How to find options (including key figures/volume)

Discussion in 'Options' started by traderbiker, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Hi Guys,

    give my subject title, its quite obvious that i am new to this topic.

    my plan is to get into swing trading, i was education myself and paper trading over the last weeks/months. i am developing my trading plan with a a pretty basic swing trading strategy, buying pullbacks and breakouts (for start).

    i am currently evaluating, if i shouldn't trade options instead of the underlying stock (reduce gapping down risk, less market exposure). i read the basics, but i am somehow stuck on the practical part.

    where can i find options to underlying stocks?

    some time ago (when i was stupid), i had a homepage for dax stocks, which showed all options for underlying, listed by various issuing companies, including bis/ask/volume/key figures. i haven't been able to find something for nyse/amex stocks.

    yahoo finance, doesn't show anything (no issuer, no key figures), i haven't been able to find anything at my broker (IB).

    any tips?

  2. ok, i'v been there, can it be that the option systen für NYSE/AMEX is different than europe?

    eg when i look for options on siemens in germany, i get a b**shit amount of options, all from different emittents, 6 different expirations just during october. so there isnt just one option for october/strike price 120; there are around 20 (different date in october * different emittent).

    so just to make sure, those are all options available for intc, there is no other option out there to trade (for november)?
  3. spindr0


    Not that you asked, but...

    Options are very complex in general, much harder to grasp and employ successfully. Compared to the underlying, the B/A spreads tend to be larger, iquidity can be low and they have inherent properties that can be confounding. Assuming that you're long, a delta less than 1.00 gives you less bang for the buck (unless trading deep ITM), time decay problems and implied volatility can contract, diminishing the value of your position. In return you get leverage (if not using deep ITM). It's a lot to overcome and therefore, your success will be dependent on your timing and selection as well as money management.

    I think that most people into options are brighter than most - at least mathematically and logically - and prefer the challenge of options. Sorta like chess to checkers. But thaT doesn't necessarily make them better or one more successful.

    If you're going to swing trade, you might find more success might with the underlying., assuming you trade clean and are disciplined about cutting losses. But as you noted, you face gaps and market exposure.

    You cited gap down down risk which implies that you're looking from the long side. IMHO, you should also get comfortable with shorting because things drop a lot faster than they rise and the story about the potential of infinite losses when short is a lot of crap. Biotech issues might but markets don't melt up :)

    Paper trade your ideas and when you dive in with real money, play small in the shallow end. Real trading is night and day different from the complacency of paper money.
  4. spindr0


    If your looking for option chains, you kin find tham at a lot of free broker web sites. Here's one for OX and one for the CBOE
  5. uptickk


    Could not have said it better
  6. help is welcomed every single time, thanks!

    i haven't made the decision yet if i go for the stocks or options. one of the reasons one why i started to look for options, i seem to prefer some kind of "shotgun" approach.

    when i was paper trading my strategy, i assumed a 50kusd account with a 0,5% risk per trade; but i ended up having a market exposure of ~20single positions (worth around ~500k, way above my margin) and with a portfolio risk of ~10%. still, it seems this trading style works out for me.

    the idea is to trade options which are ITM, to get a good correlation to the underlying movement and more long-term, in order to have smaller time decay.

    but before making the decision, i need see how different options in terms of A/B spread and commissions are, if i can be profitable.

    again, thanks for your input

  7. may i put some additional questions in here?

    i was working my way trough some stuff, including the IB what-if calculator, and i just want to make sure my results are correct.

    i was taking RHT as underlying; and took two strike prices and three dates to see how the optons behave (30/35 and oct/dec/march).


    delta is clear, for 1usd change in the underlying, the option changes delta-cent. (assuming identical volatility and discounting time decay).

    is theta a percentage figure or absolute? so lets take the oct/35call. i didn't find any explanation on the IB homepage, so is it 5ct per day, 5% per day (???). i wanted to look optionsexpress, but i dont get those figures is dont have the acount there, and optionfinder at yahoo doesnt give me any kind of key figures to check it.

    on final last question (for now); why is there no volume? open int is the amount of options out on the market, but why do i have volume zero? it cant really mean nothing has been traded, because i also have 0 for the options on the SPY.