So far I have only found two sites that offer completely free option charts: BigCharts and QuoteMedia. I provide more information about them below. Recently Schwab (StreetSmart Pro) and Fidelity (Active Trader Pro and standard web site) have started offering option charts to customers, but they require you to at least setup an account with them.
BigCharts uses their own custom option symbols, not the Fidelity or Schwab flavors or the “standard” option symbol. To get the BigCharts option symbol to use, enter in the underlying symbol (e.g, INTC) towards the top of the screen and click on one of the chart buttons. Then click on the option chain link to show the available options. If you hold your mouse over their “quote” word in their options chains it will show their option symbol. For example for Intel November 2011, $23 strike calls are: “INTCK19114230000). Type this symbol into the symbol dialog, click one of the chart buttons, and you should get the chart for that option.
BigCharts avoids the huge issue of charts not being available after the options expire. But it looks like it still suffers from the problem that intra-day information becomes unavailable soon after the options expire. They need to allow a range of dates to be displayed, not just assume that you want everything referenced back in time from today’s date.
To generate options chart from QuoteMedia, start at their http://www.quotemedia.com/ URL and put a stock symbol in the quote field in the upper left and then click the “get quote” button next to it. Then you should see a “Quote Portal” section to the left of your page. Probably the easiest way to get the right symbol to use in the chart is to go to the option chains first and get a quote on the option you are interested in. Copy that symbol to your clipboard (control C) click “Charts” in the Quote portal section to get to their charting package, and then paste (control v) the symbol into the symbol field. Their symnbols require an “@” as a prefix to the ticker, and two spaces between the ticker and the date, so SPY October 19th, 2013 calls with a strike of 173 would be ”@SPYJ 131019C00173000″
What I would really like options charting packages to do would be to chart bid/ask values if actual trade values are not available. Since many options are lightly traded their charts are deserts of information. Bid / ask history would be much better than nothing.
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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 | Vance Harwood