|Copper's Next Big Move: It's a Doozy|
|8/2/2011 2:00:00 PM|
|Source:Elliott Wave International|
|One of the biggest challenges for traditional financial market analysts is how to know whether the current direction of prices -- on the intraday, daily or any other time frame -- is with the larger market trend or against it. "Fundamental" analysis is just not equipped to answer that. Elliott wave analysis, on the other hand, meets this challenge head-on: It provides you with a clear and simple context for price action. Read More|
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In finance, a futures contract is a standardized contract, traded on a futures exchange, to buy or sell a certain underlying instrument at a certain date in the future, at a specified price. The future date is called the delivery date or final settlement date. The pre-set price is called the futures price. The price of the underlying asset on the delivery date is called the settlement price.
A futures contract gives the holder the obligation to buy or sell, which differs from an options contract, which gives the holder the right, but not the obligation. In other words, the owner of an options contract may exercise the contract. Both parties of a "futures contract" must fulfill the contract on the settlement date. The seller delivers the commodity to the buyer, or, if it is a cash-settled future, then cash is transferred from the futures trader who sustained a loss to the one who made a profit. To exit the commitment prior to the settlement date, the holder of a futures position has to offset their position by either selling a long position or buying back a short position, effectively closing out the futures position and its contract obligations.
Futures contracts, or simply futures, are exchange traded derivatives. The exchange's clearinghouse acts as counterparty on all contracts, sets margin requirements, etc.
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