A Guide to the Language of the Futures Industry
Underlying Commodity: The cash commodity underlying a futures contract. Also, the commodity or futures contract on which a commodity option is based, and which must be accepted or delivered if the option is exercised.
Variation Margin: Payment made on a daily or intraday basis by a clearing member to the clearing organization based on adverse price movement in positions carried by the clearing member, calculated separately for customer and proprietary positions.
Vertical Spread: Any of several types of option spread involving the simultaneous purchase and sale of options of the same class and expiration date but different strike prices, including bull vertical spreads, bear vertical spreads, back spreads, and front spreads. See Horizontal Spread and Diagonal Spread.
Volatility: A statistical measurement (the annualized standard deviation of returns) of the rate of price change of a futures contract, security, or other instrument underlying an option. See Historical Volatility, Implied Volatility.
Volatility Trading: Strategies designed to speculate on changes in the volatility of the market rather than the direction of the market.
Volume: The number of contracts traded during a specified period of time. It is most commonly quoted as the number of contracts traded, but for some physical commodities may be quoted or as the total of physical units, such as bales, or bushels, pounds or dozens or barrels.