Backup Plan When the E-Mini Won’t Work

The E-Mini S&P is a great market to trade – unless it’s slow. Well, it’s been slow. There are numerous videos that I’ve created detailing when to just say NO to trading the E-Mini under undesirable conditions.

What is considered slow? I use a 5-Min chart in conjunction with the ATR (Average True Range) set to a 4-5 period. Refer to my previous blog post / video to find out more. If the ATR value is below 1 on the E-Mini, consider it dead and not worth trading. The dojis will come out and play along with the whipsaws. No one is trading and neither should you.

If the E-Mini just isn’t cutting it, then what do we do? Take a look at other markets. Here are a few of my personal favorite alternatives to the E-Mini. Utilize them to diversify your trading:

Euro Currency (6E) – $12.50 per tick increment
Australian Currency (6A) – $12.50 per tick increment
Swiss Frank Currency (6S) – $12.50 per tick increment
Canadian Dollar (6C) – $10 per tick increment

What are the best times to trade? This depends on when the exchange opens for the market you wish to trade.

3:00 a.m. US/Eastern Time is when the Liffe exchange opens
9:30 a.m. US/Eastern is when the U.S. indices markets open

On currencies, the ATR works a bit differently, being denote in ticks instead of points. For currencies, again use a 5-Min chart with a period setting of 4-5. To determine tradeability, perform a simple mental calculation by moving the decimal point over four places to the right to know how many ticks the market can handle and what you can expect. As an example, 0.00080 is the equivalent of 8 ticks or 2 points. Anything below 5 ticks on the currencies is a dead market.

I also like the Soybean market and Treasury Notes as alternatives to the E-Mini S&P.

Soybean (ZS) – $12.50 pertick increment – opens at 10:30 a.m. US/Eastern
Treasury Notes (ZN) – $12.50 pertick increment – opens at 8:20 a.m. US/Eastern

If you’re a beginner, I recommend avoiding energies like crude oil and natural gas.

Remember, you can use the Atlas Line, Trade Scalper and Power Price Action methods in these other markets. In the Private Mentorship Program (new group session begins Monday, Feb. 13), we discuss these markets in detail and how to tackle them on a day-by-day basis. Click here to find out more or register.


  1. bert February 27, 2012
  2. NED NISKI February 27, 2012

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