The people and events that built Futures

In the cover article from our special 500th issue, “10 events that molded trading in the 20th century,” Darrell Jobman cites many of the most important stories published in Commodities/Futures magazine.

Here are the stories mentioned.

  • Jobman highlights how the closing of the gold window unleashed a series of events that would eventually allow trading in foreign currencies and the legal ownership of gold in the United States. In the November 1973 issue of Commodities, Todd Lofton discussed the possibility of U.S. private ownership of gold after Congress passed a bill that would allow it.


  • Trading guru Larry Williams’s first article for Commodities was published in the October 1972 issue.

Measuring Market Momentum

  • Weller Wilder Jr. created several important trading indicators. One of the most used is the Relative Strength Index (RSI), which he described in the June 1978 issue of Commodities.

Relative Strength Index: A momentum oscillator that can help you spot market turns

  • Five years after the launch of stock index futures, the stock market experienced a historic crash on Oct. 19, 1987. Many were quick to blame the relatively new index futures. Futures stood up for the product, noting that without them the crash most likely would have been worse.

Let the market make the decision on indexes

(PDF includes an editorial by Futures followed by numerous stories covering the crash) 

  • Computers have played an ever expanding role in the Futures markets and we covered it from the beginning; literally. The very first issue of Commodities magazine included a piece by Richard Sandor and Lance J. Hoffman titled:

Computers and Commodity Trading

  • Electronic trading: Camel’s nose is under the tent. The October 1987 issue of Futures reports on the announcement that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange would incorporate a Post-Market Trading (PMT) automated system.

Automation: 24-hour trading to come to CME

  • The listing and popularity of options occurred right as Commodities magazine was launching and has been an important part of our coverage from day one. In the June 1984 issue William Degler wrote about his 19 option strategies. It was an immediate favorite of readers and has been repurposed over the years.

19 option strategies and when to use them

  • It is hard to imagine even looking at a price chart these days without the benefit of candlesticks but it wasn’t until an article by Steve Nison in the December 1989 issue of Futures—which predated his book on candlesticks—that Western traders were aware of this too. Below is the second part of his series on candlesticks.

A Japanese candelabra of price chart patterns

  • We haven’t digitized all the notable authors that have graced the pages of Futures but here a few more.

Tom DeMark on retracements in the November 1995 issue

Retracing your steps 

Linda Bradford Raschke discusses the building blocks of technical analysis as first taught by Charles Dow.


Back to the Futures

Futures would like to thank Ira Epstein and the Linn Group for creating the digitized copies of these important past articles.

Editor’s note: Normally when digitizing stories from previous issues we block out the advertising because the advertiser has not repurchased rights to appear in the repurposed supplement but because we are celebration 500 issues of Commodities/Futures we thought it would be fun to leave them in as it provides additional context of the time. 

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