Tick Movements: Understanding How They Work

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Minimum Price Fluctuation

All futures contracts have a minimum price fluctuation also known as a tick. Tick sizes are set by the exchange and vary by contract instrument.

E-min S&P 500 tick

For example, the tick size of an E-Mini S&P 500 Futures Contract is equal to one quarter of an index point. Since an index point is valued at $50 for the E-Mini S&P 500, a movement of one tick would be

.25 x $50 = $12.50


One NYMEX WTI Crude Oil futures contract is 1,000 barrels of oil. This contract is quoted in dollars and cents per barrel. Therefore a one cent, or one tick, move in the WTI contract is worth $10.

1,000 x $.01 = $10


Tick sizes are defined by the exchange and vary depending on the size of the financial instrument and requirements of the marketplace. Tick sizes are set to provide optimal liquidity and tight bid-ask spreads.

The minimum price fluctuation for any CME Group contract can be found on the product specification pages.

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Peter Knight Advisor


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