When are weekly options
available? The answer commonly given to this question is that weekly options
are listed each Thursday, and expire the Friday of the following week.
actually not correct. Weekly options are listed on Thursdays, but the
expiration date is typically six weeks from the time of listing.
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WHEN ARE WEEKLY OPTIONS AVAILABLE? WHY THE MISCONCEPTION?
A common misunderstanding
about weekly options is that each option only exists for a week, but the name
actually has a different meaning. The expiration dates available for weekly
options are each week, with the exception of the third Friday of each month,
which is expiration date for monthly options. In fact, another name for weekly options is weekly expiration options.
The way in which these
options are truly “weekly options” is that they offer a choice of expiration
dates that, combined with monthly expiry options, provide an expiration date
every week of the year.
WHEN ARE WEEKLY OPTIONS AVAILABLE? (LISTING AND EXPIRATION)
New weekly options are normally
listed on a Thursday, for the expiration date 6 weeks from the following day.
There are no weekly options expiring on the third Friday of each month, as this
is the expiration date for monthly options. Because of this, whether or
not a new weekly option is listed on any given Thursday depends on whether the Friday
six weeks from the day after is a weekly expiration date or not.
WHEN ARE WEEKLY OPTIONS AVAILABLE? AN EXAMPLE SHOWING HOW TO CHECK
Let's take an example. Today is July 19, and I am planning to buy
a weekly option on APPL so I want to check on the range of available dates. The first thing I do is go to Yahoo Finance and type APPL into the
Then I click on “Options” as shown below.
On the top right, there is a drop-down menu of dates.
WHEN ARE WEEKLY OPTIONS AVAILABLE? INTERPRETING THE EXAMPLE
This list of dates shows the next expiration date for this
option first, followed by the subsequent dates. By looking at this information
I can see that there is an Apple weekly option available for this Friday, July
23. It is the fourth Friday of the month, which means that it is a weekly expiration
option, as the monthly option for July expired the previous Friday, July 16.
Depending on the catalyst (such as an earnings report) I am
looking at as a reason to enter the trade, maybe an option contract that
expires in five days gives me enough time to execute the profitable trade that
I am planning to make.
DECIDING WHICH EXPIRATION DATE TO TAKE
If the catalyst is an event a little further away, I might
look at a weekly option that has later expiry date. However, I also keep in
mind that buying a contract with more time before expiration generally means
paying a higher premium. It may be wise
to wait until closer to the date on which the anticipated price movement will
occur, and buy a weekly option with just enough time before expiration, rather
than buying it earlier at a higher price.
Going back to our example, the selection of dates following
the most immediate choice are July 30, August 6, August 13, and August 27. The
list of dates also shows August 20, but this is the expiration date of the
The dates shown after the end of August are for monthly
options, and then followed by long-expiration options into 2023, as weekly
options beyond August have not been listed at the time of this example.
WHEN ARE WEEKLY OPTIONS AVAILABLE? THE LATEST TIME TO BUY
Weekly options, as with other options contracts, are available
to be bought until the day before, or even the day of, expiration. Whether it
is possible to buy and then sell a weekly options contract on the day of
expiration depends on the guidelines of each broker.
WINNING WITH WEEKLYs
When trading weekly options, you need up-to-the-minute
knowledge of the events affecting the market, as well as an understanding of
which weekly options to trade, how much to pay for these trades, what strategies
to use, and when to enter and exit each trade.
If this sounds like a lot of work to you, don’t worry! Our
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