The sp 500 for example is an index comprised of 500

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The S&P 500, for example, is an index comprised of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry grouping. These contracts are designed to closely track the price movements of the S&P 500 Index. S&P 500 futures are legally binding agreements to buy or sell the cash value of the S&P 500 Index at a specific future date S&P 500 contracts are cash-settled; there is no delivery of the individual stocks S&P 500 Index futures contracts expire each quarter, always on the third Friday of March, June, September and December Contracts with several expirations are traded simultaneously
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S&P 500 futures The CME offers two sizes of the S&P 500 contract: 1. the standard "big" futures contract 2. the S&P 500 "e-mini" contract The "e" stands for "electronic," as this contract is exclusively traded on the CME's electronic, GLOBEX platform the "mini" represents the fact that this contract is one-fifth the size of the big contract. The e-mini is more affordable to retail traders, with lower day-trading margin requirements. This contract is traded electronically (23 hours per day), resulting in high volume action More than 1 mil contracts trade daily
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