If you’re not familiar with futures contracts they are agreements to buy or sell at an agreed price on or before an agreed date.
Long = own the contract anticipating the price to move higher, once a long position is established it has to be sold on or before the contract delivery date, for example an ESH18 contract has to be offset or before March 16th 2018.
Short = Owe the contract, selling a contract you do not own, once a short position is established it has to be bought back on or before the delivery date, Trading futures there is no dividend delivery, no short squeezes.
Contract value = $50 X the index, (an index at 2,825.00 = $141,250.00)
Bid/ask spread 0.25 = $12.50 , contract value = $141,250.00 at 2,825.00
Margin requirement = $5,050.00 (1/28th of contract value)
Margin call, if your balance falls below the margin requirement
Carry cost built into forward pricing (current leverage cost 0.73% annually)
Trade cost, $26.60 or less per contract (includes all fees)
Contract volume, 130+ billion USD daily, liquid underlying options market
One click lets you go long or short a contract that mirrors the S&P index (worth $141,250.00 at 2,825.00) with as little as $5,050 in your account.
Long short flexibility
A 23.75 hour trading day and 130+ billion USD in daily liquidity make it very easy on days like 2nd and the 5th of February 2018 to hedge an existing portfolio or capture the move lower.
Contract value is based on these 500 stocks
CME Globex: Sunday – Friday 6:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) with trading halt 4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Clearport: Sunday – Friday 6:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET
CME Globex: ES
CME ClearPort: ES
Four months in the March Quarterly Cycle (Mar, Jun, Sep, Dec)
Termination Of Trading
9:30 a.m. ET on the 3rd Friday of the contract month