Here's the popular AAPL stock:


What "is" "Apple stock" ? Well, it is a legal instrument created by Nasdaq. Apple "trades on" Nasdaq, whereas Ford trades on NYSE, Shell trades on LSE, etc.

Let's click the OPTIONS tab on AAPL:



enter image description here

(Wow 45k!)

  1. What the hell "are" these options? Who issues them? Are they CBOT or what?

  2. Mostly, how do I actually tell "what they are". I could not find anywhere, at all, that says "options contracts on AAPL are issued by XYZ and you are looking at the XYZ data for XYZ's AAPL options". How do I learn this?

  3. Is it all the same entity "per exchange" (example, all NYSE stocks have options frameworked by XYZ, whereas all LSE stocks have options frameworked by DEF), or is it all over the place?

  4. If the answer for the AAPL example is "XYZ" then: are there alternate exchanges which issue options on AAPL? If not why not, is there just the one, or what? "The" options on AAPL seem to be the usual ones (eg, click "OPTIONS" on any(?) AAPL chart) but are there others?

1 Answer 1


I can't address some of your questions because they don't make much sense so rather than attempting that, here's a a basic overview of options and hopefully it can assist you in formulating additional questions that are clearer and more speciific.

An equity option is a standardized contract between two parties to buy or sell an underlying (stock, ETF) at a certain price for a limited amount of time and its value is subject to 6 pricing variables.

A contract is created when two parties open a new position (buy to open and sell to open). When both parties are closing an existing position, a contract is terminated. And when one party is opening and the other is closing, the contract just changes hands. Trading occurs on various option exchanges and the Option Clearing Corp is the issuer of all options and it manages assignment and exercise.

  • Does the O.C.C. issue options for all stocks in .. all of the USA? (Nasdaq, NYSE, more?) What about other major world exchanges?
    – Fattie
    Oct 20, 2020 at 19:14
  • Yippie ki-yo Cowboy, a lightbulb moment !!! The OCC issues options for about 4,500+ stocks and ETFs traded on US stock exchanges. Major world exchanges deal with their own issues. Note that there are futures options as well but that's a different security/issuer. Also note that the various US equity option exchanges work hand in hand with the OCC. Oct 20, 2020 at 19:23
  • So they are the one and only issuer in the US market. But only US. Intriguing!
    – Fattie
    Oct 20, 2020 at 19:26
  • 1
    I may be reading too much into your usage of the word issuer... The OCC doesn't issue a contract and ask, who wants to buy this? ... such as when a company issues shares in a secondary offering. Two parties agree on price and transact on an option exchange. The OCC is notified of the details (which contract, the brokers, the buyer and seller) and it issues, transfers or terminates the contract(s) based on the combination of BTO, BTC, STO and STC. Oct 20, 2020 at 19:42
  • Right, "issuer" is not the ideal word; I meant, well, what they do (as you just described, or as in your final paragraph). (I don't really know the best word for that? "Clearer" perhaps.) Anyway now that I know about this O.C.C. I can ask a better question :)
    – Fattie
    Oct 21, 2020 at 11:14

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