Option CyclesNot all stocks have options. For the stocks that have options, contracts are not available for every month. As a rule, contracts are available for a minimum of four months in the coming year, and contracts are always available for the currrent month and the following month.
Options are issued for stocks in cycles. There are three cycles:
- JAJO - January, April, July, and October
- MJSD - March, June, September, and December
- FMAN - February, May, August, and November
There will always be options available for the 3 nearest months in the cycle. In January, prior to expiration, stocks trading on on the JAJO cycle will have options for January, April, and July. Options always exist for the current and next month, so options will also exist for February. Since contracts must exist for the current and next month contracts will be added for March when the January contracts expire. When the February options expire, April contracts should be added. Since April contracts already exist, and contracts must be available for four months, October options are added.
Contracts for additional months may also be available, as well as weekly contracts. This is typical for heavily trade options.
LEAPSLEAPS are long term options that generally expire in January and are between 12 or more months out. LEAPS are issued in addition to contracts on the normal cycle and do not effect the requirement of having 4 contracts in the coming 12 months. When a LEAP falls into the normal cycle or comes within 6 months of expiring it is converted to a standard option. For this case, a January contract may exist for a stock that does not trade on a JAJO cycle.