This finance website calculates the weekly and monthly max pain cash value for stocks. Max Pain theory states that the stock price on option expiration will be at the strike where the most options (by cash value) expire worthless. This is due to hedging activity by the option writers. Thus, you can predict where the stock price will be in the future and trade accordingly.

See todays Max Pain

Manually calculating Max Pain

I was recently asked by a visitor to this website to demonstrate how to calculate max pain for a specific ticker and expiration. The ticker was the SPY ETF and last Friday 12/12/14 was the option expiration.

Open Interest Walls

Open Interest walls or OI walls are similar concept to max pain.  Both rely on the option writer, which is the market maker, hedging the options he wrote.

Which stocks have the highest option open interest?

I've traded AAPL successfully throughout 2014 using the principals of max pain. Or more accurately, the Poormans algorithm.

AAPL under $100

It is a few weeks after the AAPL split and how do the AAPL options look? Well, the open interest is quite varied. In short, it probably needs a few more weeks to settle.

AAPL Stock Split and Max Pain

Apple stock will split 7 shares for 1 over the weekend of June 7, 2014.  Apple is the poster child for max pain theory.

Why is AAPL usually up on Mondays?

Ever notice how AAPL almost always closes higher on Mondays? Take a look at the Friday and Monday closes from February to mid May of 2014.

Historical Max Pain

A great number of people have asked about the historical max pain values. Recent;y this website has begun recording the daily AAPL max pain values and comparing them with the daily stock price.

VIX Option Max Pain

The VIX option max pain data is now available.  Several users have emailed us asking for the VIX option data.


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Thursday, July 30, 2015 8:30 PM
$TASR Max Pain = 31.00. Maturity = 07/31/2015. Previous close = 28.11.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 8:16 PM
$DEPO high open interest range is 32.00 to 30.00 for option expiration 08/21/2015.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 8:00 PM
$DEPO Max Pain = 32.00. Maturity = 08/21/2015. Previous close = 30.53.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 7:45 PM
$TASR high open interest range is 31.50 to 34.50 for option expiration 07/31/2015.