Futures Trading Hours & Platforms

Futures trading platforms are a dime a dozen. There is no need to list them all because Googling them yourself will provide sufficient results. NinjaTrader is one of the leading platforms because it provides useful features right after the installation. The main drawback is that it does not come with real-time data, so you will have to get a free data feed and apply it yourself. The support team at DayTradeToWin.com can point you in the right direction or you can fill out the form on the NinjaTrader website.

The trading strategies shown in the above video demonstrate indicator use across various futures trading hours but with the same trading platform, NinjaTrader.

Another thing that’s really important is understanding futures trading hours. The most popular futures market is the E-mini S&P 500. We consider the “open” to be 9:30 a.m. US/Eastern. The best time to trade is to about noon, US/Eastern, though there are plenty of good trades to be had after that and even during the evening. Indeed, futures trading hours are expansive, and one could be lured into trading nearly 24/7. A quick visit to the CME Group website shows that futures trading hours differ among all sorts of markets. By the way, CME Group often call markets “products” whereas NinjaTrader platform refers to markets as “instruments.”

The E-mini S&P 500 futures trading hours are Sunday through Friday, from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT. There’s a halt between 4:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. EDT. That “backwards” timing can be confusing, so think of it like this: Sunday often isn’t worth trading. Therefore, consider trading Monday through Friday. During those five days, note the market will first halt for 15 minutes between 4:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT. Then you have a half-hour to trade. Then the E-mini will close for an hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT. The market reopens at 6 p.m. and remains open throughout the evening.

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