Financial Dictionary -> Investing -> NYMEX

The New York Mercantile Exchange (or simply NYMEX in its abbreviated form) is an exchange system that deals specifically in physical commodities and their related futures contracts, rather than stocks. The NYMEX is the largest of its kind in the world, with a market cap or around $12 billion. As of March 2008 the exchange has operated under the umbrella of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Board of Trade, with the systems still being integrated as of 2009.

The NYMEX first began operating in its earliest form during the 19th century, although it remained unorganized and uncontrolled until the late 1800's when the Butter, Cheese and Egg Exchange was developed. Physical exchanges occurred all around, from ports and railroads to specifically built warehouses.

Today the NYMEX operates from One North End Avenue, New York, NY, housing two trading floors and an office building, with other offices located all over the world. It is one of the last remaining exchanges that use the traditional method of outcry trading with hand signals on its trading floors; however it operates a more contemporary computerized system during the night, to ensure the best of both worlds.

NYMEX operates the following trading hours, from 7:50 am to 2:30 pm, although there are more specific times for different commodities and trades. The computerized trades run from 6:00 pm on day one through 5:15pm the following day. Trades run weekdays, and have seduced down time during several pre-announced holiday periods.

Commodities traded on the exchange include Uranium, Propane, Platinum, Coal, Crude Oil, Electricity, Gasoline, Heating Oil, Natural Gas and palladium in the NYMEX Division, and Gold, Silver, Copper and Aluminum in the COMEX Division.

NYMEX also runs a charity foundation and has paid out over $10 million to over 600 causes, in its 15 years of operation.