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.

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RELATED TERMS
  1. Optionable Stock

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

    An option that differs from common American or European options ...
  3. Listed Option

    An option that is sold on a registered exchange, such as the ...
  4. Option Class

    The set of all the call options or all the put options for a ...
  5. Exchange-Traded Option

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

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