Are you looking for information on futures trading hours? To be honest futures trading hours can be a bit complicated and different types of assets have different trading hours. If you are interested in trading futures, you should do some specific research on the exact types of futures you want to trade. That being said, we’ll take a moment to go over trading hours and explain how they work.
Corn Futures Trading Hours
Let’s take a look at corn futures. Open outcry trading runs Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 1:15pm, Central Standard Time. Open outcry refers to the “pit” where traders shout out prices. Electronic trading, also referred to as “eCBOT electronic”, runs Sunday through Friday from 6:31pm to 6am, and also from 9:30am to 1:15pm Central Standard Time.
These trading hours can be very confusing, and hours will differ for dow futures, S&P futures, and other stock market futures. There are also options for premarket trading and numerous other things to consider. As you can tell, trading hours and trading practices for futures can be a bit complex.
In fact some people feel uncomfortable with the trading hours and end up deciding to trade in stocks instead. Stock markets are more familiar in a certain sense, but you shouldn’t write off futures markets due to trading hours and other challenges. Futures can be a great way to earn money.
The Future Is In Chicago
You’ll also notice that the times for futures trading hours are often quoted in Central Standard Time. This is one hour behind Eastern Standard time. Can you guess why? The biggest futures market in the United States isn’t on Wall Street but is actually in Chicago. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, or “The Merc” as it is often called, is the largest futures exchange in the world.
And the most widely traded future contract is the S&P 500 e-mini contract. It’s estimated that 2.2 million contracts are traded per day, with most of them been traded on The Merc. So if you’re interested in futures, then you should be familiar with Chicago and always remember to double check any trading hours to see if they are quoted in Eastern Standard time or Central Standard time!
Going Back in Time in Futures Trading
So why is Chicago the hub for stock futures and commodity futures? Originally, futures were most commonly used for deals with commodities rather than stocks. Chicago’s location in the center of the United States and its place on the Great Lakes and near the Midwest farm lands means that the so-called Windy City was a great location to facilitate futures trading.
Once upon a time cattle herders would drive herds of cattle across the Great Plains, and traders would navigate the Mississippi river to bring goods up from down south. Meanwhile, lumber, ore, and other goods would come into Chicago from the Great Lakes.
Futures contracts were created as a way for traders to buy goods well ahead of when they could be delivered. If a meat factory owner knew he’d need 1,000 cattle in September, it could draw up a futures contract with a cattle herder for delivery in September. Meanwhile, the cattle trader would be given money that he could then use to finance his business operations.
When futures contracts for stocks became popular it made sense for traders to use Chicago. Futures are a different sort of financial instrument compared to stocks. Chicago’s expertise in futures made the city and its financial services sector a natural fit. So while stocks are traded on Wall Street, futures are usually traded in Chicago. Of course in the age of the internet anyone can buy just about any type of financial instrument with their computer.