Chicago Mercantile Exchange

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Written By
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Written By
William Berg
William contributes to several investment websites, leveraging his experience as a consultant for IPOs in the Nordic market and background providing localization for forex trading software. William has worked as a writer and fact-checker for a long row of financial publications.
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Edited By
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Edited By
Jemma Grist
Jemma is a writer, editor and fact-checker focused on retail trading and investing. Jemma brings a unique perspective to the forex, stock, and cryptocurrency markets and works across several investment websites as a researcher and broker analyst.
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Fact Checked By
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Fact Checked By
Tobias Robinson
Tobias is a partner at DayTrading.com, director of a UK limited company and active trader. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry and contributed via CySec to the regulatory response to digital options and CFD trading in Europe. Toby’s expertise and dedication to financial education make him a trusted voice in the industry, including a BBC investigation into digital options.
Updated

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) brokers offer access to the global derivatives marketplace based in Chicago, USA. The exchange focuses on commodities trading, particularly within the agriculture sector. Read this article for a review of the best brokers with access to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 2024, alongside comparison tips. Our trading guide also looks at the CME’s history, the products available and its opening hours.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange Brokers

These are the 3 best brokers for trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange:

Click a broker for details
  1. 1
    NinjaTrader

    Ratings
    4.3 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    2.9 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.2 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto
    NinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal
    ACH Transfer, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
    USD
  2. 2
    Interactive Brokers

    Ratings
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5

    $0
    $100
    1:50
    FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
    Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
    Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
    Cheque, ACH Transfer, Wire Transfer, Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, TransferWise, Debit Card
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF
  3. 3
    Moomoo
    Get up to 15 free stocks worth up to $2000

    Ratings
    4.8 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    3 / 5
    2 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4.4 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    3.3 / 5

    $0
    $0
    1:2
    SEC, FINRA, MAS, ASIC, SFC
    Stocks, Options, ETFs, ADRs, OTCs
    Desktop Platform, Mobile App
    Wire Transfer, ACH Transfer
    USD, HKD, SGD

Here is a short summary of why we think each broker belongs in this top list:

  1. NinjaTrader - NinjaTrader is a US-headquartered and regulated brokerage that specializes in futures trading. There are three pricing plans to suit different needs and budgets, as well as ultra-low margins on popular contracts. The brand's award-winning charting software and trading platform also offers a high-degree of customization and superb technical analysis features.
  2. Interactive Brokers - Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.
  3. Moomoo - Moomoo is an SEC-regulated app-based investment platform that offers a straightforward and affordable way to invest in Chinese, Hong Kong, Singaporean, Australian and US stocks, ETFs and other assets. Margin trading is available and the brand offers a zero-deposit account as well as several bonuses.

NinjaTrader

"NinjaTrader continues to meet the demands of active futures traders looking for low fees and premium analysis tools. The platform hosts top-rate charting features including hundreds of indicators and 10+ chart types."

Tobias Robinson, Reviewer

NinjaTrader Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsNinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD

Stock Exchanges

NinjaTrader offers trading on 2 stock exchanges:

  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange
  • New York Stock Exchange

Pros

  • Low fees are offered, with $50 day trading margins & commissions from $.09 per micro contract
  • NinjaTrader is a widely respected and award-winning futures broker and is heavily authorized by the NFA and CFTC
  • NinjaTrader continues to deliver comprehensive charting software for active day traders with bespoke technical indicators and widgets

Cons

  • The premium platform tools come with an extra charge
  • Non forex and futures trading requires signing up with partner brokers
  • There is a withdrawal fee on some funding methods

Interactive Brokers

"Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers for advanced day traders, providing powerful charting platforms, real-time data, and customizable layouts, notably through the new IBKR Desktop application. Its superb pricing and advanced order options also make it highly attractive for day traders, while its diverse range of equities is still among the best in the industry."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

Interactive Brokers Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsStocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
RegulatorFCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
PlatformsTrader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade$100
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF

Stock Exchanges

Interactive Brokers offers trading on 15 stock exchanges:

  • Borsa Italiana
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange
  • Euronext
  • IBEX 35
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • Korean Stock Exchange
  • London Metal Exchange
  • London Stock Exchange
  • Nasdaq
  • Nasdaq Nordic & Baltics
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • Russell 2000
  • Shenzhen Stock Exchange
  • Toronto Stock Exchange

Pros

  • With low commissions, tight spreads and a transparent fee structure, IBKR delivers a cost-effective environment for short-term traders.
  • IBKR is one of the most respected and trusted brokerages and is regulated by top-tier authorities, so you can have confidence in the integrity and security of your trading account.
  • IBKR continues to deliver unmatched access to global stocks with tens of thousands of equities available from 100+ market centres in 24 countries.

Cons

  • IBKR provides a wide range of research tools, but their distribution across trading platforms and the web-based 'Account Management' page lacks consistency, leading to a confusing user experience.
  • You can only have one active session per account, so you can’t have your desktop program and mobile app running simultaneously, making for a sometimes frustrating trading experience.
  • TWS’s learning curve is steep, and beginners may find it challenging to navigate the platform and understand all the features. Plus500's web platform is much better suited to new traders.

Moomoo

"Moomoo remains an excellent choice for new and intermediate stock traders who want to build a diverse investment portfolio. What really stands out is the broker's user-friendly app and the low trading fees."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

Moomoo Quick Facts

Bonus OfferGet up to 15 free stocks worth up to $2000
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsStocks, Options, ETFs, ADRs, OTCs
RegulatorSEC, FINRA, MAS, ASIC, SFC
PlatformsDesktop Platform, Mobile App
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade$0
Leverage1:2
Account CurrenciesUSD, HKD, SGD

Stock Exchanges

Moomoo offers trading on 5 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • Nasdaq
  • New York Stock Exchange

Pros

  • The ‘Moomoo Token’ generates dynamic passwords for transaction security - a unique and helpful safety feature
  • It is reassuring that Moomoo holds licenses with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), among others
  • The broker offers access to extended pre-market trading hours

Cons

  • There is no phone or live chat support - common options at most other brokers
  • There is no negative balance protection, which is a common safety feature at top-tier-regulated brokers
  • It's a shame that there is no 2 factor authentication (2FA), despite the other security features on offer

Comparing Chicago Mercantile Exchange Brokers

One of the most important parts of a successful day trading journey is choosing the right broker. We have compiled a list of the key considerations when selecting Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers.

Assets

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is a derivative exchange, primarily offering futures and options. It is worth checking that brokers offer a full range of investment products so you can diversify your portfolio without needing to open multiple trading accounts. Look out for commodities, cryptocurrencies, energies and more so you can spread your capital across the full offering of the exchange.

Platforms

Do brokers that support trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange provide access to a stable and reliable platform? Depending on your level of experience and trading goals, you may need advanced technical indicators, analysis tools and custom charts/graphs. CME brokers that offer copy trading services and algorithm-based investing may also rank highly.

Interactive Brokers offers several trading platforms, meaning there is a terminal for all types of day traders. This includes the Impact mobile app to find and invest in companies that share your values, or the bespoke and industry-recognized flagship desktop platform designed for active traders.

Mobile Trading

If you want to trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on the move, compare CME brokers that support mobile trading. Ensure the mobile applications offer a range of compatibility options so you can switch between devices and pick up exactly where you left off. This may include Android, Windows, iOS or Huawei, for example.

Those with customizable interfaces, smaller screen adjustment settings such as zoom and scroll, and simple navigation are also worth considering.

Live News Streams

Does the firm provide access to live news streams and the latest industry publications? The best Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers will publish free-flowing news, articles and blog posts in a comprehensive and digestible manner.

As a busy day trader, you won’t want to waste time sifting through the news to find something relevant to your trading assets. Let Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers do this work for you, and integrate this data and information into your strategy.

Fees

Trading and non-trading fees can quickly consume profits. Look out for Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers that provide commission-free trading or low fees so you can keep costs down. Degiro, for example, charges a $0.75 commission per futures contract with a connectivity fee of €5.00 per calendar month.

Also consider currency conversion fees if you are investing in the exchange in a currency other than USD. This charge may vary between CME brokers. Additionally, some Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers may apply deposit and withdrawal charges for some international payment methods, though the best platforms will waive these costs.

What Is The Chicago Mercantile Exchange?

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), also known as the Chicago Merc, is by definition a global commodities exchange that trades derivatives such as futures and options. The exchange is owned by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group Inc., a holding company that owns several exchanges, and it has a daily trading volume of around $19 million, a market cap of $71.4 billion and revenue of over $4 billion according in recent years.

There are many markets available on the exchange, including a variety of agricultural products like corn futures, water futures, hog futures and milk futures. The CME Group Inc. is listed on Nasdaq and today’s share price can be found on websites like Bloomberg and TradingView.

A Brief History Of Chicago Mercantile Exchange

Established in 1898, the exchange was first named the Chicago Butter and Egg Board. It was known as this until it changed its name to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in 1919.

The CME launched its first futures contract in 1961 on frozen pork bellies. Following this, in 1969, it added financial futures and currency contracts followed by the first interest rate, bond and futures contracts in 1972.

In 2000, the exchange became the first financial exchange to “demutualize” and become a publicly traded, shareholder-owned corporation.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Chicago Board Of Trade

In 2006, it was announced that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade would merge and create the CME Group, becoming one of the largest financial exchanges in the world. The agreement was modified several times until the shareholders of both sides passed it off. The merger officially closed on July 12, 2007.

NYMEX

On March 17th 2008, it was announced that the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) had accepted an offer from the CME Group to purchase NYMEX for $8.9 billion. The acquisition was completed on August 22nd 2008, further increasing the value of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group.

Kansas City Board Of Trade

In 2012, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group expanded again, purchasing the Kansas City Board of Trade. The KCBOT was the dominant player in hard red winter wheat. The CME Group paid $126 million in cash to acquire the Kansas City Board of Trade.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange Offices & Locations

The address of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Center, the main building for the CME Group, is in Chicago, Illinois. Alongside this, the CME Group have offices and locations in a variety of countries and continents.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group have a New York (NYC) office, as well as offices in London, Singapore and Hong Kong. The CME group then have global locations in 22 cities around the world, including Bangalore (India), Tokyo (Japan), Belfast (UK), Paris (France), Calgary (Canada) and Sao Paulo (Brazil).

CME Products

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is a derivatives exchange offering futures and options to traders. While you will not find stock or share prices on your Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers’ platform, there are a host of other financial products available:

Agricultural Commodity

In the early days of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, these were the sole focus of the marketplace. Today, traders can purchase agricultural commodity contracts that speculate on many products, including dairy (milk, cheese and butter), lumber (wood), soybean, live and feeder cattle, beef and grain prices. Orange juice futures cannot be traded on the exchange.

The daily livestock report provides a one-page summary of news, prices and activity on CME’s livestock markets.

Cryptocurrency

Since December 2017, Bitcoin futures have traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. On Feb. 8th, 2021, Ether (ETH) futures, the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain network, launched on the exchange, a popular instrument across many global CME  brokers. Both are available as futures only positions.

There has been recent speculation that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange would launch Dogecoin futures, though the CME Group came out to say they have no plans to do so.

Energy

Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers offer WTI Crude Oil futures, as well as Henry Hub Natural Gas, Brent Crude and RBOB Gasoline futures.

Equity Index Products

There are many equity index products trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. These indices include E-mini S&P 500 futures, S&P 500 futures, S&P 500 Consolidated futures, E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures, Nikkei/Yen futures, Micro E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average futures and more.

Interest Rate Products

Interest rate products on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange include Eurodollar futures (including 3-month Eurodollar futures), 10-Year T-Note futures, 30 Day Federal Funds futures, 2-Year Eris Swap futures and more.

Foreign Exchange Products

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange features multiple foreign exchange (forex) products including Euro FX futures, Japanese yen futures, British pound futures, US dollar futures, Russian ruble futures, Brazilian real futures and more.

Metals Products

Brokers with access to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange offer futures on many metal products, including gold and steel, as well as silver, platinum and palladium.

Weather Derivatives

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is the only market in the world that trades weather derivatives. Products include, but are not limited to, futures on rainfall, snowfall, hurricanes and temperature.

Binary Options

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is one of only three designated contract markets where binary options can be legally traded in the United States.

CME & S&P

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange introduced the first S&P 500 futures contract in 1982. They then added the E-mini option in 1997. The S&P 500 value can be found on sites like TradingView.

The S&P 500 index future contract, also known as the “big contract”, has a ticker symbol of SP. The E-mini has a ticker symbol of ES.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) assigned the CME Group an AA credit rating showing their trust in them.

CME Trading Platforms

Open Outcry

Open outcry trading operated during regular trading hours (RTH) at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The open outcry method consists of traders standing on the trading floor in an area known as the pit. Here, traders wore different colored jackets to indicate which company they work for and used hand signals to communicate with brokers (although headsets were also used).

In 2021, it was announced that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was to open outcry trading after 167 years. Today, interested people can visit and tour the pits to see where the magic happened or just admire the architecture when a picture of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and its logo is not good enough.

Electronic Trading

The CME Globex electronic trading platform is the foundation of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and is now the only way to trade on the exchange. The Globex Trading System was first introduced in 1992 and allows market participants to trade from booths within the exchange or anywhere around the world in homes and offices.

Some major brokers, such as Interactive Brokers and Degiro, permit access to the exchange. Non-professionals can receive free Globex level 1 futures quotes and historical data packages to help them trade.

Membership

Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group clearing house corporate or individual memberships can be bought, sold or leased. The current membership price can be found on the CME Group website.

Members can trade specific products at reduced rates and lower fees if they adhere to the rulebook. Recently, seat prices on the Chicago Board of Trade rose to $500,000.

CME Regulation

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s regulator is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC oversees all commodities and derivatives contracts in the US and is responsible for the oversight of CME brokers and merchants. They also regulate the investments of virtual assets like Bitcoin within the exchange.

In 2013, the CFTC filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group due to leaks of confidential information from former employees. The CME agreed to settle the lawsuit by paying $4 million.

CME Structure

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s organizational structure is simple. The group is run by the board of directors, who oversee the management of the company’s business. The management team, including the General Counsel, are heavily involved in overseeing the company too.

Trading Holidays

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange observes all US recognized holidays in 2024 and beyond. Just so that you do not have to wonder “is the Chicago Mercantile Exchange open today”, we have compiled a list of the various holidays (note these may change each year):

Chicago Mercantile Exchange timings vary on each holiday and can be checked on the CME website or via registered brokers.

Customer Support

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is an example of great investor relations. Should you encounter disagreements, the market regulation department offers a forum for arbitration. The CME customer service team can be contacted via the phone:

Competitors

So, how does the Chicago Mercantile Exchange compare to others like Nasdaq and NYSE?

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange targets a different market to both exchanges. The NYSE and Nasdaq deal primarily with stocks, whereas the CME deals primarily with commodities such as agriculture and energy. This makes it an interesting exchange to explore. As a result, the CME is not in direct competition with either the NYSE or Nasdaq.

Look out for Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers that provide access to all three for full portfolio diversification.

How To Trade On The CME

Even if you cannot pronounce the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (it’s merKantile), we can help you start trading with this step-by-step guide. After comparing Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers and choosing one that best suits your needs and goals, follow the steps below:

  1. Register: Open an account and deposit funds with CME brokers
  2. Analyze The Market: Study the market to see any potential areas you want to invest in. Look for high volatility and any trends before deciding on the product you want to purchase. Alternatively, pick an established strategy to follow
  3. Open A Position: Once you have found a suitable product, you can purchase a futures contract. Be sure to check margin requirements and expiration dates
  4. Monitor And Close Position: Keep an eye on the price movement of your product and cash the contract in when the time is right. If you do not cash it in, the contract will automatically be sold at the expiration date

Top CME Trading Tips

These tips could give you the edge over other traders:

Final Word On Chicago Mercantile Exchange Brokers

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and the CME Group Inc., are an integral part of the United States financial infrastructure. The exchange is a major trading hub for futures on a variety of commodities, including agriculture, WTI Crude Oil, plus cryptocurrencies and much more.

If you want to start trading, see our list of Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers and use our comparison guide and tips to start profiting from your favorite commodities.

FAQs

Can I Trade CME Dogecoin Futures With Online Brokers?

No – the CME does not offer Dogecoin futures, though it does sell futures on both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

How Much Capital Do I Need To Start Trading At CME Brokers?

There is no set minimum amount. The lowest value will depend on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers you choose to trade through. You can compare minimum deposits on our list of the best brokers with access to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

How Active Is The Chicago Mercantile Exchange?

The CME is the largest derivatives exchange in the world by daily volume. The CME group handles over 3 billion contracts per year, worth approximately $1 quadrillion.

Does The CME Still Use Open Outcry Trading?

Until 2021, the CME did use open outcry on the trading floor. However, it was recently ended, bringing to a close 167 years of open outcry trading.

Can I Purchase Stocks Through CME Brokers?

No, you cannot purchase stocks through the CME directly or through Chicago Mercantile Exchange brokers. The group focuses on commodity derivatives such as agriculture and energy futures.