Ignorance is bliss?


Active member
I read these boards all the time (twice a day at the moment!!). A lot I don't understand yet, but I suppose it will come.

One thing is driving me MAD. What are Eminis??

I know this is what you may call a 'basic' question, but if you don't know - you don't know. :confused:

Thanks in advance to all you experts. :)


Senior member
Hi orchard,

They are US Index futures for the Nasdaq and S&P 500 traded electronically on Globex.

Both have very fast fills <1 second, are highly liquid and very low in commission to trade. Spreads are also much smaller than SBs.



Established member
Hi Orchard,

It's a futures contract based on the S&P index. The most liquid futures contract there is.

The emini S&P future (ticker = ES) is one fifth of the size of the main S&P 500 index future (ticker = SP).

It's liquid because it has on average 600,000 contracts traded per day. However, more liquid than ES is euro bund futures with around 1.2 million contracts traded per day.

ES is more accessible to trade for retail traders than the main S&P futures because of the margin requirements, and that is the main reason it is popular.

The emini S&P is $50 per point and requires an initial margin of $3,563 per contract.

The main S&P 500 index is $250 per point and requires an initial margin of $17,813 per contract.
I forgot to add to my post above that most brokers offer an intraday margin for trading. IB, for example, offer this but you need to have exited your trade by 15:45 EST; after this the margin reverts to the standard overnight margin.

However, if you are a successful trader and have a good relationship with your broker (ie you are not a risk to the brokerage) you can negotiate on your margin. $800 intraday margin on ES is quite normal, and I have heard of less than $350 margin per contract being available.


Active member
Many thanks all.

It would appear that these are too rich for me at the moment, but at least I now know what they are.

When I am a successful trader I may join you!!!!.
Orchard - you can also trade eminis using SB companies, and stake whatever you like per point. Obviously you would then be subject to all the SB pros and cons (y-a-w-n), but in this game, you pay your money and you take your choice!

stock trader

Junior member
Orchard - Yes I agree with you that a lot of content pasted on these boards is abbreaviated by the regulars and this makes it very difficult for many new comers and new traders to this site, abbreaviations which can not be easily understood can be very frustrating to figure out unless of course your have excellent Psychic powers :D I think it would help immencely if this site would have a section for abbreaviated terms



Legendary member
Hi All,
Orchard - good question, I've wondered the same thing but didn't dare ask! Excellent replies too, as usual.
I'll second the proposal for a list of abrieviations. This would be very helpful for those of us still in the trading 'Reception' class.
It might be easier for some brave soul to ask the question when there is something abbreviated which they don't understand ... this might help new readers better than a list of abbreviations. It would also act as a reminder to those of us who use abbreviations without realising that we're talking in code.

I do try and put in brackets what the abbreviation stands for on the majority of my more recent posts. And asking a question often results in a more comprehensive answer which could be of benefit to others.



Like many other newbies I agree with you about the acronyms. Recently I asked FTSEBeater to explain several in his 'Basics of Trading' thread. He kindly obliged and also pointed me to the glossary on this forum.

Sharky has now updated the main glossary which is accessible from the Learning drop-down at the top of this page. But emini ain't there...



Senior member
Hello all,

I've just had a look at the Glossary and although the Fibonnaci definition is correct, old Fib would have wanted it to start from zero; the sequence then is 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144 etc.
Most common are 13,21,34 and 55 and are often used together.(according to my old Indexia handbook).

Happy calculating,
You're right Oatman - very few people put the 0 in, although of course it isn't right without the 0,1,1.

And the numbers in the middle are called Lucas numbers, although I know of no-one who uses them in trading, just the Fibonacci numbers.
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