Course, Trading, Todd Mitchell, Markets, How To, E-Mini, S&P 500, Successfully Trade

Todd Mitchell – Learning How To Successfully Trade The E-mini & S&P 500 Markets

E-Mini S&P, often abbreviated to “E-mini” (despite the existence of many other E-mini contracts) and designated by the commodity ticker symbol ES, is a stock market index futures contract traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange‘sGlobexelectronic trading platform. The notional value of one contract is 50 times the value of theS&P 500stock index. On September, 15, 2015, the S&P 500 cash index closed at 1,978.09, making each E-mini contract a $98,900 bet.

It was introduced by the CME on September 9, 1997, after the value of the existing S&P contract (then valued at 500 times the index, or over $500,000 at the time) became too large for many small traders. The E-Mini quickly became the most popular equity index futures contract in the world. The original (“big”) S&P contract was subsequently split 2:1, bringing it to 250 times the index. Hedge funds often prefer trading the E-Mini over the big S&P since the older (“big”) contract still uses the open outcrypit trading method, with its inherent delays, versus the all-electronicGlobexsystem for the E-mini. The current average daily implied volume for the E-mini is over $100 billion, far exceeding the combined traded dollar volume of the underlying 500 stocks.[1][2][3]

Following the success of this product, the exchange introduced the E-mini NASDAQ-100 contract, at one-fifth of the original NASDAQ-100index based contract, and many other “mini” products geared primarily towards small speculators, as opposed to large hedgers.

In June 2005 the exchange introduced a yet smaller product based on the S&P, with the underlying asset being 100 shares of the highly-popularSPDRexchange-traded fund. However, due to the different regulatory requirements, the performance bond(or “margin“) required for one such contract is almost as high as that for the five times larger E-Mini contract. The product never became popular, with volumes rarely exceeding 10 contracts a day.

The E-Mini contract trades from Sunday to Friday 5:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Chicago Time/CT) with a 15-minute trading halt from 3:15 pm to 3:30 pm CT. From 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm there’s a daily maintenance period.

According to US government investigations, the sale of 75,000 E-mini contracts by a single trader was the trigger to cause the2010 Flash Crash.[4][5][6]This claim was later refuted by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.[7][8]

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