are futures contracts
traded primarily on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
's Globex electronic trading platform
and on the New York Board of Trade
, that represent a fraction of the value of normal futures contracts. E-mini
contracts were first launched in 1997 for the S&P 500
index with great success, and are now available on a wide range of stock market indexes
and currencies. As of April, 2011, CME lists 44 unique E-mini contracts
Some E-mini contracts provide trading advantages, including high liquidity (and therefore tight spread
), greater affordability for individual investors due to lower margin requirements than the full-size contracts, and round-the-clock trading 23.25 hours a day from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon. Under U.S. tax law, E-minis may qualify as 1256 Contracts
, and benefit from several tax advantages as well.
The risk of loss is also amplified by the higher leverage.
Most E-mini futures expire quarterly (with the exception of agricultural products), in March, June, September, and December. An E-mini future symbol is formed by starting with the root symbol and adding the expiration month letter (the same as for futures
) and the last digit of the expiration year. For example, the E-mini S&P
500 expiring in... Read More