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Commission House
A firm which buys and sells futures contracts for customer accounts. Related: Futures commission merchant, Omnibus account
Commitment
A trader is said to have a commitment when he assumes the obligation to accept or make delivery on a futures contract. Related: Open interest
Commodity
Any bulk good traded on an exchange (for example, metals, grains and meats).
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
The CFTC was created by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act of 1974 to ensure the open and efficient operation of the futures markets.
Commodity Indexes
Indexes that measure either the price or performance of physical commodities, or the price of commodities as represented by theprice of futures contracts listed on the commodity exchanges.
Common Stock Equivalent
A convertible security that is traded like an equity issue because the optioned common stock is trading high.
Common Stock Fund
A fund that invests primarily in common stocks. The investment objectives of common stock funds may vary greatly.
Common Stock Market
The market for trading equities, not including preferred stock.
Composite Symbol
A symbol that covers both day and electronic trading.
Compounding
Interest earned on interest previously earned and reinvested. For example, if a security paid a fixed interest rate of 10% annually and an investor invested $500, by the end of the first year the investor would have earned $50 in interest. If that interest was reinvested, the investor would enter the second year with $550 invested. At the end of the second year, the investor would have earned $55 in interest -- earning an extra $5 in interest thanks to the reinvestment of the first year's interest.
Condor
The sale or purchase of 2 options with consecutive exercise prices, together with the sale or purchase of 1 option with an immediately lower exercise price and 1 option with an immediately higher exercise price.
Consensus Forecast
The mean of all financial analysts' forecasts for a company.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
A measure of price changes in consumer goods and services. This index is used to identify periods of economic inflation or deflation.
Contango
A market condition in which futures prices are higher in the distant delivery months.
Contingent Deferred Sales Charge (CDSC)
A type of back end load sales charge, a contingent deferred sales charge is a fee charged when shares are redeemed within a specific period following their purchase. These charges are usually assessed on a sliding scale, with the fee reduced each year the shares are held.
Contract
A term of reference describing a unit of trading for a financial or commodity future. Also, the actual bilateral agreement between the buyer and seller of a transaction as defined by an exchange.
Contract Month
The month in which futures contracts may be satisfied by making or accepting a delivery.
Contractual Plan
A program in which a legal vehicle (plan company or participating unit investment trust) agrees to invest a fixed amount in a fund at regular intervals for 10 or 15 years. In exchange, investors in these plans commonly receive other benefits, such as decreasing term life insurance.
Contrarian
Describes an investor that believes and does the exact opposite of what the majority of investors are doing at any given moment. For example, contrarians might perceive value in a stock or index that is out of favor, or has performed poorly. Whereas most investors would avoid an out of favor investment, contrarians would buy it in hopes of a turn around or change in market sentiment.
Conversion Factors
Rules set by the Chicago Board of Trade for determining the invoice price of each acceptable deliverable Treasury issue against the Treasury bond futures contract.
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