Stock Market

The 3 Most Volatile Stocks for Short-Term Traders: April 2024

Volatile stocks are short-term traders’ bread and butter. Making money both ways – whether the stock goes up or down – means that finding the most volatile stocks is the shortest path to fast cash opportunities for day traders and swing traders alike. However, finding volatile stocks is slightly more complex than merely seeing which companies have the most momentum on a particular day or finding those particularly affected by a bit of bad news.

Instead, a more efficient means of measuring volatility is by using a stock’s beta as a proxy — the higher the beta, the more volatile the stock is with the wider market. Each of these high-beta stocks is as volatile as it comes in today’s already-frothy market, offering short-term profit opportunities for short-term traders.

Reddit (RDDT)

Source: Henry Franklin / Shutterstock.com

Is it surprising that controversial and recently listed Reddit (NYSE:RDDT) has a high beta and stands out as one of today’s more volatile stocks? While its 9.22 beta is admittedly slightly artificially boosted due to its relative newness on the market, there’s little doubt the stock offers short-term traders plenty of volatility to trade against.

Shorts and put option buyers already feasted on the volatile stock, as shares traded nearly 20% below their initial opening price and 36% below their post-IPO high. Now may be the time to cycle back into the company on its next leg up—assuming it doesn’t keep melting downward.

Earlier this month, InvestorPlace writer David Moadel pointed to a surge in insider selling as a major contributor to the stock’s volatility. Significant insider sales include a $16 million payday for the company president and CEO, Steve Huffman, as well as more than 71,000 shares sold by Reddit’s Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Vollero. There’s a reason lock-up periods exist post-IPO for most companies, and this is it — but for short-term traders, the subsequent volatility is a godsend.

MicroCloud Hologram (HOLO)

concept of metaverse technology man hand holding hologram cyber digital data city landscape real estate building background. meta city landscape Cyberspace. hologram. metaverse concept. HOLO stock

Source: boommaval / Shutterstock.com

Sitting at a 7.5 beta, MicroCloud Hologram (NASDAQ:HOLO) may be a bit less extreme than RDDT, but that doesn’t detract from its volatile stock status. Much of the company’s extreme volatility stems from a mid-February short squeeze that kicked off when the company executed a reverse split to prevent delisting. Shares surged from sub-$2 to more than $60 per share in just a few short days before crashing down to earth. HOLO trades at just $2.50 per share today, though that remains a fair bit higher than pre-squeeze levels.

This type of volatility puts short-term traders in a tough spot. Though low priced, there’s likely a short opportunity present for those betting the company will keep trending downward. Far from profitable and with a seemingly random series of value propositions, this is a fairly reasonable assumption to make. Of course, there’s an inherent risk of the past repeating itself and putting short sellers’ hopes to bed. But, likewise, lightning rarely strikes twice — ask the Gamestop (NYSE:GME) crew — and the conditions kicking off HOLO’s February short squeeze are unlikely to materialize again.

Fractyl Health (GUTS)

Brown glass pill bottle on its side showing white pills inside, with other pill bottles behind it representing MACK stock.

Source: shutterstock.com/Champhei

Besides having one of the coolest tickers I’ve ever seen, Fractyl Health (NASDAQ:GUTS) is our final volatile stock, clocking in with a beta at a comparatively mellow 6.5. Like Reddit, Fractyl is a recent IPO, and shares slid rapidly post-listing. Hitting markets in early February, shares sold for $15 a pop before plummeting to less than half that value (currently trading just under $7 per share). Fractyl’s per-share pricing is right in the sweet spot for short-term profit — plenty of downside available for shorts (compared to HOLO, for example), but priced low enough that you could easily see momentum pushing the price back into double-digit territory.

Another variable is increasing the volatile stock’s rapid repricing prospects, though. A biotech stock, Fractyl, just secured FDA approval for an obesity weight maintenance study to explore options for long-term weight control after discontinuing popular GLP-1-based drugs. Biotech is generally a volatile sector, and weight-loss drugs sent some stocks soaring (and some crashing) over the past few months. Keep an eye on Fractyl, because it may end up one of the most volatile stocks this year.

On the date of publication, Jeremy Flint held no positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Jeremy Flint, an MBA graduate and skilled finance writer, excels in content strategy for wealth managers and investment funds. Passionate about simplifying complex market concepts, he focuses on fixed-income investing, alternative investments, economic analysis, and the oil, gas, and utilities sectors. Jeremy’s work can also be found at www.jeremyflint.work.

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