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How to Read Option Quotes

9 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Futures and Options Trading

When you trade options, you have to look at quote boards on your computer, even if you’re using a broker. The following figure shows you a good generic example of a quote board provided by the Chicago Board of Options Exchange.

The circled price is the premium paid in the example described.
The circled price is the premium paid in the example described.

On this quote board, which shows the May 30 call option for XYZ, you find information about option classes, series, and pricing. XYZ is the option class, while May 30 is the option series, a grouping of puts or calls of the same underlying asset with the same strike price and expiration date.

If you look above and below the May 30 series, you find other option series listed, such as the May 25 puts and calls, listed two sections above the circled series. The premium, or the price, on the May 30 XYZ is two points. If this were a call to buy XYZ stock, you’d pay $200, because options for stocks give you the right to control 100-share lots of the stock.

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