What is the 8:30 am US announcement?
The 8:30 am US announcement typically refers to the US data on employment and jobs that is released to the market at 8:30am eastern time on Thursday mornings. The market views this data as an indicator of market conditions and the number can move the markets significantly across many asset classes. Note that there is plenty of other economic data that has the potential to move markets as well. A list of some of the significant data with anticipated release dates and times is available at yahoofinance, briefings.com,and several other free sites. You should make sure you know what data is expected during your trading day for just about any intra-day trading strategy.
Designing a trading strategy around the jobs data announcement in particular is quite useful because the data is available every Thursday, so you will use your strategy quite often. Whether you are trading US equities or currency pairs containing USD, the basic concept is the same.
To trade such macroeconomic information, I like to use the S&P futures as an equity asset since it is the most liquid. You could use individual equities but the S&P is the most obvious choice. For currency pairs, I like to trade the majors versus USD, usually EUR/USD or GBP/USD. You need to pick one asset since the market moves quickly and you can pretty much just trade one thing at the exact same time. You could have both options up and ready to go (S&P and a currency pair) but that is pretty advanced multitasking. I usually stick to one asset. Regardless of what asset you choose, what you want to do is wait for confirmation as to the direction of the movement. In a bull market, positive news will be fuel for a rally and negative news may be a buying opportunity if timed right. The opposite is usually true in a bear market. Since we are in a bull market, I usually wait for the number to hit before buying binary calls. I have my “buy” screen up and ready, and I hit go as soon as I see the number come in equal or better than expected. Last Thursday the number came in pretty much spot on expectations, the market was expecting 348k and it came in 346k. Here is a chart of the S&P Futures on that day:
Because we are in a bull market there was a slight dip which you can see by the lower wick in the 8:30 candle. I saw that as an opportunity to buy binary calls, expecting that the market would ultimately rally since the number was so close to expectations. Sure enough, within that candle the market rallied and stayed above my strike price pretty much until lunchtime. Here is a chart of EUR/USD:
You can see the same thing, the same opportunity. Right as the number came out slightly lower there was a slight dip, with a lower wick in the 8:30 candle. You could have used that as a buying opportunity for your binary calls.
Binary options are a great tool for trading the 8:30 US announcement because they have very short time horizons. This means you can take advantage of the price action immediately following the announcement. With practice, you will be able to make consistent money each week using this strategy.