I frequently trade options on Tesla, which has an expansive and very active options chain, with large numbers of puts and calls available to be bought or sold at a wide range of prices expiring weekly.

By comparison, other stocks have smaller numbers of puts and calls available within a more limited price range and often with expiration date options being no more than one per month. As in, an option for December 2017 instead of one for each week of December.

Although I've tried google searches akin to "stocks with high volatility" and "stocks with large options chains," I haven't found anything else like Tesla.

How can I find other such stocks that are good for short-term options trading? It's not something I know how to research. I don't know what to look for.

4 Answers 4


Just as a matter of research, apparently there is a way to find high option volumes such as a site here: https://www.barchart.com/options/volume-leaders/stocks

However, that information is going to be heavily skewed by "underlying security that moved a lot more than expected and probably got a lot of positions filled incidentally today", but I think it is a good place to start building up a list of securities with a lot of option interest. There is also a tab there for ETFs.

This will not tell you exactly that a particular stock always has high option volume, but most of the ones that show up there repeatedly and across multiple strike prices will meet your criteria.


If you're willing to shell out some cash, vendors will be quite happy to sell you everything you need.

Picking one out of thin air, and no idea if this is a good price or not, the CBOE will sell you EOD data for every option for $40 for one day, and at a discount for multiple days. Beyond the high/low/close for each contract, you get the volume. Or a month of TAQ data will run your $1550, for what that's worth, which probably isn't a lot for a retail strategy.

  • You mean as a searchable dataset with which I could find what I'm looking for by executing programmatic queries over it? There has got to be a better way than that. I mean, I feel like the problem is that I don't know the terminology to express the manner in which Tesla differs-- I can't exactly google "stocks with big active options chains with weekly expiration dates"......but if I could, I have no doubt I would find something helpful. Nov 11, 2017 at 2:46
  • 1
    I mean, if I was a professional trader, yes, I'd load that into my DB. The OCC has some free downloads of volume by root at theocc.com/webapps/volume-query, but they make you pay for the options sec-master, about 1.75k a month for your use, 3k for redistribution - theocc.com/market-data/data-sales/product-series.jsp
    – dsolimano
    Nov 11, 2017 at 5:50

Agree with some of the posts above - Barchart is a good source for finding unusual options activity and also open interest -https://www.barchart.com/options/open-interest-change


CBOE publishes a monthly overview of stocks by option trading volume. It is an Excel spreadsheet with symbols ordered by number of calls and puts traded in the given month.

This is a good way to find stocks with very liquid options, which naturally also have the widest range of expirations and strikes available.

The history of these statistics goes back to 1998 (only note if you want to process the historical files programmatically, the formats are inconsistent in older files)

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