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Day Trading The Dow Emini Contract

Feb 27, 2008
I have been approached by many people wanting to get into day trading. I would say 95% of the people I talk to do not have the funds available to meet the day trading requirements. A minimum account of $25,000 is required at most brokerages.

There is a way for someone to experience day trading without having to come up with a large amount of cash. E-Mini future trading allows you to trade with amounts as low as $1,000. Most firms though require you to have at least $2500 to fund the account. I would really recommend $3,000 to start to give yourself enough cushion.

Trading the E-Mini Dow:

The brokerage house I use is MB Trading , and for this example I will use their requirements to help you understand the concept.

E-Minis are traded in contracts and each E-Mini has its own symbol which trades just like a stock. The Dow E-Mini is like watching the Dow Jones Industrial Averages (DJIA). You know that big number you see every night on the nightly news. Today DOW is 12,270 etc.. The Emini future trades just a few points ahead of that number but trends up and down right along with the DJIA.

To buy 1 contract you will need $1752 in your account. The broker will hold $1752 of your $3000 in order for you to buy that contract.

Each Contract trading the DOW Emini will make $5 a point for you, so every point the Dow Future moves in your favor, you make $5.

Example: Lets say you bought one contract to go long (you want it to go up), at 12,270, if the Dow-Mini then runs up to 12,300 and you sell the end results is 30 points.

That is 30 points x $5 = $150 profit to you. The broker charges $2 to buy and $2 to sell a contract. End results is a $146 net profit.

Now if you bought 2 contracts you would then just double the results above. But remember to buy 2 you would then need $3504 ($1752 x 2) in your account to control those 2 contracts. You can also short (this means your playing the emini to go down) as well.

Today I bought 2 contracts during the day and I made 100 points on them. I made $1,000 in little over 2 hours. After commissions I cleared $992, which is not bad for a days work.

You can trade the e-mini gold which pays $33 a point and you only need about $600 per contract to trade it. Nice leverage! You can also trade the NASDAQ, S&P 500, Russell 2000, Oil, Euros etc all with different payouts and contract minimums. Happy Trading.
About the Author
Phillip Hatley trades the Dow Emini contract daily. Please visit his website for more information on trading the Dow Emini.
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