Day trades in a stock compared to futures


Blue line is facebook, Red line is S&P mini futures. Looking at one day


As you can see the above movements between the stock and the futures contract both look very similar. Both seems to have traveled the same basic percentage during the day.





Lets compare and see difference when trading a stock or trading a future:

Stock Trade

Stock $205.50 start of day

buy 100 shares = $20,500.00

with margin $10,250.00 in cash needed

Stock moved to $200.00 making $5 * 100 shares = $500.00 profit

Futures Trade

Futures $2846.00 start of the day

buy 1 contract = $3,000.00 (changes a little time to time)

Day margin sometimes give you control of contract for less

Future moved to $2820.00 $50.00 * 26 = $1300.00 profit

As we can see it is not a apples to apples comparison but enough information to see that Futures provides far more profit potential than the stock does using far less cash to place the trade. Additionally futures are not subject to the program day trade rules that small stock trading accounts have.