This set of techniques combines finding a “real-world driver” for price changes with order flow reading techniques to confirm a move is underway. Like interest rate increases would impact companies with a high debt load. Steel price increases might impact construction companies.

futures trading platforms

With the aforementioned considerations in mind, here is our list of the best futures trading platforms for 2019. Futures trading has steadily gained more attention over the past few years so we decided to cover the best futures trading platforms on the market. You can find a good amount of online trading platforms on the internet. The popularity of day trading has increased the ease of using a demo account.

Final Word on Best Futures Contract for Day Trading

With CFDs, your profit or loss is determined by the accuracy of your prediction, and the overall size of the market movement. Note that the Jigsaw Leaderboard contains a mixture of SIM/Live Traders. For many traders, you can click by their name to see the trades along with the SIM/Live designation. To me – this sort of trading is for the streetwise or those that don’t have time for research.

Which futures should I invest in?

Look at the list above to find some futures to invest in.

Click the “+” icon in the first column to view more data for the selected symbol. Scroll through widgets of the different content available for the symbol. The “More Data” widgets are also available from the Links column of the right side of the data table. For reference, we include the date and timestamp of when the list was last updated at the top right of the page. Companies’ top-and-bottom lines take a hit as consumers…

Protect your positions

The brokerage also boasts the lowest margin rates of 1.91% to 1.41%. You won’t pay any daily carrying fee for the positions held overnight. The cutting-edge thinkorswim platform provides an integrated futures trading experience that lets you manage and execute trades fast. Pick a contract size that’s appropriately sized for your account and specific trading style.

This lets him offset, or hedge, the risk of a difficult growing season that would cause corn prices — and his bovine feeding costs — to spike. Further, he can also sell contracts on his farm’s expected milk production to lock in a sales price. Producers that seek to lock in costs and prices are reducing risk by hedging.

Optimus Futures, LLC does not imply that you cannot find better tools or opposing valid views to our opinion. We do our best to share things based on our experience and scope of expertise. Meaning the contracts are large, typically something around $100,000 or more. For day trading, you can use a margin, of course, but still, every tick has a high value and is one of the biggest challenges of futures trading. This is one of the primary reasons why most futures traders access the futures market via proprietary trading firms.


The amounts will vary depending on the instrument being traded, but can be as low as 3% of the contract. It’s important for beginners to learn as much as possible before getting started. If you’re thinking of starting to trade futures, it could be a smart idea to choose a broker with tons of educational resources. Also look for a “play money” platform so you can try futures trading without risking your actual money until you’re 100% sure you’re ready. The best futures brokers let you invest in assets that aren’t available through the stock market or other easily-accessible sources. But when you’re looking to diversify how you invest money with futures, it’s important to understand the risks and to focus on futures brokers that can help cut costs.

#5 – Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns

On the other hand, if that bumper crop came through and supply is set to exceed demand, you’ll in anticipation of a downward trend in prices. My favorite Futures contracts to trade are DAX, during the morning of the London session, and Dow Jones, during the morning of the New York session. When the New York session opens, US Futures Indices start to lead the market. NASDAQ, Dow Jones, and S&P 500 are the better ones to trade. You can also trade DAX during this period, but opposite to what happened during the London session, DAX tends to follow the US Indices during this period.

So accountants, company owners, COOs, CEOs, CFOs are comfortable handling some information that helps understand how the market will react. If you have an accounting background and understand the relationship between cash-flow, P&L and balance sheet items, you are in a better position to trade these techniques. You’ll be able to sniff out prominent games to boost P&L, which most won’t spot. Lightspeed requires a high minimum balance of $10,000 for its web client and $25,000 for its desktop software. This is orders of magnitude more than most comparable platforms.

A great desktop platform that makes technical analysis easy also weighs heavily. Margins on futures products are typically high, therefore traders who want low margins should choose one of the best CFD brokes. Interactive Brokers is designed for active traders of stocks, options, and yes — futures. It offers one of the lowest commission structures that we know of. Plus, it gives high-volume traders discounted commission rates on futures and other investment products. The high $100,000 minimum for futures trading obviously excludes many beginning investors.

The list of symbols included on the page is updated every 10 minutes throughout the trading day. However, new stocks are not automatically added to or re-ranked on the page until the site performs its 10-minute update. Do you have reasons to expect that a commodity’s price will increase soon?

You’ll earn profits by selling those contracts when they are worth more money later. However, if the price falls instead of rising, you will suffer a financial loss. The number of times you enter into trades each day makes it harder to learn what you need to know about day trading. This is enough to understand the huge difference between this asset and normal stocks, which are influenced in real time by news and other various things. This difference is also found in the strategies to be adopted, since they are obviously adjusted in a different way. As you can see, crude oil has higher margins than the other contracts.

The controls of this game are very simple and easy to understand. You just need to press on the right or left button in order to move forward or backward, respectively. You can also use the joystick at the bottom of your screen if you prefer playing with a mouse instead of using your fingers on a touchscreen device. To provide a visible record of these transactions that can be used by market participants as evidence when they make claims against one another.

Like all world, commodity futures volume and open interest fluctuate in response to political, economic, and natural events including the weather. For example, a Midwestern drought can generate strongly-trending agricultural futures, attracting capital from other futures venues. NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. trading margin is the sum of money you need to post as a deposit before you can open a futures contract position for day trading. Day trading margins are lower than overnight margins, giving day traders more bang for the buck. However, it applies only if you close the position before the end of each session.

For instance, if your strategy needs high intraday volatility, then 30-Year Treasury bonds might not work as well as, say, the S&P 500. If you are a position trader who prefers a highly-liquid instrument with a tendency to trend smoothly, then grains might be preferable to, say, cocoa or lumber. E-mini Nasdaq futures, E-mini Russell futures and Dow futures are some of the other markets, and each market has different features.

How many days a year can you trade futures?

Well, technically there are 252 trading days out of a possible 365 in any given year in the U.S. stock market, which breaks down into about 4.85 trading days a week.

If you are a keen listener of financial media, you have likely heard the commentators refer to index futures before the regular session. This happens since the futures market is usually open for longer hours than the regular session. Futures trading is just a matter of sticking with your trading plan, knowing the size and number of contracts you are going to trade and understanding your risk. TradeStation also has a vast education offering if you want to learn more about futures trading.

Is scalping harder than day trading?

In most cases, a scalper can hold a trade for even two minutes. Day traders, on the other hand, can hold trades for several hours. Second, scalping requires opening tens or even hundreds of trades per day. This is simply because the overall profits per trade will be relatively low.

Identify and replicate trending strategies on the largest exchange with unparalleled liquidity. Apply now to become a lead trader and enjoy 10% profit share from your copy traders. You’ve done your research, evaluated trends and assessed the marketplace. Although there are several types of contracts, I always go for Indices trading. You have the Hong Kong index and the Australian index that tend to make great moves during this period, especially the opening of the Asian session. US Indices, like NASDAQ, also tend to have good moves and provide great setups for day trade during this period.

Micro futures are basically smaller contracts of the popular and larger stock index futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange . If you are confused about it, just read the book above, and you will understand how to start trading micro-futures contracts. When compared with many other markets, futures trading offers lots of advantages for traders. First, the most liquid and understandable movement and order flow is in the S&P500 E-mini futures. These futures are the most popular to trade and easiest to learn for newer traders. There is also the Nasdaq futures market which is very volatile and can be fun, some traders like diving into this market as well.