Mini Dow


Junior member
Does anyone out there trade the Mini Dow?

If so, who do you use as your direct access broker.

The CBOT trading simulator is quite interesting, with the average spread between bid and ask being only 1 tick :) .

Is this accurate?

Any views or experience with this instrument would be much appriacted.



Junior member
Ive recently started trading Dow mini. Spread is normally 1 pt. I use IB, found them to be very good. Ive tried CBOT simulator, but then tried TSim - its superb - just wish I found it sooner


Active member
It may be useful to compile a list of typical % spreads for various stocks, index and commodity futures, or better still a measure of typical daily volatility / %spread which may provide a crude means of identifying the most competitive trading instruments.

I am always searching for this sort of thing anyone know a source?

(This may go some way to answering Helens question of the best commodities to trade on the other board)


Volume is light, today only 45,000 contracts were traded . I've only watched the quoted prices for a few days but the spread seems to float between 1-3 points.

Considering $5/point is roughly £3/point it *appears* to be an excellent alternative to those who wish to escape the tyranny of spread bet firms (read bookies) who have naff software platforms, huge spreads and dodgy quoted prices.

So if we assume the spread is 2 and a round trip futures transaction is $5 it's a spread of effectively 3, which beats D4F by 2 points and many others by 7.

Obviously this gives you scope to trade tighter ranges that are not worth it when spread betting. I'm already interested. :-0


Senior member
Hi Davy.
I've been trading the e mini dow through IB for a fair while now, and most of the above is true.
When USA is shut the spread is wide. As much as the sb's

In normal trading there is only a couple of points for the spread max.


It can, and is very erratic and will jump against you by 5 points in a blink, and if it carries on, then you are 25 pts out before you have read this sentence. Noticeably, it will do this when it has a quiet lull, just to jerk the players around.

Get it right though and you can make your days money in minutes.

All prices become volatile at times. Some more than others,
and I would like to find the 'best' thing to trade. But for some it's shares, for others, futures, then currencies, and others still will say bonds.

So, is there a 'best' instrument to trade?


Mini Dow is my favourite trading instrument. If you learn how to play it well – it can make wonderful music.

The first few notes are always painful with every instrument.


Senior member
I don't see it as a spread on price as it rarely stands still for a quote. Yes it does jump around but the moves are often 30 points so if you miss 10 getting in there's still plenty of momentum left. I tend to load an entry/exit point and then set it to MKT from LMT in case I want to jump quick and chase.

Good luck


Junior member
Thank you everybody for your replies.

It seems that I am not used to the erractic nature of this instrument, and perhaps yesterday, when I was looking at the mini-Dow (YM), it was a thin volume day? So the spreads tended to be wider?

To give a bit of background to why I asked this question, is basically that, I am going to withdraw a good part of my trading account funds to redirect into something else. Therefore I need a futures instrument with a low margin requirement. Hence the Mini-Dow!

I use IB as my direct access broker and use Sierra charts.

Many Thanks "bored", I did not know about Tsim. I will play with that on todays market, to see if my normal methodologies and signals work on this market.

oatman: I would be very interested in knowing how you get on with your mini-dow trading.

I will try to post here my daily results and findings when I can.


Senior member
You won't get a running commentary , but I just missed 30 points down 'cos I was too slow on the trigger :rolleyes: :( ........


Senior member
I got it, and the reverse. ;)
Purley because some 'expert' from the states had pre warned me that the market was going up on open, (which proved correct but was short lived) and that I should buy...

"Stock: DIA

CONSIDER BUYING..DIA stock at $92.65 on the open..and buy the JUNE $92.00 CALLS on the open..MARKET ORDER best price you can get..option symbol DIAFN for a is bucking the bad news once again, as well as the overbought condition..and it will break through fridays highs. 30 CONTRACTS MAX"

And this is from a guy that charges hundreds of dollars a month for his alerts. Lol, If I listened I would be broke in about a day.


Senior member
I've tried to short it a couple of times but the volume's crap, no follow thru. I was looking for 50ish. It won't lie down. No damage done tho. I think I'll leave it alone for a while, although as I write, it's trying the UP again......


Junior member
Taken 10pts off the table so far, as the YM bounced off the 9200 resistance. Was [email protected], LMT MKT [email protected] 9188 got filled about 12mins later.
Getting nervous now though. Don't want to risk my days money. seems very light volume today?

Felt I should have taken some money from the morning drop from 9240 down to 9140 because the downward momentum was very apparent, but didn't pull the trigger. Beating myself up about that!


Senior member
Be careful Davie.

It's good to have a target in mind and sometimes you can get a fill without the price going anywhere near your target. But, limit orders are held with IB and not placed in the market. (unless they have recently changed things.) So when the price hits your target, the order is then put into the market. and you join the queue of getting filled (or not).

What will happen at some point. (I guarantee it). Is that the market will go against you, you get out at a loss because you can't stand the pain. Whipsaws back past your target point, now putting you in a trade. That then reverses and you are out of pocket again. All in a matter of minutes.

I have had this happen to me through a frozen computer as I tried to cancel an order. And IB are really really terrible at answering the phone and getting you out of a trade.

If you are going to be sitting in front of the old comp watching the trade, (as you should) Have a emergency stop in place and hit the market order to close out when you have hit your target. Near instant fill, though you may get it either side of your price, which will be either a bonus or a slight loss on targeted profit.
Then don't forget to cancel the stop. (You would be surprised by how many people forget to do this.)

Bracket trading and tight stops can be the bain of traders.


Junior member
Interesting point options. Didn't know IB held LMT Orders. I agree
a market order is safer for closing out at my target.
Certainly have had experiance of IB not answering the phone very quick (Frozen Computer). They have been the cause of many grey hairs (Well more than normal for a man of my age!)


Senior member
lol, yeah, agree.
I quite often use limit to open and market to close. But to try to nick a point here and there and end up not getting filled is sometimes more hassle then it's worth.

PS. short again. All aboard!!!
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