Option Chain

The Option Chain allows you to view option prices in real time, so you can explore a full array of strategies, from basic Calls & Puts to more advanced Collars and Condors. You can also access advanced option analytics, such as profit and loss diagrams, Greeks, and time decay.

Just type the symbol of the underlying security into the Symbol box. A fully customizable grid containing all options data will appear. You can drag, drop, and resize columns using the headers. Each expiration subsection can be collapsed or expanded by selecting the appropriate header bar.

To place an order from the Option Chain, select any Bid or Ask price to populate a single- or multi-leg trade ticket. You can also use the Action menu next to an individual contract or right-click to populate and launch a trade ticket.

Visit the Settings section for information on how to customize the data displayed in the Option Chain.

  • Strategy

    The Strategy dropdown menu allows you to select the option strategy you would like to display in the chain: Calls, Puts, Calls & Puts, Butterfly, Buy Write, Calendar, Collar, Combo, Condor, Diagonal, Iron Condor, Ratio, Straddle, Strangle, and Vertical.

  • Option Type

    The Option Type dropdown will display dynamically when an underlying security has more than one option type per underlying security. For example, if a security has both standard and mini-options the Option Type drop down will display.

  • Expiration Bar

    The Expiration Bar contains all available expirations for the requested underlying security and allows you to choose which expiration dates you wish to display in the chain. By default, the front three standard expiration dates, along with any weeklies, will be selected and displayed in the grid for single-leg strategies. Selecting the expiration dates in the bar will show or hide the applicable data in the chain. Your expiration choices will persist when changing symbols. Use the left and right arrow buttons to scroll the bar backwards or forwards in time by one expiration date, or select and hold the arrows for continuous scrolling. Once Expirations are selected, you can view how many days remaining until option expiration in the date header in the grid.

    Visualize upcoming Earnings and Ex-Dividend dates with the icons displayed on the Expiration Bar. Hover your mouse over each of the icons for additional details including date, estimates, and amounts.

    Multi-leg strategies, such as the Calendar and Diagonal, require you to specify a near and far expiration date. These dates will be highlighted, and the near/far highlight boxes can be dragged to preferred dates. For all other multi-leg strategies, you may display only one expiration date at a time.

    Any nonstandard expiration will be noted by a single letter next to the date in the expiration bar, including "W" for weekly options and "Q" for quarterlies.

    Note: Use the W icon to the right of the filter control to hide or show weekly options in the chain.

    Note: For underlying securities that offer both AM and PM expiration types, the letters AM will appear next to the relevant dates in the expiration bar. AM expiration options generally stop trading the day prior to their expiration date; AM expirations are offered on some indexes. PM expiration type would refer to trading being available on the option until close of business on its stated expiration date; most options are PM expiration type. For underlying symbols that offer only AM or only PM expiration types, there will be no indication of its expiration type on the Option Chain.

  • Filters

    Use Filters to display exactly what you want in the Option Chain. Some filters, such as the Offset Filter, only apply to certain strategies. The appropriate filter choices will display based on the strategy you have selected. Available filters are:

    • Strike Filter – The Strike Filter allows you to focus on a particular number of strike prices or a group of strikes for either single- or multi-leg option trades.
      • For single-leg option strategies, you may choose to limit the number of strikes displayed for each expiration date in the grid. You can choose to see all the available strike prices, or limit the display to no more than 5, 10, or 20 around the money strikes at a time. You can also display only options that have strike prices within a certain range.
      • For multi-leg option strategies, you can limit the number of strikes based on whether they are At the Money, Above the Money, or Below the Money.
    • Offset Filter – The Offset Filter allows you to determine which strike differential should display for multi-leg option trades whose strike prices are separated by a specific amount. You may select from a set of predetermined offsets based on the underlying security price, or specify a custom offset.
    • Volume and Open Interest Filter – The Volume and Open Interest Filter allows you to focus on options with volume and/or open interest greater than a specified amount. When applying the filter, options with volume and/or open interest less than or equal to the amount entered will still be visible in the grid, but they will be grayed out so you can focus on the options that satisfy your criteria.
  • Analytics

    Hover on a specific option in the chain to reveal an Action menu next to the Last Price. Open the Action menu and select View Bid Analytics or View Ask Analytics to show the analytics display at the bottom of the Option Chain tool. This display offers a profit and loss diagram that includes maximum profit, maximum loss, and breakeven price at expiration. Real-time Greeks data is also available, including Delta, Gamma, Theta, Vega, Rho, and Implied Volatility.

    Option Chain Greeks are calculated using the Cox-Ross-Rubenstein (CRR) binomial tree model. The model accommodates both American and European style options, and incorporates full interest rate curves and discrete dividends.

    For single-leg option trades, a time decay chart will also display, showing the breakdown of the contract price into time value and intrinsic value across multiple expirations. You may hide the analytics display by using the X in the upper-right-hand corner of the analytics section of the tool.

    For more detailed profit and loss information, select the View Full Plots link from within the Analytics display.

  • Call/Put Ratio

    The Call/Put Ratio (C/P Ratio) visual displays both the ratio of the current trading day's volume of call options to put options, as well as the ratio of open interest of call options to put options as of the prior trading day's close. The Call/Put Volume Ratio is calculated by dividing the day's total call volume by the day's total put volume across all contracts for a specific underlying security. The Call/Put Open Interest Ratio is calculated by dividing the total call open interest by the total put open interest as of the prior trading day's close across all contracts for a specific underlying security.

    Call/Put Ratios can be used to gauge how investors feel about a particular security. Greater volume or open interest on puts than calls may indicate that investors feel bearish; more calls than puts may indicate that investors feel bullish. Seeing both the volume ratio (from current day) and the open interest ratio (from prior day) can help you assess both short- and long-term sentiment on a particular security.

    Hovering on the Call/Put visual will display the specific ratio of puts to calls.

  • Histogram

    When enabled, the Histogram feature will add a highlighted bar to the Volume and Open Interest columns. These bars show the relative distribution of volume and open interest among the options within each expiration. It's a quick way to see the data and spot anomalies where volume or open interest may be accumulating in out-of-the money options. The Histogram feature is not available for multi-leg option trades. To turn the Histogram feature on or off, select the Histogram icon at the top of the Option Chain.

  • Adjusted Options

    When enabled, this feature will identify any adjusted options by displaying "Adj" next to the strike price of the option. Hover on the Adj to show details about the contract specifications and deliverables. The Adj icon at the top of the Option Chain toggles the display of adjusted options on or off.

  • Export

    You can export the Option Chain data into a Microsoft Excel (.xls) or a Comma-Separated Values (.csv) file. This allows you to save the data for offline use in the format of your choice.