Bid/Ask and slippage for S&P futures


Junior member
What are the typical bid/ask spreads for the S&P E-mini?

I'm currently tading the S&P with CMC but I don't have a futures account yet.

I understand it is approximately 0.25 points. For example, if the spreadbet price from CMC was 1050.0/1050.5 would the futures price be 1050.0/1050.25?

Also, could you tell me what the typical slippage would be?

Sorry for such basic questions but I can't find the info elsewhere.


Senior member
Yes, typically the bid/ask will be as you have described.

Slippage - not really a problem. S&P so liquid that unless you are trading huge lots it wont matter.

Take a look at this screenshot : shows the contracts available right now and the various prices for them.


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The only time you may experience slippage is during figures announcements, when the price is moving so fast that you may get 0.50 points slippage.

Apart from frantic periods like that there is virtually no slippage. And the spread is always 0.25 points during regular market hours. I'm sure that once you have tried direct access, you will never go back!

And welcome to T2W! :D


CMC and the other spreadbet companies quote on the full S&P future, not the e-mini. The spread on the full S&P future is 0.1. So if CMC were quoting 1050.0/1050.5 then the spread on the full future would be 1050.2/1050.3. The e-mini does have a spread of 0.25 but it is easy for it to be out of sync with the full future and hence with CMC's quoted prices.


Junior member
Thanks for your help - much appreciated.

I was curious because I'd read that the tighter spread for futures makes them more profitable for certain types of trading. However, it seemed that the spread plus slippage would be comparable to spreadbetting.


Established member

.25pts saving on ES futures over D4F SB doesn't sound much. But trade 3 times a day, 250 days a year and you save $9,375 (3*250*.25*$50) per year per contract on the spread alone.

Also, with a market order you will get filled within a second with ES futures but who knows how long with D4F by the time the dealer finishes his coffee, puts down the paper and checks to see whether the trade has gone in your favour (gives you a re-quote) or against you (accepts your order).


Established member

if that is your analysis from the points raised - you should do a lot more homework before you start trading or you are gonna get burned real bad


Experienced member
I also find it is possible to put on a tight break-even stop when trading futures after just a small move. With a spread bet you have to wait for a while before placing a stop and the quote moves around so much it is hard to use a close stop.


Established member

i guess you mean because the spread is wider - the market has to move your way more in spreadbetting in order to get your stop safely on

i think a lot dont realise that in order to just breakeven - the market has to move your way quite a percentage even in futures - and if you imagine the spread of spreadbetting being twice as wide - which in real terms it is - then the market has to move your way twice as much, as compared to futures, in order for you to just break even

so with spreadbetting you need to be at least twice as succesful to come out at evens

this small fact is why most end up losing


Junior member
Thanks everyone.

Stevet - don't worry, I dipped my toe in the water but I've since stepped away to undertake a lot of homework.


Well-known member
also with futures you can play the spread in your favour and even if you don't do this your actually trading direct with someone comparable to yourself , in other words it's not a true spread( thats a loss as with spread bets) , for example if everyone trading futures simply entered "at mkt" over a large number of trades the spread would even out and in effect no one would be paying any spread at all , just commission .I'm not saying this happens all the time ,but you will find when you trade futures every few trades you seem to benefit from the spread slightly which never happens with spread bets , in a sense the spread you see with futures is slightly more than you pay in practise !!!( it makes a difference )

Strategic Trader

Active member

for sure spreadbetting will definetly cost more in terms of entry and exit costs,

but there is also definetly a spread cost on futures trading and every trade entry is immediatly in cash debit for the brokerage and potential debit for the spread

and if you mean that if you go long in a rising market using a mkt order, that your entry price (ask) will then become the sell price (bid) so it appears no spread affected the trade - then yes this could happen, but it is just a function of the rising market and i guess could be the same in spreadbetting, albeit the underlying market would have to rise further

but the other side of the coin with the market order is that you may get you fill at a price way higher than when you initiated the trade - even at the top of a short term reversal - in which case you will end up with the loss on the spread and also the trading loss to where the market pulls back to


Well-known member
the spread on underlying mkts is still a zero sum game , as many winners as losers from the spread , not an opinion but a fact!!commisions are a different matter , but a whole lot smaller than the cost of spread betting.
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