Skip to main content
Publish date:

S&P 500 Futures

Definition of 'S&P 500 Futures'

S&P 500 futures contracts give buyers the right to a basket of the stocks in the S&P 500 on expiration date. Priced at 250 times the index, they're used mostly by institutional investors.

A lot of stock trading is based on what is deemed "fair value" for the S&P 500 futures. Trading in the S&P 500 futures goes on in Chicago for a half hour past the New York close. Even after the Chicago close, the futures continue to trade, albeit thinly, in after-hours CME Globex trading. If, in the morning, the futures are trading much higher than the cash S&P 500, institutions will sell the futures and buy the underlying stocks, giving stocks a boost at the open. If, on the other hand, the futures aren't trading much higher than the S&P 500's close, stocks can go down.

TheStreet Dictionary Terms

Disney Lead

Encanto, House of Gucci Lead Hopeful Holiday Movie Theater Resurgence

Ticket sales are strong, if only half of pre-pandemic levels, as fears about the Omicron variant abound.

Jim Cramer: Jack Dorsey Can’t Do Both Jobs

'Teaching Luke How To Use The Force': Twitter Weighs in on Dorsey's Exit

As news broke that Jack Dorsey would be stepping down as CEO of Twitter, the social media platform lit up with both commentary and sarcasm.

Amazon Lead

Amazon Predicts It Will Pass UPS and Fedex as Biggest U.S. Shipper

To deal with supply chain disruption, Amazon is using its own trucks and planes and shipping goods to new ports, it said.