E-mini and Micro E-mini Stock Index Futures contracts expire four times per year. The four primary "front" month contracts are December, March, June and September.
Video on Stock Index Futures Roll Over (June to September)
The front month is the contract with the most volume (liquidity) and typically has the tightest bid/ask spread. The current front month is the June contract. June is represented by the letter M. As an example, the complete ticker symbol for the June E-mini S&P 500 contract would be ESM0. Once we roll over the front month will be September and the symbol will ESU0.
For the E-mini and Micro E-mini S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, Russell 2000 and Dow Jones contracts, trading terminates at 9:30 a.m. ET on the 3rd Friday of the contract month -- June 19th.
The term rollover comes from the practice of position traders liquidating positions in expiring contract months and re-establishing the same position in the new contract month. However, with the advent of online trading, term "Roll Over" became a universal call to day traders to start trading the contract with the most volume.
Rollover does not operate like a light switch. Volume migrates from old month to new over time.
The CME Group provides an Equity Pace of Roll Tool. Below you will find the current Pace of the Roll projection.
The red dot is today. Equity Pace of Roll Tool estimates that volume will migrate at least 50% of the volume to the front month (September) by next Tuesday.
Traders using the InfinityAT™ trading ladder can also view market volume by looking at the quote board. The below view shows the ESMO (June current front month) at 374,852 contracts traded so far today. While the ESU0 (September next front month) at only 19,764. Over the next week the difference in volume will being to change with September getting relatively bigger in comparison to June. For now the majority of the volume is in June. Keeping an eye on the quote board can be helpful.
An easy way to add the next contract month to the quote board is simply highlight the contract you are interested in and click on the "R" button at the top of the quote board.
On ATCharts™ an easy way to change to the next contract month is to type the core symbol in the upper left side of the chart. You will get a list of markets and contract months to choose from.
Please do not hesitate to try a real time practice account: https://www.infinityfutures.com/futures-trading-demo.aspx
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