E-mini Equity Index Frequently Asked Questions

E-mini Equity Index FAQ, updated December 1, 2015


How are the E-mini contracts similar to their larger counterpart contracts?

The E-mini and the standard-sized contracts are based on the same S&P 500 index.

  • The E-mini and the standard-sized contracts are cash-settled to the same index values on quarterly expirations (the Special Opening Quotation).
  • The E-mini S&P 500 settles daily to standard-sized S&P 500 contracts' counterpart settlement price. Both contracts have the same tick size for calendar spread trades of .05 index points.

How are E-mini contracts different from the larger contracts?

  • The E-mini contract values are one-fifth the size of the larger contracts.
  • The E-mini tick sizes are different:
    • E-mini S&P 500 tick size is .25, or $12.50 per tick (.05 for calendar spreads = to $2.50 per tick) versus a tick size of .10, or $25 per tick (.05 for calendar spreads = $12.50 per tick) for the big S&P 500 futures contract.
  • E-mini futures have only five quarterly contracts listed for trading.
  • An order for any quantity may be accepted for E-mini outright futures.
    • However, orders exceeding a specified number of contracts as indicated below must be entered on the CME Globex system as multiple entries, each of which must not exceed the specified number of contracts.
      • E-mini S&P 500: 2,000 for outrights and 5,000 for calendar spreads

How do the quarterly E-mini S&P 500 index futures settle and when is the last time to trade before expiration?

E-mini S&P 500 Index Futures contracts expire at the same time and to the same price as their larger counterpart contracts. For quarterly futures contracts, trading can occur up to 8:30 a.m., Chicago time, on the third Friday of the month.


Is there a post-settlement session for futures in the E-minis?

No.


Are E-mini futures calendar spreads available on CME Globex?

Calendar spread orders for E-minis of any quantity may be accepted for entry on CME Globex.

  • However, calendar spread orders exceeding 5,000 contracts per contract month must be entered on CME Globex as multiple entries, each of which must not exceed 5,000 contracts.
  • Trading in the calendar spreads may occur at .05-point increments for the E-mini S&P 500.

Are E-mini options spreads available on CME Globex?

Yes. CME Group updated the electronic equity options functionality available on CME Globex to enable trading of standard listed and user-defined spreads (including covered) for E-mini options. Check with your CME Globex access provider to see if they offer this functionality on your trading platform of choice. This functionality is also available through CME EOS Trader.


Are E-mini FLEX options available?

E-mini FLEX options are not currently available.


Is a position of five E-mini futures contracts financially equivalent to a position of one regular-sized larger futures contract on the same side of the market in the same contract month?

Yes. The daily settlement prices for the E-mini futures contracts are the same as the settlement prices for the corresponding contracts months of the regular-size contracts. Accordingly, a customer who has a long position of five E-mini futures contracts and a short position of one regular-sized futures contract in the same contract month is perfectly hedged. 


May a customer liquidate E-mini futures positions against offsetting positions in the regular-sized futures contract without making additional trades in the market?

Yes. With the customer's consent, a clearing member may offset and liquidate E-mini futures positions against offsetting standard-sized futures positions held in the same account in a 5:1 ratio of E-mini to regular-sized futures contracts. The positions shall be offset at the previous day's settlement price. The clearing member shall notify CME Clearing of offsetting positions by submitting reports to the clearing house through a special online entry screen designed for that purpose.


What are the position limits for the E-minis?

Position limits work in conjunction with the existing position limits for the regular-sized contracts. As of December 1, 2015, an entity or an account controller could have 140,000 net E-mini S&P 500 futures equivalents, if no other S&P 500 positions were held open.


What is the reportable position limit for the E-mini contracts?

As of December 1, 2015, the reportable position limit for E-mini S&P index futures is 100 contracts. For a comprehensive list of reportable position limits, please consult the position limit section of CME Group website.