NQ/ER2 vs. ES

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by Specterx, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. I've been working with the ES for about a month now (total trading experience is about 3 months so I'm still very much in the learning phase). I've found that the ES is much more volatile over a short time frame than the stocks I used to trade, and I've been having a hard time with pretty much everything: entries, exits, picking good stops (even stops that are a bit too wide for my taste get run constantly), sensing when the trade is going against me, etc. A large part of this is just my inexperience, but I've seen several posters on this forum claim that the ES is much more volatile than the other E-minis on short timescales, particularly versus the NQ.

    I compared a 343-volume NQ chart to 1296 and 1800-volume ES charts, and this does indeed seem to be the case: NQ looks much smoother, with fewer and smaller fakeouts/back-and-fills, and while the moves are somewhat smaller overall, increasing position size to compensate seems like a fair price to pay for clearer price action. I was just wondering what others thought about this, and in general which of the E-minis you consider "best" or "easiest" (meaning clarity of price action, and favorable R:R characteristics) for trading.

  2. Schaefer


    Hello SpecterX, it's all in the eye of the beholder, what may seem like clear price action to you may be a bunch of non-sense to another trader, and vice a versa.

    What matter to you most is what you see, how you feel about it, and most importantly, if it would suit your personality, strategy, and your risk tolerance.

    Now, I don't know, if you actually use those volume candle sticks settings to trade, or not. But I hope you do realize, that those are extremely fast settings. The 1800 CV candle on ES would be about 30 seconds per bar around slow lunch hour, to about 5-10 seconds per bar during volatile hours. NQ at 343 CV setting would generally produce about the same speeds.

    Those settings are generally reserved for the accomplished, super human scalpers :eek: If you're one of those, congratulations, if not, then time to reconsider.

    Good luck :)
  3. I agree.. no intraday trading is truely going to get done at those time frames...

    best compromise I can suggest are the following actions to help set the wood from the trees..

    1. Consider 5min, 15min 30min and 240 min charts..ideal is to have all of them open at once per trading instrument

    2. where is your preparation? you must analyse yesterdays action to help you trade the next day

    3. You need to begin to understand as many indicators as possible and USE them to time your entries and exits. Dont deviate from the signals.. otherwise your taking discretionery trades and at your expereince.. those are sucker trades and you will not win from them

    the battle is with yourself and how much you can stick to the set ups (signals) as they appear..

    Consider a more laid back swing approach to trading.. th obsession with speed will kill your account at your level of exp.. I know becuase this was one of my problems..
  4. This topic is being beaten to death for the past 2 years.

    I think a new thread about it is being posted once per month.

    It's simply, take your strategy and test it on all the trading instruments you are considering for trading.

    Next, review your results to see which produces the best stats and profits.

    That's how you determine which is the best via your strategy instead of listening to what others say that are using a different strategy than you.


    For me, ER2 test the best via my strategy in comparison to NQ and ES.

    Therefore, I trade ER2.

  5. Thanks for the replies.

    I haven't been trading off those timeframes, or at least it hasn't been my main focus. So far I've been using mainly a 6500v chart and a 17000v chart, it's just that the difference in price action looks clearest to me at that scale. I have found though that I'm much better at picking entries to net me 3-5 "safe" ticks or so, with a tight stop, rather than trying to catch the bigger moves. It was the same story trading stocks (QID and QLD), where I could usually catch a 5-15 cent move, but I would never find myself in the right position during the big swings. I find congestion areas to be extremely ambiguous, and clear signals too infrequent. Many seemingly textbook setups have gone against me, and I havent been able to consistently "see" where the market's going - at least not clearly enough to stand those whipsaws. ES "double bottom" today at 1327-1330 was a big loser for me. Most days I lose heavily in the morning trying to catch trends, then go for smaller scalps in the afternoon and end roughly flat. For these I usually use a 796v chart in combination with the 6500v, but the noise on the faster chart speeds (on ES anyway) has reduced their usefulness IMO.

    Those big moves have also been like a siren song to me, but I took a relatively big hit today, so I think it's time to step back, revisit my strategy and focus on a shorter/faster timeframe. Maybe NQ will speak to me more clearly ;) I think the scales in the first post would be tradeable if I don't distract myself with too many charts and indicators, maybe also using booktrader's autobracket.

    As to preparation, I spend about all my free time looking over charts and digging through ET, so I hope it'll be enough :)
  6. If you think ES is choppy, then don't even look at YM. ES has a tendency to revert back to the mean. I trade it using a 5 minute and 2 minute chart. This makes it good for countertrend trading. Maybe you are trying to chase the move and you are getting chopped on that reversion. I have never traded nq.
  7. what indicators do you use on your 2 and 5 minute charts? P.s. Your PM mailbox is full.