ES futures provide one of the most efficient, liquid and cost-effective ways to gain market exposure to the S&P 500 Index. A broad-based, capitalization-weighted index, the S&P 500 tracks 500 of the largest companies of the U.S. economy, and is a key indicator of the stock market's health. With ES futures, you can take positions on S&P 500 performance electronically.
Why Trade ES?
- Deep liquidity & tight bid-ask spreads can reduce your costs
- Nearly 24-hour access helps you act as events unfold
- Flexible execution gives you multiple ways to find liquidity
- Use leverage to trade a large contract value with a small amount
- Save on margin offsets with other equity index futures
- Trade a global equity index portfolio from one marketplace
- Central clearing helps mitigate your counterparty risk
- Get 60/40 blended U.S. tax treatment on capital gains
Compare E-mini S&P 500 with Other Trading Methods
ES versus ETFs
In nearly every trading scenario, ES futures offer a more cost-efficient way to manage S&P 500 exposure compared to ETFs.
- Pay no management fee when you trade ES futures vs. S&P 500 ETFs
- Fully-funded institutional investors can save 8.9 - 13.3bps trading ES vs. ETFs*
- Day traders can save between $80 - $119 using ES futures vs. ETFs over a one-day holding period*
- Nearly 24-access means no waiting for the ETF market open when market events (Brexit, U.S. elections) happen post-close
- ES futures offer significantly more daily liquidity, at 8x the value of all S&P 500 ETFs combined, including SPY, IVV and VOO*
- Diversify your risk versus other holdings in your portfolio
*All scenarios are hypothetical and should be treated as such. Data is as of October 31, 2016, and calculations are based on the framework found at cmegroup.com/thebigpicture.
ES versus Basket of Stocks
ES futures give you an easier, faster, more flexible way to harness S&P 500 performance.
- Trade and track one ES future vs. 500 stocks to get nearly identical exposure
- Nearly 24-hour access means your hands aren't tied when off-hour news and events occur
- ES gives you 60x buying power of cash stocks - less capital, to control a larger value
- Easily sell short with ES - no uptick rule or special requirements
- Spread trading vs. another sector like small caps takes less time, capital and trades
Manage Market Event Risk with ES Futures
Because ES futures trade nearly 24 hours a day, you can act on global news and surprise market events as they unfold - adjusting exposure instead of missing out and watching from the sidelines.
Key Economic Reports
- Non-Farm Payroll
Monthly report showing changes in U.S. jobs. Drives Fed policy and indicates economic growth.
- Unemployment reports
Presents U.S. unemployment rate as percentage. Drives Fed policy and indicates economy's strength.
- Earnings releases
Lists changes in earnings of publically traded companies, which can move the market
Determines U.S. monetary policy and whether to move the key interest rate. Drives stock market movements.
- CPI (Consumer Price Index)
Measures inflation or cost-of-living changes through average price of a basket of goods and services.
- Federal Reserve open market operations
Indicates the buying and selling of securities by U.S. central banks as a tool of monetary policy.
- Inventory reports
Tracks changes in oil and natural gas supplies. Impacts energy prices paid by consumers.
- Industrial production
Tracks change in monthly raw volume of industrial goods produced.
Learn to Trade ES Futures
Ready to learn more about trading E-mini S&P 500 futures? Get started with introductory courses, trading tools and simulators, research and market commentary:
- Intro to Equity Index Products Course
- 60-Day Futures Simulator
- Online Analysis Tools
- Economic Research & News