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A Trading Strategy For Energy Earnings


Earnings season, the gift that keeps on giving for US stock traders and investors, is underway, with results for the quarter that ended at the end of September beginning to trickle in. On the energy side, big oil and other significant companies in the sector aren’t typically among the first to release results, and this quarter is no exception. There will be a couple of reports of interest in the coming week, Tesla (TSLA) on Wednesday and Schlumberger (SLB) on Friday, but energy doesn’t really get going until the following week when Shell (SHEL) releases their earnings on October 26th. So, it may seem a bit early to talk about energy earnings, but that isn’t the case if, like me, you avoid trying to trade the actual news and instead trade the buildup and the reaction.

There are several reasons why I do that, but the most important is the blunt realization that if I try to react to any news, and particularly anticipated news like an earnings report, I am at a major disadvantage as an individual trader. I will never beat institutional traders, whether human or algorithmic, in terms of speed. They will receive the news faster, react quicker, and have significantly faster execution times for a trade, and trying to beat them just means starting every trade at a disadvantage. For that reason, over my years of transitioning from being on a desk to trading in my own account, I have shifted from reacting to news to trying to guess what others will do going into an expected release…

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