Trading Futures vs Cash?


Hi all,

I have question I'm hoping some futures traders could help with. I am an intra-day technical trader & I trade Dow 30 & FTSE 100 cash via spreadbetting co.'s Initially this was because the spreads are narrower.

I'm now moving from eSignal to Tradestation to develop a program to do the above. TS however does not provide FTSE data, and in a call today they weren't even sure if they do Dow cash. Ultimately I will have to run both eSignal & TS if I want to continue to trade FTSE (cash or futures) with a finished program. For now though, the question is this:

All SBet co's charge 4 pts on Dow cash, and 4 or more for Dow Futures, save for WorldSpreads who quote only 3 for Daily Dow Futures, so I'm thinking about moving to Dow Futures for this reason. What I want to know is, do any of you trade cash but using the futures as a leading indicator, and are there any major differences I should know about, such as more or less volatility vs cash, or wider or lower ranges for the same chart pattern vs. cash?

Many thanks for any help.

BTW, if there are any semi-experienced traders in/around Dublin I'd love to hear from you, esp. if you are into program development (I think mine is quite ingenious :LOL:)

All the best,

What you will likely find is that because they are actually traded, and therefore subject to more a bit more extreme actions, the futures will sometimes slightly exceed the range of the cash index.