May 5, 2005 — The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) said it will launch futures contracts next month on three exchange-traded funds with more than $82 billion in assets.

Futures contracts on Nasdaq-100 Trust Series 1 (QQQQ), S&P 500 Depositary Receipts (SPDR) (SPY) and iShares Russell 2000 Index Trust (IWM) are slated to begin trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform on June 6, the exchange said.

“Equity market participants want access to a broad array of products and markets, and the growth of our CME E-mini S&P 500, CME E-mini NASDAQ-100 and CME E-mini Russell 2000 contracts makes these ETF products a natural addition,” said Craig Donohue, the exchange’s chief executive officer. “Our CME E- mini S&P 500, CME E-mini NASDAQ-100 and CME E-mini Russell 2000, which average more than 800,000, 340,000 and 110,000 contracts respectively per day, have demonstrated the strong demand for smaller-sized futures contracts.”

One advantage to ETF futures, like all futures, is that they will allow investors to take a short position without borrowing shares from a broker, which is necessary to sell short securities or ETFs, CME noted. Also, the initial margin with ETF futures will generally be lower than the Regulation T margins associated with the underlying ETF.

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