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You can trade commodity futures electronically almost 24 hours a day. Each commodity group, such as agriculture or energy, has its own opening and closing times. Along with electronic trading, agricultural and energy futures still offer live pit trading Monday through Friday for investors who want to spot-trade those markets. Know your commodity’s trading hours so you can enter your trade before the market closes.
Equity futures contracts track different stock market indexes. You can trade the Dow Jones industrial average $5, $10 and $25 contracts, the Standard & Poor's 500 index full-size and e-mini contracts, and the Nasdaq 100 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group. The Dow $10 and $25 contracts, e-mini Dow and Dow Jones US Real Estate Futures are available on the Chicago Board of Options exchange. Electronic trading starts on Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern time and closes at 4:15 p.m. Friday. There are trading breaks each weekday from 4:15 to 4:30 p.m. and from 5:30 to 6 p.m.
You can trade grains and oilseeds with agricultural futures contracts. Wheat, corn, soybeans and soybean oil are popular. Other agricultural futures contracts are oats, crude palm oil and rough rice. You also can trade minicontracts of wheat, corn and soybeans. Electronic trading starts at 6 p.m. Eastern time Sunday and closes Friday at 4 p.m. There is a daily trading break from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pit trading hours are Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Energy futures contracts are traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group. Along with Brent crude and light sweet crude futures contracts, you can trade natural gas, heating oil and unleaded gasoline. Electronic trading starts Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern time and closes Friday at 5:15 p.m. Trading stops every weekday from 5:15 to 6 p.m. Pit trading runs Monday through Friday, starting at 9 a.m. Eastern time and closing at 2:30 p.m.
"Softs" futures contracts cover wide variety of renewable commodities. Coffee, sugar, cocoa, cotton and frozen orange juice concentrate are traded on the Intercontinental Exchange. Lumber, milk and butter are traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group. Electronic trading opens Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern time and closes Friday at 5:15 p.m. There is a daily break from 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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