IEM Trading Tightens Up

Online trading in presidential futures late yesterday seesawed between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry. As of 4:45 p.m. EST yesterday on the IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS, stock in the Bush campaign was at 50.1 cents per share compared with rival Kerry's shares, which traded at 49.4 cents each in a winner-take-all contest. Just 15 minutes before, Kerry held the edge. The gap between the two has narrowed considerably in recent weeks, during which traders gave Bush a 61 percent chance to Kerry's 39 percent chance of winning as recently as a week ago. Investors in the IEM market can put in as little as $5 or as much as $500 to buy futures contracts based on the outcome of the 2004 presidential election.