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ES vs NQ Spread

Hello Mypivots,

This morning I Shorted the ES @ 1251.5 and At the same time- Longed the NQ @ 1841.5 for a spread trade.

ES is up $537.5
NQ is down $260

Thats $269 a contract after com., I have been spreading like this all week and it floats back and forth I short the weaker and long the stronger, it seems to be working well. Has anyone experemented with this?

July 11th 2008.


Short ES @ 1236.5 and @ the same time
Longed the NQ @ 1815.5

how are you limiting risk when / if they happen to run in tandem ? they seem to be running in the same patterns to me today. Never experimented with this but will enjoy following along..both hitting a potential resistance zone but trade over 1242 in ES and 1822.50 in NQ will be a concern ..good luck with the trade
@ 11:05 +$70 (PER CONTRACT) after commisions. This seems to float from positive to negetive $$$ So There so corrilated it dosn't matter which side you chose.

And now its 11:08 and its +100$ per contract. I wish I saw this years ago. I know 100$ a contract for the morning isn't much but with compound math and lots of contracts.....although it needs to be tested more right now I just set it and forget it, would be nice to set it up on auto mode.


I am just playing around with 1 contract, I just thought of this late monday. I started in the S&P 400 and the russle 2k but man the swings were +300 -600 +110 -200. But its smaller and slower in the ES/NQ I got on the wrong side of one the other day -$300 and it took it about 30 min to corrilate and then the NQ took off resulting in a nice profit. It needs more testing before more money goes on the line. I just wish I had more time to monitor it.
It just seems that with the limited trades posted here ( the two spread trades) that you'd be better off just taking the ES trade and forget about the NQ part of it. You seem to have a good handle on direction so why limit the profit potential with the spread ? It seems that in the long run you could limit risk by trading smaller size and/or a tighter stop if that was the real concern. Just my two cents ! I tried to follow a few commodity spreads about 10 years ago but it seemed I was just going to generate additional commissions for my broker. Best of luck with them though.


Thanks for the advise and kind words. It is my hopes to maybe make this fully automated, I see somrthing in it.

My dad used to do futures spreads he pyramided in a Soybean oil spread when I was a kid with very little money and made some nice short term profits and one day covered to soon and left 600k i think on the table. with like less than 5k invovled. That would have been a monster trade.
Charter Joe,
Really AMAZING thread...I've been thinking about trading like this for some time and here is your thread!...great...
1-how do you determine which leg is the short and which one is the long?
2-what are your average times to hold the trades?
3-have you ever considered the YM/ES or YM/NQ?...why the ES/NQ?
4-are you currently doing the ES/NQ spread with just one contract per side?
5-do you ever hold the spread trade overnight?
Again...very interested here...look forward to your reply...thanks...IncreaseNow
hello IncreaseNow,

I determine which to short soly on observation i.e. if the ES is down 7 and the NQ is down 2 then it, then It the ES is weaker so I short them.

My average hold times very's It is still in the experemeental phases. But I have noticed even when I am on the wrong side that sometime that day it will corilate and go back green red green red ect ect all day. So it seems pointless to hold all day.

The reason i do the ES/NQ is because I now daytrade the ES esclusivly and I used to trade the NQ mostly so I know both better than the YM, which its very hard for me to click limit orders on the ym because the fast little thing moves around to much.

I don't see a reason to hold a spread over night no, but I don't think it will hurt a thing to do so. One other thing I have noticed this works best in a sodeways market and not a runaway market.

I am in a spread today short ES @ 1221.5
long NQ @ 1801.75

And after commisions up about 90$ per con. I've been in it for about a half an hour. $130 is about the most I have seen on it.

Happy trading,

July 15th


Bought ES @1216 they were up 4.5
Shorted NQ @ 1800.5 they were up only 1

After commisions up $382 per contract.
July 16th


Bought ES @ 1248 they were up 7.5
Shorted NQ @1844.25 they were down .25

Almost $100, At the max today it was up $245 after commisions. This is the 8th day I have done these spreads with a profit in every one.
I am planning to try this too. The CharterJoe not posing any more, well though it is interesting how successful was his experience eventually. Does anyone trade spreads too?