I have only found one site that offers completely free option charts for stocks, Exchange Traded Products, and indexes: BigCharts. I provide more information about it 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. Neither of these use the “standard” option symbols, but rather use their own proprietary Fidelity or Schwab symbology. Fidelity’s option charts allow export of trade information as .csv files, even for intraday intervals—a very nice feature.
BigCharts uses their own custom option symbols. To get the BigCharts option symbol to use, enter in the underlying symbol (e.g, INTC) towards the top of the screen and click one of the chart buttons. Then click on the option chain link above the quote information to show the available options. Click on the “quote” link in the option chain to get a chart. Once you get a chart you’ll probably want to click on the Advanced on Interactive Chart button towards the top to get more control over the chart.
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.
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.
- Schwab Websites Taken Down April 23—Denial of Service Attack
- Schwab Puts StreetSmart Edge® in the Cloud
- Review of StreetSmart Edge
- The Schwab StreetSmart Edge ramp up continues
- Review of Fidelity’s Active Trader Pro
First posted: Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 | Vance Harwood