Alternative Strategies For Stock Index Futures
Highly leveraged futures contracts are available in all of the major indices. Perhaps the most popular being the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500. Similar to mutual funds, trading indices offer stock traders instant diversity. Traders can profit from an increase or decrease in the overall equity market as opposed to trying to pick individual stocks.
However, the volatility and leverage involved with stock index futures prove to be unmanageable for many traders. For this reason, traders may find that options are the ideal instrument for index trading.
Because the stock market can be unpredictable at times, it is often appropriate to use range trade strategies such as the option butterfly in order to increase the odds of success.
It is not uncommon for stock indices to trade in a defined range. This can be true in bull, bear or stagnant market conditions making butterfly strategies ideal.
Option Butterfly trades are affordable and conservative. However, for those that are willing to accept additional risk in hopes of higher yields may find that futures, as opposed to options, better meets their goals.
A butterfly consists is a limited risk trade that provides a large “profit playground” with little out of pocket expense. The option spread can be constructed using either calls or puts. A Butterfly consists of two long options and two short options with three equidistant strike prices.
Swing traders don’t attempt to predict the duration of a trend, or to hold a bullish or bearish bias. The premise of this trading style is that one can capitalize on both trending and retracement phases of a market.
The vital assumption is that all upward price action must eventually result in a period of correction.
Moving average crossovers are often the optimal method of timing entry and exit. This is because; a crossover is capable of marking the end of one trend and the beginning of another.