Day trading refers to the practice of speculation in securities, specifically buying and selling financial instruments within the same trading day, such that all positions are usually closed before the market close for the trading day. Traders who participate in day trading are called active traders or day traders. Traders who trade in this capacity with the motive of profit, assume the capital markets role of speculator.

Not widely known, the correct definition of an "intra-day" means the move as measured from the previous close and not just relative to another price traded on the same day.

Some of the more commonly day-traded financial instruments are stocks, stock options, currencies, and a host of futures contracts such as equity index futures, interest rate futures, and commodity futures.

Day trading used to be an activity that was exclusive to financial firms and professional speculators. Many day traders are bank or investment firm employees working as specialists in equity investment and fund management. However, with the advent of electronic trading and margin trading, day trading has become increasingly popular among at-home traders.

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