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Why is There No Price Movement In the Stocks Option Contracts When the Price And Its Futures Contract Is Moving

30 Nov 2023


Options trading in the stock market offers investors a platform to navigate and capitalise on the movements of stocks and their futures contracts. It presents an opportunity for investors to make thoughtful and calculated decisions.

However, there exists a fascinating phenomenon that often leaves traders puzzled. It is the lack of price movement in options contracts when the underlying stock and its futures contracts are in the middle of exciting price fluctuation.

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Imagine, you witness the stock market buzzing with activity, stock prices soaring or plummeting, and futures contracts reacting accordingly. Yet, in this dynamic environment, options contracts seem oddly immune to immediate price changes. It’s almost as if they exist in a parallel universe, impervious to the turmoil unfolding around them. 

Let's unravel the reasons behind this peculiar occurrence. 

What are options contracts?

Options contracts are financial agreements between two parties involving an underlying security. It allows the buyer to purchase or sell the chosen asset at a predetermined price, either within a specified time or on the expiration date. 

Options contracts derive their value from underlying securities, typically stocks. They provide investors with the opportunity to participate in potential transactions based on the performance of these underlying assets. 

Why is there a lack of immediate price movements in option contracts?

The absence of price movement in stock option contracts during fluctuation in stock and future prices can be attributed to the lack of trading activity in those contracts. The Last Traded Time (LTT) serves as a key indicator of trading activity. It reveals whether a contract has been recently bought or sold. 

Even though bid and offer prices may show fluctuations, the Last Traded Price (LTP) remains unchanged when no trades are occurring. Market depth windows typically display the top 5 bid and ask prices, regardless of whether there is trading activity. 

Furthermore, charts often display dashes for option contracts until trade takes place, after which candles are formed. It is essential to check the LTT to assess the trading activity of a specific contract, as charts only reflect the LTP. Understanding these factors can explain why price movement are absent in option contracts, despite the movement of underlying stock and futures prices.

What is the risk associated with options contracts and futures contracts?

Although complex, options contracts carry inherent risks. The buyer’s risk is limited to the premium paid upfront, while the seller exposes themselves to potentially larger losses. The price of an option fluctuates based on factors like the strike price’s proximity to the underlying security’s current price and time until expiration. Option writers take on more risk, as there is no upper limit to potential losses on a call option if the stock price rises significantly. 

Future contracts, on the other hand, can be even riskier for individual investors. Here, both buyers and sellers have obligations and face daily margin requirements. To ensure successful outcomes, it is essential to navigate the complexities and risks associated with options and futures. This will allow investors to make informed decisions and manage their exposure to potential risks in the ever-evolving financial markets.


Overall, options trading can seem confusing, especially when options contracts don't appear to move in sync with the underlying stock and futures contracts. Understanding the reasons behind this phenomenon can help investors make informed decisions. 

It is essential to remember that options contracts and futures contracts carry inherent risks. Investors must navigate these complexities to avoid potentially significant losses. They must be aware of the risks and should stay informed about the ever-changing financial markets. This will help investors make strategic plays and manage their exposure to potential risks successfully.


Related Articles: When to use market orders and when to use limit orders | How to Use Limit Orders As Market Orders


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