Options Expiration Cycles
Jim Graham

Deciding which stock option to trade based on your expectations for the underlying stock requires choosing an expiration month.  And the expiration month you choose can have a significant impact on the potential success of any option trade. Understanding how the exchanges decide what expiration months are available and when LEAPS should convert into regular options, can help you in your trading.
There are at least four different expiration months available for every optionable stock.  The reason for that is because when equity options first started trading in 1973, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) decided there would only be four months of options traded at any given time.  Later, when LEAPS (Long Term Equity Anticipation Securities) were introduced, it was possible for more than four months to be traded.
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