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For example, the Jan 4, 2021 SPY $369 call option. After the market closed (i.e. at 4pm in New York), SPY was below $339 and yet the quote for the option continued to fluctuate. It currently has a bid price of $.07 and I am watching the quote change in real time, at 4:13pm.

I thought that the option had an expiry time of 4pm, and thus if it finished out of the money it would be immediately worthless and no quote updates would be permitted. Am I wrong?

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Most options stop trading at 4 PM ET. However, the following options trade from 9:30 to 4:15 PM ET:

  • DBA, DBB, DBC, DBO, DIA, EEM, EFA, GAZ, IWM, IWN, IWO, IWV, JJC, KBE, KRE, MDY, MNX, MOO, NDX, OEF, OIL, QQQ, SLX, SPY, SVXY, UNG, UUP, UVXY, VIIX, VIXY, VXX, VXZ, XHB, XLB, XLE, XLF, XLI, XLK, XLP, XLU, XLV, XLY, XME, XRT

Your SPY is one of them.

Investopedia explains expiration time:

The expiration time is the time of day by which all exercise notices must be received on the expiration date. Technically, the expiration time is currently 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on the expiration date, but public holders of option contracts must indicate their desire to exercise no later than 5:30 p.m. on the business day which precedes the expiration date.

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  • Thank you! I never knew there were slightly later expiry times for those (and on the trading platforms, generally just the day is specified). – Jer Jan 5 at 20:21

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