Index Option

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DEFINITION of 'Index Option'

A financial derivative that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a basket of stocks, such as the S&P 500, at an agreed-upon price and before a certain date. An index option is similar to other options contracts, the difference being the underlying instruments are indexes. Options contracts, including index options, allow investors to profit from an expected market move or to reduce the risk of holding the underlying instrument.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Index Option'

Index options provide diversification as investors are exposed to a large number of securities in one trading instrument. The degree of exposure varies with the particular index option. Popular index options include S&P 500 Index Options (SPX), Dow Jones Industrial Average Index Options (DJX) and Nasdaq-100 Index Options (NDX). Index options are typically cash settled.

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