S&P 500 Index Options - SPX www.cboe.com/SPX


Since 1983 investors have used options on the benchmark S&P 500® (SPXSM) Index for a variety of purposes, including investing, hedging, income, asset allocation, and the management of risk.

Description Underlying Index / Options Chain Options Root Ticker Symbol AM or PM Settlement Notional Size (approx. value with SPX at 2000) Exercise-Style Settlement Type
SPX (Traditional, AM-settled on 3rd Fridays) SPX SPX AM-settled $200,000 European Cash
SPX Weeklys (PM-settled at ends of weeks) SPX SPXW PM-settled $200,000 European Cash
SPX End-of-Month (PM-settled at ends of months) SPX SPXW PM-settled $200,000 European Cash
SPXPM (PM-settled on 3rd Fridays) SPXPM SPXPM PM-settled $200,000 European Cash
Mini-SPX Index Options (3rd Fridays and Weeklys) XSP XSP PM-settled $20,000 European Cash
SPDR ETF Options (3rd Fridays, Weeklys and Quarterlys) SPY SPY PM-settled $20,000 American Physical ETF

Key features of SPX options include:

  • Large Notional Size -- around $140,000 per Contract in November 2012 (10 times that of SPDR options)
  • No Early Exercise of SPX Options - European-style Exercise
  • Cash-settlement with No Delivery of Stocks or ETFs
  • Price and Quote Transparency with Competitive Auction Markets for Leading Option Contracts
  • Daily Mark-to-market for SEC-regulated securities
  • Clearance of Transactions is guaranteed by the Options Clearing Corporation
  • Average Daily Volume in October 2012 was 134,961 for SPX Weekly options (an all-time record) and 657,892 for all SPX options.
  • Tax Treatment under section 1256 of the Tax Code, profit and loss on transactions in certain exchange-traded options, including SPX and SPXpm, are entitled to be taxed at a rate equal to 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss, provided that the investor involved and the strategy employed satisfy the criteria of the Tax Code*

* Investors should consult with their tax advisors to determine how the profit and loss on any particular option strategy will be taxed. Tax laws and regulations change from time to time and may be subject to varying interpretations.


SPX Average Daily Volume

SPX Open Interest

SPX Weeklys ADV

BXM Monthly Premium

Potential for Lower Portfolio Volatility with Writing of SPX Options. Both the BXM and PUT Indexes have had lower volatility than the S&P 500 and some other leading stock indexes over more than two decades.

20-Year Annualized Returns

Standard Deviation

Index Levels

Investors appreciate many features of the SPX options, including:

  • the fact that the options are tied to the world's leading benchmark for institutional investors;
  • SPX options are powerful, flexible tools that allow investors to synthetically adjust their positions to a 500-stock portfolio;
  • these listed options minimize counterparty risk - they are guaranteed by The Options Clearing Corporation;
  • there is price discovery in competitive, SEC-regulated auction markets.

Simple Options Profit-and-Loss Diagrams

Simple Options Profit-and-Loss Diagrams