The Russell 200 futures index measures the performance of the top 200 largest companies on the Russell 3000 index.
It is a global equity index which enables investors to monitor the performances of distinct market segments worldwide. The top sectors represented on the Russ200 are technology, healthcare, consumer staples, consumer discretionary and producer durables.
These top-performing firms include mutual funds, businesses and exchange-traded funds and make up approximately 63 per cent of total market capitalisation on the Russell 1000 index.
Companies that are ranked among the top ten of the Russ200 include Microsoft, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Google and Coca-Cola.
Average market capitalisation for Russ200 representatives is $110.5 billion, while the Russ1000 as a whole shows median capitalisation of £24 billion. As of 2008, the Russell indices totalled more than $4 trillion in assets.
Many investors use the Russell indices as benchmarks to measure their own performance, with the index broken down into the Russ200, Russ1000 and Russ3000, as well as the small-cap Russell 2000 for the 2,000 smallest companies traded on exchanges in the US.
The Russ3000 was launched in 1984 by Washington-based Russell Investments as a method for US investors to better track the performance of investment managers, with the Russ3000 broken down into sub-markets to make the determination of trading movement easier.
Each year, a reconstitution of the Russ200 and other Russell indices takes place in June - when the global list of investible stocks is updated and shares are assigned to their appropriate lists.
These are derived from the closing balance of shares on the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange markets, typically on the last Friday in the month - with abnormal trading volumes often seen on this day as fund managers look to rebalance their portfolios ahead of the reconstitution.