favorite futures for day-trading quants

Discussion in 'Trading' started by stevenpaul, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Hi folks,

    As traders who use technical analysis for day-trading, which futures markets do you like the best? Putting aside considerations of fundamental factors, that is, from a purely technical standpoint, which markets do you think typically demonstrate the smoothest, most orderly developments in price change? I know some traders who think the softs trend best, or that corn is an easier market to trade than most, etc. My own experience is that the TF (the Russell 2000 mini) is a lot messier and far less orderly than, say, the YM (Dow mini). The former is all over the place, often vacillating 6 or even 10 ticks up and down from one instant to the next, while the YM usually moves only about 1 to 3 ticks at a time in any direction. It certainly strikes me as making much more orderly, directionally consistent moves than the TF. Thus, I favor the YM over the TF. I'd like us to share our experiences on the relative trading advantages and disadvantages of the different markets out there, many of which have distinct personalities and behavioral tendencies.

    Looking forward to your collective wisdom.
  2. Really looking forward to replies here.. This is so CRUCIAL to doing well with futures.. which would make ES the worst. I suspect the more focused the cleaner given decent volume...
  3. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    You see a mess on the Russell and I see quick, easy moves to play. You see calm on the YM and I see boredom.

    I see money exchanging hands on the CL, GGC or ZS and you might see erratic movements.

    I despise the ES. The NQ is ok. The YM is boring as well. But the Russell... now there's potential.
  4. Interesting point of view, Brownsfan. I actually have had comparatively good luck with CL and ZS, and I agree with both you and Retire45 that ES is a tough market to trade. Yes, YM can be boring, but I think trading is supposed to be basically boring. In any case, making money is never really boring, is it? I don't mind a boring trading career as long as it's consistently profitable. Being bored has never given anyone a heart attack, but getting whipped around by a wild bronco of a market on a daily basis certainly might. Now, if you have a strategy for breaking that bronco, hey, give us a hint about it. If you've figured out a way to crack the Russell, that would be interesting to hear indeed.
  5. kxvid


    6E used to serve my junkie addiction to futures well. I would trade 10 lots on a 25k account. NG finally blew me out of the water. Averaged down on 8 lots, lost 6k in a few minutes. YM used to be my favorite, but at $5/rt scalping my edge was very small. Always wanted to trade VIX futures but my broker didn't offer them.

  6. I agree, this is all about making money. You have to find what works for you and then work it.

    Personally, the slow grind it out movements of the ES and YM just don't work for me. Esp on the ES, you are just playing against bots. And those bots are super-efficient.

    I've found that avoiding markets where those bots play is best suited to me. More of a man vs man setup not man vs man vs bots.

    As for what works on these markets, that takes trial and error. I've been at this for a long time and paid my dues like many others here. If you want to follow along how I do, I post my daily blotter at traderslab.
  7. I still like the ES, perhaps because I know it so well and can still make consistent money with it. CL is becoming a favorite because it is so easy to trade.
  8. recently i have been trading EMD
    at least for the signals i am looking for it is so smooth
  9. piezoe


    The size of market orders relative to the size of resting orders is important. If you compare on your dom the ES say with the TF you will see at times that the TF is thinly traded by comparison and the order sizes stacked above and below the inside bid and offer can be at times relatively small, and I have even seen price gaps. The latter was right after the Russell left the CME, and i admit I have not looked at TF in some time.

    Price movement will, for obvious reasons, be more erratic in the more thinly traded future.

    I trade the ES, but used to trade the Russell in CME days.
  10. I'll have to check out the EMD. Thanks for the tip, Diviersions. I imagine it might offer just the right amount of volatility, being a mid-cap index contract.

    #10     Nov 9, 2009