What are E-Mini S&P 500 (ES) Futures?

By NinjaTrader


The E-Mini S&P 500 (ES) is a stock market index futures contract that trades on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The futures instrument is based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index which is comprised of 500 large-cap organizations. It was introduced in 1997 as the contract value of the S&P 500 became too large for the average investor.

Why Trade E-Mini Futures?

ES futures offers traders a cost efficient and highly liquid avenue to gain market exposure to the S&P 500 index. Because futures contracts are traded on leverage, large contact values such as the S&P 500 index, can be traded with a relatively small amount of capital. Leverage can be a double-edged sword, increasing both potential profits and losses. You should always be aware of your capital and trade within your risk tolerances.

With a value of 1/5 of the size of a standard stock index contract and virtually 24-hour electronic access, the E-Mini S&P is an attractive investment vehicle for retail traders & is widely considered an important barometer for market sentiment.

E-Mini S&P 500 Futures Contract Specs:

  • Exchange: Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)
  • Class: Futures
  • Trading Symbol: ES
  • Contract Size: 50 x the S&P 500 Index
  • Pricing Unit: U.S. Dollars
  • Tick Size: 0.25
  • Tick Value: $12.50
  • Point Value: 1 = $50
  • Average Daily Volume: 1,770,753 (Year to Date May 2018)
  • Intraday Margin: $500
  • Contract Months: March, June, September & December
  • Trading Hours: Sunday to Friday 6:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET
  • Position Limit: 20,000

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