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HFTs don't arbitrage the single person day trader because those guys are are like a mouse farting in a hurricane. There is no point trying to identify and scalp someone who trades at most some $ millions a day, unless the person is doing it on really swampy stocks with no liquidity. Even then, the capacity in those markets for HFTs is also extremely limited.

HFTs will target big insitutional traders who have to shift a billion dollars at rebalancing time in a single day.

Even that is a dying business today because they themselves have been arbitraged away to a degree.

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