CFTC Glossary

A Guide to the Language of the Futures Industry


Large Order Execution (LOX) Procedures: Rules in place at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that authorize a member firm that receives a large order from an initiating party to solicit counterparty interest off the exchange floor prior to open execution of the order in the pit and that provide for special surveillance procedures. The parties determine a maximum quantity and an "intended execution price." Subsequently, the initiating party's order quantity is exposed to the pit; any bids (or offers) up to and including those at the intended execution price are hit (acceptable). The unexecuted balance is then crossed with the contraside trader found using the LOX procedures.

Large Traders: A large trader is one who holds or controls a position in any one future or in any one option expiration series of a commodity on any one exchange equaling or exceeding the exchange or CFTC-specified reporting level.

Last Notice Day: The final day on which notices of intent to deliver on futures contracts may be issued.

Last Trading Day: Day on which trading ceases for the maturing (current) delivery month.

Latency: The amount of time that elapses between the placement of a market order or marketable limit order on an electronic trading system and the execution of that order.

Leaps: Long-dated, exchange-traded options. Stands for “Long-term Equity Anticipation Securities.”

Leverage: The ability to control large dollar amounts of a commodity or security with a comparatively small amount of capital.

LIBOR: The London Interbank Offered Rate. The rate of interest at which banks borrow funds (denominated in U.S. dollars) from other banks, in marketable size, in the London interbank market. LIBOR rates are disseminated by the British Bankers Association, which also disseminates LIBOR rates for British pounds sterling. Some interest rate futures contracts, including Eurodollar futures, are cash settled based on LIBOR. Also see EURIBOR® and TIBOR.

Licensed Warehouse: A warehouse approved by an exchange from which a commodity may be delivered on a futures contract. See Regular Warehouse.

Life of Contract: Period between the beginning of trading in a particular futures contract and the expiration of trading. In some cases, this phrase denotes the period already passed in which trading has already occurred. For example, "The life-of-contract high so far is $2.50." Same as life of delivery or life of the future.

Limit (Up or Down): The maximum price advance or decline from the previous day's settlement price permitted during one trading session, as fixed by the rules of an exchange. In some futures contracts, the limit may be expanded or removed during a trading session a specified period of time after the contract is locked limit. See Daily Price Limit.

Limit Move: See Locked Limit.

Limit Only: The definite price stated by a customer to a broker restricting the execution of an order to buy for not more than, or to sell for not less than, the stated price.

Limit Order: An order in which the customer specifies a minimum sale price or maximum purchase price, as contrasted with a market order, which implies that the order should be filled as soon as possible at the market price.

Liquidation: The closing out of a long position. The term is sometimes used to denote closing out a short position, but this is more often referred to as covering. See Cover, Offset.

Liquid Market: A market in which selling and buying can be accomplished with minimal effect on price.

Local: An individual with exchange trading privileges who trades for his own account, traditionally on an exchange floor, and whose activities provide market liquidity. See Floor Trader, E-Local.

Location: A Delivery Point for a futures contract.

Locked-In: A hedged position that cannot be lifted without offsetting both sides of the hedge (spread). See Hedging. Also refers to being caught in a limit price move.

Locked Limit: A price that has advanced or declined the permissible limit during one trading session, as fixed by the rules of an exchange. Also called Limit Move.

London Gold Market: Refers to the dealers in the London Bullion Market Association who set (fix) the gold price in London. See Gold Fixing.

Long: (1) One who has bought a futures contract to establish a market position; (2) a market position that obligates the holder to take delivery; (3) one who owns an inventory of commodities. See Short.

Long Hedge: See Buying Hedge.

Long the Basis: A person or firm that has bought the spot commodity and hedged with a sale of futures is said to be long the basis.

Lookalike Option: An over-the-counter option that is cash settled based on the settlement price of a similar exchange-traded futures contract on a specified trading day.

Lookalike Swap: An over-the-counter swap that is cash settled based on the settlement price of a similar exchange-traded futures contract on a specified trading day.

Lookback Option: An exotic option whose payoff depends on the minimum or maximum price of the underlying asset during some portion of the life of the option. Lookback options allow the buyer to pay or receive the most favorable underlying price during the lookback period.

Lot: A unit of trading. See Even Lot, Job Lot, and Round Lot.