Spoke with a client today I have not spoken with in a while and was happy to hear from him that his own day trading improved once he SWITCHED over from NQ to ZB ( mini NASDAQ to T bonds).
Why am I happy you may ask?
- Always good to hear your clients trading is improving
- I am in believe that different markets are better for different traders and that it is worth while to explore other markets for trading. I personally like to mix and match 3-5 markets . Sometimes even moving from NQ to MNQ can help.
- When it comes to short term trading my favorites ( personally) are: ES/MES, MNQ ( I feel NQ can be too much at these price levels and you probably need $30k to day trade 1 NQ ), CL, GC, ZB, ZS
Here is something I wrote on bonds a while back and worth sharing:
Each market has a different personality, different behavior along with different times of the day when it is most active. If you are finding that the ES (mini SP) is not giving you enough OR too much risk/opportunities then start monitoring a couple of other markets and perhaps explore them in demo / simulated mode.
I think that there are more than a few markets that are suitable for day-trading. Below you will find some observations, tips along with what are unique about these markets, personality and most active trading hours (interest rates, mostly the ten year and 30 year).
In most platforms, the symbols are ZB for 30 year bonds and ZN for 10 year notes.
The unit of trading shall be U.S. Treasury Bonds having a face value at maturity of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or multiples thereof
Points ($1,000) and 1/32 of a point. For example, 134-16 represents 134 16/32. Par is on the basis of 100 points.
One U.S. Treasury note having a face value at maturity of $100,000.
U.S. Treasury notes with a remaining term to maturity of at least six and a half years, but not more than 10 years, from the first day of the delivery month. The invoice price equals the futures settlement price times a conversion factor, plus accrued interest. The conversion factor is the price of the delivered note ($1 par value) to yield 6 percent.
Points ($1,000) and halves of 1/32 of a point. For example, 126-16 represents 126 16/32 and 126-165 represents 126 16.5/32. Par is on the basis of 100 points.
One-half of one thirty-second (1/32) of one point ($15.625, rounded up to the nearest cent per contract), except for intermonth spreads, where the minimum price fluctuation shall be one-quarter of one thirty-second of one point ($7.8125 per contract).
The first five consecutive contracts in the March, June, September, and December quarterly cycle.
These contracts are often affected by many of the economic reports that come out at 8:30 AM Eastern and there is very active volume between the hours of 8 AM EST and 3 PM EST
Volume on both contracts is very good. Ten years will often have 1 million contracts traded per day (might be the second most active US futures market after the mini SP 500) and the bonds will avg. around 300,000 contracts.
These markets can experience very volatile movements during and right after different reports but then will often trade smooth or in an intraday trend the rest of the day.
30 MINUTES chart of ZB ( t-bond futures) for your review below