Trade E-mini Dow Futures

What are E-mini Dow index futures?

E-mini Dow 30 index futures are based on the Dow 30 stock index, also known as the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It tracks the price of 30 of the largest companies in the US, representing a wide range of business sectors. These 30 companies are designed to serve as a barometer for the overall strength of the US stock market and economy.

The Dow 30 Industrials index is a price-weighted index meaning the greater the price of a stock, the greater the effect on the overall price of the index. Reflecting some of the largest corporations in the world, the Dow 30 can be an important benchmark of the global economy.

The stocks that make up the Dow 30 futures include Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar, Chevron, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, IBM and Johnson and Johnson. Stocks are added and removed as needed from the index based on the changes in market capitalization, relevance to the overall US economy, and financial stability.

Why Trade E-Mini Dow Index Futures?

E-mini Dow Jones futures (contract symbol = YM) provide access to trade opportunities within one of the most actively traded and quoted stock indexes in the world. Benefits of trading E-mini Dow index futures include:

Dollar sign with arrows around it

Speculate on combined price of 30 large highly influential companies


React quickly to trading opportunities hours before the US stock market opens


Hedge a portfolio of stocks against potential market declines

Four arrows pointing away from each other

Flexible contract size to start small with Micro contracts and scale up positions

Trade Micro E-mini Dow index futures to reduce costs

At 1/10th the size of the standard E-mini contract, Micro Dow E-mini futures allow traders to access the highly liquid equity index futures markets with reduced costs and margins as low as $50. Other advantages of trading these bite-sized contracts include:

  • Access to the most popular and liquid futures contracts
  • Highly leveraged investment for more buying power*
  • Reduced financial commitment vs. the full-size Dow E-mini contract
  • Increased flexibility for better position management

Micro E-mini futures contracts provide an ideal entryway for new futures traders to start small and scale up as you become more comfortable in the live markets. 

*Leverage also increases the risk associated with futures trading and only risk capital should be used for trading

Learn more

Who trades E-mini Dow index futures?

E-mini Dow index futures traders can be broken down into three main groups:

  • Commercial traders in the major market stock index futures are typically trading index futures to hedge their price risk on a large portfolio of stocks. These traders are typically large banks, pension funds, mutual funds or other institutional investors. 
  • Large professional speculators are purely speculating on the price movement of the futures contract. Typically, commercial traders and large speculators make up 80% or more of the daily trading volume in the E-mini Dow index futures. 
  • Self-directed retail traders make up the remaining daily trading volume in E-mini Dow index futures. Like large professional traders, retail traders are typically speculating only on the price movement of the futures contract. 

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission produces a weekly report showing the open net positions for these three types of traders called the Commitment of Trader's report.

What Impacts The Price Of E-Mini Dow Index Futures?

Although the E-mini Dow index futures market is made up of only 30 stocks, prices can fluctuate greatly during the trading day and can be sensitive to economic news and earnings reports. There are several factors that can influence the price of a major market stock index like the Dow futures. For example, changes in economic conditions can turn market sentiment bullish or bearish on a dime. Additional factors include: 

Bar chart

Macroeconomic Factors

Economic indicators such as GDP growth, inflation rates, and employment data can have a significant influence on market sentiment and investor confidence. Positive economic data, such as strong GDP growth or declining unemployment rates, can drive prices for the E-mini S&P 500 index futures higher; negative economic data can lead to a decline in prices as investors become more cautious and risk-averse.

Dollar bills

Interest Rates and Fed Policy

Changes in interest rates and monetary policy decisions can also impact the price of Dow 30 index futures. When interest rates are low, they can stimulate borrowing and investment, which tend to boost stock prices. On the other hand, when interest rates rise, borrowing becomes more expensive, potentially reducing economic activity and causing stock prices to decline.

Play button

Watch Daily Live Futures Trading

Join our livestreams each weekday as we prepare, analyze and trade the futures markets in real-time using charting and analysis tools.

Watch Now

Intro To Technical Analysis

Learn to leverage technical analysis to target futures trading opportunities and identify trends using chart types, indicators and more.

Watch Now

Develop The Trader In You

Get started on your path to learn how to trade futures through our introductory video series outlining the first steps in your trading journey.

Watch Now

Risks of E-mini Dow Index Futures Trading

Similar to other equity index futures contracts, the primary risk of trading E-mini Dow Index futures is that the price will go against the trader’s position. Using appropriate trade sizing for your account size and having a robust risk management plan includes stop losses or a trailing stop can help to limit your financial exposure. 

With many factors that can influence short-term and long-term performance, keeping abreast of economic activity is key here, as news and events—like changes in interest rates, economic reports, and changes in US central bank (Fed) policy—can move the major stock market indexes significantly. 

Tips to keep in mind especially for newer futures traders include: 

  • Practice in a futures trading simulator that reflects live market conditions until you prove to yourself that you are comfortable with the market swings. Then, when you start trading with real dollars, trade small to start, and work your way up. 
  • Build a well-defined futures trading plan including clear entry and exit criteria, analysis of market conditions and a schedule for when you are and are not going to trade.

E-Mini Dow Futures Contracts Specifications

The E-mini Dow index futures contracts are standardized exchange-traded contracts that represent the value of 30 of the largest stocks traded in the US. The value for a 1 point move in the standard contract is $5 or $.50 for the 1/10 size micro contract. 

Retail traders typically buy and sell E-mini Dow index futures contracts to speculate if the price will go up or down. Major market index futures contracts are cash settled at expiration.

Standard [Asset] FuturesMicro [Asset] Futures


CME GlobexCME Globex
Contract point value$5 USD
$0.50 USSD
Minimum price fluctuation1, (5 * 1 = $5.00 per contract per-minimum move)
1 (.50 * 1 = $0.50 per-contract per-minimum move)
Trading hoursSunday 6:00 p.m. ET to Friday 5:00 p.m. ET
Sunday 6:00 p.m. ET to Friday 5:00 p.m. ET
Listed contractsQuarterly: March(H), June(M), September(U), December(Z) - 9 Quarters Out and 3 Additional December Contracts.
Quarterly: March(H), June(M), September(U), December(Z) - 5 Quarters Out
Expiration style3rd Friday of every listed contract month 
3rd Friday of every listed contract month 
First notice dateNot applicableNot applicable
SettlementFinancially settledFinancially settled
Additional Specifications
View all from CME Group
View all from CME Group

Become A E-mini Dow futures trader today

Ready to start trading E-mini Dow futures or Micro E-mini Dow futures? NinjaTrader is here to support you. With award-winning features and daily premium market commentary with industry pros, NinjaTrader equips you with the tools you need to embark on your trading journey.

Open Account

Frequently Asked Questions About E-Mini Dow Index Futures

Deciding between Dow futures trading and the S&P 500 really comes down to your personal preferences and level of comfort. Because the S&P 500 is made up of a much larger pool of companies, there is a higher degree of diversification.
E-mini Dow Industrials futures trading is an agreement between a buyer and seller at a specified price in a contract that will expire on a specific date. Traders can enter and exit positions any time prior to the expiration date in financially settled futures like the E-mini Dow 30 Industrials contract.
The Dow Jones industrial average was created by Charles Dow. It was first calculated in May of 1896 and originally consisted of just 12 companies. Over its long rich history, it has changed and grown many times to reflect the evolving US economy.
The E-mini Dow Industrials futures contract is a tradeable instrument representing 30 of the largest stocks across a number of business sectors. It is one of the oldest and most watched stock market indexes. A one point move in the standard contract equates to $5 of profit or loss, and a one point move in the micro 1/10th size contract equates to $.50 of profit or loss. Each futures contract, like the E-mini Dow 30 Industrials futures, has a unique set of contract specifications that are set by the futures exchange.
E-mini Dow industrial futures contracts are traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)(Globex System). Dow Jones futures trading during the Globex session is available from Sunday at 6:00 PM Eastern Time until Friday 5:00 PM Eastern Time, giving traders the ability to capture unique trading opportunities while the stock market is closed.
Yes, you can trade E-mini Dow industrial futures with NinjaTrader. NinjaTrader is an industry-leading futures broker offering low commissions, low margin rates, and safety of your account funds. With NinjaTrader you can trade dozens of the most actively traded futures markets in the world including the E-mini futures contract.
The E-mini Dow industrial futures is calculated based on its characteristic as a price-weighted index, where stocks with higher prices are weighted more heavily; the greater the price of a stock, the greater the effect on the overall price of the index.
The E-mini Dow industrial futures are traded on a well-regulated exchange where orders are matched and cleared on a fair and level playing field with full price and order transparency. Traders can place buy and sell orders through their broker to enter or exit a position virtually 24 hours a day in the E-mini Dow industrial futures market.
The E-mini Dow industrial futures is an important economic indicator globally. Business activity from these 30 largely diverse stocks can have a significant influence on the overall health of the US and world economies.
Once of the advantages of trading E-mini Dow industrials futures contracts is direct market access for speculating on the price movement of the E-mini Dow industrials stock index. The E-mini Dow industrial futures are a popular traded stock index futures as it is a broad proxy for the entire stock market. It provides good liquidity virtually 24 hours a day, lower trading capital requirements, and like all futures, tax benefits over stock trading. E-mini Dow futures trading can also offer you more opportunities and flexibility over individual stocks, options, and ETFs with their many limitations.
Like every futures contract, the primary risk here is that the price of the E-mini Dow industrial futures will go against the trader’s position. Economic news, earnings reports, changes in interest rates, and investor sentiment can all have a significant effect on the price of E-mini Dow industrial futures. 
The good news for prospective traders is that they can begin with costs and margins as low as $50. This is because Micro Dow E-mini futures are one-tenth the size of standard E-mini contracts.
Under most circumstances, a Micro Dow E-mini future will expire on a quarterly basis. This means each contract will settle at the opening level of its respective index after a three-month period. At this point, your options are to either offset the position and close out the trade, let it expire and enter delivery, or roll the contract over to a new expiration date in the future.