Swing Trading Futures

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by brownsfan019, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. Just curious if anyone is having success swing trading futures, or is everyone here basically day traders?
  2. Surdo


    My holding period ranges from 15 seconds to 15 days.
    (ES,NQ,EC,US,TY,CL....to name a few!)
  3. I swing trade the ES and ZN. My holding period varies from a week to years (I was long the S&P from Oct 2002 until April 2005) with rolling over the contracts.

    But I'm not a swing trader. I'm a quantitative analyst who built an automated trading system.
  4. Thanks for the replies.

    Here's another question - when looking to swing trade futures, what markets should I be looking at?

    Up to this point, it's been your standard E-Mini's: Russell 2000, Dow, S&P, Nasdaq, and Crude Oil. I have been looking at the Treasuries more lately.

    Any suggestions on what markets are ideal for swing trading?
  5. Surdo


    All of the above!

    It's your job as a student of the market to figure out the position size and level of scaling to employ.
  6. Chagi


    This might be a somewhat naive question, but isn't swing trading a bit...dangerous with futures?

    I could see if you are hedging a portfolio, hedging risk (such as an airline using oil futures) or something similar, but the high leverage involved with futures means that you could take some pretty substantial losses if the market swings against you.
  7. Chagi - good point and that's why I wanted to see what kind of responses get posted here. I guess it can work both ways - if you're right, you can be right big and vice versa.

    Curious to hear other traders thoughts on swing trading futures...
  8. Diode



    The leverage is available, but no one is forcing you to use it.

    For example, the current minimum margin (performance bond) for trading one ES contract is $3938. The face value of that contract as of the moment I'm posting this is $60287.50 (1205.75 x 50). So, you could fund your account with $4000 and swing-trade one contract with 15:1 leverage (and undoubtedly blow up right away), or you could fund it with $60000 and be at 1:1 (no leverage). Your choice.

    Jim Rogers' commodity index fund follows the latter approach, by the way - no leverage used at all.
  9. Chagi


    So basically you are talking about having enough funds in your account as a buffer to avoid margin calls if the market moves against you in the short-term.
  10. Surdo


    Why are trading 1 ES contract any more dangerous than trading 500 SPY?

    If anything, you are risking the "Performance Bond" trading futures ($3,938) vs the "margin" trading ETF's ($30,108).

    There is a small added cost of carrying futures when rolling over, but that is still much cheaper than carrying 5% plus Margin loans on your books.
    #10     Nov 1, 2005