Stock Index Futures Contract (Ticker) Symbols

9/28/2020 

Micro and Classic E-mini Symbols

The CME group naming convention for each futures market is relatively straight forward. Markets have the following characteristics: Core Symbol, Contract Month and Contract Year.

Core Symbols

Core Symbols are unique to the market. Here is a list of some of the liquid markets offered by the CME Group.

ES --> E-mini S&P 500 Stock Index Futures
NQ -->E-mini Nasdaq 100 Stock Index Futures
YM --> E-mini Dow Jones Stock Index Futures
CL --> Crude Oil
GC --> Gold
ZB --> Treasury Bonds
ZC --> Corn
6E --> Euro FX

Contract Months

The second element of a market symbol is the contract month. All CME Group futures markets have several contract months. This is the contract expiration month. As an example, the E-mini S&P stock index futures has 4 major contact months every year that traders focus on (March, June, September and December). Alternatively, the WTI Crude Oil market focuses on monthly (12) major contract months.

The contracts "Front Month" typically has the most volume and liquidity. As a contract nears expiration the Front Month shifts to the next contract month.

Contract Month Codes

January --> F
February --> G
March --> H
April --> J
May --> K
June --> M
July --> N
August --> Q
September --> U
October --> V
November --> X
December --> Z

Contract Year

The Contract Year in conjunction with the Contract Month defines when a contract expires. Some markets, like Natural Gas, have contract months that are years out. Traders that trade long dated contracts are typically hedgers or spread traders. Retail traders do not tend to participate on future years and stay focused on the front months.

2020 --> 0
2021 --> 1
2022 --> 2

Numbers in the Core

Some symbols will contain numbers in the core like currency futures. The Euro FX futures contract is 6E.

6E --> Euro FX
6B --> British Pound (Sterling)
6J --> Japanese Yen
6C --> Canadian Dollar

Augmented Symbols

Micro Futures are relatively new futures markets category. They represent an existing market only with a smaller contract size. Micro futures have an M in front of the classic symbol.

Micro Futures Examples

MESM0 --> Micro E-mini S&P 500 MNQMO -->Micro E-mini Nasdaq 100 MYMM0 --> Micro E-mini Dow Jones MGCM0 --> Micro Gold Futures

Let's break down the June Micro Dow Jones contract since there seems to be an awful lot of M's:

M -> Micro, YM -> core symbol, M -> June, 0 -> 2020, putting it all together you get MYMM0.

Exceptions include Micro Currencies. Micro Currencies are preceded with a 7 instead of an M.

7E --> Micro Euro FX
7B --> Micro British Pound (Sterling)
7J --> Micro Japanese Yen
7C --> Micro Canadian Dollar

Putting it all together

Examples of the June 2020 front month contracts:

ESM0 --> E-mini S&P 500
NQM0 --> E-mini Nasdaq 100
YMM0 --> E-mini Dow Jones
CLM0 --> Crude Oil
GCM0 --> Gold
ZBM0 --> Treasury Bonds
6EM0 --> Euro FX

Examples of the September 2020 front month contracts:

ESU0 --> E-mini S&P 500
NQU0 --> E-mini Nasdaq 100
YMU0 --> E-mini Dow Jones
CLU0 --> Crude Oil
GCU0 --> Gold
ZBU0 --> Treasury Bonds
6EU0 --> Euro FX

Hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your representative directly.

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