NinjaTrader Goes to the Movies: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

NinjaTrader Goes to the Movies: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


The trading world has been depicted from several different angles in various Hollywood renditions over the years. A popular film from the mid-80’s focused on the heart of Chicago – which also happens to be the heart of futures trading! – is the timeless classic: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Grab your popcorn for our review!

This film presents the simple but universal appeal of a jaunt on the town while playing hooky from high school. Viewers live vicariously through our feature character, Ferris Bueller, who feigns illness in order to skip school for the day, much to the dismay of Principal Ed Rooney. Bueller later accompanies his girlfriend, Sloane, and buddy, Cameron, for a day of freewheeling adventure. All three students are seniors and their “day off” is one last rebellious fling before they head off to college.

After some convincing from Ferris, Cameron borrows his father’s Ferrari for a joyride into downtown Chicago. During their excursion, the trio visits such trading landmarks as the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), where Cameron mimics the hand signals used by the futures pit traders on the floor.

Many of the most popular US Equity Index Futures instruments have transitioned from the pit to the screen and are now traded electronically via the CME and CBOT, including the:

  • E-mini S&P 500 index futures (ES)
  • E-mini Nasdaq 100 index futures (NQ)
  • E-mini Russell 2000 Index futures (RTY)
  • E-mini Dow futures (YM)

The Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower), Wrigley Field, and the Art Institute of Chicago are other notable landmarks visited in the film. Ferris also takes part in Chicago’s Von Steuben Day parade, where he steals the show by singing “Twist and Shout.”


Pictured above is the interior and exterior of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, known colloquially as the “Merc.”

The day of adventure ends with Ferris narrowly escaping the wrath of fanatical Principal Rooney and making it home before his parents discover his antics. Once again, Ferris wins. By this point in the film, he has become an icon for nonconformity and living carefree in the moment. Several times throughout the movie Ferris pauses to address the audience directly, and he closes with the sage advice:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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