futures market, a commodity exchange where contracts for the future delivery of grain, livestock, and precious metals are bought and sold. Speculation in futures serves to protect both the developers and the users of the commodities from unfavorable and unpredictable price fluctuations. The U.S. futures market now includes Treasury bills and government guaranteed mortgages, or Ginnie Maes, thereby allowing speculation on changes in future interest rates. See commodity market.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.