What Is the Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA)?

The Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA) is a committee of representatives from participating securities exchanges responsible for providing last-sale options quotations and information from the participating exchanges.

Serving as a national market system plan, OPRA oversees the process by which participants exchange, consolidate and disseminate market data. OPRA's two primary data feeds include trades (last sale reports for completed securities transactions) and quotes (bids and offers for options).

Key Takeaways

  • The Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA) is responsible for aggregating and disseminating price quotations for listed options contracts in the U.S.
  • OPRA provides data feeds to financial firms, brokers, and traders, displaying the national best bid and offer for an options contract or series.
  • Options quotes are presented as tables of data known as options chains.

Understanding OPRA

The Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA) divides its services into two main areas: a basic service for all options except foreign currency derivatives and an "FCO service" for foreign currency options information. The organization includes the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), Boston Options Exchange (BOX), International Securities Exchange (ISE), Pacific Exchange (PCX), Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX), BATS Options (BATS), Miami International Securities Exchange, NYSE Arca and Nasdaq OMX BX Options.

The quotes taken from each exchange are then combined by OPRA's feeds to produce a national best bid & offer (NBBO) quote.

Less formally, the Options Price Reporting Authority serves as an industry-led consortium supporting the timely and accurate creation and release of market data. Particularly for more esoteric financial instruments such as listed options and related securities. Behind the scenes, the work and data provided by the Options Price Reporting Authority go a long way in adding market liquidity and other elements driving market efficiency. Without the data and information provided by OPRA, capital markets would be less developed, leading to a higher cost of capital for savers and borrowers.

Reading Options Quotes

Options have a language all of their own, and when you begin to trade options, the information may seem overwhelming. When looking at an options quote, it first may seem like rows of unintelligible numbers, but options quotes, known as options chains, provide valuable information about the security today and where it might be going in the future.

Not all public stocks have options, but for those that do, the information is presented in real-time and in a consistent order.

As an example of an options chain with quotes provided by OPRA, look at the example below from Apple, Inc. The left column shows the option ticker, in this case these are all calls with various strike prices expiring August 2019. Then, last trade time, bid, ask, last price and change are displaced along with volume and the last price's implied volatility for that option.

call option chain for AAPL outright options example
Call Option Chain for Apple Inc. (AAPL).  Yahoo!Finance