Class: Symbols and Quotes


In today's option market there may be dozens of different option contracts available for trading on each stock that underlies listed options, and the number of those stocks is well over 3000! Thanks to easy access via the Internet, investors can obtain a market quote for any call or put contract, i.e., bid and ask price, simply and quickly, and on any exchange where the option is listed and traded. Resources for these quotes are numerous. This class will introduce you to where you might find option quotes online, and what you might find when you get there.

Before you place an option order with your brokerage firm you'll need five pieces of information regarding the option contract you want to buy or sell:

Underlying Stock Expiration Month Strike Price Call or Put Price
XYZ June 50 Call $3.50

All of this information can be found online on various Web sites, conveniently formatted in an array of data called an "option chain," including:

  • available expiration months
  • available strike prices
  • option prices in the marketplace

Reviewing the information on an option chain should help you select the specific option contract that fits your investment objective. Once the option is identified you're ready to place your order to buy or sell.

We'll cover the types of information you might find on a typical option chain, as well as some peripheral topics:

  • Directory of Exchange Listed Options
  • Option expirations
  • Option symbology keys
  • LEAPS®