Margin Policy and Position Management

Low Margins for the Most Popular Futures Markets

NinjaTrader offers clients aggressive $50 intraday margins for Micro contracts & only $500 for popular futures markets including the E-mini S&P 500. 

New to futures? Learn how margins work.


Position Management

Intraday Margin rates are effective from the product open until 15 minutes prior to the session close when Initial Margin is required. Initial Margins are set by the exchange and represent the amount required to hold a position into the next trading session. View Initial Margins for available contracts or learn more.

Accounts that do not meet margin requirements are subject to liquidation & applicable fees.

ExchangeContractDescriptionIntraday Margin End TimeSession Close Time
CMEE-mini S&P 500 (ES)Equities15:45 CT 16:00 CT
CMEMicro E-mini S&P 500 (MES)Micro Equities15:45 CT 16:00 CT
CMEEuro (6E)Currencies15:45 CT 16:00 CT
NYMEXCrude Oil (CL)Commodities15:45 CT 16:00 CT
COMEXGold (GC)Metals15:45 CT 16:00 CT
CBOTUS Treasury Bonds (ZB)Bonds15:45 CT 16:00 CT
CBOTWheat (ZW)Agriculture13:05 CT 13:20 CT
EurexMini-Dax (FDXM)Equities14:45 CT 15:00 CT
Please Note: 
The NinjaTrader risk team evaluates market conditions in real-time and reserves the right to adjust intraday margins in accordance with market volatility. If required, temporary changes to the amount of margin required for trading may be made without prior notification. 

Margin Changes For Economic News Announcements

Intraday margins will be set to 4X our standard rates 15 minutes prior to the release of key economic news announcements as listed in your account dashboard for any and/or all products. The temporary elevated margin requirements will remain in place approximately 5 minutes following the announcement once market volatility is determined to present manageable risk for our traders.

Please be aware these elevated margin rates apply only when entering a new position which may present significant risk to the account.

Margin and Position Management Violations

If an account does not meet the margin requirement at all times during the trade:

  1. The entire position may be liquidated and closed
  2. An e-mail will be sent notifying the account owner of the violation
    • 1st Violation: $25 execution fee
    • Subsequent Violations: $50 execution fee

Delivery And First Notice

Trading in physically deliverable futures contracts is prohibited beginning on the business day preceding the earlier of the Last Trade Date or the 1st Notice Date through the Last Trade Date.

Any account that has a position or places an order after this roll date is subject to liquidation and associated fees. Learn More.


Yes, NinjaTrader Desktop provides direct visibility to your available excess margin helping you manage your positions to meet margin requirements. Learn how to add visibility to your available margin here.
While true that having an account balance equal to the intraday margin requirement will allow you to open a position, we strongly encourage traders to view this as the minimum required to maintain a futures position.
Excess margin can be defined as the amount of equity in a brokerage account above the minimum margin requirements. Managing excess margin is an important concept in futures trading as failure to maintain sufficient levels of margin can result in the liquidation of your position and fines.

If you fail to maintain the required margin, you may receive a margin call and requiring the deposit of additional funds or potentially have your positions liquidated by the Trade Desk.
Yes, you can carry a position overnight as long as your account meets the initial margin requirements. Also referred to as exchange margin, this is the minimum amount, per contract, required by the exchange that must be maintained in your account to hold a position overnight.

The margin requirement for carrying a position between trading sessions is significantly greater than the margin required to hold a position only during regular trading hours. As a reminder, your account must meet the initial margin requirements 15 minutes prior to the session close if you plan to carry the position.

It is important to understand the risk associated with holding a position overnight such as exposure to potential adverse price movement occurring outside of normal trading hours. Learn more about carrying a position overnight.
A position limit is a preset number of contracts a trader may hold, long or short, at any one time. These limits are in place to control the exposure of any one trader.

Specific to each futures contract, position limits are determined primarily based on the liquidity and volatility of that market.
Futures contracts are only active for a specific amount of time before they expire. Prior to a contract expiring, futures traders must either 1) exit their active position or 2) “roll” their position to a later contract of the same underlying asset which extends the expiration period. Learn more about roll dates.
Trading at “full leverage” means leaving no excess margin and therefore no room for error. While trading at full leverage, if a trade moves one tick against you, your position is subject to risk of forced liquidation from the Trade Desk. As this type of trading significantly increases your risk of forced liquidation (and incurring a loss), it is strongly discouraged. Learn more about maintaining the appropriate excess margin.
  • Early closes due to holidays are common & Intraday margin is not extended through the holiday trading halt. All positions must satisfy the Initial Margin rates set by the exchanges 15 minutes prior to the early close.
  • Initial Margin is also required on holidays when trading sessions span multiple days.
Due to daylight savings time differences in March & November, Eurex session times will shift by 1 hour until both regions are on the same schedule.
Please use the Trade Desk for emergencies and live orders only. Be prepared to provide your NinjaTrader Brokerage account number. For trades that are closed, we encourage you to email [email protected] and provide your account number and a summary of the trade in question.
It is always best to contact the Trade Desk with non-emergencies by emailing [email protected].