Unusual Options Activity detects options contracts trading at a significant volume relative to the contract's open interest. Unusual Options can help you in providing insight into what institutional investors, central banks, market mavens, and other financial professionals are doing with large volume orders, signaling new positions and potentially an influential move for the symbol.
In this documentation, we will explore how to:
- Add Unusual Options Widget
- Track Unusual Options Activity
- Filter Unusual Options Trades
- Track Unusual Options on Graphs
Let’s get started 🚀
Add Unusual Options Widget
Step 1: Click on the Sidebar button from the top right corner of the interface.
Step 2: Select Add or Remove Widgets from the dropdown list.
Step 3: Click on the Add New Widget button at the bottom of the side panel.
Step 4: Select Unusual Options from the list.
Step 5: Click on Done and the widget will be added to the sidebar.
Track Unusual Options Activity
The widget allows you to track the last 200 unusual options trades executed for a symbol. For every unusual options trade, you can see:
- Time & Date of the Trade
- Contract Details (type, strike, exp. date)
- Open Interest% and Type of Trade
- Premium & Money Status of Trade
Time & Date of the Trade
In the first column, you can view the time and date when the unusual options trade was executed. Time zone for these time stamps is "As of New York".
In the second column of the widget, you can view the Strike Price and Expiration date for all types of contracts. Every options contract has three core characteristics summarized in the table below:
|Contract Type: Call or Put||A call gives the option owner the right to purchase the underlying symbol whereas a put gives the option owner the right to sell the underlying symbol.|
|Strike Price||The price at which the underlying symbol can be bought or sold.|
|Expiration Date||The last day for the buyer of the option to make the choice whether they want to execute the contract.|
The picture below illustrates 3 cases:
- Put Option with Strike of $2950.0 and exp. date of 28th Jan 2022 (Strike Price & Expiration Date Described in Red & Annotated with P)
- Call Option with Strike of $1700.0 and exp. date of 18th Mar 2022 (Strike Price & Expiration Date Described in Green & Annotated with C)
- Put Option with Strike of $2950.0 and exp. date of 21th Jan 2022, exp. date is already in the past(Strike Price & Expiration Date Described in Light Grey)
Note: Trades which had their Expiration Date already passed are faded in the list and are not visible on the chart.
Open Interest% and Type of Trade
In the third column, you can view the percentage of open interest this particular trade stands for, and also the type of trade it is.
Unusual Options widget tracks two different kinds of options together- Block Trades & Option Sweeps.
|Block||- Large single trade blocks over 20,000 cost basis
- Aggressor hard to the ask or bid
|Options Sweeps||- A group of trades hitting the tape in under 250ms.
- Aggressor at least 75% to the ask or bid
- The minimum cost basis of 20,000 (variable)
If the Open Interest % for an unusual options trade (Sweep) is 49%, then it means that such trade took up 49% of all the trades for the given contract (like, in example, "there were only 100 contracts like that purchased, and then this one trade added 49 more of them).
Trades which are the first known trades for a given contract are marked as "Initial".
Premium & Money Status of Trade
In the fourth column, you can view the Size of the trade (Options Premium) and the Status of the Trade (OTM/ITM/ATM).
|STATUS OF TRADE||INTERPRETATION|
|OTM (Out-of-the-money)||A call option is OTM if the "underlying asset" price was below the strike price of the call, as of "moment when the trade happened"
A put option is OTM if the asset's price was above the strike price.
|ITM (In-the-money)||This status is opposite to OTM (see above)|
|ATM (At the money)||When an option's strike price is similar to the current market price of the underlying symbol.|
Filter Unusual Options Activity
The widget allows you to filter the unusual options trades by adjusting the following sliders at the top:
- Expiration Date
- Strike Price
Adjusting the sliders not only filters the trades in the list but also updates the chart accordingly.
Note: On the expiration date slider, the dashes mark all the dates where there's at least one contract listed on the widget that is going to expire.
The Unusual Options widget remembers all the custom slider values you have made for the symbol. Hence, even if you switch to another symbol, the widget will remember the values you have configured.
Let’s understand this with the help of an example where you have made some changes in sliders for GOOG and switched to another symbol- AAPL. Now, when you navigate back to GOOG, you will find the sliders to be in the exact same position as you configured before making a switch to another symbol.
You can make the widget forget the custom slider values you have made for a symbol by adjusting both the slider’s value into max and min positions.
Note: If you remove this widget from the sidebar, then it will 'forget' all the custom slider values for all symbols you have defined.
Track Unusual Options on Graphs
You can view the unusual options activity for a symbol on the graph and collect information on:
- Money at Strike
Click on the Trades at the bottom of the chart to view the trade information for unusual options on the Bubble Chart in which X-axis represents the Expiration Date whereas the Y-axis represents the Strike Price.
You can also maximize the graph size to full screen:
You can hover your cursor over any trade (represented through circles) on the graph to view the details like Expiration Date, Trade Type, Strike Price, and % of Open Interest.
There are three different kinds of trades represented on the graph using circles with different colors.
|Red Circle||Put Option|
|Green Circle||Call Option|
|Blue Circle||Repeating Trades|
Analyzing the attributes of the contracts on the chart can help you tap the unusual options trade for identifying the profit-making opportunities on the symbol.
Note: The size of the circle on the graph represents the premium paid relative to all the other trades. The bigger is the circle, the bigger was the premium
Money at Strike
You can turn off the Trades from the bottom and click on the Money at Strike to activate this graph.
Hovering your cursor over a trade in this graph will allow you to compare the premium paid for the call and put options on a particular expiration date (appearing on X-axis) while also allowing you to observe how the premium amount is distributed by strike price (appearing on Y-axis).
Moreover, just like the entire chart, it only incorporates trades that fit into your filters and thereby are visible in the list of unusual trades.
I.e., from a picture below, you can tell that the vast majority of premium paid for Puts for a given expiration date concentrates below $275 for strike.
Activate Both Graphs
You can activate both Trades and Money at Strike simultaneously to merge the best of both worlds for performing a comprehensive analysis.
**Note: The notches on the sliders indicate Expiry Date, Premium, and Strike Price and guide the users as they slide it around so that they can maintain precision while tracking activities.