Internet-based stock market trading in which individual investors quickly buy and sell equities to take advantage of short-term trends, and then sell most if not all of their holdings before the end of the day.
As the go-go stock market keeps go-going, day trading looks powerfully seductive. 'Who wouldn't want to work at home in front of their computers and retire at 40?' says Philip Feigin, executive director of the North American Securities Administrators Association . . . The problem, he says, is that a deluge of largely unskeptical media coverage has so 'glamorized' day trading that people are ignoring its dangers. Fewer than one in 10 actually make money doing it, according to some experts. 'If you want to gamble,' Feigin advises, 'go to Las Vegas. The food is better.'
Michael Meyers, "Fast, Yes. Easy? No.," Newsweek, January 11, 1999
The market has turned against the speculators who call themselves risk arbitragers. For most of the year, they had made all their money buying shares of companies later acquired at sharply higher prices by other companies. In a single takeover, that of Conoco by Du Pont Corp., the arbs pocketed tens of millions of dollars. Expecting other windfalls, they promptly plowed the cash into such hot takeover prospects as Cities Service Co., Kerr-Mcgee corp., Marathon Oil Co., Newmont Mining Corp. And a dozen others.
Like the tulip boom, it all went bust. The takeovers either never came off or got so dicey and distant as to frighten even the most risk-minded arbs. Some have turned to day trading, buying or selling shares in the morning and closing out their positions in the afternoon. A trader may hold a position for as long as forty-five seconds or so before closing it for an eighth or sixteenth of a point.
Tim Metz, "Risk arbitragers taking beating in recent market," The Wall Street Journal, October 6, 1981