My Christmas Trading Diary

With the holidays fast approaching, many traders are winding down their trading activity. Not me. I’m actually planning to trade as much as I can during the holidays, partly because my Christmas shopping bill is getting bigger and bigger by the day!

In all seriousness, holiday trading can be a worthwhile endeavor if you have the time to spare. Trading in a low-volume environment isn’t always easy. Opportunities are rare and execution must be timed just right if you’re going to make any money during the holidays.

The following diary illustrates how I’ll approach the financial markets this holiday season. I’ve been a good trader this year, so I hope Santa rewards me with a few solid opportunities over the next few weeks.

Friday, December 18

Target 1: USD/JPY

This should actually say Thursday, December 17 because that’s when I plan on trading the USD/JPY. I live on the US east coast, so I’ll be staying up late to monitor the Bank of Japan, which could announce changes to monetary policy. With the USD/JPY hovering around 123.00, further easing by the BOJ could provide a solid buy opportunity. If that’s the case, I can easily see a rise to 125.07, the close from August 12. I don’t think an inactive BOJ will provide much of a shorting opportunity.

Monday, December 21

Target: Gold

There’s not much on the economic calendar on the 21st, so I’ll have to make my own opportunities. Commodities have been especially sensitive to investor sentiment as of late. With the Fed expected to raise interest rates on the 16th, there will plenty of opportunities to short precious metals, especially gold. If gold declines as sharply as I expect it to after the Fed announcement, investors will be short covering the yellow metal. This could create an initial spike. With this setup in mind, I have many options.

Tuesday, December 22

Targets: S&P 500, FTSE 100, EUR/USD

Many opportunities could present themselves on Tuesday, a day that features several market-moving events, including a deluge of Eurozone economic data. The Commerce Department will also release revised US Q3 GDP data, while the NAR will release US existing home sales figures. If there’s one day to trade forex this holiday season, the 22nd could be it. Although I won’t stay up for the European releases, I’ll be at my trading desk before the US GDP report at 8:30 am ET. I should be able to piece together the trend for EUR/USD just by analyzing the overnight session. Solid US data could also provide a good buying opportunity for US stock indices, such as the S&P 500. Stock markets should view data positively again after the Fed raises interest rates.

Wednesday, December 23

Targets: USD/CAD, US Dollar Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average

If Santa is going to delivery any goodies, Wednesday could be the day. US durable goods orders, personal income and outlays and new home sales will provide many opportunities for entry. Strong data should propel the already bullish US dollar higher, especially against the Canadian dollar, which will probably weaken after disappointing October GDP figures. Since stocks trend higher during the holidays, especially on the day preceding a holiday,[1] strong data will provide a good entry into the Dow Jones and other US indices.

Thursday, December 24

Targets: Food, eggnog and presents

The markets close early on Christmas Eve, so my time will be better spent with family and friends.

Friday, December 25

Target: See above

The markets are closed. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 28


Monday will be a snooze fest, especially in North America and Europe. That’s why I’m going to focus all of my efforts on the Japanese yen. Japanese industrial production and retail trade figures could provide some interesting setups for the USD/JPY and EUR/JPY pairs.

Tuesday, December 29

Targets: EUR/USD, DAX

German inflation data on the 29th could create price action for the EUR/USD and European stock indices, such as the DAX. I expect German inflation to be weak in December, which could prompt speculation that more quantitative easing is on the way. Should these perceptions become reality, expect the euro and equities to head in opposite directions.

Wednesday, December 30

Targets: S&P 500 Index

Not much is happening the day before New Year’s Eve, but I’m expecting a general uptrend in US stocks. Of course, I’ll have a better idea of whether this is actually the case in the days leading up to the New Year.

Thursday, December 31

Targets: S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average

Unlike Christmas Eve, the markets don’t close early the day before the new-year. Since stocks perform well in the day preceding the holiday, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones will be attractive options on New Year’s Eve.

Friday, January 1

Targets: Whatever helps me recover from my hang-over.




[1] Tanya Robertson. “Seasonal Stock Market Trends.” Zacks.

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