Suppose I have one short put that is OTM, and one short call that is ITM. I am trading ES futures options, and it is expiration Friday. Suppose I wish to simply cover the ITM call at the end of the trading day, rather than buy it back. The rationale behind covering is that the total commissions for the assignment and cover will be less than the commission for the buy-back plus the time value that the market makers add on. The disadvantage for covering is that I have to wait until Monday (the assignment occurs on Monday) to place the next trade--and time value is lost over the weekend. If I buy back both legs on Friday, I can enter a new straddle on Friday as well. How would you "close out" the straddle? Is there a margin requirement for the futures trade to cover? Margin requirements on expiration Friday may look like this: Initial Margin: $4500 (margin for the ITM call) plus $500.00 (value of the ITM call) equals $5000.00. Maintenance margin is about $4100.00. The put is basically worth zero, and the call basically only has intrinsic value. Will I need $4500.00 of account equity to place the cover? Common sense leads one to believe that there is no additional margin requirement, for the ITM call's margin is the same as the ES future; only the value of the option makes the difference. The put is not considered anyway, and the future is used to cover. Any thoughts appreciated.