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S&P 500 Big Futures Question


I've traded futures for a while, but am not a big enough fish to know the following:

Do individuals (I'm not talking institutions or professional fund managers) trade the SP Big Futures online? For anyone with information on this, how does it compare to the SP E-mini in terms of volume and ability to locate shares?

At this point, I'm only asking out of curiosity. It did, however, occur to me that paying commissions on 1 contract (of the Bigs) compared to 5 contracts (of the E-minis) would result in the same profit/loss but with fewer commissions fees in total.
I received a response elsewhere and will share that here:

Apparently, the S&P Big volume is so small (~2000 contracts) that it is not reasonably able to be traded online. So, for all intents and purposes, the answer is: NO!
Thanks for asking and answering this flapjack and my apologies for getting back to this topic so late.

Here's a link to a topic that discusses: The Demise of the big S&P500 contract which in turn links to the original article that I wrote on the subject a few years ago.

I might be wrong but I'm under the impression that the pit for the big S&P500 contract at The Merc is now closed and it only continues to exist electronically. Can anyone confirm or correct me on this?
Yes, you are correct
I can tell you without a doubt that the S&P pit still exists. I'm not sure where Victory Trader got that information, but it is inaccurate.

I was just at the CME/CBOT last week in-person, and stood right outside the outer ring of the S&P pit. The pit still exists, but is much, much less populated than in the past. I counted more people sitting on little chairs trading the minis on the screen just outside the pit but still on the floor. Some of these people were trading the outright, others were arbing.

Andrew Menaker PhD
popdoc: Do you think the days of the S&P500 pit are numbered? Or do you think it will exist for many years to come?
Great question, DT.

I asked a few people at the CME/CBOT that question. Of course, they have a vested interest in seeing the pit continue, so they replied that it would probably continue.

I was there with a client of mine, who is a floor trader and trades on the screen, and he made a really good point about needing the human element if the electronic system goes down, similar to the hybrid model of the NYSE.
Doc's right, Yes, ... the human element is necessary, and the pit will remain as the source for open out cry. Commercials cross without impacting the e-mini bid/ask spread. Try offerring 40,000 contracts into a market trading a few hundred contracts at each level. Hope that helps. Thanks for your shared mutual interests.
What about the European exchanges. Haven't they all gone electronic with no pits left at all? Wouldn't the same "electronic system goes down" problem apply to them as well?

I used to work for a boutique currency hedge fund manager. We always had a proxy currency and alternative avenue we could trade through if the primary currency or source failed.