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Can Someone please clarify e-mini S&P margins...

Sorry, but I've tried to look online and I can't figure any consistency or clarity regarding e-mini S&P margins. From what I understand is:

1. Day trade margin is $500 meaning... You must maintain $500 in your account... for every open contract?? or $500 minimum in your account to open a contract or contracts??
2. Maintenance margin.... Must maintain $4600 in your account for every open contract held overnight, ie 2 open contracts= $9200?? or, $4600 total in account to hold overnight.
3. Then there's initial Requirement.... $5060??
4. Are the rules different based on broker or how much money you have in your account or how often or amounts you trade at a time?

Hope I'm at least close here. I've never held more than one contract overnight because margins scare the heck out of me. Please help put some closure to this madness. I've always been too embarrassed to ask, so... Big THANKS.
All of the amounts are per contract.

The Initial Requirement is set by the exchange, brokers accept the risk for lowering them. The Day Trading Margin is set by the broker, depending on how much risk and how good their systems are for managing it. The Maintenance Margin is for a contract that starts out at the Day Trading Margin and is held into the overnight session.

It's important to know from your broker when they will automatically close out your positions if they go against you. Keeping just the minimum in your account can be dangerous, keep a sensible cushion.
Thanks for your reply. I'd rather be called stupid here than have my broker call me stupid, but I guess I'll have to call my broker.

The reason for my confusion is... On the broker website... margins are $500. Nothing about initial or overnight that I can find. BUT>>> on my trade software... initial margin is $5060 and maint margin is 4600. So if I hold 10 contracts overnight... Would I need $5000 in my account or $46,000 in my account. Big difference. I'm still small so the latter would be a problem. AND THEN WHAT?? Would they close my position and charge the $25 or DEMAND PAYMENT and charge $25...

Regardless I'll break down and make the call. But Thank You again for your quick reply. Much appreciated.
@TradeQueen - let us know what your broker says after you've made the call.
@day trading - ok will do. Although your request suggest to me that there really is a variation in brokers. Yes? I ask because there is a broker locally that i was thinking of changing to solely based on his local. His website suggested he would set up commissions based on how many trade (which i understand) but also based on how late in the day you hold your trades.

I though this very interesting. Can you, or anyone, shed some light on why this may be the case.

Aaand, while I'm at it... a friend of mine was amazed I wasnt paying for my data feed. I thought this was normal all this time??? But no sooner than we talked about it I started getting charged data feed starting Janurary 1st. Has anyone experienced this same thing? Was I getting special treatment my first two years... HA, I find that very hard to believe. Any insight would be interesting.
@TradeQueen - if I understand you correctly he said that the commission would vary based on how late in the day you hold your trades? Not the margin? I haven't heard of commission varying by time-of-day before.

The various exchanges are always changing their rules and rates with what they charge for data. It's just like your bank. They hook you with a great account and then slowly over time take away features and start adding charges etc. It may have been that the data you were getting was free until the beginning on this year and then the exchange started charging for it. Or perhaps your broker made a mistake and had forgotten to charge you.

Small exchanges and less popular symbols often have their data available for free to try and make them more popular and tradeable (liquid). If someone wants to get into the market and can't afford the data fees then they can look at these exchanges and symbols which is good for the exchanges.
Sorry, been busy... Thanks for your feedback. Because until recently.. I though all this time that things were pretty much standard across brokers. I though the only differences would be customer service and if you made a lot of trades... you got a better break on your commissions. Things like margins.... I thought.... were a set standard by, one example... the CME for e-mini s&p. From what I'm reading here... This is so not the case??? Brokers set their own... Cool !

Here is the quote from the Local Broker I was looking into...:

"Day Trading Margin Requirements as Low as $500
Minimum acount size only $2500 !
By looking at measurable variables such as account size, trading volume, your past trading experience, your daily trading activity and behavior (whether or not you use stops, whether or not you hold trades until the last minutes of the session, etc), and the futures trading platform you use, we can customize your day trading margins to aggressive levels as the ones seen below."

I just wanted research on margins.... As I mentioned... I don't like to call my broker. They make me feel stupid and that just gets me pissed off. And I'm not allowed to do that.. uh.... (bad humor..)

Anywhoo.... I NOW find it interesting and curious that this local company is interested in how long you hold your trades in the session??? gimmick?? I don't know. I'll find out in time I guess.

Nobody talks about overnight margin rules, so I don't know. Maybe there are no rules... maybe I'm confusing maintenance margin with something else. I don't know. Still learning as I go. Don't want to get bit down the road.

SOOO, DT... I'm sorry I have not called my broker yet. uh... I just dread the thought, but I will.... AND... Thank you very much for your explanation... I still have questions, but you've made it aware to me that things are apparently VERY different everywhere. That is good info! And now I feel a little less dumb. So thank you for that as well.

Sorry to see it so quiet here... I like checking in from time to time to see how everyone is doing. I still work a real job, but I'm getting a little more confident with the trading thing. I'd really like to make it work. Thanks everyone for all the feedback, as always VERY much appreciated.