NASDAQ Earnings Reports - How do you manage risk?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by fframe38, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. Just curious what risk management strategy would be recommended when holding long positions on mid-cap NASDAQ stocks ahead of an earnings report in the following scenarios.

    Note we are talking stocks like LEND (reports next Thursday after close), or ACLS (reports next Tuesday after close) not wild stocks like TASR. Also, assume you are slightly profitable on the position but not near your profit target yet.

    1. The stock is looking OK but not great, uptrending the last couple of days into the report and closing near the high of the last day on a normal size range, but light to average volume.

    I am debating between dump half, hold the remainder into the report, or just cash out and move on to another position. I am always running an active stop loss order using IB, but obviously that wouldn't protect against any adverse gaps that could occur on the report.

    2. The stock starts to trend up with good volume into the report, closing near the highs the last day.

    This is the hardest case to decide, as the potential upside is pretty good, but still sizable risk in the case of a negative surprise. Also the "sell the news" reaction is a big risk here.

    3. The stock looks trendless the last couple days into the report.

    Seems like should dump at least most or all of the position in this case, but just seeing what ideas anybody has.

    4. The stock starts fading off on lower volume, closing in the lower half of the range going into the report.

    I'm assuming dump everything here.

    5. The stock starts to move down with heavier volume going into the report.

    Obviously dump everything here most probably.

    Let me know what your thoughts are on this. I'm just looking for some new ideas. The positions aren't huge, so this is more of a strategy question than anything else.

    My biggest personal challenge currently is dumping positions with a moderate profit, only to have them run on to huge potential gains shortly afterwards. I seem to have the stop loss habit well established, don't trade huge positions and am fairly disciplined on entries as well. Just looking for better ways of capturing more upside.
  2. dbphoenix


    Once upon a time, Teresa Lo said (and maybe still does) that she wouldn't come within a country mile of stocks since there was so little risk control. She preferred trading options rather than the underlying (actually, she preferred futures, but that's neither here nor there).

    If you don't want to trade options, at least consider buying puts to protect your longs. It's cheap insurance. Just make sure you sell the puts once the danger is over. No point in wasting the money.