Whats the purpose of S&P 500 futures?
If the S&P 500 is at a level of 2500 then the market value of a futures contract is 2,500 x $250 or $625000. So whats the point of buying a contract if as of December 12/18/2019 the total share value of the S&P 500 is $52434.7. It seems that the buyer of the contract would lose money if the other party would be obligated to deliver all of the shares once the contract expires? Am I understating this right?