Directed Option Trading

Note: This section refers to the Directed Trade Option ticket for trading single-leg options. The Multi-Leg Option Trade ticket may also be used for directed trading by changing the Route menu.

Directed Option Trading allows you to route option trades to the exchange of your choice, allowing greater flexibility and control of your order. It combines a trade ticket with an option montage display consisting of streaming quotes across exchanges, along with Time and Sales data. You may also place pre-market option trades on a limited number of index options using the Directed Trading ticket.

  • Introduction

    All customers who have access to Fidelity's Active Trader Pro® and have a valid option agreement on file are eligible for Directed Option Trading. You can access the Directed Trading ticket in one of two ways:

    1. Select Directed Trade from the Trade & Orders menu. Once the ticket is loaded, choose Directed Trade Options from the title bar.
    2. Set Directed Trading as your default trade ticket in Trade Settings. When this preference is set, any functionality that is suitable for Directed Trading and launches a trade ticket (such as the Action Menu, right-click menu, and selecting a Bid/Ask price), will launch the ticket with the relevant symbol seeded.

    Directed Option Trading quotes are always streaming, regardless of the update frequency you set in your general preferences. The ticket provides streaming option quotes across exchanges relevant to the contract in view. The view will display the contract's best Bid price and best Ask price on each individual exchange.

    You can customize the sort order of the book in Directed Trade Settings or via the right-click menu. The default view is sorted by price, where the left side of the book will display the exchange with the best Bid price and the right side will display the exchange with the best Ask price. You may also choose to sort by exchange, which lists the available exchanges alphabetically and displays the current Bid price and Ask price for that contract on each particular exchange.

    Selecting a price in the book will seed the quote information into the ticket fields, including route.

  • Directed Option Trading Time and Sales

    Time and Sales data are displayed in a streaming real-time format. The Time and Sales component displays all trades that occur on a given contract, regardless of trade condition.

    These trades are color-coded, based on Bid and Ask price:

    • Contracts traded at or below the Bid price will be displayed in red.
    • Contracts traded at or above the Ask price will be displayed in green.
    • Contracts traded between the Bid and Ask price will be displayed in white/black (depending on your theme color).
  • Available Routes

    The following routes can be selected for Directed Option Trading:

    • AMEX ‒ NYSE Amex Options Market
    • BATS ‒ BATS Options Market
    • BOX ‒ Boston Options Exchange
    • CBOE ‒ Chicago Board Options Exchange
    • ISE ‒ International Securities Exchange
    • PCX ‒ NYSE Arca Options Market
    • PHLX ‒ NASDAQ OMX PHLX
    • NOM ‒ Nasdaq Options Market

    Note: Specific share trading is not available when placing a directed options order. Also, the Boston Options Exchange (BOX) will not accept Stop, Stop Limit, or Good 'til Canceled orders.

  • Option Shortcut Buttons, Prebuilt and Custom

    Shortcut buttons allow you to save time by predefining the details of your order for quick population of the Directed Option Trade ticket. You may enable up to a maximum of six option shortcut buttons using either prebuilt or custom criteria. Shortcut buttons are generally only active when there is a quoted market on a security.

    Prebuilt Option Shortcut Buttons

    There are eight prebuilt shortcut buttons that can be enabled in the Directed Trade Settings:

    • Buy to Open at Bid
    • Buy to Open at Ask
    • Buy to Close at Bid
    • Buy to Close at Ask
    • Sell to Open at Bid
    • Sell to Open at Ask
    • Sell to Close at Bid
    • Sell to Close at Ask

    Custom Buttons

    Use Directed Trade Settings to create custom option shortcut buttons. After choosing the Option Shortcuts tab in Directed Trade Settings, use the + icon to add a shortcut.

    For each custom button, you can select the following attributes:

    • Label (a 10-character name that helps you identify your custom button)
    • Description (a tool-tip that displays the description of your button when you hover on the custom button)
    • Action
    • Order Type
    • Quantity
    • Price
    • Time in Force
    • Route
    • Conditions
    • Type (cash/margin)

    Note: There is no order validation done on this page, so your order may not be eligible for trading as entered. If a specific button property (e.g., Route or TIF) would make the order ineligible for placement, the field will be left blank in the Directed Trade ticket.

    To remove a shortcut button, choose the one you would like to remove and use the - icon.

  • Placing a Directed Option Trade

    Similar to the Stock/ETF Directed Trade ticket, there are three ways to place a Directed Option trade:

    1. Enter order details manually.

    Select the appropriate account number (or use the default if you have set up a default account in General Settings). Next, either enter an optionable stock, ETF, or index symbol, and use the dropdowns to select the contract details (expiration date, strike, and call or put), or paste the contract symbol into the symbol box. If the underlying security offers mini options, a toggle will display allowing you to choose standard or mini contracts. Once you have entered an account and symbol, you must fill out the additional required trade details prior to placing your order. This process can be streamlined by selecting default fields in your Directed Trading Settings, although this is not mandatory.

    If you have not selected any defaults in Settings:

    • TIF will default to Day.
    • Condition will default to None.

    Type will default based on your account type—cash for cash accounts and margin for margin accounts. The Type field will display only if necessary to process the order.

    Estimated order value may not include SEC fee or other fees.

    Moving through the trade ticket can be done in one of two ways:

    • Select each field and either type in a value or use the available dropdowns.
    • Tab your way through the trade ticket, populating fields as they are highlighted.

    You can type in information or use keyboard shortcuts, such as B for Buy to Open and BB for Buy to Close. You can also use the arrows on your keyboard to cycle through a dropdown list. For fields such as Quantity, type in the value you want and hit the Tab key to enter it and move to the next field.

    Note: Use the arrows on the keyboard to quickly increase or decrease the quantity or price that you have entered into a field. Using the arrows will move Quantity up or down by 1 contract and Price up or down by $0.01.

    2. Enter an order by selecting a quote from the book

    First, select the appropriate account number (or use the default if you have set up a default account in General settings). Next either enter an optionable stock, ETF, or index symbol, then use the dropdowns to select the contract details or paste a contract symbol into the symbol box. To quickly prepare your order, select one of the quotes displayed in the book. Your trade ticket will be automatically populated with the following:

    • Action ‒ By default, selecting an Ask price will default to an action of Buy to Open and selecting a Bid price will default to an action of Sell to Open.
    • Note: You can customize your default actions by setting the Bid/Ask Click Action in settings or using the right-click menu option:
      • If you typically trade long options, select Sell to Close/Buy to Open. Thereafter, selecting an Ask price will set your action to Buy to Open and selecting on a Bid price will set your action to Sell to Close.
      • If you typically sell options, select Sell to Open/Buy to Close. Thereafter, selecting an Ask price will set your action to Buy to Close and selecting a Bid price will set your action to Sell to Open.
    • Quantity ‒ Quantity will populate the size associated with the quote you selected.
    • Note: If you have chosen a maximum book quantity in Settings, this quantity will take precedence over the size selected in the book.
    • Order Type ‒ This will default to Limit.
    • Limit ‒ This will default to the price of the quote you selected.
    • Route ‒ This will default to the options exchange that posted the quote you selected.
    • All other fields will be prepopulated:
      • TIF to Day
      • Conditions to None
      • Type to the default type for that account (if required)

    You can manually modify any or all of the fields in the trade ticket after you have selected a quote. In addition, selecting another quote will override any existing information in the trade ticket.

    3. Enter an order using the shortcut buttons.

    First, select the appropriate account number (or use the default if you have set up a default account in General settings). Next, enter an optionable stock, ETF, or index symbol, then use the dropdowns to select the contract details, or paste a contract symbol into the symbol box. To quickly prepare an order once you have created shortcut buttons, select one of your shortcuts. Your trade ticket will be automatically populated with the parameters you set up.

    A few things to remember about shortcuts:

    • For shortcut buttons to appear, they must be enabled in the Option Shortcuts section of the Directed Trading Settings.
    • There must be a recognized quoted market from which to price the order.
    • To refresh the price on your trade ticket, hit the shortcut button again. When you do this, remember that any other changes made to your trade ticket will be lost.
    • The Maximum Book Quantity setting does not impact the shortcut buttons.

    You can manually modify any or all of the fields in the trade ticket after you have selected a shortcut button. In addition, selecting a different shortcut button will override all existing information in the trade ticket.

  • Placing a Pre-Market Options Trade

    The Directed Options Trade ticket allows you to place pre-market single-leg option orders on a limited number of index options. If pre-market trading is available on a particular index, a session dropdown box will appear next to the call/put drop-down.

    • Choose Pre-Market Session to place an option order in the pre-market. These orders will be eligible for execution from 7:00 a.m. ET until 9:15 a.m. ET and may only be routed to the CBOE.
    • Eligible Time-in Force (TIF) for pre-market option trades are Good 'til 9:15, Fill or Kill, and Immediate or Cancel.
    • Choose Standard Session if you'd like to place an option order for the standard session prior to market open.
  • Canceling/Replacing a Directed Trade

    The Cancel and Cancel/Replace functions for Directed Trading are similar to those of other Active Trader Pro trade tickets. However, in Directed Trading, you will not be able to modify certain trade characteristics, such as display size or discretionary amount, which are specific to Directed Equity Trading.

    Access the Order tool in one of the following ways:

    • Select Orders from the Trade & Orders menu.
    • Use the Orders Quick Launch button.

    Note: Canceling/replacing is performed on a best-efforts basis. There is no guarantee that you will be able to cancel/replace your order since it may have already executed in part or in full.