Commodities Futures Trading

I.     Course Prefix/Number: FIS 101

       Course Name: Commodities Futures Trading

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course presents fundamentals and history of commodity futures trading.  Content includes the economic role of commodity trading in our society, exchange rules that govern trading, regulatory agencies and the organization and operation of the commodity futures exchanges.

IV.   Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, students who complete all assignments will have a working knowledge of futures concepts, futures applications, option concepts, and options applications.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Futures Concepts
    1. History
    2. Economic Functions/Justification
    3. Exchanges and Clearinghouses
    4. Definitions
    5. Margins
    6. Speculation
    7. Hedging
    8. Basis
    9. Methods of Analysis
  2. Futures Applications
    1. Agriculture Commodities
      1. Speculating
      2. Hedging
      3. Delivery/Settlement
    2. Financial/Index Futures
      1. Speculating
      2. Hedging
    3. Precious Metals, Energy Futures
      1. Speculation/Arbitrage
      2. Hedging
  3. Options Concepts and Applications
    1. Definitions
    2. Options on Futures
    3. Option Applications
  4. Principles of Analysis
    1. Fundamental
    2. Technical

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lectures, discussions, audio/visual, and simulations.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

College level reading and writing skills are necessary.  Emphasis is placed upon class participation.

Each student will participate in a "Trading Game" by selecting one or more commodities and with a fictitious account of $50,000, trade in that commodity through the semester.  Five trades are required to receive credit.  Grades will not be affected by how well students do in the game, participation is what counts.

Students will be assigned a term paper to be handed in near the end of the course in which they will describe the commodity(s) that they chose to trade, discuss their successes and failures in the trading game.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Commodity Trading Manual and Workbook, Chicago Board of Trade.  The Merc at Work, Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  Students are encouraged to follow the commodity prices in the Wall Street Journal, Investors Daily, Chicago Tribune, or Sun Times.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Class Participation, Quizzes, Final Examination, Term Papers on Trading Simulation.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance policies will be established by each instructor.
  2. Each instructor may establish additional policies with respect to make-up exams, incomplete grades, etc.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.