What happens at 2:30pm GMT?


Junior member
Quite often (like yesterday for instance) the FTSE makes a move at 2:30pm when the US markets open. What US indexes should I be watching at 2:30pm? Just the DOW, NASDAQ and S&P500, or are there better ones to watch that will give me an earlier signal of which way the US market is opening?
When you say 2.30pm GMT, presumably you mean 1.30pm BST, which is 8.30am EST in New York. This is when the Economic Data is announced and can be seen on briefing.com, or on many trading packages. This can be, and frequently is, market moving stuff, and the effect of this on the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq is often greater than at the open itself. I would always be wary of holding any intraday futures position over this period - the ftse can spike 20-30 points in either direction, and sometimes both, before settling down again.
bdholmes - welcome to T2W!

The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P500 are the three indices of any note. However, if you're pushed for screen space, then I'd suggest the Dow and S&P.

Remember though that the S&P is traded pre-maket, but the Dow isn't. So when there is an overnight difference on the S&P (ie, a gap) the Dow has to 'catch up' in the first 5 minutes or so of the open. So look at the number of points difference in the S&P, then multiply by 9 to give you a very approximate idea of the similar level on the Dow.

If you have access to overnight or pre-market data for the S&P you will see whether the US markets will gap up or gap down, or are likely to open level with the previous day's close.
Sorry Skimbleshanks, but unless I'm mistaken, there's a Dow futures ( in the same way there's an S&P , and Nasdaq future ) traded via.. Globex?
The catch up time in the Dow, is due to the specialist system employed by the NYSE. Each stock has to be balanced by the specialist in that stock before it can open, which is why after some news or event that can move a stock dramatically, that stock can still be closed 30 minutes AFTER the market has opened. The index will only reflect the stocks that have opened, whereas the future will reflect the anticipated trading price of every stock.
Hi wayno - yes, you're right. The original poster was talking about indices rather than futures, so I tried to answer the question without bringing futures into the equation for the time being, in case it was too confusing. :D

What you're talking about is, I believe, the reason that the prices for INDU and DJI are slightly different - one gaps and the other doesn't, but I'm not 100% certain. In my quest to find the Holy Grail I got stumped a few years back with a colleague doing analysis of trends - our results were different, and it was only after a lot of effort did we realise that I was using INDU OHLC data and he was using DJI.
To be honest I thought DJII and INDU were one and the same- i.e the Dow Jones industrial average ( also known as djia)
Not sure what OHLC is, but having been on the NYSE floor for a busy opening, and seen a stock open late I know the way it works.
In also, if you have access to Reuters or Bloomberg, you can bring up a live triger page ( sames as for the FTSE indices's) which will show you which stocks are open ( and how much changed they are on the day) and which stocks are still awaiting an opening.
Now where the futures markets get their expected price of closed stocks from I don't know - presumably it's all the cash traders hedging their off market cash trades in the futures...
Futures lead cash so the cash prices of unopened nyse stocks are influenced by the futures, just as spoos and noodles don't need their stock constituents to be trading for them to trade on Globex.
Dow futures are also, unsurprisingly with some stocks not trading and only being based on 30 stocks, rather more volatile. The eminis are far superior trading vehicles.

OHLC = open, high, low, close and are much beloved of non-tape reading non-day traders. Rather limited use on ftse 100 stocks ;-)
Have a good w/e