Yes, options are... an option. Trouble is I am looking at day trading so I am not going to even think about trying to get into options on that small a time scale.
If I really wanted to play long and short I would just trade an index fund of one form or another that has a bear and bull version HXU and HXD for example. That way I can go long for, or against, the market. I need to look at these ETFs again to see if this is a workable solution for me...I like shorts. I did some testing with them in the past for a secure hedge entry plan. I am just not sure that they track like a stock in the short term trades.
I can run my two accounts in the same software and just switch between the two. long in TFTA and short in the regular margin account. It just means paying full marginal tax on the shorts and none on the long...I need to consider if it is still work the trouble to do so or just go with the long plan....I am leaning towards the long plan.