I noticed that some options have strike prices that don't exceed the current market price of the underlying stock. Why would this be? For example, GameStop doesn't have any strike prices above $60 for February 12. I would think, even if no one was selling calls, that the volume and open interest would simply be 0 but there would still exist such contracts.

If I go to March 5, the open interest is blank. What does this imply?

2 Answers 2


Until Jan 12th (less than 2 weeks ago), the stock was $20. It has skyrocketed over this time. Within a few weeks, if it stays at or near this level, you'll see new strikes opened.

Part of the issue is that 2 weeks ago, the chance of a March 5th price exceeding $60 was so low that the $60 was probably trading for a cent. Why add the $65 strike so far out of the money? Now, you'll see it added.

  • I have a question but don't want to waste a whole question on it. Are each of those options listed a generic "placeholder" which "holds" all options which match that price/date (and coincidentally, remains the SAME exact 'line item' as the days pass), or are those "created" when sell to open is initiated? In other words... does the broker create those categories, or does the first trader create the category when he does buy to sell, and then all other buy to sells which match fall into the same one
    – Tallboy
    Jan 24, 2021 at 4:36

When options first begin trading in an underlying, in-, at- and out-of-the-money strikes are listed. As the underlying moves toward the outer strikes, they'll gradually add additional strikes on that side. If the underlying quickly gaps outside the existing range of strike prices (as GME did), they'll add new strikes on the next trading day.

Open interest is calculated after the close of the trading day. So if contracts begin trading today, there will be no open interest because there was no previous trading. Plan B is that it's bad data. Check to see if OI shows up on Monday.

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