# Points vs. Cents

The profit or loss amount is determined by the contract you are trading. Each futures contract is quoted in a slightly different manner, and as such your profit or loss calculation for most markets is slightly different. The following highlights the major markets and how they are quoted. Of course, Gecko Software’s Track ‘n Trade 5.0 will convert price moves to profit or loss for you, but these examples will help you understand how it is done.

Grains: Corn, Wheat, Oats, and Soybeans are quoted in cents per bushel, with a contract size of 5,000 bushels. A Corn price of 235 is really \$2.35 per bushel. Each of these grains moves in 1/4 cent increments, which equates to \$12.50 before commissions and fees. The profit or loss of a one cent move is \$50.00 before commissions and fees.

Meats: The contracts are quoted in cents per pound. If Live Cattle is trading at 74.00, the price is actually 0.74 cents per pound. Meat prices move in 0.025 cents per pound increments, but usually the last 0.005 cent per pound is dropped, so a price quote of 74.02 is really 74.025, while a price quote of 74.17 is actually 74.175. Live Cattle, Lean Hogs, and Pork Bellies contracts call for delivery of 40,000 pounds, making a 0.025 cent per pound worth \$10.00 before commissions and fees. The profit or loss of a one cent move is \$400.00 before commissions and fees. Feeder Cattle prices are quoted the same way, except they call for 50,000 pounds, making a 0.025 cent move is worth \$12.50 and a one cent move in Feeder Cattle worth \$500.00 before commissions and fees.

"Softs" or Exotics: Coffee, Sugar, and Orange Juice are all quoted in cents per pound, but each has a different contract size. A Coffee price of 50.40 is 50.40 cents per pound, an Orange Juice price of 89.95 is 89.95 cents per pound, and a Sugar price of 762 is really 7.62 cents per pound (prices in Sugar are quoted in cents per hundred weight). Cocoa prices are quoted in dollars per metric ton, so a price of 1301 is really \$1301 per metric ton.

The contract size for Coffee is 37,500 pounds, making a 1 cent move worth \$375.00 before commissions and fees. Orange Juice futures call for delivery of 15,000 pounds, making a 1 cent move worth \$150.00 before commissions and fees. Sugar is traded in 112,000 pound increments, making a 1 cent move in Sugar equal to \$1,120.00 before commissions and fees. Cocoa contracts call for 10 metric tons at delivery, making a \$1 move in Cocoa worth \$10.00 before commissions and fees.

Metals: Gold and Platinum prices are quoted in dollars per troy ounce. Most quote vendors display their prices in this format as well, so prices are easy to read. A Gold price of 285.10 is \$285.10 per troy ounce, while a Platinum price of 475.5 is \$475.50 per troy ounce. However, each contract has a different contract size. Each Gold futures contract represents 100 troy ounces, so a \$1.00 per troy ounce move equates to \$100.00 before commissions and fees. Platinum futures represent only 50 troy ounces, as Platinum is much more rare than Gold. Each \$1.00 per toy ounce move in Platinum is equal to \$50.00 before commissions and fees.

Silver and Copper Futures are quoted in cents: cents per troy ounce in Silver, and cents per pound in Copper. A Silver price of 452.5 is actually \$4.525 per ounce, while a Copper price of 70.20 is really \$0.7020 per pound. Each Silver contract represents 5,000 ounces, making a 1.0 cent move equal \$50.00 before commissions and fees. Copper contracts control 25,000 pounds of copper, making a 1.00 cent move equal \$250.00 before commissions and fees.

Petroleum: Crude oil is quoted in dollars per barrel (bbl). A price of 20.50 is \$20.50 per barrel. Each contract represents 1,000 barrels of oil, making a \$1.00 barrel move equal to a \$1,000.00 profit or loss before commissions and fees.

Heating Oil and Unleaded Gasoline are the same as at the pump (minus taxes and service station mark-ups) in cents per gallon. A price of 52.46 is \$0.5246 per gallon. Both contracts call for delivery of 42,000 gallons; therefore, a 1 cent per gallon equates to \$420.00 before commissions and fees.

Currencies: Currencies represent an exchange rate, or how many US Dollars it takes to buy one Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen, Euro, or Mexican Peso. Prices are quoted in many different fashions, but the basic convention is that a 0.01 move in the Swiss Franc or Yen equals \$12.50 before commissions and fees because of the contract size. The Canadian Dollar, US Dollar Index, and Euro have a different contract size, and a 0.01 move equates to \$10.00 before commissions and fees.

Financials: The same basic principles apply to the financial markets, which are generally quoted in terms of points. Prices are usually read as is, though some, like the treasury securities (US, TY, FV, TU), are traded in different combinations of 1/32nd or 1/64th. Each of these markets has the dollars per point already calculated into Gecko Software’s Track ‘n Trade 5.0 application, and a list of the different contract sizes and pricing terms are available from the various exchanges they trade on, as they do not follow a single convention.