Option naming convention (Ofer Abarbanel online library)

In financial markets, an option naming convention is a method of identifying which of many possible options is being quoted or traded.

Standard Equity Option Convention

US equity options, typically cleared by the Options Clearing Corporation, underwent an initiative between 2008 and 2010 to change the standard symbology.[1][2] The proposed revision was meant to address several deficiencies with the old standard convention described below. In particular:[2]

  • Lack of uniformity for LEAP option convention (i.e. options with maturity greater than one year)
  • Use of illogical identifiers for both options and underliers
  • Difficulties encountered when rolling LEAP options to standard options as they age.
  • Ambiguous naming, such as when options for both 105 strike and 205 strike exist on the same expiration for an underlier.

The new symbology does away with the letter codes for strike and expiration, and instead employ a 21-byte series key in the style of Root symbol (ticker symbol) + Expiration Year (yy) + Expiration Month (mm) + Expiration Day (dd) + Call/Put Indicator (C or P) + Strike Price:[2]

  • Symbol (max. 6 characters)
  • Yr (YY)
  • Mo (MM)
  • Day (DD)
  • Call or Put (C/P)
  • Strike Price (#####.###) listed with five digits before the decimal and three digits following the decimal

For Example, an April 16, 2015 $30.00 Call Option on Yahoo would be listed as “YHOO150416C00030000”.[3]

All options that settle into the same underlier (e.g. 100 shares of the underlier) share the same symbol field.[2]

Old convention

Prior to 2010,[1] standard equity option naming convention in North America, as used by the Options Clearing Corporation, was as follows:

An option code looks like this: SLW150515C19 This is a call option on SLW

Stock option names are written in the following format: SYMBOL+MONTH+STRIKE

  • SYMBOL= Option Root Symbol, normally the stock’s ticker symbol
  • MONTH= Month the option expires
  • STRIKE= Strike price

Expiration Month Codes

Month Call Put
January A M
February B N
March C O
April D P
May E Q
June F R
July G S
August H T
September I U
October J V
November K W
December L X

Strike Price Codes

Code Strike Prices Code Strike Prices
A 5 105 205 305 405 505 N 70 170 270 370 470 570
B 10 110 210 310 410 510 O 75 175 275 375 475 575
C 15 115 215 315 415 515 P 80 180 280 380 480 580
D 20 120 220 320 420 520 Q 85 185 285 385 485 585
E 25 125 225 325 425 525 R 90 190 290 390 490 590
F 30 130 230 330 430 530 S 95 195 295 395 495 595
G 35 135 235 335 435 535 T 100 200 300 400 500 600
H 40 140 240 340 440 540 U 7.5 37.5 67.5 97.5 127.5 157.5
I 45 145 245 345 445 545 V 12.5 42.5 72.5 102.5 132.5 162.5
J 50 150 250 350 450 550 W 17.5 47.5 77.5 107.5 137.5 167.5
K 55 155 255 355 455 555 X 22.5 52.5 82.5 112.5 142.5 172.5
L 60 160 260 360 460 560 Y 27.5 57.5 87.5 117.5 147.5 177.5
M 65 165 265 365 465 565 Z 32.5 62.5 92.5 122.5 152.5 182.5

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:ab Moon, Angela. “Options trading to simplify with new symbols: OCC”. U.S. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  2. ^ Jump up to:ab c d “Symbology Initiative” (PDF). Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  3. ^“How to read an option symbol”. help.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2018-09-27.

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Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library