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


The S&P 500 Index is widely regarded as the leading benchmark of the overall U.S. stock market. Comprised of 500 leading companies, the index is considered the best single gauge of large cap U.S. equities.

CBOE is the exclusive home for S&P 500 Index options (SPXSM). CBOE's suite of S&P 500 products includes the flagship SPX contract -- the most-actively traded index option in the U.S. -- along with contracts featuring different expirations (weekly and end-of-month), exercises (AM and PM), sizes (regular and mini) and trading methods (electronic and open outcry).

The trading hours for options on the SPX, SPXW (SPX Weeklys and SPX End-of-Month), and SPXPM begin at 2:00 a.m. Central time (Chicago time). Please visit the Extended Trading Hours webpage for more details.

CBOE's SPX products provide investors different ways to efficiently gain exposure to the U.S. market and execute risk management, hedging, asset allocation and income generation strategies.

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 $200,000 per Contract with the SPX index at 2000 (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
  • Margin - CBOE Regulatory Circular RG15-183 notes that CBOE rules allow a short position in a cash-settled-index option established and carried in a margin account to receive covered margin treatment, if the short option position is offset in the same account by an equivalent position in an index-tracking ETF that is based on the same index that underlies the short option(s).

    In order to receive covered margin treatment, the market value of the offsetting ETF position must be equivalent or exceed the current aggregate index value of the option being covered. One should note that not all ETFs are managed so as to maintain a share price that is a constant fraction (e.g., 1/10 th, 1/100 th, 1/1,000 th, etc.) of the index being tracked.
  • 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

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.