Specifically, September futures contracts that expired on September 15 and the end of the roll period showed total Russell E-mini Russell 2000 Index futures volume surpassed 2.9 million contracts and open interest stood at over 518,000 contracts, or a significantly higher divergence year-over-year.

Furthermore, CME September-December E-mini Russell 2000 Index futures calendar spread traded one million times over the last three weeks, reflecting a more active outlook for small-caps ahead.

“We’ve seen very strong interest in E-mini Russell 2000 Index futures since they returned to trade at CME Group and this interest accelerated during the quarterly roll period. Our clients are clearly expressing interest in gaining exposure to the US small cap equity market by using the E-mini Russell 2000 Index futures since becoming available alongside CME’s suite of equity index futures,” Tim McCourt, CME Group managing director and global head of equity products, told FTSE Russell.

For more information on small-capitalization stocks, visit our small-cap category.