The Rise of the Day Trader

Just because the markets have been tanking doesn't mean a buck can't be made. While the stock market's volatility has confounded the formulas of investment bankers and hedge-fund managers, it has also offered unprecedented opportunity to day traders, who monitor the markets second-by-second and thrive on short-term transactions. New York Magazine profiles day trader Peter Milman, who has made almost $500,000 in the past three months. Milman calculates his transactions via a controversial technique known as "technical analysis," analyzing not the value of the companies whose shares he's trading but rather "the movement of the crowds." One trader says "you become a psychologist of the stock market and trading off the mood." Says another, "Technical analysis has been thought of as a black art or voodoo. But it's no different than a football coach watching film to prepare for his next opponent."