The Unusual Options Volume page shows the difference between the current volume and the average volume over the past month, highlighting unusual activity. The page shows the top 500 symbols (U.S. market) or top 200 symbols (Canadian market) ranked by 1-Month Volume Percent Change. Symbols must have a last price greater than 0.10.
We divide the page into three tabs - Stocks, ETFs, and Indices - to show the overall options volume change by symbol, and the volume made up by both calls and puts.
When an option has high volume activity, it usually indicates one of three things.
- It may indicate that a major event is about to take place. Traders are looking to cash in on an anticipated jump in the stock's price (one way or the other) and buy options as a result. In this case, you should look to compare the option's volume to the underlying stock's average daily volume. If the underlying stock has a large percent change in price AND a larger than normal volume, that is typically a strong market signal in the same direction as the change.
- Other times, high volume on an options contract may indicate that put buyers are hedging a potential downside risk for a stock whose technicals indicate a sell-off. Many times, these hedges are from a hedge fund or a large institutional trader. If you see high volume on an OTM option, this is usually driven by a hedge.
- And finally, high volume is sometimes generated by inexperienced options traders, traders who buy cheap OTM options with no specific reason and strategy.
High daily volume on an options contract warrants further analysis to try and identify where the trades are coming from. Once you understand which of the above three conditions are driving the activity, you can more effectively use that information to formulate your own strategy.
The page is initially sorted in descending 1-Month Total Volume %Change. You can re-sort the page by clicking on any of the column headings.
The Main View contains the following fields:
- Last: The last trade price of the underlying asset.
- Change: The difference between the underlying asset's current price and the previous day's settlement price.
- %Chg: The difference between the underlying asset's current price and the previous day's settlement price expressed as a percentage.
- Options Volume: The total options volume traded today across all options for the underlying Stock or ETF.
- 1M Vol %Chg: The percentage difference between the total options volume traded today, and the average options volume traded over the past 1-month.
- Call Volume: The total number of call options volume traded today.
- Put Volume: The total number of put options volume traded today.
- Put/Call Vol: The ratio of put options traded divided by call options traded. Typically a put/call ratio for stocks above 0.7 is considered a bearish signal as more traders are buying puts rather than calls. This implies that investors are anticipating the underlying stock to decrease in value. Conversely a put/call ratio for stocks below 0.7 is typically considered a bullish signal as more traders are buying calls rather than puts. This implies that investors are anticipating the underlying stock to increase in value. The more extreme the put/call ratio, the stronger the conviction of investors as to the potential move.
- The "Details" link will bring you to the symbol's Put/Call Ratios page, which can be used to estimate changes in market sentiment within specific time-frames. Analyzing this information can help you spot developing trends in long and short options trading activity.
Flipcharts are available for the underlying equity. Site Members may also download the data on the page to a .csv file.
Options information is delayed a minimum of 15 minutes, and is updated at least once every 15-minutes through-out the day. The new day's options data will start populating the page at approximately 9:05a CT.
For pages showing Intraday views, we use the current session's data with new price data appear on the page as indicated by a "flash". Stocks: 15 minute delay (Cboe BZX data for U.S. equities is real-time), ET. Volume reflects consolidated markets. Futures and Forex: 10 or 15 minute delay, CT.
The list of symbols included on the page is updated every 10 minutes throughout the trading day. However, new stocks are not automatically added to or re-ranked on the page until the site performs its 10-minute update.
For reference, we include the date and timestamp of when the list was last updated at the top right of the page.
Pages are initially sorted in a specific order (depending on the data presented). You can re-sort the page by clicking on any of the column headings in the table.
Most data tables can be analyzed using "Views." A View simply presents the symbols on the page with a different set of columns. Site members can also display the page using Custom Views. (Simply create a free account, log in, then create and save Custom Views to be used on any data table.)
Each View has a "Links" column on the far right to access a symbol's Quote Overview, Chart, Options Quotes (when available), Barchart Opinion, and Technical Analysis page. Standard Views found throughout the site include:
- Main View: Symbol, Name, Last Price, Change, Percent Change, High, Low, Volume, and Time of Last Trade.
- Technical View: Symbol, Name, Last Price, Today's Opinion, 20-Day Relative Strength, 20-Day Historic Volatility, 20-Day Average Volume, 52-Week High and 52-Week Low.
- Performance View: Symbol, Name, Last Price, Weighted Alpha, YTD Percent Change, 1-Month, 3-Month and 1-Year Percent Change.
- Fundamental View: Available only on equity pages, shows Symbol, Name, Market Cap, P/E Ratio (trailing 12 months). Earnings Per Share (trailing 12 months), Net Income, Beta, Annual Dividend, and Dividend Yield.
Note: For all markets except U.S. equities, fundamental data is not licensed for downloading. Your .csv file will show "N/L" for "not licensed" when downloading from a Canadian, UK, Australian, or European stocks page.
- Mini-Chart View: Available for Barchart Premier Members, this view displays 12 small charts per page for the symbols shown in the data table. You may change the bar type and time frame for the Mini-Charts as you scroll through the page. The default settings for Mini-Charts are found in your Site Preferences, under "Overview Charts".
View Symbol More Data (+)
Unique to Barchart.com, data tables contain an option that allows you to see more data for the symbol without leaving the page. Click the "+" icon in the first column (on the left) to view more data for the selected symbol. Scroll through widgets of the different content available for the symbol. Click on any of the widgets to go to the full page. The "More Data" widgets are also available from the Links column of the right side of the data table.
Also unique to Barchart, Flipcharts allow you to scroll through all the symbols on the table in a chart view. While viewing Flipcharts, you can apply a custom chart template, further customizing the way you can analyze the symbols. Flipcharts are a free tool available to Site Members.
Download is a free tool available to Site Members. This tool will download a .csv file for the View being displayed. For dynamically-generated tables (such as a Stock or ETF Screener) where you see more than 1000 rows of data, the download will be limited to only the first 1000 records on the table. For other static pages (such as the Russell 3000 Components list) all rows will be downloaded.
Free members are limited to 5 downloads per day, while Barchart Premier Members may download up to 100 .csv files per day.
Note: Due to licensing restrictions, Canadian fundamental data cannot be downloaded from Barchart.com. You will see "N/L" in a downloaded column when this is the case.
Should you require more than 100 downloads per day, please contact Barchart Sales at 866-333-7587 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or additional options about historical market data.