I am very confused on how options are created. Why are there different available contracts for different strike prices. I am just trying to piece the logic to the madness. Using March 2020 Calls, with different strike prices, sometimes I get 3 dates, sometimes 2, and sometime only 1:

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Shouldn't it logically let you buy or sell using all 3 dates? Thanks.

Also, is there a rule to how far into the future the contracts can exist?

  • 1
    In order to buy/sell an option there has to be someone willing to sell/buy it. So most likely there are no open orders to sell/buy options at those strikes/tenors. If you choose a limit order do you get more choices?
    – D Stanley
    Feb 18, 2020 at 20:53
  • Alright this makes sense. Thank you. I can only choose from available instruments before I can select order type.
    – Maciek
    Feb 18, 2020 at 20:55
  • 1
    My broker only quotes whole-dollar strikes on that stock. Does using whole-dollar strikes give you more options?
    – D Stanley
    Feb 18, 2020 at 20:56
  • @DStanley It all varies.
    – Maciek
    Feb 18, 2020 at 21:52
  • 1
    @D Stanley - In order to buy/sell an option there have to be options available in a specific week/month. The market maker is always available to buy or sell and option to/from you though it might not be at an acceptable price. The OP's problem is that CDE only offers monthly options and he is attempting to create an order for weeks that have no listings. The broker's platform is second rate because it should not be offering selections for expirations that do not exist (Mar 6th and Mar 13th). I wonder if this is Robinhood... Feb 18, 2020 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


There are 3 expiration cycles for stocks:

JAJO: January, April, July, October

FMAN: February, May, August, November

MJSD: March, June, September, December

All optionable stocks will offer options in the current month, the following month and at least the next two months in the cycle.

Of the 3,000 optionable stocks, nearly 500 offer weekly options for the next 8 weeks.

A majority of optionable stocks offer LEAPs (long term options expiring in more than one year) resulting in two subsequent January expirations.

Stocks and ETFs whose options are heavily traded may have even more expiration months. For example, the most heavily traded options are on the SPY. Its expirations include:

  • The next 8 weeks
  • 2020 monthly and quarterly expirations of Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
  • 2021 quarterly expirations in Mar, Jun, Sep, Dec
  • Jan '22 LEAPs

The short answer is that the greater the interest that traders have, the more months and the more strike prices that will be available to trade. As for you:

CDE does not offer weekly options so it has monthly options available only for Mar, Jun, Sep, Jan '21 and Jan '22

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