Futures are financial contracts that obligate the buyer to purchase an asset or the seller to sell an asset at a predetermined future date and price. Such asset is usually a physical commodity or a financial instrument. Stock index futures offer an alternative way to trade the stock markets. In addition, high level of leverage and around-the-clock trading of futures are some the features unique to them.
Futures are not intended for the main street investors trading, but you still want to pay attention. Tracking futures and their performance gives insights into the direction of the equities market and key stock market indices to infer implications.
Futures information at Finviz
Most of the major financial sites include information on futures such as Bloomberg, CNBC, and Reuters. We’ll use Finviz as an example. On the main page, you can find the current market status, the biggest movers, and recent events. You can navigate to the Finviz futures page from the top navigation bar which includes screener, maps, portfolios, insider trading, and others. Alternatively, on the main Finviz page, scroll down and find a section on futures. When you click any of their changes, it will take you to their charts.
What to pay attention to
At the Finviz futures page, the first dominant section shows you a heat map for equity, commodities and currencies futures. It’s a great overview of the current state of the futures market. Additionally, the heat map provides an easy visual correlation between the various futures contracts.
Next to the heat map, you can find a relative performance chart for the current day and individual Finviz futures charts performance. This is an incredibly valuable feature since you can compare all the futures next to each other for different time periods. The furthest in the past you can explore is up to 5 years. The shortest are 5-minute intervals in the past hours. When you click on any of the charts and get even more information about it. This includes detailed performance, volumes, and commitment of traders (COT) positions.
Besides the charts for main indices such as Dow Jones, S&P500, and Nasdaq100 you can find quotes for crude oil, natural gas, oil, metals or VIX in Finviz futures list. Use the sector performance tools to filter futures belonging to a specific category. Furthermore, you can explore correlations as part of the paid Finviz Elite.
Example of gold technical analysis using the charts at Finviz:
The data and information available are definitely great but there is information that you might find missing from Finviz. An example is mutual funds or some foreign stock indices cannot be found in the Finviz screener at all.
Finviz is a must have for any trader since their information of futures quotes, stocks, and free screener are one of the best.