So you are a new to this website, and you are new to the concept of max pain. Where do you get started? In a nutshell, max pain theory says that the option sellers (called writers) have stock on hand to fulfill the options if they are exercised. These stock positions are maintained to minimize risk to the sellers, and this maintenance affects the stock price. So, options can be the tail wagging the dog.
You'll find several charts on this website. What do they mean?
The open interest chart is self explanatory. It's just a graphical representation of the open interest values you'd see on the yahoo finance option chain. The y-axis is the number of open contracts. The x-axis are the option strike prices. The green line is calls, the red line is puts. The yellow highlight is the previous day closing price. You'll find it useful in seeing where the high number of contract are at a glance.
The volume chart is almost the same, it's just using volume on the y-axis instead of open interest.
The one really important thing the open interest chart can be used for is finding the open interest walls. You can find a detailed explanation of open interest walls here. You may find the open interest walls a valuable tool for predicting stock prices.
This article is a discussion of max pain with Neil Pearsons, Illinois Professor of Financial Markets.
And here you will find how to calculate max pain using an Excel spreadsheet.
Last, here is a word of caution about how accurate is max pain. It describes how you can use the various charts to make decisions about the stock price.
Are you interested in historical option data? Here you will find a history and charts of options prices, open interest and volume. Please note that the history is only available for the stocks of the S&P 500.
You can sign-up for the free option screener. It finds the stocks that have the highest change in price, open interest and volume and emails you the list. That way you'll know what options are seeing activity. Look for the subcribe button on the home page.