I purchased one call option contract on a company and in my E*Trade account the "Last Price" is listed as $11.70. However, the value of my position is listed as $1325 which would suggest a price of $13.25.

The markets are closed. The current bid price is listed as $12.80 and the ask price is $13.70. I see that the price that my position's "value" is based on is the midway between the ask and the bid. Why is that? Why not just use the bid price?

Is that done to avoid needing to change the "value" calculation based on whether the position is buy or sell, call or put?

And why is the "last price" ($11.70) neither the bid nor the ask?

  • 1
    the "last price" is simply the price it was sold at. it has no connection at all to anyone who at the moment, happens to be either bidding or asking. Also not that nothing has "a price". Your home, say, does not have "a price". If and when you sell it, you will (assuming you can sell it) get some particular figure. It doesn't have a price at the moment, it's just a house! :)
    – Fattie
    Dec 1, 2018 at 5:09

1 Answer 1


Valuing positions at the midpoint requires less programming resources by the broker.

The last price ($11.70) is for the last trade of your option and it may have occurred minutes, hours or days ago when the underlying was at a lower price.

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