Short the S&P 500

Switched from long to short at the close today, using a position size of about 1.5. It was a close call, a few more points down and I would have kept the long.

The Weekly

More trading last week – my system signalled changes in the S&P 500 position twice. The first signal was at the Monday’s close, I switched from long to short. The long position was in place since Sep 25th. Extended by the leverage, the gain was 1.6%.

Then the following short lasted only until Thursday’s close, but the return was even better – 2.3%, again including the leverage.

Long the S&P 500

Switched from short to long at the close today, using a position size of about 1.5.

Short the S&P 500

Switched from long to short at the close today, using a position size of about 1.5.

The Weekly

After I came back from vacation, on Sep 17th, I resumed my trading by opening a short position on the SPY (S&P 500 ETF). This position was reversed on Sep 25th. The SPY lost about 1.8% during this period, which was a gain for me.

Due to low recent volatility in this ETF, the position was leveraged to 1.5, 50% larger than the pool I use for it. This extended the gains on the position to about 2.7%.

Long the S&P 500

Switched from short to long at the close today, using a position size of about 1.5.

Short the S&P 500

Opened a short position at the close today, using a position size of about 1.5.

Long the S&P 500

Switched from short to long at the close today, using a position size of about 1.5.

Trading at the Close – the Mechanics

When investing strategies are back tested, the prevailing approach is to use daily closing prices both for the signal and for the entry point. This is all well in theory, but implementing such a system in practice is far from straightforward. The most obvious problem is that the close remains unknown until the end of the day, thus, we don’t know what our action needs to be at the close before the close is in place, but that’s the end of the trading day. A form of the chicken and egg problem.

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