Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chicago's Futures Exchanges Battle in Marketing Contracts

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chicago's Futures Exchanges Battle in Marketing Contracts

Article excerpt

CHICAGO - It's only a tiny thing, but the Mr. Spock button with a red diagonal slash across his face symbolizes the competitive ver ve between Chicago's two big futures exchanges in marketing their new contracts on over-the-counter stock index futures.

When the trading bell initiated the birth of these contracts on Oct. 25, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange saw it as a must-win battle.

""We could not let Board of Trade win this contract,'' said George Kalberer of the Mercantile's financial marketing squad.

Both the Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade have spent heavily to promote and educate investors on these contracts to make or take delivery of cash at a set time in the future, based on the value of an index of stock prices.

The Board of Trade's contract is based on the NASDAQ index. The Mercantile Exchange's is based on a Standard & Poor index and nicknamed SPOC - hence the Board of Trade's button with the red-slashedStar Trek character.

On the day trading in the indexes began in October, the Board of Trade handled 13,000 contracts, the second best opening day in its history and about twice the activity a few blocks away at the Mercantile.

Through this past Wednesday, 138,598 NASDAQ index contracts had been traded since opening day, compared to 93,440 SPOC contracts.

The Board of Trade has poured $2.5 million into promoting its NASDAQ contracts and educating likely traders, and it believes the effort is paying off.

""Normally in a new contract about 10 percent of the daily trading volume will be non-member customers,'' said Tom Bonen, marketing director of the Board of Trade. …

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