futures leader


Senior member
I just want to see how many varying (if any) answers we get to this question.

From all the future indices. Dow, S&P, Ftse, Dax, Cac etc.
Which is the leading indicator. Is there one that all the others look to?

I would plump for the S&P 500 closest contract ie Sept at this moment in time.

Anyone have any other views?

The American's simply do not listen to us mere Europeans.

The American markets are bigger and better and where they go we are sure to follow in more ways than one.

It's my understanding that the S&P 500 is the real leader in these things often moving a few mins before the DOW etc.

There's not one that always leads I don't think. The Nasdaq is stronger or weaker than the Dow, the SOX is sometimes stronger than the Nas or sometimes weaker. Often one leads the other - it depends. Sometimes the SOX breaks miles before the others and sometimes it gives no indication at all. You have to keep your eye on everything, although I have found that watching the European indices is fairly pointless.

In my setup, I have a constant slide show running with INDU, SPX.X, COMPX, SOX, ES`U and NQ`U. Can be very useful, especially when markets are consolidating into a triangle for example. Watch for the first to break and often the others follow.
Its a waste of time following european indicies.

The US leads and we follow.Many realise that to know what is going on you have to understand whats REALY happening in the US.In the end, many give up trading here and just trade the US.This puts you ahead of the curve and not behind it.

I always follow the spoo's and noodles.(ie the futures) I always follow the major sectors that move the US.Sectors are a key thing for me.Many times one of the major sectors will turn before the rest of the market,giving invaluable information. Understanding the sectors and the tier one Generals can realy help your trading come alive,both for intra day and daily trading.

Ie. Some of the most important turning points this year have been when US indices and sectors have diverged.Especialy when some of the sectors have made island reversals a number of days before the market its self.
Last edited:
Seems the ES`u is the one to track for dow trading. forget the dow cash price( by and large) just concentrate on ES`U and the SB price.
I follow es, nq and dj`u as well as some European indices' futures including ftse futs...in general I think es (s&p futs) is the most significant one, but as some other posters said, sometimes one of the others may also lead either up or down, nq should be the second significant one where as dow futs dont seem to have much of a leading role, cash leads them often when market is open...

I also think ftse shouldnt be underestimated despite following the US as a rule, I've seen it anticipating the US moves earlier then the US itself often...

I agree about FTSE leading Riz...I've seen FTSE closes ,say up 100, and that evening, the dow closes up pro-rata at 200
Can't get my head round that one . :)
Some good observations, thanks lads. I didn't think they would be that varied.

In September 2001 the FTSE bottomed and rallied before any US indices.
Ditto July this year.

Simple reason why?

The US Merchant Banks play both markets. And the UK opens before the US. If they want to call a bottom (or top) and Buy/sell, start with European markets...
Assuming US markets are not influenced by Euro ones but that Euros follow the US is common. However this leads to the conclusion that Euros will therefore try to anticipate the US and often they get it right. Thus the FTSE over the medium term often appears to lead. Confused ??? I am.
Also rember that Futures lead markets.

Suppose you want to manipulate the futures.

When do you do it?

When markets are thinly traded but near enough to your opening times.

When is that? 11am to 1pm UK time...

How dare I suggest markets are manipulated!!!:)
I have just noticed recently that the Footse has led the Dow Futures in changing direction betwen 8-12am.

Dont know if this is a tempory phase but certainly can give an early indication of Dow direction.


That one I can answer.

The Dax has it, most times.
Everyone says we follow the dax in the morning. (If it were that simple eh!) But quite often the ftse leads. Gauge which is closer to support and resistance, and track that one.

In my view the Cac and the others only follow those two.

Unless anyone knows different?

Can the Ibex be traded in the morning this way Mada,

I know there were some in the trading room that used to do it.

Very volatile as I remember.

As it happens, haven't heard from them for a while...Hmmmm.

Thanks options and mada, was looking for something to do while waiting for US to open!

Will have a look and might have a play tomorrow morn.


Be very careful though Hugh.
From what I remember of the others trading the Ibex, it does jump around in chunks. Though I don't know if anyone was using spoos as a guide.
And the other euro indices mostly tag with the future spoos. Within reason.

Good fortune.

Ibex will run up 100 points in under 10 mins and vice versa..

if you don't use stops and get it wrong...:-(