The CME Group
The CME Group is the world's largest derivatives exchange. As previously mentioned, on July 12, 2007, the merger of the CBOT and the CME created the CME Group, but the NYMEX was acquired in 2008 to create a powerful and innovative entity.
The CME Group currently operates the CME, CBOT, and the NYMEX and serves the speculative and risk management needs of customers worldwide. Between the three divisions, the CME Group offers derivative products across all the previously mentioned major asset classes.
Upon merger, the CBOT and the CME consolidated all floor-trading operations into a single location; the historic CBOT. The actual move took place over three weekends, and no details were spared. The new combined trading floor spans 60,000 square feet and facilitated the execution of nearly 3.3 million open outcry contracts in the first quarter of 2008.
The newest player in the U.S. futures trading industry is the IntercontinentalExchange, most often referred to as ICE or simply "ice." In stark contrast to the original models of the CBOT, CME, and NYMEX, ICE facilitates over-the-counter energy and commodity contracts. This simply means that there is no centralized location; instead all trading takes place in cyberspace.
ICE was established May 2000, with the mission of transforming OTC trading. By 2001, it acquired an European energy futures exchange, but it didn't dig its claws deep into the heart of the U.S. futures industry until its acquisition of the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) in 2007, along with the responsibility to facilitate trading in the softs complex. The term soft is generally used to describe a commodity that is grown rather than mined; examples of contracts categorized as soft and traded on ICE in the United States include sugar, cocoa, coffee, and cotton. More recent additions are the Russell 2000 and the U.S. Dollar Index.