Futures Spread


DEFINITION of 'Futures Spread'

An arbitrage technique in which a trader buys one commodity and sells another contract of the same commodity to capitalize on a discrepancy in prices.

BREAKING DOWN 'Futures Spread'

In a futures spread, the goal is to profit from the change in the price difference between two futures contracts while hedging against risk. However, future spreads occur infrequently and when they can be identified, the opportunity for arbitrage is quickly removed though a shift of supply and demand conditions.

  1. Spread

    1. The difference between the bid and the ask price of a security ...
  2. Commodity

    1. A basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with ...
  3. Arbitrage

    The simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset in order to profit ...
  4. Futures Contract

    A contractual agreement, generally made on the trading floor ...
  5. Implied Volatility - IV

    The estimated volatility of a security's price.
  6. Plain Vanilla

    The most basic or standard version of a financial instrument, ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Trading The Odds With Arbitrage

    Profiting from arbitrage is not only for market makers - retail traders can find opportunity in risk arbitrage.
  2. Options & Futures

    Out-Of-The-Money Put Time Spreads

    Learn about this low-risk, bearish options strategy used to speculate on major market declines.
  3. Active Trading

    S&P 500 Options On Futures: Profiting From Time-Value Decay

    Writing bull put credit spreads are not only limited in risk, but can profit from a wider range of market directions.
  4. Options & Futures

    Vertical Bull and Bear Credit Spreads

    This trading strategy is an excellent limited-risk strategy that can be used with equity as well as commodity and futures options.
  5. Investing Basics

    Learn How To Trade Gold In 4 Steps

    Trading spot gold or gold futures, equities and options isn’t hard to learn, but the activity requires skill sets unique to these markets.
  6. Professionals

    Top Stocks to Short, Go Long On to Beat the Market

    A long/short portfolio can help weather a variety of market scenarios. Here's how to put one together.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    What Exactly Are Arbitrage Mutual Funds?

    Learn about arbitrage funds and how this type of investment generates profits by taking advantage of price differentials between the cash and futures markets.
  8. Investing Basics

    What Does Plain Vanilla Mean?

    Plain vanilla is a term used in investing to describe the most basic types of financial instruments.
  9. Investing

    Oil: Why Not to Put Faith in Forecasts

    West Texas Intermediate oil futures have recently made pronounced movements. What do they bode for the world market?
  10. Economics

    Is the U.S. Economy Ready for Liftoff?

    The Fed continues to delay normalizing rates, citing inflation concerns and “global economic and financial developments” in explaining its rationale.
  1. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is there a difference between financial spread betting and arbitrage?

    Financial spread betting is a type of speculation that involves a highly leveraged derivative product, whereas arbitrage ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why do companies enter into futures contracts?

    Different types of companies may enter into futures contracts for different purposes. The most common reason is to hedge ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What does a futures contract cost?

    The value of a futures contract is derived from the cash value of the underlying asset. While a futures contract may have ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the goals of covered interest arbitrage?

    The goals of covered interest arbitrage include enabling investors to trade volatile currency pairs without risk as well ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  2. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  3. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  4. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  5. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  6. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!