The NASDAQ-100 Index represents the largest non-financial U.S. and international issues listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market based on market capitalization. Index holdings represent companies across major industry groups including computer hardware and software, telecommunications, retail and wholesale trade, and biotechnology. Notable stocks include Apple Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Google Inc., Intel Corporation, Amazon.com Inc., QUALCOMM Incorporated, and Kraft Foods Inc. It does not contain financial companies (including investment companies) and uses a modified capitalization methodology to provide enhanced diversification.
The NASDAQ-100 Index futures provide a way to efficiently gain exposure to the top 100 large-cap domestic and international non-financial companies listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market. It also enables you to benefit from lower trading costs compared to trading individual stocks or Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).
The E-mini NASDAQ-100 Index futures provide a contract that is 1/5th the size of the standard contract. The contract trades solely on the CME Globex platform providing access virtually around the clock with complete price transparency, liquidity and tight bid/ask spreads. The fully electronic contract trades from 5:00 PM CT to 3:15 PM CT and 3:30 PM CT to 4:30 PM CT, Monday through Thursday. The contract trades on Sunday evening, as well, beginning at 5:00 PM CT.
One E-mini futures contract is $20 x the E-mini NASDAQ-100 futures price. The previous settlement price (June 29, 2012) for September 2012 E-mini NASDAQ-100 futures was 2609.75 or $52,195 per contract.
The futures contract price quotation is $5.00 per .25 index points. The previous settlement price (June 29, 2012) reads as 2609.75. The next price movement after 2609.75 upward is 2610.00, followed by 2610.25. Therefore a one point move, from 2610.00 to 2611.00, would be $20.
The performance bond or initial margin requirement to initiate one E-mini futures contract is 4.79% or $2,500 (as of June 30, 2012). To control that futures contract going forward the maintenance margin becomes 3.83% or $2,000 (as of June 30, 2012).
The Daily Price limits are calculated quarterly at the close of business on the day preceding the commencement of a new calendar quarter. They are successive 10%, 20%, 30% limits to the downside only. It is a 5% limit up or down in the overnight session.
The E-mini futures contract month listings are March (H), June (M), September (U), and December (Z).
The E-mini futures contract’s Last Trading Date (LTD) is the 3rd Friday of the contract month. Trading is allowed until 8:30 AM CT. The September 2012 E-mini NASDAQ futures contract LTD is September 21, 2012 for example. The daily settlement, following the CME Group daily settlement procedures, of the E-mini NASDAQ-100 futures is equal to the daily settlement price of the NASDAQ-100 futures.
Be aware of major financial reports if trading the stock index future contracts as they will certainly affect prices. For example, this Friday, July 6, 2012, unemployment numbers are released at 7:30 AM CT.
Visit our Markets section for additional contract specifications and market information regarding the E-mini NASDAQ futures market.