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Futures Trading

For general account questions, including opening an account or trading, please visit General Account Questions.

What futures contracts are eligible for reduced day-trade margin rates?

The reduced intraday margin rates are available for U.S Indices and select contracts in the following sectors: Currencies, Interest Rates, Metals and Energies. Reduced margin rates are also available on select Eurex products. To be enabled for the day-trade rate multiplier, you must contact the Futures Trade Desk once you fund your account. Please reference the Futures Margin Rates page for more detailed information.

What happens to my deliverable futures position as it approaches expiration or first notice day?

Please consult the appropriate exchange website or call the Futures Trade Desk if you have questions about contracts that are subject to delivery. Positions in these contracts may be liquidated by TradeStation to avoid taking physical delivery and incurring the associated fees.

When could/would my futures position be offset (closed out)?

A margin call occurs as soon as the account does not have sufficient equity for the contracts held; this can happen intraday or overnight. Clients should be prepared to meet a call as soon as possible. Positions can be liquidated by TradeStation at any time to meet the call and without prior notice in some cases.

How does the margin charged for a trade affect the purchasing power in my account?

When you establish a futures position, the full initial margin is decremented, in real time, from your account’s purchasing power. Because certain electronic indices can be traded using the day-trade rate, your account may reflect a negative purchasing power figure. Just because your purchasing power shows a negative figure, this does not necessarily mean you have a margin call.

Example: Your account net worth is $3,000; you are eligible for the day trade rate and you purchase one E-mini contract. The day trade margin on one E-mini is approximately $1,406., with initial margin of $5,625/4. Your purchasing power figure will be -$2,625 ($3,000-$5,625).

Example: Your account net worth is $5,000; you are eligible for the day trade rate and you purchase four E-mini NASDAQ contracts. The day trade margin on four E-mini NASDAQ contracts is $4,000, or $1,000 per contract. Your purchasing power figure will be -$9,000 ($5,000-$14,000).

Please contact the Futures Trade Desk at 800.837.8951 for further details.

What happens when I hold a position into the next trading session?

The highest-priced traded contract, whether a long or short position, will be carried forward from one session to the next. When clearing futures trades, TradeStation matches up the lowest-priced buys and sells from the prior trading session, leaving the highest-priced remaining contract to be carried forward. This methodology has no effect on the net worth of the account, but may affect the unrealized profit/loss for the next session.

Will my account automatically reset after a restriction?

No. You must call the Futures Trade Desk to lift the restriction. At that time, you can discuss the reason for the restriction and how to minimize restrictions in the future.

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