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 most common contract symbol is NQ.
The futures 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 electronic contract trades from 5:00 PM CT to 4:00 PM CT, with a trading halt from 3:15 PM CT to 3:30 PM CT, Monday through Friday.
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, or twenty-six zero nine and three quarters. The next price movement after 2609.75 upward is 2610.00, followed by 2610.25. Therefore, a one move, from 2610.00 to 2611.00, is $20.
The performance bond or initial margin requirement to initiate one futures contract position is $4,840 (as of November 11, 2015). To control that futures position going forward the maintenance margin becomes $4,400 (as of November 11, 2015).
The Daily Price limits are designed to coordinate with circuit breakers provisions as applied by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). 7%, 13%, and 20% price limits are applied to the futures fixing price and are effective from 8:30 AM CT to 3:00 PM CT, Mondays through Fridays. 5% up-and-down limits are effective 5:00 PM CT to 8:30 AM CT, Sundays through Fridays; and 3:00 PM CT to 4:00 PM CT, Mondays through Fridays. Between 3:00 PM CT to 4:00 PM CT, the 5% price limit will not be allowed to breech the 20% daily limit.
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 Day (LTD) is the 3rd Friday of the contract month, allowed to 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 futures as they will potentially affect prices. For example, typically the first Friday of every month the 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.