Options Contract

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What is an 'Options Contract'

An options contract is a contract that allows the holder to buy or sell an underlying security at a given price, known as the strike price. The two most common types of options contracts are put and call options, which give the holder-buyer the right to sell or buy respectively, the underlying at the strike if the price of the underlying crosses the strike. Typically each options contract is written on 100 shares of the underlying.

BREAKING DOWN 'Options Contract'

For example, a trader believes that the price of a stock will rise from its current price of $40 to a level nearing $100. Rather than purchasing the stock itself, she can purchase a call option for a fraction of the price at a strike anywhere between $40 and $100. If the stock does indeed rise to $100, and assuming the call option was bought at a strike of $75, the holder stands to gain $25 per share on the contract, minus any premiums paid for the option itself.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How does the term 'in the money' describe the moneyness of an option?

    Find out what in the money means about the moneyness of call or put options and what it indicates about the relationship ... Read Answer >>
  2. When is a put option considered to be "in the money"?

    Learn about put options, what they are, how these financial derivatives operate and when put options are considered to be ... Read Answer >>
  3. When is a call option considered to be "in the money"?

    Learn about call options, their intrinsic values and why a call option is in the money when the underlying stock price is ... Read Answer >>
  4. How are call options priced?

    Learn how aspects of an underlying security such as stock price and potential for fluctuations in that price, affect the ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do speculators profit from options?

    As a quick summary, options are financial derivatives that give their holders the right to buy or sell a specific asset by ... Read Answer >>
  6. How do I set a strike price for a future?

    Find out why futures contracts don't have set strike prices like options or other derivatives, even though price change limits ... Read Answer >>
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