An index is, in one sense, just a number that is computed in order to measure the value of a portfolio of stocks.

Tick size or tick value for futures indexes represent the minimum fluctuation in price of a futures contract. Futures contracts trade in ticks. This value is denoted in various dollar amounts per contract.

There are futures for indexes, commodities, currencies, interest rates, volatility (VIX), and bonds.

Kahn Academy has an excellent explanation about financial markets including stocks, options, futures, and forwards.

The following specifications are for the electronic e-mini futures contracts for the S&P 500, NASDAQ 100, DOW 30, and the Russell 2000.

Ticker Symbol: **ES**

Cash Index: **S&P 500**

ETF: **SPY**

Value of 1 Tick: **$12.50**

Ticks per Point:** 4**

Multiplier: **50**

Notational Value: **Price x 50**

CME Group: CME Group

Ticker Symbol: **YM**

Cash Index: **Dow Jones Industrial Average**

ETF: **DIA**

Value of 1 Tick: **$5.00**

Ticks per Point: **1**

Multiplier: **5**

Notational Value: **Price x 5**

CME Group: CME Group

Ticker Symbol: **NQ**

Cash Index: **NASDAQ-100 Index**

ETF: **QQQ**

Value of 1 Tick: **$5.00**

Ticks per Point: **4**

Multiplier: **20**

Notational Value: **Price x 20**

CME Group: CME Group

Ticker Symbol: **TF**

Cash Index: **Russell 2000**

ETF: **IWM**

Value of 1 Tick: **$10.00**

Ticks per Point: **10**

Multiplier: **100**

Notational Value: **Price x 100**

CME Group: ICE

*SPU (The S&P 500) aka. the “big” trades in $0.10 increments. Pit traders will buy contracts in the S&P pit at a dime and flip them on the e-mini Globex exchange, this is known as big/mini arbitrage.