1. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: Introduction
  2. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: What Are The E-Minis?
  3. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: E-Mini Characteristics
  4. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: E-Mini Specifications
  5. Beginner's Guide to E-mini Futures Contracts: Popular E-mini Contracts
  6. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: Who Trades The E-Minis?
  7. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: Trading The E-Minis
  8. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: Other E-Mini Contracts
  9. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: Volume and Volatility
  10. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: Margins
  11. Beginner's Guide to E-Mini Futures Contracts: Rollover Dates and Expiration
  12. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: Brokers
  13. Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: Tax Advantages

E-minis are electronically traded futures contracts that represent a faction of the value of a corresponding standard futures contract. Because e-minis offer round-the-clock trading, low margin rates, volatility and liquidity, they are ideal trading instruments for active traders.

E-Mini Origins

The first e-mini contract – the e-mini S&P 500 – was introduced by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) on September 9, 1997. The value of the full-sized S&P 500 contract had become too large for most small traders, so the e-mini was created to make futures trading accessible to more traders. It quickly became a success, and today there are e-mini contracts that cover a variety of indexes, commodities and currencies. The e-mini S&P 500, however, remains the most actively traded e-mini contract in the world.

This guide introduces e-mini futures contracts and covers e-mini characteristics, popular contracts and contract specifications, plus important e-mini concepts like margin, leverage, volume and volatility.

A daily chart of the e-mini S&P 500 (ES) stock index futures contract. Image created with TradeStation.


Beginner's Guide To E-Mini Futures Contracts: What Are The E-Minis?
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