Aapl stock has been moved dramatic in the last quarter of 2012 and so far in 2013. The action in the stock has been so furious, that the weekly max pain numbers are easily over run. Max pain has not held recently.

But, with the close of stock today Friday January 18, 2013 it looks like max pain may have been a factor. Today was an maturity date for the monthly options. January 2013 may have had a high number of open options due to LEAPs. Perhaps the higher monthly open interest and the additional LEAP contracts were enough to influence the stock price.

AAPL closed today at 500.00.

To close at such a round number is highly unusual. It is also important to note the previous days close was 502.68.


Now have a look at the Jan 2013 monthly open interest. This graph shows the open interest prior to the market open on Friday. Notice the spike in both puts and calls at the 500 strike?

Now, max pain wasn't 500. It was 525. There were a large number of open contracts not visible on this snippet of the graph.

But consider this, since the previous close was about 502, the only strike with a high open interest inside of 10% or 50 point move in either direction was the 500 strike. Is it coincidence that the stock closed right at 500, rendering the calls and puts worthless?

More importantly, does this suggest a way to forecast AAPL stock prices? Is AAPL likely to close at the highest open interest within 2-5% of the previous close?