Should a novice play the ES or NQ?

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by Lois Price, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. Hi, I'm relatively new to futures and have been playing the NQ...I will be watching the ES on my own but I was looking to get any opinions on the differences in behaviour of the two if there is any.
    For example , would anyone say that the ES is less random, less whipsaws , overall smoother movements that might benefit someone looking for that?

    thanks for any input,

  2. bobcathy1

    bobcathy1 Guest

    Yes, ES is quieter. But lately not by much. I prefer it personally. It has 500 instead of 100 stocks which makes the movement slower.
  3. tntneo

    tntneo Moderator

    are you really a novice or not ?
    if you are I think a novice should not trade these instruments unless they have plenty of cash (to allow time to learn).

    I think the correlation between NQ and ES is pretty strong and there is no real margin advantage (point value is proportional to each instrument's volatility).
    imo you see a difference mostly in fast markets. NQ is more dangerous. Otherwise it is about the same when taking all in consideration.
    However, each trader will have a different feeling in front of ES and NQ. that's a funny thing, but it's true. while, like I said, I don't think there is a real difference between the two.
    But the different you 'feel' can make you or break you, so it's important.
  4. tntneo,

    yes, i'm a novice. I only got into the futures thing this past summer....i did lose a i've paper traded a system for the last three ready to try it for real...but now im just a little nervous....yesterday was my first down day in three weeks...i just want any matter how tiny i guess....unless there is another contract out there that behaves quite "quietly" as bobcathy said, and yet is liquid also. But maybe i should go with what i know...because my sell is more to do with "feel" (and a 5 min stoch, and a 1 min 20EMA :)) but i think the buy signal would be tranferable.

    thanks for your thoughts,

  5. m_c_a98


    I would not use the word "play" but, yes a novice should. It's the only step towards no longer being a novice.

    I think NQ is sloppier. they will move in similar fashion so the direction will be the same on either one.
  6. prox


    I'd say the NQ is a little more friendly with whiplashes and the lower price per movement will mean less money lost between stop outs.
  7. Whamo



    Make sure if you move from trading the NQ to trading the ES that you watch / paper trade it for a while. For me, the difference in the way the two moved was like night and day. I was continually waiting for a breakout (like the NQ often does) in the ES and it would turn on me, many more reversals and tighter movement in my opinion. Good luck!

  8. I'd suggest starting with the NQ also.

    The multiplier of the ES is 50 while the NQ's multiplier is 20. This means that for every point of profit/loss you have on the ES, you need to have 2.5 points of P/L on the NQ to match that.

    So if you assume that both contracts move together more or less and that the NQ moves less than 2.5 points for every point in the ES then it would make sense to start out with the NQ until you are comfortable to take more risk. Good luck!
  9. I tried both (ES for more than a year NQ for about 2 months). I liked ES much better for its volatility. NQ is not fluid, no depth it's often very quiet then bursts , look at the quotes: last price can be really far from the market, not with ES. NQ pulls back more deeply usually which for me made it very difficult to hang on to gains. I quit eminis though reached my pain threshold. I am happy trading SPY now . At least trading ES taught me to be very precise in my entries and with SPY I don't stare at the 1 min.chart and the quotes which is counterproductive . Aah leverage!
  10. Spark


    i suggest you to practice demo trading ES/NQ. You can find free demo in Interactive brokers's home page. If you have a small account, you can be easily wiped away if trade goes wrong, or u can make fortune if you are lucky. Anyway practice demo account. Try to understand the supports and resistances of these futures accompanied by other indicators like macd, etc. You can feed IB data to quote tracker. Good luck.
    #10     Nov 8, 2002