Bond Trading

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by Hofferino, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. A couple questions about trading bonds (and t-notes):

    1) I don't seem to get quotes on IB from 8:15pm (or 9:15pm or whenever the evening sessions starts on A/C/E) until after the 12:00 logoff. Once TWS comes back on (at about 1:00 am est), then I start getting bond quotes again.

    2) Does anyone understand how to trade bonds. I have found them to be deceptively easy, yet whenever I try to trade them, I consistently lose money. I have had far more success in trading the e-minis, although the bonds would seem to be the easier play. Any bond traders out there that are willing to divulge a few trade-secrets?

    3) Why is the overnight volume on bonds and notes even bigger than the e-minis? They often trade quite heavily. And why is the average trade in bonds and notes so high volume? 100 lot and 250 lots are the norm. Odd lots are the exception!

    Thanks in advance.:)
  2. m_c_a98


    1) they trade from 9pm-5pm eastern. IB doesn't give access until 12:30am. I don't like this either.

    2) no secrets

    3) Europe trades it heavily starting around 2am eastern but that is still nothing compared to NYSE hours. Average trade is high because its where the big boys are.
  3. You cannot trade the bonds like the E-minis i.e. it's very difficult to fade the top/bottom and scalp for a few points, because you won't be the first in line for being filled. If you go contrarian and got filled, most likely it's for a good reason. Go with the trend.
    Comparing to the E-minis, it's looks big and slow, less giggles, but when it moves, it could move fast,

  4. When you see 1 contract crossing at 3 AM, it's me !! :( :D
  5. I have repeatedly asked why they do not carry that session. You never get an answer. I am thinking of opening an account at another house that carries A/C/E whenever it is open.
  6. e minis are for little guys on a pc. Bonds are what real people with real money trade. CBOT can't get it together, they have the liquidity split between the pit and ace. Many traders are afraid (for good reason) to throw an innocent order into that den of thieves, so they only trade the ace.

    Things are changing, Gov not sure about issuing 30 yr, so more trade notes, also, big big action on eurex where the German Bund trades, all electronically.

    There are traders who routinely trade 1000 lots, thats 31K per tick. So yes, I guess it must be easy if you consider 30k a decent minutes work, I wonder what they do the rest of the day?
  7. I think there's a $31.25 in there somewhere. I forget. It's been a long time. Oh well, knowing the tick size is really over rated.

    The first time I traded es, I put in a 1 pt stop. About 14 seconds later I got stopped out and thought, man, I just lost $100 in 14 seconds.

    Then I checked and it was only $50, so I said, "Oh, ok, that's not so bad."
  8. bone

    bone ET Sponsor

    Equity futures, in my mind, attracts primarily index arbitrage flow from big prop concerns like Morgan Stanley. Also, a good place for hedge funds and speculators large and small.

    Like index arbitragers, interest-rates attract basis traders. Also, hedge funds and speculators large and small. But in my eyes here's the twist: interest-rates are extensively used by big commercials like banks and leasing companies. Kinda like a NYMEX or COMEX thing.