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Types of eminis

Emini trading was introduced to the markets by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) with the creation of the S&P 500 Emini Futures Contract. This product was created to provide traders with an affordable method of trading the stock indices. The value of the original "large S&P Contract" became so expensive that retail traders and even smaller institutions were no longer able to afford it. At 1/5th the size of the larger contract, the S&P 500 Emini became not only cost effective for all traders, it is now the single most popular trading vehicle in the world.

E-mini contracts which most traders are familiar with (the big 4) represent the corresponding stock indices:

  • S&P 500 - ES
  • Dow Jones - YM
  • Nasdaq 100 - NQ
  • Russell - TF

There are also a wide variety of E-mini contracts offered by the CME which many traders may not be familiar with. These contracts represent stock indices along with various sectors and currencies. These contracts along with their corresponding symbols are listed below:

  • E-mini Gasoline Futures - QU
  • E-mini Crude Oil Futures - QM
  • E-mini Natural Gas Futures - QG
  • E-mini Nasdaq Biotech Futures - BQ
  • E-mini Nasdaq Composite Futures - QN
  • E-mini CNX Nifty Index Futures - EMF
  • E-mini S&P 600 Small Cap Futures - SMC
  • E-mini S&P MidCap 400 Futures - ME
  • E-mini Eurodollar Futures - EED
  • E-mini Euro FX Futures - E7
  • E-mini Japenese Yen Futures - J7
  • E-mini Copper Futures - QC
  • E-mini Energy Sector Futures - XAE
  • E-mini Financial Sector Futures - XAF
  • E-mini Health Care Sector Futures - XAV
  • E-mini Industrial Sector Futures - XAI
  • E-mini Materials Sector Futures - XAB
  • E-mini Utilities Sector Futures - XAU
  • E-mini Technology Sector Futures - XAK
  • E-mini Consumer Staples Sector Futures - XAP
  • E-mini Consumer Discetionary Sector Futures - XAY


There are also other "mini" and "micro" contracts offered by the CME, but they should not be confused with the official E-mini products. Contract specifications are unique for each E-mini. Always check with a licensed broker before placing orders in markets you do not have experience with.

What is the difference between E-Mini Trading and Regular Stock Market Trades?

Emini futures contracts, known as eminis, are simply scaled down versions of the larger "full size" contracts they emulate. Emini futures contracts are relatively new to the trading scene having only been around since 1997. The difference between trading an emini vs. individual equities, is what you control with your investment or trading dollars.

When you trade Google (GOOG), or Zynga (ZNGA) as an example, you only own equity in one company. When you trade the S&P 500 emini as an example, you now control fractional equity in 500 separate companies. From a diversification and risk standpoint, this is extremely positive. Another positive factor is the leverage.


With the S&P trading at $1,600.00, purchasing one emini futures contract gives you control of $80,000.00 in equity. The formula is: 'Current Price" X 50 = Value'. With day trading margins as low as $500 per contract it is easy to see why there is such great demand for these products from both retail and institutional investors alike.

3 reasons traders find these contracts so attractive, are liquidity, diversification and the huge leverage they offer.

What E-Mini Charts are important?

All Trading Charts have evolved greatly since the dawn of the Internet. There are still active traders among us today who learned their trading techniques from hand drawn charts plotted off the pages of the Wall Street Journal.

Emini Charts contain information vital to your emini trading success! Modern emini charts provide sophisticated technical analysis at the click of a mouse. With many styles to choose from: Tick Charts, Volume Charts and Range Charts to name a few, it is important that emini traders become familiar with the charts which best support their personality and trading methodology

What is a typical E-Mini Spread?

An e-mini spread will rarely be more than a few ticks. The spread is the difference between the bid and the ask. In other words, the difference between the price someone is willing to sell at and the price someone is willing to buy at. During the U.S. day session, the spread rarely exceeds one tick. This is again an example of the immense liquidity that emini products bring to traders.

What are E-Mini Options?

An e-mini option is used often in online day trading to hedge positions in the market. While not always used as a hedge, many traders buy and sell options as a trade unto itself. Either way, the option gives the owner the right to buy or sell a futures contract at an agreed upon price, if the owner of the option chooses to exercise his right, or "option", once the strike price is met.

  • A call would allow a long position at the strike price when the market has gone through it.
  • A put would allow a short position at the strike price when the market has gone through it.

This emini option is an exercise to take the long or short position. More often with emini options, traders sell their emini option for a differential in the premium; perhaps at an inflated premium. Most emini options expire worthless. Many day trading emini option strategies are used to enhance profits on futures trades, to hedge, or to take advantage of markets within a trading range or markets that may break or break-out.

What is a E-Mini Rollover?

E-mini rollover is when the current contract (front month) expires and trading in the new contract begins. Expiration for the stock indices, S&P 500 - Dow Jones - Nasdaq 100 and Russell, all occur on the third Friday of the months of March (H), June (M), September (U) and December (Z). The rollover days, however, are 8 days before expiration on the second Thursday of each of these months. These months have the letter designations H, M, U, and Z.

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