Max Pain

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Open Int
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The cash value graph shows the result of the cash value max pain calculation. The yellow highlighted column indicates the max pain option strike. The max pain cash value calculation uses the Open Interest to determine the cash paid out by the option writers if the stock were to close at each strike. For details on how the cash value max pain point is derived, please visit the calculation page.

The bars indicate how much money would be paid out if the stock were to close at the strike price. The red bar is the money paid out on puts. The green bar is the money paid out on calls. Looking at the left side of chart you'll see a large red bar. Should the stock price decline to that strike, many puts would be in the money. The red bar indicates the dollar amount paid out on those in the money puts. If there is a little green there, then is a small amount of in the money calls paid out. Similarly the green bar on the right side indicates that if the stock price were to increase a large dollar amount of in the money calls would be paid out. The max pain strike is the strike at which the least amount of options are paid out. It is the combination of the puts and calls. The point on the chart were the red and green bars are the minimum dollar amount is max pain.

Please note the open interest is updated daily prior to the market open. It is not updated intra-day. This page uses Yahoo Finance and similar sources for option data. The open interest data for the stock options is compiled nightly. Open Interest data is therefore valid prior to the market open, before the CBOE begins trading options each day. After the market opens and options begin trading the open interest data may no longer by valid. No option data source provides intra-day open interest. The only intra-day data available is the volume data.

The underlying option data, including open interest and cash values, can found on the Option Data page.

The numbers across the bottom represent the various strike prices of the stock options. Max Pain is calculated for each strike by determining the cash value paid out on each call and put option at that strike. The red vertical bar is the put option cash value. The green vertical bar is the call option cash value. The further away the stock price is from the max pain point the more the option writers will have to pay out. Conversely, the closer to the max pain point the stock price is the less they pay out.

Max pain theory says that the option writers will hedge the contracts they have written. In the case of the market maker, the hedging is done to remain neutral in the stock. Consider the market makers position if he must write an option contract without wanting a position in the stock. As the maturity date approaches, the stock price changes. In addition, contracts may be closed by the option buyers. As a result the option writer must re-balance his hedges. This re-balancing is an effort to hedge the open contracts, thus maintaining a state where the least amount of money will be paid out. Re-balancing of positions in the stock provide pressure on the price to close at the max pain point. ;