Both Chicago futures exchanges saw such sharp price declines in heavy volume during Friday's market meltdown that they were forced to raise trading limits.

To overcome the resulting uncertainty, the Board of Trade resorted to a special Sunday evening trading session, and both it and the Mercantile Exchange saw volume on overnight trading systems surge.

Trading in the Mercantile Exchange's S&P 500 contract was halted twice because of the plunge in stock prices, forcing the exchange to raise trading limits on the contract twice during the session.

The Board of Trade said its Treasury bond contract also reached its trading limit at closing, after a three-point slide.

It was the first time since Aug. 6, 1990, that the contract had reached its trading limit, leading the exchange to impose a new limit of 4.5 points for Monday and Tuesday.

The Mercantile Exchange said volume reached 2.2 million futures and options contracts Friday, only the second time in history the exchange had crested 2 million contracts. The first time was Feb. 4, 1994, when volume reached nearly 2.4 million contracts.

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