Trading Options

Check out this Put chart of SPY options! Options charts are an important part of a traders life. Notice the gap up on the put options chart. This happened because the $SPY ETF gapped down. After a little wash out and chop chop, a channel began to form, and volume came in around 12 noon, perfect for a lunch time scalp.

1. Breakdown

When you purchase an option, you have the right but not the obligation to buy or sell the security at a specific strike price (stock price) .

This means you have the right to buy one hundred shares of the stock you bought the options contract on. Options contracts expire so you can’t hold them forever.

We don't care about that stuff though, because we are just flipping them like a game of hot potato. Or like a game of musical chairs. You'll understand the analogy here shortly.

There are two types of options strategies that we day trade regularly. They are "naked" calls and puts. You purchase a call if you believe the stock is going to go up and purchase a put if you believe the stock is going to go down. You profit when the stock price moves in the direction of your call or put.

The "naked" part means you don't have any shares of the stock when you buy the call or put, and that you're just buying a call contract or a put contract. You're just jumping in and trading the contract like you would a share of any stock.

We like to keep an eye on:

  • breakout stocks meaning a daily breakout or range breakout
  •  open interest which means there are plenty of people who have traded these contracts
  • options alerts from either Benzinga or BlackBox Stocks which show large option sweeps.
day trading options for income

Here we see Benzinga Pros options alerts window. Here can monitor breaking options alerts in real time, and we can then decide if we want to trade similar options on the alerts that are being shown. Read our Benzinga review and enter bullishbears25 to receive an exclusive 25% off your Benzinga Pro subscription when you're ready to sign up.

2. Choosing the Right Strike Price While Day Trading Options

When using day trading options strategies you need to pick a strike price and expiration date that will put you in a profit zone when the stock moves.

The expiration date that is closest to the calendar day of the month you are trading on is usually going to be cheaper than choosing one that is a week or two out. However, that doesn't mean that is necessarily the expiration date you should be trading.

You’ll also need to chose whether you want to be in or out of the money. To help you trade calls and puts, you can use an options chart, such as a chart like interactive brokers or ThinkorSwim.

Most brokers have a call and put chart which will show you what the option is doing on a candlestick chart. These are great platforms to practice on for paper trading options. Take a look at the Facebook ($FB) call chart below.


Here we see an opportunity in Facebook options to make over $200 per options contract intra-day. Who wouldn't want to learn how to do that? We'll teach you so you can do it YOURSELF without a trading guru to tell you when to buy and sell.

3. ITM Options Trading

Being in the money means that a call option’s strike price is below the market price. If you are in the money for a put option that means that the strike price is above the market price.

Being out of the money means the call option strike price is above the market price and the put option is below market price. Picking a strike for day trading is important, more on that below.

The first thing you need to do when day trading options is to find the trend for the day. As well as support and resistance.

The trend is your friend. And the trend that you see is going to determine the option you chose it also helps you to determine the strike price you want that day. Support and resistance are incredibly important.

Buy at support and sell at resistance if you’re buying a call. Buy at resistance and sell at support if you’re buying a put. If you need more information on drawing trend lines or finding support and resistance take our day trading course below.

Our courses will help you to get better at day trading options along with watching the live streams.

4. Volatility and Options Trading During the Day

Another thing that we recommend when learning how to day trading options is to pick a volatile stock. You want a stock that is moving, not trading sideways.

Day trading options is different versus day trading a stock, because options can decay in price quickly. Options are a decaying asset, due to the time value function of the option (theta).

With a stock, you can profit even if it moves 10 or twenty cents. With options the more the stock moves "in the money" or into the money, the more money you will make, as the call chart of $FB shows above.

The more expensive the stock, usually the more of a range it has, providing options traders with more opportunity. That's because its moving dollars a day, rather than pennies.

That’s not to say that a lower priced stock isn’t going to turn a profit but you would most likely need to purchase more options contracts for it to do so. Also make sure to take our entire free options course to learn more about trading options if you have not subscribed yet! 

5. ATR Is Important!

There are a couple higher priced stocks that check out each day because I know they usually end up moving at least $5 or more a day. One of the risks to a higher priced stock is that the strike price is more expensive than a smaller priced stock.

You have to be willing to put up money and be OK with losing that amount. We prefer to trade options on stocks with an ATR (average true range) of 3 or more and using a scanning tool is a great way to find them. Take our penny stock trading course.

Day Trading Options

Here we have a list of current high volume options being traded the last 50 days. These are stocks that have a lot of "open interest" in options, and will be highly liquid, which means easy to trade and in demand. They will also have a tight bid-ask ratio

How Much Money Do You Need to Day Trade Options for Income?

  • Many new traders wonder how much money they need to day trade options? Day trading options follows the same margin rules that stocks do. If you do not have an account of $25,000 you are subject to the Pattern Day Trading (PDT) rule. You are allowed 3 same day trades in a 5 business day span with a margin account below 25k. That's why you want to make sure you pick the right direction the stock is going.

Once you’ve hit the limit of trades you can make because of the PDT rule - you’re done for the week - if you are a margin account..However if you are in a cash account, you an day trade, every day, over an over, until you run out of cash.

Then your cash settles overnight (T-1), an you can do it all over again. 5 days a week. So if you have 5k in an account, you can trade with 5k if all you trade is options, until you run out of buying power. Then you can do the same again the next day

1. Set Your Goals

We've found that day trading options can be pretty profitable in a short span of time. It's even something you can do for income.

First thing you should do is set a goal of what you want to make that week or even month. Next you should practice in a simulated account before using your real money.

We will teach you how to trade options properly in our trading service. We also show options trading live on our streams!

Writing down your goals will help you discover what you need to do to achieve these goals and what mistakes you make along the way that hurt your success. There isn’t going to be a consistent flow of money, so when things go wrong, pick apart why things went wrong!

You’ll have days where you win and even win big. And days where you lose. Cutting your losses quickly helps to minimize any damage to your brokerage account. A rule of thumb is to always protect your capital! Trade defensively. 

2. Trading Market Open

We have found that stocks are usually most volatile at the open. But wait to jump in a few minutes before you do. They need to establish their momentum and direction.

So many times we've jumped into a stock at the beginning because it looked like it was going one way only to reverse and go the opposite way for the rest of the day. Make sure to learn how to sell options.

If it’s one of those really volatile stocks then you can usually jump in and out all day if you don’t have that pesky PDT rule to attend to.

Or you can, and this is our favorite way to do it, wait for it to find it’s direction get in and ride it out until you think it can’t keep going. Draw your channels and trend lines to find when to take profit. 

What Are Good Stocks to Day Trade Options?

  1. Depending on the price action these large cap stocks such as $AAPL, $ROKU $AMD, $NVDA, $BYND, $NFLX, $CRON, $CGC, $UBER, $FB, $BABA, $GE, $AMZN, $NIO $MU, $MSFT to name a few.
  2. Highly liquid - they should have millions of shares traded on average a day
  3. Tight bid/ask spread. Is the spread on options more than 5 bucks? If so look elsewhere.
  4. High open interest with volume if you're day trading options. Weekly options with 1-2 week expiration's. High open interest is 1000+ and I prefer to see at least 100 volume on the day. More is always better in this case. 
  5. Look for news catalysts like earnings or economic reports. Daily breakouts and key support or resistance levels. 

1. Day Trading Options a Fun Side Hustle!

Day trading options and earning some extra income is a great way to trade those big stocks that you can't afford shares on. It beats working a second job or any 9 to 5 for that matter.  The trick is practice, and getting a solid education in the field. It takes time, but anything worthwhile is going to require some effort on your part. 

If you need more stock training then take our free courses above. As always don't forget you can learn how to trade options with the bullish bears team live in our trading room every week!

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