The CME still has open outcry trading on the S&P 500 futures, and while the volume is considerably lower than in the E-Minis, it is still used as a venue to facilitate trade by brokers and investment houses.

The pit has institutional traders called “paper” these are the bigger investment banks and funds who are taking longer term positions and their priority is to fill the order at a reasonable price.

There are also “locals”, trading their own account who provide liquidity and usually take the other side of the paper. They are looking to make a small amount on each trade but many times per day.

Ben Lichtenstein, founder of TradersAudio, offer what’s called a squawk service. Ben is a pit watcher constantly commentating on the price, the state and the players in the pit.

The value of his squawk box services is unmistakable, as Ben’s real-time commentary provides an assessment of the prevailing directional bias and psyche reaction of traders.