TradeKing Survey: While Bearishness Rises, Active Investors Still See Q3 Opportunities in Energy, Healthcare/Biotech and Finance Sectors -- Online Broker's Client Survey Ranks Oil Prices As #1 Market Trigger – By Far; Respondents Share Successful Strategies in Today's Volatile Market

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Despite an overall increase in bearish sentiment since April, active investors still believe there are opportunities to profit from investments in selected sectors, according to a late July survey of more than 220 equities and options traders conducted by online broker TradeKing ( The sectors identified as having the greatest potential for success in the third quarter for long positions were Energy (44 percent of total responses), Healthcare/Biotech (41 percent), and Finance (40 percent). From a short position, Energy and Commodities garnered the most votes with 15 percent each, while Transportation, Finance and Gold/Precious Metals also received recognition as promising short plays.

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Whether it be playing sector-specific fluctuations or implementing hedge strategies through buying 'puts' and 'calls', our clients are finding ways to invest successfully even while recognizing the overall economic picture is troubling.

The survey also showed that "oil prices" appeared stronger than ever as the top market trigger investors are watching. Eighty-eight percent of options traders (OT) and 84 percent of equities traders (ET) listed oil as their number one "potential trade trigger" to be watched "intently," more than double the response seen in TradeKing's April client survey. In April, 37.6 percent of OT and 40.7 percent of ET listed oil as their chief concern, just narrowly inching out interest rates.

The in-house survey was conducted July 21-24, 2008, via email to 3,000 TradeKing clients. The survey results were segmented into two client groups: those who trade "options only" with TradeKing and those who trade "equities only".1

1 The content of this press release is provided for educational and informational purposes only, does not constitute a recommendation to enter in any of the securities transactions or to engage in any of the investment strategies presented herein, and does not represent the opinions of TradeKing or its employees. TradeKing provides self-directed investors with discount brokerage services, and does not make recommendations or offer investment advice. The investor alone is responsible for evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of TradeKing's systems, services or products. All investments involve risk, losses may exceed the principal invested, and the past performance of a security, industry, sector, market, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns.

"From the comments and performance we see in our TradeKing Community along with these results, it's clear that investors are still finding opportunities to profit in these volatile markets," said Don Montanaro, CEO of TradeKing. "Whether it be playing sector-specific fluctuations or implementing hedge strategies through buying 'puts' and 'calls', our clients are finding ways to invest successfully even while recognizing the overall economic picture is troubling."

Other Key Survey Findings

Active investors reported more bearishness than in April but still less than in January of this year

Thirty-nine percent of options respondents (OT) and 31 percent of equities traders (ET) described themselves as either "bearish" or "very bearish" in July, up from 26.3 percent (OT) and 20.9 percent (ET) in April. In January, 49.4 percent of OT and 45.3 percent of ET considered themselves as bearish. However, in the July survey, a significant number of respondents still described themselves as "neutral/not sure" (33 percent OT; 43 percent ET). Respondents Revealed Most Successful Investment Strategies in Q2

Both groups reported having profited from "buying more stock" or "buying and selling sector-specific ETFs or mutual funds." Forty-nine percent of OT reported "profiting from these strategies," while 79 percent of ET reported the same. Options traders highlighted buying and selling "puts" and "covered calls" as their most successful strategies in the last three months. Nearly 83 percent of OT listed these strategies as their most profitable. About TradeKing

TradeKing was rated number one in customer service by SmartMoney Magazine, ahead of E

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Sue Parente
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