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Understanding a Futures Contract

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Ticker Symbols for Futures Contracts
Futures tickers are a little different from stocks. Each futures market has a ticker symbol that is followed by symbols for the contract month and the year. For example, crude oil futures have a ticker symbol - CL. The complete ticker symbol for December 2007 Crude Oil Futures would be - CLZ7.

The “CL” stands for the underlying futures contract.
The “Z” stands for a December delivery month. (F=Jan, G=Feb, H=Mar, J=Apr, K=May, M=June, N=July, Q=Aug, U=Sep, V=Oct, X=Nov, Z=Dec)
The “7” stands for the year – 2007.

This is the standard formula for futures ticker symbols. Some quote services are a little different.

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