Get Acclimated with Product Properties in QuikStrike

QuikStrike puts a lot of information at your fingertips, and it’s important to know exactly what you’re viewing. Navigate to the QS.EDU tab and click the Contract Specs → Product Properties page to find tick data and scaling factors for an entire product group at a glance.

The Product Properties page also includes:

  • name of the product
  • brief description of the product
  • pricing model used for the product
  • premium/point
  • premium multiplier

The information on the page is separated into Options, Futures and Scale Factors sections. It’s important to note the Tick Amount and Tick Values in each section. Tick Amount represents the minimum movement in price for a product, while Tick Value is the cash value of each tick. For example, Eurodollar options move in .01 ticks, so each tick is worth $25 (see the image below). Tick Size and Tick Values won’t be the same for all products and product groups.

Below is an image of the US Rates Product Properties page. Take a look at the the Premium/Point column. This number shows you how much traders would make or lose on a 1 full point move in the option. In our Eurodollar option example, if the price moves 100 ticks (1 point) a trader would make/lose $2,500. Don’t forget that Scale Factors are used to scale the output of the pricing models for display. For example, if the Delta of an option was .42, QuikStrike would multiply that number by 100 to get 42, and that’s how it is represented in the application.

Product Properties - Blog

 

You’ll see that the Premium Multiplier column is starred. To convert the premium from ticks to currency, multiply the premium value by the number in this column (NOTE: QuikStrike presents premium value in ticks).

It’s important to remember that this is the US Rates Product Properties page. Take some time to look at the Product Properties page for each product group to get acclimated with the Tick Amount, Tick Value, Premium per Point, Premium Multiplier and Scale Factors for all individual products you trade.

Come to this page in QuikStrike to find out the value of an option and what model is being used to price it. We hope this blog post clears up any questions you may have about our Product Properties page. Please get in touch with us if there is anything else you can help us with. Thanks for taking the time to read our blog!

Strike Detail Popup: See Strike Info at a Glance

Our last blog post broke down the Strike Detail Sheet in QuikStrike. But as we mentioned in the post, there is another way to access all the information on the page. Clicking on (almost) any strike price in QuikStrike launches the Strike Detail popup:

QuikStrike Strike Detail popup

 

As you can see in the image above, the popup includes:

  • Strike Detail
    • Selected strike price is anchor strike for all trade types on the chart
    • Has the same functionality as Strike Detail Sheet minus Analysis Bar
  • Vol History
    • Volatility and Future Price of selected strike price on a specific date (going back as far as 12 months)
  • ATM Vol History
    • ATM Volatility and Future Price of ATM strike on a specific date (going back as far as 12 months)
  • Volume & OI
    • Trade Volume and Open Interest for calls and puts for selected strike price (going back as far as 12 months)
  • Vol Chart
    • Current and Settlement Vol Chart for selected expiration
  • Pricing Sheets
    • Standard Pricing Sheet and Straddle Sheet for selected expiration
  • Futures
    • Future Price vs. Time graph for the selected expiration’s underlying at a specific time
      • Some months go to underlying futures that are not the same as their expiration month
      • Trade Volume and Open Interest will be shown in the same view when selecting a history of at least 1 Week

Launch this popup from (almost) any page in QuikStrike. Don’t forget to hover over the graphs and charts in each tab of the popup to view specific information.

The Strike Detail popup allows users to access information about a particular strike price, expiration or future price without navigating from their current page. Please let us know if there is anything you would like to see us add to this popup, or any of our other popups within QuikStrike. Feel free to add a comment below, shoot us an email (info@quikstrike.net) or tweet us.

View All Common Spreads on the Strike Detail Sheet

If you’ve read the blog post about our Standard Pricing Sheet, it’s time to try out our Strike Detail Sheet. Now that you know how to find call, put and straddle prices, view Greek values associated with those positions and manipulate inputs in a theoretical pricing model, you can apply that knowledge on this more advanced page.

Select a strike price from the Strikes column on the left hand side to get started using the Strike Detail Sheet (NOTE: The page will always open with the ATM strike selected). Use this page to find information for strikes and multiple trade types, including Spreads, 1x2s, Flys, Trees and Ladders, Condors, Iron Flys and Strangles (NOTE: To learn more about the trade types on the page, visit the Trade Examples tab in the QS.EDU section of QuikStrike). You’ll notice that the strike width increases in each group of spreads as you move down the line. Look at 1x2s, for example. The 385/390 spread is one strike wide, while the 385/405 spread is four strikes wide.

Let’s look at the OZCG5 Strike Detail Sheet to help you get a better understanding of how it works:

OZCG5 Strike Detail Sheet

As you can see on the above chart, the Strike Detail Sheet has the same Analysis Bar as all other pricing sheet pages in QuikStrike. Manipulating the Future Price, Volatility (or ATM Price) and Days to Expiration (DTE) will alter the the calculations in the table. Users have the opportunity to see how a change in one of the inputs can affect the Premium Price, Delta Position and Change between the premium price and previous settlement prices for all the common spreads on the table. Don’t forget about the Mode and Direction dropdowns within the Analysis Bar. The Mode allows you to view a specific range or group of strikes, while you can toggle the Direction from Vol to Price to Price to Vol.

Now that you’re comfortable with the Analysis Bar, let’s go through an example. Analyze the information on the table if we decrease the DTE by four days:

OZCG5 Strike Detail Sheet 3

Did you notice that almost every value in the table changed? Adjusting each input will affect the values in the table in different ways.

Clicking on the strike prices in any of the spreads will launch a Trade Strategy popup that contains Greeks data, Premium information, Profit/Loss tables and an Expected Return chart. Underneath the chart, you’ll find graphs for all the Greeks. Hovering over the curve on each graph allows users to view Greek values with corresponding future prices.

The popup in the image below displays a 385/390 Call Spread (NOTE: The current values for the the spread are highlighted in pink).

385-395 Trade Strategy

It’s important to note the Risk Analysis button and the ability to save the page down to your machine as a PDF. The image below shows the Risk Analysis page which has the same Expected Return and Greeks chart on the Trade Strategy page. In addition to these larger graphs, users can evaluate the potential risks of their trade in the Future, Volatility and Time sections. In each section, you can analyze how a change in the given variable affects Profit and Loss, Time Value and all the Greek values.

QuikStrike Risk Analysis

With all the functionality that resides within the Strike Detail Sheet, it’s important to take some time to get acclimated with the page and its popups (NOTE: The Strike Detail Sheet can also be displayed as a popup by clicking any Strike Price within QuikStrike). We’re interested to hear about your experience with the Strike Detail Sheet. Get in touch with us via email at info@quikstrike.net or find us on Twitter. We appreciate you reading our blog!

Using QuikStrike Historical ATM Vol Charts

In wake of Monday’s USDA report, the CME Group tweeted a QuikStrike ATM Vol History graph to showcase lower volatility in the March contract for Corn. Viewing this chart in QuikStrike takes a few simple steps.

In a prior blog post, we outlined the features of the History section in QuikStrike. Navigating to the Volatility and Skew → ATM Charts page will allow you to view ATM volatility history (1,3,6,9 and 12 month periods), as well as the corresponding Future Price for each date.

ATM Volatility History

 

As you can see in the image above, the ATM volatility history chart gives you the opportunity to view the ATM volatility/future price and the corresponding date (going back as far as 12 months). You can also get a feel for the average ATM volatility and future price for a particular expiration over the selected time period at the bottom of the page.

While we navigated to the History section of QuikStrike to create this graph, you can also access this information (via an Expiration Popup) by clicking on the expiration in the title bar (or any other place where the expiration is a link in QuikStrike). After you click the expiration, you will see the third tab from the left is ATM Vol History (as shown in the image below).

OZCH5 popup

Once you click the ATM Vol History tab, you can view the exact same chart as the Volatility and Skew → ATM Charts page in the History section of QuikStrike without navigating to a new page. The Expiration Popup (shown in the image above) also includes Vol Summary, Option Settles, Open Interest, Pricing Sheets and Futures tabs for the selected expiration.

We want our users take advantage of all the ways to view vol history in QuikStrike. Let us know what you think about this chart, and the rest of the Volatility and Skew history pages. Get in touch with us via email, Twitter or post a comment below. Thanks for checking out our blog!

Compare Vol History on our Vol Term Structure Page

QuikStrike was created to provide our users with fast, easy access to volatility information. The Vol Term Structure page makes it easy to compare at-the-money (ATM) implied volatility levels across all expirations on a single page. Using the Chart Settings and Expiration Filter dropdowns and the Expiration Table, users can create a personalized ATM implied volatility chart.

On the Vol Term Structure chart, our users can view and compare ATM implied volatilities from four different timeframes:

  • Current ATM Levels
  • Previous Settlement
  • 1 Week ago
  • 1 Month ago

Click the Chart Settings dropdown to select/deselect each vol term to be displayed on the chart.

Let’s look at the American Crude Oil Vol Term Structure page. The first thing to note is the Expiration Table that shows which expirations can be displayed on the chart. Toggle the Expiration Groups by clicking the Expiration Filter button. A dropdown will appear that allows you to select/deselect the Expiration Groups shown in the table. Click the box on the left of each expiration to select/deselect the expiration to have its corresponding implied volatility added/removed from the chart.

Vol Term Structure

The Expiration Table also contains Days to Expiration (DTE), Future Price and ATM Implied Volatility, ATM Strike Price and Current Straddle Price columns (NOTE: the expirations shown in the table are listed in DTE order).

NOTE: You can hover over each point on the curve to view the corresponding expiration and volatility.

Many users leverage the Vol Term Structure page to compare only two or three expirations at a time, but the page is designed to build the chart as you please. Share with us how you use the page. Send us an email at info@quikstrike.net. Thanks for reading and please share our blog with others who may be interested.

How Are You Using the QuikStrike Sidebar?

Have you started using the My Notes feature? Are you following our most recent Twitter activity? Do you keep items in your Watches? These are just a few of the ways that you can take advantage of the Sidebar in QuikStrike. Simply navigate to the right hand side of the page and click the title bar of the Sidebar to view the dropdown in the image below.

QuikStrike Sidebar

QuikStrike is all about giving our users fast access to the most valuable information. Our Sidebar provides complementary data to a number of different pages within the application. Let’s say you are using the Standard Pricing Sheet for the Soybeans OZCG5 contract. The pricing sheet provides you with all the pricing data for that particular expiration. But what if you want to see Future Prices or review Straddle Prices for another expiration’s at-the-money strike? All you need to do is click the Sidebar menu option button and select your desired content.

Sidebar and Pricing Sheet

Not only can you view prices in your sidebar, but you can also see the last time the sidebar window was updated, as displayed in the image above (NOTE: QuikStrike uses “delayed” prices per the mandates of each exchange).

The Product Status option in the Sidebar menu allows you to view when the QuikStrike information was last updated (for settlements and the most recent volatility run). When looking at Future Prices, Straddle Prices or Watches in the Sidebar, you can click the arrow button on the right hand side to view the full detail page in QuikStrike (as shown in the image above).

Have you ever wanted to track a Trade Strategy you’ve built in the Trade or Calendar Builder? You can save it to your Watch List as shown in the image below. You can view your saved positions in the Manage QuikStrike → Watches page, or simply select the Watches option in your Sidebar. Here you can view the Future Price, Current Price and Initial Premium, as well as the Profit and Loss information and Greek values.

Save pop-up - Blog

If you haven’t been taking advantage of all of the QuikStrike Sidebar has to offer, it’s time to start now! What is your favorite feature of the Sidebar? Would you like to see anything added to the Sidebar? Drop us a line at info@quikstrike.net. Thanks for reading our blog!

The Standard Pricing Sheet is the Place to Start

Remember when you initially logged into QuikStrike? The Standard Pricing Sheet was the first page you saw, and that’s not by mistake. The Standard Pricing Sheet, and all the other pricing sheets, are structured in a way that allow our users to manipulate them quickly and easily. It is our goal to give our users access the information they need in just a few clicks of the mouse.

The Pricing Sheet is also one of the more common pages and is found in almost all option pricing applications. Leverage our version to dive more deeply into specific information about a particular expiration or strike with the Standard Pricing Sheet:

  • View detailed information about the current expiration (click the expiration in the title bar)
  • Open a futures window to see intraday, previous day and historical price action (click the underlying price in the title bar)
  • Quickly jump off to strike detail popups (click on any price in the Strike column)
  • Find implied volatility with the simple option calculator on the page (click on the calculator icon located next to each strike price)
  • Manipulate the analysis data without leaving the page in the application (click the Analysis Button on the right hand side of the title bar to display the Analysis Bar)

These are just a few of the ways to take advantage of the page. Let’s look at the Standard Pricing Sheet Page for the EDH5 contract:

EDH5Understanding the Analysis Bar is key to getting the most out of the Pricing Sheet. It’s important to spend some time on the Standard Pricing Sheet. Master the functionality by clicking all the links to view the informational popups and hover over all the buttons. The Direction, Price, Model and Mode dropdowns are briefly explained in the call-outs in the image above, and the list below further breaks down the features of the Analysis Bar:

  • Change the Future Price or Volatility (or ATM Price) by typing a new figure in the box, or use the arrow buttons on either side of the box to move the value up or down
  • Manipulate Days to Expiration (DTE) by clicking the calendar icon and selecting a date, or input the number of DTE of your choice
  • Select a Mode in the dropdown (explained in the list below) to display your desired strike range:
    • Auto Strike: The number (15 in this case) of strikes displayed both above and below the ATM Strike (NOTE: In the example image above, 100 is the highest strike available in QuikStrike, therefore 15 higher strikes cannot be displayed)
    • Delta Limit: Setting the Delta Limit restricts the strikes shown to those with Deltas that are the within the limit selected relative to 0 or 100/-100
    • Low/High: Input the range of strikes to be shown in the boxes and all strikes in between are displayed
    • Upside: Upside shows all strikes above the ATM (plus the ATM)
    • Downside: Downside shows all strikes below the ATM (plus the ATM)

As you can see on the table, Daily and Annual Basis Point Volatility columns follow the Greek columns on this particular pricing sheet. You will only see these columns on Interest Rate Pricing Sheets. All other products will have a column for Rent, a measure of the expected daily change in the underlying future based on the volatility of the current expiration, instead. Learn more about the Rent value in the Calcs 101 menu item, which can be found in the QS.EDU section of QuikStrike.

Now that we’ve broken down all the different aspects of the page, let’s put the Standard Pricing Sheet to work. Below is an image of the Standard Pricing Sheet for the Corn OZCG5 contract without any input adjustments:

OZCG5 Standard Pricing Sheet - Blog

Let’s say we’ve calculated an implied volatility (31.57) for the 400 strike price (NOTE: a yellow line runs through the row with the ATM Strike). Now let’s input the implied volatility replacing the current volatility on the pricing sheet and evaluate the changes on the image below:

OZCG5 Standard Pricing Sheet with Vol Change

  • Call Delta remains the same at 52
  • Call premium decreases from 10.460 to 9.293
  • Put premium decreases from 10.210 to 9.673
  • Put Delta remains the same at -48
  • Straddle price decreases from 20.670 to 19.597
  • Gamma increases from 1.536 to 1.620
  • Vega remains the same at 0.310
  • Theta increases from -0.381 to -0.361
  • Rent decreases from 8.412 to 7.976

It’s important to note how the values on the other rows of the chart change aside from the ATM Strike. For example, analyze how the volatility changed in all the other columns.  Since we had an implied volatility lower than the current volatility, the volatilities decreased (by the same amount) for all the other strikes. Notice how the volatility of the 350 Strike on both images is exactly 6.52 percent higher than the volatility of the 400 Strike.

Now that we’ve seen what happens to the values in the pricing sheet when volatility changes, let’s try increasing the underlying price one point and going back to the original volatility.

OZCG5 Standard Pricing Sheet with Underlying Change

  • Call Delta increases from 52 to 53
  • Call premium increases from 10.460 to 10.982
  • Put premium decreases from 10.210 to 9.733
  • Put Delta increases -48 to -47
  • Straddle price increases from 20.670 to 20.715
  • Gamma decreases from 1.536 to 1.529
  • Vega remains the same 0.310
  • Theta remains the same at -0.381
  • Rent increases from 8.412 to 8.433

Analyze how prices and other values change in a matter of seconds by manipulating one or more of the variables in the theoretical pricing model. Don’t forget that a simple option calculator is next to each strike price on the pricing sheet (NOTE: View the first image to learn how to launch the calculator on the page). Plug in your own values to find theoretical prices and implied volatilities without leaving the page.

What is your favorite part of the Standard Pricing Sheet? Do you use the Standard Pricing Sheet before executing trades? Share your thoughts with us by sending an email to info@quikstrike.net. Please share this post with others who may be interested. Thanks for checking out our blog!

Get Greek Help: QS.EDU Has a Calcs 101 Tab

In our most recent post, we referenced the Greek help in the QS.EDU section of QuikStrike. Understanding what each Greek value means and how they are affected by changes in the strike price, future price, volatility, days to expiration and interest rates is imperative in order to trade options successfully.

The Calcs 101 tab thoroughly explains how to calculate Delta, Gamma, Vega and Theta, as well the Rent value. Let’s take a look at the Delta page to give you an idea of what to look for on each page.

QuikStrike Calcs 101

The first thing you’ll notice is the header of the page (Delta) with the Greek symbol next to it. Beneath the header will be the definition and equation for how to calculate the selected Greek value. Becoming familiar with the formula to calculate all the Greeks and the Rent value helps you understand where risk can come from, create expectations for a certain position and reduce the number of surprises one encounters when evaluating the behavior of an option’s price.

The strike noted on the page is the ATM strike, the future is the current underlying price and the current volatility is also used. On this particular page, you’ll see the Delta value for both calls and puts, followed by the other Greeks. Note that the strike information shown is always the current ATM strike for whatever expiration is currently selected.

In the Example Calculations section, you can use the equation to see how the Delta changes when there is a change in the underlying price. In order to calculate the new Delta, it’s important to understand all the variables (and constants) in the equation.

Before reviewing this sample calculation, we need to define the inputs into the equation. We know the Premium is the price you pay for an option and the Future Change is the change in future price. However, you may not be familiar with future and option base and the scale factors. The future and option base are the numeric bases for the fractional portion of the future price. These values only apply for treasuries in which the option base is 64 and the future base is 32. Understanding scale factors is fairly simple; they are used to scale the output of the pricing models for display. To see how scale factors differ from product to product, check out the Contract Specs → Product Properties page in QS.EDU.

Now let’s dive into the calculation. We’ll use first item in the call column when the future price rises .02. Plug in the variables into the equation below to find the new Premium:

  • Premium1: 2.70
  • Delta: 54
  • Future Change: 0.02
  • Option Base: 100
  • Future Base: 100
  • Option Scale Factor: 1
  • Delta Scale Factor: 100

Premium2 = Premium1 + Δ * FutureChange * (OptionBase/FutureBase) * (OptionScaleFactor/DeltaScaleFactor)

2.71 = 2.70 + (54) * (0.02) * (100/100) * (1/100)

If you’ve correctly used the equation, you’ll calculate Premium2 to be 2.71.

As you may have noticed, this particular Calcs 101 page was for American Crude Oil. It’s important to understand that every page example is specific to the product and has the actual, current ATM information for that product. Let’s take a look at the Calcs 101 page for Eurodollars.

EDH5 Calcs 101

Do you notice anything different from the American Crude Oil Calcs 101 page? Remember to look at all of the inputs we plugged into the equation. The Option Scale Factor for Eurodollars is 100, while for American Crude Oil it was 1. Always remember to check to see if you are using the right equation before doing any calculations.

Do you find the Calcs 101 tab to be educational? Are there any further questions we can answer about how to calculate the Greeks? We’re here to help. Send us a message at info@quikstrike.net. Thanks for taking the time to read our blog!