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With the advent of Dow 30 Diamonds (ticker:DIA) and S&P Depository Receipts (ticker:SPY), individual investors can now participate in short-term trading of the major stock indices.
Adavatages of DIA and SPY from a beginninnng traders perspective include liquidity, low cost, marginable (shortable), and the ability to trade a diversified security. The ability to trade a diversified portfolio of securities (vis-a-vis SPY and DIA) on a short-term basis may not be as "dynamic" as trading an individual stock, option, or commodity, but at least you can sleep at night.
Constructiive comments regarding the successful trading of SPY and DIA, both from a long and short position, are welcome. Technical and fundamental analysis will be necessary, although technical analsysis will likely take precedent given the short-term nature of trading positions.
For a specific discussion of shorting SPY, refer to the following...
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