Typically one can estimate 2000 billable hours in a year. There are actually 2080 (52 weeks x 40 hrs/wk), but you'll at least be taking a couple weeks worth of holidays and vacation, and likely more. That works out to roughly 250 billable days per year.
I've always done an hourly rate, not a daily rate, so I'll couch my answer in those terms to begin with. Each $10/hr is equivalent to $20k annual revenue. So $50/hr = $100k/yr. Keep in mind that, right or wrong, a company will always value a contractor more highly than an employee. I don't know why that is, but I've seen it everywhere I've ever been. Companies are usually willing to pay a contractor a minimum of 1.5x what they'd pay an employee, and usually it's between 2x and 3x. Occasionally it can be as high as 4x and depends on the situation.
What makes the most difference is how many links are in the chain between the company (who's paying) and you (the resource). In most contracting situations I've seen, there's a middle-man staffing firm who has the prime contract and all the resources sub through them. The main reason is liability protection for the company. If you can ever get a direct contracting gig with a company, that's actually better for both of you. The company will be able to pay less for you while allowing you to see more money.
Here's an example. Say a company ("Acme") is looking for a strong mid-level programmer in the NYC market for whom they could hire for $75k plus benefits. So call it $110k all-in counting benefits. Acme reaches out to a staffing firm to source the position. The staffing firm will propose a rate of $120/hr (which is equivalent to $240k/yr). The staffing firm advertises the position on monster.com at a rate range of $60-$80/hr. They get a bunch of resumes and the staffing firm interviews the top 5 candidates and orders them by fit and desired rate. The staffing firm's objective is to find the cheapest possible resource that'll fit the requirements because that will maximize the staffing firm's margin. They send over a couple of folks to Acme to interview, one of whom is a good fit so Acme pulls the trigger on "John".
So John the contractor negotiates a $75/hr rate with the staffing firm and he gets placed on the gig. He's making the equivalent of $150k/yr, the company is paying the equivalent of $240/yr and the staffing firm is making $90k/yr margin (37.5%).
If John were able to get the contracting gig directly with Acme, he could've negotiated maybe $95-100/hr which represents an extra $40-50k/yr in his pocket with a similar decrease in Acme's expenses.
Now let's talk hourly vs. daily rate. There are a number of different ways a company can spin it. They can call it a "professional day" rate. They can also call it a cap on billing. "I don't care how many hours you put in, I want to see 8 hours a day across the board." What are the pros and cons? Typically the company does a day rate to limit the overtime they would normally have to pay if they're driving hard on a project. It's free labor to them. The only upside to the resource is that a partial day worked (like if the company lets everyone out at 2pm the day before Christmas) equals a full day billed. Same situation if the weekend on-call beeper goes off. A daily billing usually simplifies the time reporting requirement.
So, now let's answer your question. Shoot for 2-3x the salary of a full-time employee. Given the specific situation, you may need to settle for less or you may be able to get more. Protect yourself in terms of giving away unbilled labor. If you put in 50 hrs/wk and only bill for 40, for the year you're giving away 500 hours for free which lowers your effective hourly rate by a substantial percentage. Of course certain markets are hotter than others and you may have to adjust based on supply and demand. A small town in the midwest likely doesn't have as much demand for technology resources as perhaps a large metro area or specific hotbed (silicon valley, research triangle, etc.).