Futures Measures

What Is The Commitment Of Traders Report?

Futures Measures

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Pete talks about the Commitment of Traders report and how to interpret all of the information. Determining market direction is an important element of successful future trading.

What Is The Commitment Of Traders Report?

The Commitment of Traders Report is a report that provides a snapshot of the position of large institutional traders and small speculators in each commodity futures category.

This special report is released each week by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Fridays. The raw data from the report is a little bit dense, but the report essentially shows the net long/short positions for each available futures contract for three types of traders:

  1. Commercial Traders
  2. Non-Commercial Traders
  3. Non-Reporting Traders
Interpreting The Commitment Of Traders Report

Knowing what the non-commercial traders are doing (based on the report data) may give us some idea about the trend for a particular asset.

Here is what you can look at:

  • Open Interest: if you look at the open interest of an asset, you can see the total number of futures/options contracts not yet offset by a transaction.
  • Reportable Positions: you can then look to reportable positions, which are positions that are held that are above specific reporting levels (set by CFTC regulations )
  • Commercial Traders: shows entities involved in the production/processing/merchandising of a commodity (primarily hedgers).
  • Nonreportable Positions: long/short open interest positions that don’t meet reportable requirements set by the CFTC (smaller traders)
  • Short Report: open interest separated by reportable and non-reportable positions
  • Spreading: measures to what extent a non-commercial trader holds equal long/short futures positions

How To Use The COT Report

When looking at the COT report, commercial positioning is less relevant than noncommercial positioning. Noncommercial data is more reliable because it captures traders positions in a specific market.

There are three primary premises on which to base trading with the COT data:

  • flips in market position may be accurate trending indicators
  • extreme positioning in the currency futures market has historically been accurate in identifying important market reversals
  • changes in open interest can be used to determine strength of trend

Were not done analyzing the Commitment of Traders Report, catch part two here!

Strategies: Spread

Products Discussed In This Episode: /M6E, /M6B

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