Option quotes are different in price and in volume because identical options can trade on more than one market or exchange. Typically, the main options exchanges in the U.S. are the American, Pacific, Chicago and Philadelphia exchanges. If you were looking at a particular call option with a specific strike price and expiry, it's likely that the option will be trading on more than one exchange but at a different price on each one. Quote providers may be giving you dissimilar information because they are receiving their numbers from different sources. However, while discrepancies do occur between exchanges, the prices will gravitate to a common level if investors look for the lowest quote when buying an option.

(If you are new to the world of options and would like to learn more, check out our Options Basics Tutorial.)

  1. How can I find out which stocks also trade as options?

    The trading of options has become increasingly popular among retail investors as they become aware of the many different ... Read Answer >>
  2. Do options make more sense during bull or bear markets?

    Understand how options may be used in both bullish and bearish markets, and learn the basics of options pricing and certain ... Read Answer >>
  3. Does the seller (the writer) of an option determine the details of the option contract?

    The quick answer is yes and no. It all depends on where the option is traded. An option contract is an agreement between ... Read Answer >>
  4. Do you have to be an expert investor to trade put options?

    Learn about investing in put options and the associated risks. Explore how options can provide risk, which is precisely defined ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do I change my strike price once the trade has been placed already?

    Learn how the strike prices for call and put options work, and understand how different types of options can be exercised ... Read Answer >>
  6. Are there any risks involved in trading put options through a traditional broker?

    Explore put option trading and different put option strategies. Learn the difference between traditional, online and direct ... Read Answer >>
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