I need a GOOD options Quote Service

Discussion in 'Options' started by StockApprentice, Dec 27, 2001.

  1. Does anyone have a good options quote service that gives them accurate after-hours options pricing?

    I've tried 3 different source as of right now, and I'm getting 3 different quotes for my options chains....
  2. ktm


    What do you mean by "after hours" prices?
  3. That's a good question. I am sorry that I wasn't clear.

    What I meant was that I need accurate end of day (EOD) options data. I am going to be doing most of my market analysis after the closing bell and I need a good quote service.

    I have been using www.cboe.com recently and have found their quotes to be wrong/way off. I have also viewed a couple of other websites that seem to have inaccurate data.

    Anyone who knows of a good quote provider?
  4. Stock apprentice -

    The last time I looked at the CBOE's free delayed quotes you end up with the final quotes from each exchange as a separate line. You then have to merge them and compute the best bid/ask across all exchanges yourself.

    Of course for any meaningful analysis you must use the closing bid/asks since the last trade price could be way out of sync with the underlying's price if there were no trades on a particular option contract right into the close.
  5. ktm


    Since you put it that way, I'm looking for one as well.

    I would like to have the entire option population (all optionable stocks and strikes - although mostly front 2 months and nearby strikes) downloadable as EOD data. The most important part of this would be the closing bid/ask. I have found (by chance) a number of "unusual activity" scenarios and have profited handsomely in the last few months.

    The scenario is usually an OTM near month strike with a very motivated buyer paying up and taking good volume. I spent several hours looking online and found that most services only offer their proprietary engine to do the search, however I was unable to find the exact scenarios I am looking for. My goal is to get the raw data they are searching. I would really prefer to download a huge file and do the harvesting myself. I would gladly pay for this data.

  6. I'm going to have to re-evaluate www.cboe.com, maybe I was just misunderstanding the data.

    KTM, check out www.cboe.com and see if you like their data. It's delayed 20 minutes, but they allow you to download it to a file... oh and it's free. I've found it to be a bit confusing, but I'll have to take a closer look at it to see what I was missing...

    The most confusing part about their data is that they list the prices from all of the exchanges. Each exchange often has a slightly different price for the "last sale" quote... The problem for me is figuring out which last sale is the accurate one.
  7. ktm


    I use CBOE throughout the day for a backup real-time quote service.

    Regarding the regional exchanges: Each of the 5 or so majors operate as completely separate entities that come together during the day. It would be helpful to think of them as MM's. Each makes their own market and trades with the other 4. Since opts are so lightly traded for most issues, the "last" trade for a given exchange may be very old. AA is right in that you should focus on the best bid/best ask at the close.

    It is not uncommon to find the best bid on one regional exch and the best ask on another....just as individual MMs are rarely the bid and ask at the same time.

    At CBOE, I can only get one symbol at a time, correct?

    This won't do...I need'em all. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
  8. ktm -

    Not sure what you're looking for, but I get all the option scans I need by using Trade Prospector (along with equity and index futures information).

    Option functions include stocks with over and under priced options, contracts with unusual activity, high premium calls/puts, etc. already preconfigured. Also other option tools and an option montage that calculates greeks, IV, TheoVal, etc. that uses the CBOE delayed or realtime quotes and a variety of built in strategy analyzers/scanners that work off the montage.

    If you wanted some special analysis, you could try emailing them. If it's something with broad use that's not already available in the software they might add it. You can see if it will satisfy your needs at http://www.trade-prospector.com

    As far as data downloads, when I was looking for one a couple of years ago I never came up with one worth a darn. Most sources of bulk (i.e., all 100,000 or so contracts) are pretty dirty - option data seems to be much more problematic than equity data and the job of just keeping the option chain definitions seems to present most vendors with a lot of trouble (most of the RT data vendors for instance can't seem to keep it right consistently). The CBOE data is clean, but as you noted it's only available on an underlying by underlying basis.

    So I guess one option would be to write a download program that would hit their server via HTTP with a request for each underlying you're interested in and download the related file and process each in turn. Would be pretty tedious though and I'm not even sure it's practical from an execution time standpoint.

    You might be better off finding a program/service that can work for you and let them worry about data and option chain integrity.

    Good luck.