eminis NQ and ES following their index

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by allesim, Feb 18, 2002.

  1. allesim


    I have a doubt

    Emini NQH2 and ESH2 and also their full-size parents are suppose to closely follow their respective index, right?

    But since they are also a trading vehicle, (while their index is a math calculation based on current underlying stock prices) they come under market pressure, buying and selling pressure.

    So it may happen that, under market conditions, they deviate from their index?

    How things are adjusted then?

    Have been any big discrepancies detected between these contracts and their underlined index?

  2. One futures market can typically move much faster than a bunch of stocks, just based on logistics. The futures are more volatile (leverage) than the underlying, thus they will often move quicker, and will often lead in price discovery. However there are times when the underlying will be ahead of the futures. It just depends on what the big guys are doing. Arbitrage (playing the futures against the cash) keeps the markets in line.
  3. Just put their charts on your screen side by side and follow them on one minute charts and see for yourself.
  4. DarynC


    I seem to recall an article in Futures Magazine recently that talked about the arb opportunities between the index instrument and and the futures. When ever either one gets too far out of line, traders will bring it back into line very quickly by buying one and selling the other. As with most arb opportunities, it has become more and more difficulty to make money doing this unless you have very fast executions and low transaction cost. There is lots more to it than that. Maybe someone with more experience could expand..... I believe the end result is that the index and futures will follow each other very closely. If they didn't, there would be a tremendous opportunity for profit.

  5. The futures and the cash index are synergistic.

    Movement in the cash index - either by way of large buying/selling of one or more index components or buying/selling of large volumes of the QQQs or SPYs - will cause price movement in the futures (often through the arbitrage mechanism).

    Also, supply/demand pressures in the futures will often drive the cash index because the risk in the futures transactions will generally get layed off at some point in the underlying equities (i.e., the buying/selling in the futures results in buying/selling of the equities).

    There are firms that do nothing more than arb the cash and futures and you shouldn't see large discrepencies in the premium as a result. This is done on a large scale and faster than is practical for retail traders to achieve so regular arb opportunities for the average retail trader are slim to none.

    But since you're dealing with interrelated and correlated dynamics, to best understand intraday price action in the S&P and NDX it's useful to have annotated charts for the correlated instruments showing key intraday support/resistance levels.

    For the S&P, use the SPX cash index, the S&P futures, and the SPY. For the NDX, use the NDX cash index, the NDX futures, and the QQQ.