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      About Free COT Charts

      Free COT Charts is a website devoted to charting the weekly Commitments of Traders or "COT".  The net positions of these commitments are what's actually plotted, that is, the long positions minus the short positions = the net positions.  These numbers are provided by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or "CFTC".  Each Friday the CFTC issues that weeks commitments which reflects the previous Tuesdays positions of 3 trading groups.  The CFTC classifies these 3 groups of traders as follows.

  • Commercials - Producers and end users of the commodity or futures market they participate in are referred to as commercials.  This group is the reason the commodity and futures markets exist, to allow "commercials" an opportunity to defer or hedge the risk of doing business to speculators who wish to assume that risk in hopes of making a profit.  Free COT Charts plots commercials net positions (shown as comm) in blue.  (This smart money group will often get aggressively net long or short prior to major trends)  A horizontal line is drawn to show the zero line of the commercials net positions.

  • Large Speculators - Defined as those traders who hold a specified number of contracts or greater in a given market, but are not commercial traders.  The CFTC sets the number of contracts for each market that can be held before the speculator is required to report that position.  Any speculator participating in a market that is required to report to the CFTC is known as a non-commercial or large trader. Free COT Charts plots large traders net positions (shown as large) in green. (This group follows trends and usually mimics the markets price movement)  A horizontal line is drawn to show the zero line of the large traders net positions.

  • Small Speculators - Any market participant who is neither a commercial nor non-commercial is a small speculator.  This group is not required to report to the CFTC but can determined by the contracts left over after the commercials and non-commercials have been accounted for.  Free COT charts plots small speculators net positions (shown as specs) in red. (This over-leveraged group is usually wrong at major turning points)  A horizontal line is drawn to show the zero line of the small speculators net positions.

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