Using AAPL stock and options as our default case study we'll show you multiple ways to search for and find option price quotes including your brokerage platform and major financial websites. In addition, you'll be able to see the disadvantages of each like pricing delays and availability based on market volume. The key here is that you can find them anywhere and finding quotes shouldn't hold you back from trading.
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In this video, I’m going to quickly show you guys how to find any option quote you want to, whether you have a broker platform or not.
I’m going to show you on my broker platform which is Thinkorswim how I find quotes for options that I want to trade, and I’m also going to show you how you can find quotes for options even if you don't have a broker platform, so how you can find them free online.
Right now, I’m in my Thinkorswim homepage here, and I just went up to the trade tab of my broker’s platform. And I’m under “all products” here, and I simply am going to type the ticker in this top left-hand corner box.
Let's just use Apple for example, so AAPL and I’ll hit enter. And you can see that the underlying stock is here and it's trading today obviously. Right now, on the left-hand side are all the quotes for all the options that I may be interested in. Let’s say I’m interested in January 12 options.
These are all the January 2012 option contracts, and you can see that all the quotes are listed here both for the calls on the left side and for the puts on the right side of the screen. I’m just going to scroll down here and pick out an option.
Let’s just say this option right here. January 2012, 4.10 call. It’s trading at about 8.77 right now. It’s the last trade. The bid-ask is 8.75, 8.80. Let's compare this to what we can find online here. I’ve just simple brought up MSN money.
You can use anything you want, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, anything you want, Yahoo Finance, but I just have MSN money up here. And all you’re going to do is just type in the ticker, so AAPL and that's going to bring up all the quotes for Apple stock.
It’s going to default right to Apple stock here, and you can see that Apple is trading through the day here and let’s just compare our real-time quotes. Yup, it's about the same in real-time quotes.
What we’re going to do is instead of going for the stock, we’re going to click options right here on the left-hand side of the column. This is going to bring up all the option pricing grids for Apple that are currently available right now.
Notice here on the MSN system their quotes are delayed by about 15 minutes. That’s important to note. These are not going to be real-time quotes. Most of them don’t have real-time quotes because it’s just hard to push that data out on a consistent basis unless you’re on a broker platform as I am with Thinkorswim which we have real-time quotes.
But we’re going to go to the option chain of January 2012 which is where we wanted to be when we were comparing the different prices. And you can see that this is just going to be all the call options for January 2012 contracts.
They’re listed in order of strike price, so we’re going to have some strike prices that don't have any open activity today. You can see it's very lightly traded, but these are 100 strikes, 110 strikes and Apple is trading at 405.
We’re going to have to scroll all the way down here to 410, and you can see that the last price for the Apple option at a 410 strike price is about 8.86. It’s a little bit delayed, but that’s about pretty good about where it's trading at, it’s trading at 8.85 right now real-time.
On this MSN money network here, you can see that the prices are pretty good and they’re updating throughout the day with how much they’ve changed in price, the bid-ask spread, the volume, the open interest, etcetera.
You can continue to scroll down and then you’ll finally get the put option contracts. You can see that those are down a little bit further. It’s a little bit more antiquated to go through an online source like MSN money or anything or Bloomberg or Wall Street Journal.
With your broker platform, you’re usually going to get a little bit easier view, and you’re going to see both puts and calls in the same tab or the same window. I usually find that it’s easier just to pull up this than anything else, but you can always check option pricing on various sources online.