Best Futures For Day Trading

futures trading platforms

You may prefer more volatile contracts since the potential for profit is greater. Others may find the least volatile contracts best suited to their strategies since higher volatility increases the potential for loss. Regardless of our trading strategy, the market must move for day traders to make a profit. (An exception is a short volatility options strategy which is rare in day trading.) The more the market moves, the higher our profit potential.


Do you have reasons to expect that a commodity’s price will increase soon? If so, then you would start by buying contracts for that commodity now. E-mini Nasdaq futures, E-mini Russell futures and Dow futures are some of the other markets, and each market has different features. This is where you identify a horizontal or diagonal channel and wait for a breakout. Another good example of a futures contract is the one offered by the CME Group.

How Do You Get Started with Futures Trading?

There are also E-Mini and E-Micro contracts and there are often options available. Commission aside, some brokers also charge monthly platform fees and market data fees, so it is important to consider all costs before selecting a futures trading platform. Although futures are traded mostly by institutional investors, retail investors can also speculate by using a futures trading platform.

For example, the chart below shows Dow Jones futures with a 25-day moving average. In this case, the bullish trend will continue as long as it is above this MA. Similarly, if the price is falling, you short it and benefit as it declines. You can use a trend indicator like moving average to identify where the trend is about to end. The futures market is a relatively traditional market that began in the agricultural sector.


Exotic currency pairs should be avoided as they lack the liquidity parameter. Most forex day trading happens through near-term forex futures, closely followed by forex options, forex spot trading, and forex binary options trading. Day traders should select the ones they are familiar with and that fit their desired trading strategy. A carry-over of the position to another day does not qualify as day trading. By its nature, day trading requires quick and timely action by a trader, usually in higher values that cover the thin profit margins. Overall, small profits on large volumes give day traders an acceptable profit.

When does the futures market open on Sunday?

The Ascent is a service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters. Matt is a Certified Financial Planner® and investment advisor based in Columbia, South Carolina. He’s a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Nova Southeastern University, and holds a graduate certificate in financial planning from Florida State University.

It also gets rid of fragmentation with your software, brokerage and FCM all bundled. Tradovate is theonline futures and options brokeragewhere you can get technology-centered service on any screen size and any platform. Download for Windows or Mac, log in with Google Chrome and other web browsers, or download from the app stores for iPad, iPhone, and Android. You can use crude oil futures to express and seek to profit from your views of the direction of oil prices. Today, about 98% of Eurodollar futures are traded electronically on the CME Globex trading platform. A futures contract is an agreement between two parties to transact a commodity or security at a fixed price at a set date in future.

  • Orders in these strategies can be placed quickly, making the experienced investors get their money fast.
  • A feature-packed trading platform with all of the other functionality of TD Ameritrade.
  • Viewing a one-minute chart will show there are many opportunities to get into and out of trades as the price fluctuates throughout the day.

A huge majority of futures don’t actually result in the delivery of the underlying commodity or security. Most futures transactions are entirely speculative, so it is an opportunity to hedge risks or profit. If not, you should consider trading futures that are active in a different time zone. Futures on the Hong Kong’s HSI and Korea’s KOSPI are great alternatives. Brokers also were offered the opportunity to provide executive time for an annual update meeting. Instead, start slowly with one or two contracts, and develop a trading methodology, without the added pressure that comes with managing larger positions.

Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. It is possible to lose more money than you invested in your account. Investors should not use money they can’t afford to lose, especially if they do not know what they are doing. Like any other kind of trading, futures are appropriate for investors who really know what they’re doing. For one thing, futures investors often use a significant amount of margin when trading.

View a one-minute chart of this futures contract, and you will see that it doesn’t move much, thus not favoring day trades. If you have a small account, you’re limited to futures contracts that have low day trading margins. A large account gives you more flexibility in what to day trade, and the guide below will help you decide. Investors will need to find brokers that offer futures trading. Some of the things to consider are low commissions, a robust trading platform, educational resources, and a wide-range of futures products. Futures and futures options trading involves substantial risk and is not suitable for all investors.

Best Futures Trading Platforms in 2023

This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace. For instance, suppose you expected gold prices to decline, but the cocoa market to rally. If one of those expectations proved wrong, while the other was right, you could offset a loss with a gain. DTTW™ is proud to be the lead sponsor of TraderTV.LIVE™, the fastest-growing day trading channel on YouTube.

The amounts will vary depending on the instrument being traded, but can be as low as 3% of the contract. Trading futures contracts is a way to speculate on the future price of a security or commodity. A futures contract enables an investor to buy or sell an asset at a preset time and price.

Futures are traded in the form of contracts, which are agreements between the seller of an asset and the buyer, or futures trader. For example, one oil futures contract typically represents 1,000 barrels of oil to be delivered at a certain future date. Futures contracts can represent a wide variety of commodities, currencies, stock indices, and more. As explicated, in futures trading strategies theprofits are high upon correct prediction.

When you’re ready, you can open a real account and fund it with real dollars. Crude oil provides decent volume, but it also requires the most margin and is the most volatile. If you held one contract during an average day, your profit/loss could swing $3,200 (3.2 points x $1000/point).

What happens if you were right about predicting that price increase? 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.

Can you trade futures with Fidelity?

The lower the, the less trading capital you need to keep in your trading account. In our ranking, we used the simpler method of calculating the average bar range. We calculated the average hourly range of the 10 futures contracts and multiplied them by their point value. This formula gives us the dollar value of the average hourly range. Remember, each futures contract has different margin requirements.

Consider the following in choosing the According to our index, E-mini S&P 500, Natural Gas, and 10-Year Treasury Note are the top three contracts for day trading. Sam Levine is a longtime writer, investor and educator with nearly three decades of experience in the investing industry. His specialty is making even the most complicated investing concepts easy to understand for beginning and intermediate investors. He holds two of the most widely recognized certifications in the investment management industry, the Chartered Financial Analyst and the Chartered Market Technician designations.

E-Mini S&P 500 futures are an excellent middle ground and a good place for day traders to start.Margins are low at $500, and volume is also slightly higher than crude oil. The above volatility is based on the average 14-day true range as of April 8, 2020. The daily range will fluctuate, with some days and weeks seeing higher volatility and others seeing lower volatility.

The number of times you enter into trades each day makes it harder to learn what you need to know about day trading. In the past, futures contracts were filled in the physical market. This has changed recently and the process is highly automated. Again, this is common sense, and we have no doubt that you’ll choose a contract that works best within your own personal trading hours. What is the “best” futures contract to trade with regard to trading hours? Flexibility in contract size can offer traders with a much wider range of strategic possibilities, but that’s also predicated on how wisely you use it.

Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Investing in futures is considered risky, and if you are risk-adverse, it might not be for you. You can trade Futures & Options on Futures all in the same platform – from anywhere on any device – both PC and Mac compatible. Using an average of this trendiness measure, we are able to rank the futures in descending order of trendiness.


More importantly, day trading in bond futures offers much-needed diversification for traders . If you’re new to trading futures, don’t floor the accelerator. There’s no reason to begin trading five or 10 contracts at a time when you’re just beginning. Don’t make the beginner’s mistake of using all the money in your account to purchase or sell as many futures contracts as you absolutely can.

The measure of the amount of market movement is known as volatility. Elsewhere, I explained why day traders should trade futures. Traders who bought the idea are wondering which market offers the best futures for day trading. We’ve called Charles Schwab the best all-around stock broker we know of as well as one of the best stock brokers for beginners as it checks most of the boxes today’s investors want. It also has a vast branch network and excellent customer service.

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