Futures are a popular day trading market because traders can access indexes, commodities and/or currencies. Futures move in ticks, with an associated tick value. This tells you how much you stand to make or lose for each increment the price moves. Futures contracts expire, but day traders buy and sell before expiry, never taking actual possession (or having to distribute) the underlying asset. Futures traders pay a commission on each trade they make. Each contract requires a certain amount of margin, which affects the minimum balance required to trade. Brokers may set their own margin requirements or trading account minimums.
The purpose of hedging is not to gain from favorable price movements but prevent losses from potentially unfavorable price changes and in the process, maintain a predetermined financial result as permitted under the current market price. To hedge, someone is in the business of actually using or producing the underlying asset in a futures contract. When there is a gain from the futures contract, there is always a loss from the spot market, or vice versa. With such a gain and loss offsetting each other, the hedging effectively locks in the acceptable, current market price.