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Why do some people refer to futures contracts as "cars"?
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Why do some people refer to futures contracts as "cars"?

  #1 (permalink)
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Why do some people refer to futures contracts as "cars"?

I always wondered why futures contracts are sometimes referred to as "cars". A little Googling and I found this. I thought some of you might wonder the same thing.

Black Monday: The Stock Market ... - Google Books

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  #2 (permalink)
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Hmmm...didn't know that. Makes sense...I've heard a contract referred to as a handle, also. Not sure where that comes from, either.

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Interesting find, was curious myself. Since I had only seen it when referring to the ES I thought hm..1 contract at 1050 = $52,500 nominal value..a 'car'? Way off!

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Cars ...
if memory service me right...
it goes back to "old times" and commodities markets when and where almost all commodities were shipped by railway wagons cars. a lot of commodities still shipped/measured by railway cars.
so, that's why 1 car = 1 contract

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Andrew View Post
Cars ...
if memory service me right...
it goes back to "old times" and commodities markets when and where almost all commodities were shipped by railway wagons cars. a lot of commodities still shipped/measured by railway cars.
so, that's why 1 car = 1 contract

ok, so trading the e-minis is like playing with model trains?

if so, then you might want to watch this if you're getting stopped out in chop today.

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well as per personal point of view

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i'm pretty sure "car" was an S&P only term however I know everyone calls any contract a "car" nowadays.

a "handle" is not a contract it is 4 S&P ticks or 1 S&P point, however I'm sure the term gets used loosely as well.


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  #8 (permalink)
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Please don't think I'm arguing, but "car" 100 % came from commodities + S&P began trading only since 1982 whereas "car" existed already long before.

My 2 cents

Krgds,
Andrew

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  #9 (permalink)
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From the following link:

Bloomberg.com: Financial Glossary

"Car:

A loose quantity term sometimes used to describe the amount of a commodity underlying one commodity contract; e.g., "a car of bellies." Derived from the fact that quantities of the product specified in a contract once corresponded closely to the capacity of a railroad car."

One contract used to represent the amount of physical material that could fit inside a railway car, that's why buying 1 contract = 1 car. The term stuck when the S&P futures came around, even though there is no physical material behind that contract.

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oh yea forgot one other thing, "car" is in reference to the floor contract not the globex contract, but i suppose no one cares anymore!

so really to be fair it would take 5 ES contracts to equal 1 "car"


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