If you are not yet consistently profitable, you should not be looking at one- or two-point scalps in the Emini or 10 to 20 cent scalps in stocks as the cornerstone of your trading. In fact, you should avoid scalps until you are an experienced trader, because you need a very high winning percentage to be profitable, and that is difficult for even experienced traders to achieve.
The first consideration in day trading is the selection of the market and type of chart that you want to use. It is best to trade stocks that are popular with institutions, because you want to reduce the chance of manipulation by a specialist or market maker, and you want minimal slippage. There are so many great trades every day on any basket of five to 10 stocks that you won’t have to resort to stocks with small volume that might carry additional risks.
The more bars in your day, the more trades you will make, and the risk will be less per trade. However, you might not be able to read the charts fast enough to see the setups, and you might not have time to place your orders without an unacceptable level of mistakes. Also, some of the best trades happen so quickly that you will likely miss many and then be left with all the trades that are less profitable. There is a mathematical sweet spot that you will have to determine based on your personality and trading abilities. Most successful traders can trade a 5 minute candle chart. The price action on a 3 minute chart is very similar and ...