The trading of options has become increasingly popular among retail investors as they become aware of the many different ways that options can be used to generate large profits. The interesting thing about option strategies is that investors can use them in all types of market conditions; the primary question becomes which securities should be used when implementing a certain strategy.

As the question suggests, many beginner option traders quickly discover that not all stocks have an option chain associated with them. This means that there may be no options available to buy or sell on a certain stock, and it leaves the investor no choice but to buy or sell the stock on the market if he or she wishes to get exposure to a given company. (To learn more about this subject, see What requirements must a company meet before exchanges will allow options on the company to be traded?)

The easiest way to find out which stocks do have options is to visit the websites of the exchanges where the majority of equity options are traded. These exchanges are the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), American Stock Exchange, Boston Options Exchange and the NYSE Arca (formerly the Pacific Exchange). The website of each of the exchanges mentioned has a directory of the options that are available for trading on that given exchange. For example, you can click here to go to the symbol directory for options listed on the CBOE.

To learn more about options, check out the Options Basics Tutorial.

  1. Why do option volume quotes differ on different websites?

    Option quotes are different in price and in volume because identical options can trade on more than one market or exchange. ... 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. Is it possible to trade forex options?

    Yes. Options are available for trading in almost every type of investment that trades in a market. Most investors are familiar ... 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. What's the difference between a regular option and an exotic option?

    Before learning about exotic options, you should have a fairly good understanding of regular options. Both types of options ... Read Answer >>
  6. Where can I purchase options?

    In the United States, all options contracts go through one of several options exchanges. An investor must have an account ... Read Answer >>
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  1. Optionable Stock

    A stock that has options trading on a market exchange. Not all ...
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  5. Exchange-Traded Option

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