The other thing I personally would consider in identifying a futures product of choice is its volatility.
Logic suggests that because more volatile instruments require higher margins (e.g. the highly volatile European DAX requires a margin almost 10 times that of the EuroStoxx 50), then the lower the volatility the lower the margin.
Apart from margin considerations volatility may be one thing to factor into your trading style.
With a 10K account you can trade many instruments if you restrict your lot size to 1 or 2. (TF and NQ, for example, have very small margin requirements (typically $500 per ct)). Both of those e-minis have great volatile swings, but TF is a bit less "swarmy". That NQ is half the loss/gain per tic over the TF is a bonus. Could also try the 6E, which is now $6.25 per tick, just a bit over the NQ, and less than TF. 6E might be good for an early-morning US trader.
TF is probably not the best choice if you're trying to minimize or control risk. Which for most people with smaller accounts, should be one of the top priorities. TF is a hefty contract.
As for CFD's; they give the small account trader an advantage over trading futures. The ability to reduce and adjust risk/position size below the level offered by a single futures contract. The disadvantage is usually a wider spread, but not always.
you have a lot of valid suggestions in the previous posts but the best advise I could give you is to take many hours in front of your screen just to look how those different markets move and behave and to pick the one in which your feel confortable. For example I like CL but I "don't feel" ES and for some people it will be the opposite. Currencies have a very different behavior than commodities and commodities do not move as financial index, and inside those very generic groups you will find also very different way of moving etc...
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I don't know why people continue to mention CFDs when OP is from the United States... CFD trading is not legal in the United States. Why would anyone even want to trade such a bizarre market when there are many futures contracts that can be traded with a small account?
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