In the rest of this chapter, we will focus on stock options. As already mentioned, a standard exchange-traded stock option in the United States is an American-style option contract to buy or sell 100 shares of the stock. Details of the contract (the expiration date, the strike price, what happens when dividends are declared, how large a position investors can hold, and so on) are specified by the exchange.

Expiration Dates

One of the items used to describe a stock option is the month in which the expiration date occurs. Thus, a January call trading on IBM is a call option on IBM with an expiration date in January. The precise expiration date is the third Friday of the expiration month and trading takes place ...

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