The price and volume information that you see on your trading platform is published by the Exchange where you’re trading. It doesn’t arrive on your computer directly though. Various technology companies provide market data from, and order routing to futures exchanges.

Generally you’ll select a data feed provider when you set up your brokerage account. You may incur additional costs each month over and above the Exchange-specific data fees. You may also have order routing costs for each trade.

Here’s a summary and comparison of the data feeds you’re likely to be offered through your brokerage. You’ll want to consider your:

  • trading platform’s capabilities
  • requirements to connect multiple platforms at the same time
  • needs for market depth and Market By Order (MBO) information

CQG provide market data and order routing for a comprehensive range of global futures exchanges as well as desktop and web-based trading platforms.

Monthly feed cost tends to be lower, even free through some brokers, although some markets only provide 10 levels of market depth. There is also no option for MBO information


Rithmic’s data feed and order routing is generally available at all brokers alongside CQG. You will also find that nearly all trading evaluators make use of the Rithmic Paper Trading Server for their evaluation programs.

Monthly cost is higher than CQG however you receive market depth at all levels and MBO information is provided to supported platforms, e.g. MotiveWave.

Sierra Chart offer their own data feed (“Denali”) and optional order routing service (“Teton”) to users of their trading platform. With no third parties between the exchange and the trading platform, Sierra Chart aim to provide the highest quality, reliability and performance.

If you are a Sierra Chart user, it makes sense to strongly consider this integrated approach if your broker supports it.