The E-mini S&P, also called S&P E-mini, or simply E-mini, is an index futures security offered by the CME Group and regulated by the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange). The E-mini is considered a benchmark of US stock market performance because it consists of various Standard and Poor’s 500 large-cap stocks. On the news, you may see the S&P and wonder how it’s related to the E-mini. Essentially, the E-mini is 1/5 the full S&P that you see on the news. As a futures market, E-mini contracts expire every three months. A new contract is then traded.
Why do people trade the E-mini?
- Low trade costs and greater leverage compared to typical ETFs or stocks (as low as $300 to $500 in some cases, but we recommend a minimum of $4,000 to absorb consecutive losses and learning)
- Minimal bid-ask spread
- Can be traded via buying or selling (short or long)
- Good liquidity and size
- Fast trade executions because the market is entirely electronic
- Regulated by the U.S. CME
The smallest increment on an E-mini chart is called a tick. Each tick is worth $12.50. There are four ticks to a point. Therefore, a point is worth $50. Brokers typically charge less than $5.00 to execute (in and out, also called “round-turn”) each trade. This $5.00 is multiplied by the number of futures contracts being traded. Putting this all together, if you trade one contract and make a profit of 16 ticks, this equates to 4 points, or $200. Since this is one contract, your broker will take about $5.00 from that trade, so you’re left with $195. If you trade two contracts, your profit is $400 before commissions and $390 after commissions. Remember that contracts act as a multiplier.
The E-mini consists of quarterly contracts: March (ESH), June (ESM), September (ESU), and December (ESZ). Some trading platforms, such as NinjaTrader omit the contract month and denote the numerical month value instead. For example, the March contract becomes ES 03-15. On platforms like TradeStation, a trader can specify @ES to monitor price over all contract periods without having to “roll over” to a different period.
Other popular futures markets include the DOW (YM) NASDAQ (NW) and the Russell (TF).
At Day Trade to Win, we focus on intraday trading, which means we look for trades from market open to market close. We do not typically hold positions overnight, and this should certainly be the case for any traders who are trading on margin. In most cases, we hold trades no longer than 20 minutes. We are out of a trade sooner if we make profit via price hitting our profit target or if a stop loss is hit. A stop loss is a safety net price from which you will exit at a loss if price reaches it before hitting your profit target. Our stop loss and profit targets are mostly dynamic and based on market movement. Our trading methods make sense because we trade based on what a given marked can realistically provide.
To avoid costly mistakes beginner traders make, join our next Group Mentorship Program.
Yesterday, our support team received the following email from Danny in Niagara Falls, Canada. He had some questions for John Paul regarding the ABC method. See Danny’s email and John Paul’s response below.
Thanks for the kind words and glad you are enjoying the videos. I’ll try to put some new ones out soon. See my explanation and chart examples from yesterday.
The ABC Method can be very helpful in both finding entry opportunities and determining whether there’s a trend. In the charts below, US/Eastern time (currently EDT or UTC-4) is used. Remember to adjust if your time zone is different.
With the ABC Method, think about splitting the trading day into three periods. The trading section can begin at the U.S. market open at 9:30 a.m. US/Eastern or the London market open at 3:00 a.m. US/Eastern.
We’ll start with one vertical line at 9:30 US/Eastern followed by another vertical line at 12:00 p.m. US/Eastern. This is a 2.5 hour period. You can consider this a range, as it contains a highest high and lowest low of all data (candles) within 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This is the A period.
If within the next (B) period, two 5-min candles close above or below the range of the A period, you can go either Long or Short on the close of the second candle. This must occur within the first 1.5 hours (by 1:30 p.m. US/Eastern) of the B period to be valid. Trending days usually break the A period.
The A Period
The B period begins with the same line you drew at 12:00 p.m. US/Eastern (the end of the A session). Remember to add a new line at 2:30 p.m. US/Eastern to conclude the B period. Yes, the B period is also 2.5 hours in duration.
The B Period
The same relationship occurs when comparing period B and period C for potential late-day rallies and breakouts. The C period needs to show two consecutive 5-min closing candles above or below the B range within the first hour of period C.
The C Period
The same relationship occurs during the London session A period, starting at 3:00 a.m. US/Eastern through 5:30 a.m. US/Eastern (2.5 hours). Then the B period occurs from 5:30 a.m. US/Eastern through 8:00 a.m. US/Eastern (2.5 hours). Then the C period occurs from 8:00 a.m. US/Eastern through 9:30 a.m. US/Eastern (only 1.5 hours).
The London Trading Session
Hopefully this clears up your understanding of the ABC method and how it can work with European markets. Remember that switching your cursor to a crosshair will help you easily identify the times on the time axis. Your profit target and stop loss should be relative to the volatility.
The best way to learn more about the ABC and all of our other trading methods is with our eight-week coaching program called Mentorship. Click here to find out more.
Heather from Australia was kind enough to share her experiences with trading the Day Trade to Win methods. At first, she relied on various signals and indicators; resulting in confusion and an inability to see the candles. This disconnect from the market was fixed after finding Day Trade to Win and employing price action methods. Using candle movement and patterns, Heather has had “excellent results” and will soon reach her goal of becoming an income trader. Although she doesn’t say in the video, she uses the Atlas Line, the Trade Scalper and a couple other strategies we offer.
Futures trading has almost been around since the beginning of time, in one form or another. A major difference now is the accessibility to markets all over the world and the way orders are instantly placed. Another difference is that rules and regulations are set in place to protect the buyers and sellers. Along with all the red tape is the notion of contract rollover. A beginner day trading course will most likely not provide the information needed to prepare traders to rollover when the time is right. I have daily conversations with day traders all over the world, and how to day trade consistently is a common theme discussed. You may like E-Mini trading or maybe you fancy Currency trading, but truth be told that all traders should know the basic concept of rolling over to the next contract month when the time is right. To start you off on the right foot, I want you to learn day trading right from the start, and that means that learning to rollover a futures contract correctly is key!
The rule of thumb is to rollover to the following contract month on the 2nd Thursday or Friday of the expiring month. That’s it!
Simple, to the point and now you know.
E-mini and financials indexes, futures currencies and any other futures markets all work the same way. Find out more about futures contract rollover.
Yesterday, Private Mentorship students were shown how to take profit in the E-Mini S&P (ES) using an ATO trade. The ATO is one of the 11 price action methods taught in the Private Mentorship Program. This trade was done live, trading-room style in front of course participants. As the students were already taught the ATO, the setup occurred at an ideal time for John Paul to demonstrate how to take the trade.
Notice how the profit target does not change; it’s static.
In the Private Mentorship Program, trades are reviewed in daily sequence, making sure every signal is clearly defined during each training session. Instruction focuses on reading price action; not using indicators or relying on mystical sources. We objectively trade what we see on the charts.
Yesterday, John Paul recorded a video showing how he used the Power Price Action method to snag a 4 tick move in the E-Mini S&P. Notice how is chart is completely free of indicators – that’s because he knows how to enter based on price action (particularly, the Power Price method). The trade setup was objectively identified during a live educational session, allowing for attendees to see how simple it was to capture a few points. The market told him that it was going long, so all that he had to do was place a respective order.
The Power Price Action course consists of 4 DVDs that teach you the method and other price action strategies. You also get 8 weeks of live training with John Paul, where he shows you how to trade the method live. Yes, it works with other indices, Forex, currencies and other markets.
The S&P’s debt rating service projected a poor credit rating for the U.S. today. With this big news, the markets tanked. We pulled up a couple of charts to see how the Atlas Line performed for traders in two separate markets: the E-Mini S&P and Crude Light.
E-Mini S&P (ES) – April 18, 2011
The Atlas Line was spot on in the E-Mini S&P, advising two short orders. The first order was a Double Bar Short, the second, an Atlas Line Pullback Trade. In case you don’t know what a Pullback Trade is, John Paul teaches traders how to identify them in the webinar included with purchase.
Crude Light (CL) – April 18, 2011
Three winning trades. First, a Double Bar Short signal followed by two Pullback trades. When news about the U.S. comes out that is revered with such high importance, there’s a great effect on all markets. We recommend waiting until the news event volatility has subsided before using price action software like the Atlas Line.
Sign up for a webinar to see how the Atlas Line is traded – visit the registration page.
It’s time to turn up the volume and open your mind as John Paul demonstrates two unbelievable trades. They’re so good, we’re letting the trades themselves do the talking.
At first, he does the unthinkable: going short right after three consecutive large green candles. Why? The Atlas Line said so. Price was headed toward the Atlas Line, indicating an Atlas Line pull back trade (at least two bars pulling back followed by one candle closing in the red). ORDER FILLED. This resulted in a nice 1 point winner based on only on price action and the Atlas Line.
Next, we had a crazy good time trading the Atlas Line on the Euro (6E) today. Plenty of opportunities for profit:
Trade 1 – Short – win for 5-6 ticks
Trade 2 – Short – win for 6-7 ticks
Trade 3 – Long – loss for 6-7 ticks
Trade 4 – Short – win for 6-7 ticks
Trade 5 – Long – win for 6-7 ticks
Trade 6 – Long – win for 4-5 ticks
Using the ATR, we knew when to get out. In total, this could have been a day of 32 ticks for Atlas Line traders. How well did you do today trading the Euro Currency?
With all of the recent Atlas Line posts, we’ve neglected to show you how well the ATO (At The Open Method) as been performing. Even though the ATO and Atlas Line combo sale was over on Sunday, special arrangements can be made by contacting [email protected] Those of you who purchased the ATO along with the Atlas Line are seeing a perfect example today of how the two price action methods can confirm one another. We encourage traders who use the ATO to use a secondary confirmation tool like the Atlas Line.
These recent NinjaTrader charts show how just the ATO and Atlas Line can be used to grab a couple of points before noon.
E-Mini S&P – ATO – March 7, 2011
E-Mini S&P – ATO – March 8, 2011
Crude Oil – Atlas Line – March 8, 2011
Traders – a quick an easy profit today right at market open. Before the drop in price, the Atlas Line generated a short signal, in addition to the line being drawn above price (indicating to take short trades).
If you want to check out more Atlas Line performance pictures, be sure to visit DayTradeToWin’s Flickr page.