Nasdaq 100 Futures

Nasdaq 100 futures are commodities futures products traded within the equity futures sector. The two most highly-traded products are the e-mini Nasdaq 100 and the Nasdaq 100, which track a basket of the largest 100 non-financial stocks (Nasdaq 100 index) listed on the Nasdaq exchange. These futures cater to different types of traders, with the e-mini Nasdaq 100 being the most popular among Nasdaq futures traders due to its lower cost of trade and high volume. 

Nasdaq 100 Futures Markets

The quoted price movements of the futures contracts in early trading is used by some traders as a gauge for how the overall exchanges will perform at market open and over the trading day. If the index future is trading higher before the market opens, it generally means that the actual index will trade up in the early part of the day.

Nasdaq 100 Futures History

Futures on the Nasdaq 100 began trading in 1996 at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). The initial value was 100 times the Nasdaq 100 index. However, as with the S&P 500 index, the value of the Nasdaq 100 rose dramatically in the 1990s, and to attract broader market participation, the CME launched the e-mini Nasdaq 100 index futures. This contract is priced at 20 times the Nasdaq index. Nasdaq 100 index futures are traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). In March of 2015, the exchange ended electronic trading in the largest Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq 100 index futures, leaving smaller versions and exchange-traded funds as the main vehicles for off-hours speculation. The change means the larger version of Dow and Nasdaq futures will only be available during normal business hours in Chicago. Once the exchange ends most open-outcry trading in July 2015, they will disappear, leaving only the smaller versions available.

Nasdaq 100 Futures Facts

Nasdaq 100 futures react to major news events, which can sometimes occur overnight and before the U.S. equity markets open. The Nasdaq 100 futures and e-mini contracts can be indicators to the equity market’s open and performance throughout the trading day.

Trading Nasdaq 100 Futures

  • Other Nasdaq futures products include: e-mini Nasdaq Composite and e-mini Nasdaq Biotechnology futures, but these futures have no volume on a daily basis.
  • Contract months for Nasdaq 100 index futures and the e-mini futures contracts are: five months in the March quarterly cycle – March, June, September and December.
  • E-mini Nasdaq 100 futures opened the way for many more mini-sized futures contracts to begin trading at the CME.


Nasdaq Futures Contract Specifications

Contract SymbolContract UnitPrice Quotation
NQ$20 per contractdollars per contract
Trading ExchangeTrading HoursTick Value
CME GLOBEX17:00 - 16:000.25 index points = $5

Contract specifications are for the mini Nasdaq.


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