A:

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.

RELATED FAQS
  1. 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 >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. Are put options more difficult to trade than call options?

    Learn about the difficulty of trading both call and put options. Explore how put options earn profits with underlying assets ... Read Answer >>
  6. How can derivatives be used to earn income?

    Learn how option selling strategies can be used to collect premium amounts as income, and understand how selling covered ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Trading

    Trading Options on Futures Contracts

    Futures contracts are available for all sorts of financial products, from equity indexes to precious metals. Trading options based on futures means buying call or put options based on the direction ...
  2. Trading

    Getting Acquainted With Options Trading

    Learn more about stock options, including some basic terminology and the source of profits.
  3. Trading

    How to Make Money by Trading Index Options

    Index options are less volatile and more liquid than regular options. Understand how to trade index options with this simple introduction.
  4. Trading

    Getting Started In Forex Options

    Stocks are not the only securities underlying options. Learn how to use FOREX options for profit and hedging.
  5. Trading

    Google Stock Too Expensive For You? Try Options

    Investing in Google (GOOG) generally requires you to pay the price of the share multiplied by the number of shares bought. An alternative using lesser capital involves using options.
  6. Trading

    A Guide Of Option Trading Strategies For Beginners

    Options offer alternative strategies for investors to profit from trading underlying securities, provided the beginner understands the pros and cons.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Optionable Stock

    A stock that has options trading on a market exchange. Not all ...
  2. Listed Option

    An option that is sold on a registered exchange, such as the ...
  3. Exchange-Traded Option

    An option traded on a regulated exchange where the terms of each ...
  4. Options Industry Council - OIC

    A cooperative formed in 1992 by U.S. options exchanges and Options ...
  5. Call Option

    An agreement that gives an investor the right (but not the obligation) ...
  6. Back Fee

    A payment made to the writer of a compound option in the case ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Price Elasticity Of Demand

    A measure of the relationship between a change in the quantity demanded of a particular good and a change in its price. Price ...
  2. Market Capitalization

    The total dollar market value of all of a company's outstanding shares. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying ...
  3. Frexit

    Frexit – short for "French exit" – is a French spinoff of the term Brexit, which emerged when the United Kingdom voted to ...
  4. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will ...
  5. Down Round

    A round of financing where investors purchase stock from a company at a lower valuation than the valuation placed upon the ...
  6. Keynesian Economics

    An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. Keynesian economics was developed ...
Trading Center