Trading Index Options: SPX vs. SPY

Dividends None Per-quarter
Style European-style option American-style option
Expiration Third Friday of the month Close of business on expiration Friday
Settlement Settled in cash Settled in shares
Value Often 10x SPY Less than SPX


Dividends are not normally paid to options holders. however, SPY pays a dividend every quarter. This is vital because if you trade with in-the-money ( ITM ) birdcall options, you can exercise them to collect the dividend. To do this, you need to exercise your options on SPY before the ex-dividend date or own shares and place a call ( called a cover call option ) .

It is crucial to be alert when deal ITM calls because most calls are exercised for the dividend on passing Friday. consequently, if you own these options, you can not afford to lose the dividend.

The ex-dividend day for SPY is the third Friday of March, June, September, and December. If that sidereal day does n’t fall on a business sidereal day, it is pushed to the following business day .

trade style

There are two different trade styles, european and American. european vogue options can only be exercised on the exhalation date, while american options can be exercised any time before the termination go steady .

spy options are American-style and may be exercised at any meter after the trader buys them ( before they expire ) .


SPX options that expire on the third Friday stop trading the day before the third Friday ( the third base Thursday ). On the third Friday, the settlement monetary value is determined by the open prices of each of the index ‘s stocks. This price is the closure price for the passing cycle. SPY options discontinue trade at the close of business on termination Friday .

All SPX options expire at the close of occupation on exhalation Friday. however, those that expire on the third Friday of the month do not .


spy options are settled in shares. When you exercise your options, you ‘ll buy ( or sell ) shares of the ETF. Cash is used to settle SPX options, thus if you exercise and are in the money, you ‘ll receive cash in your brokerage account .


An SPX choice is besides about 10 times the respect of an SPY option. For example, on April 9, 2020, SPX closed at 2,789.82 points, and SPY closed at $ 278.20 .

It ‘s vital to grasp that one SPX choice with the same fall upon price and passing is approximately 10 times the value of one SPY choice. consequently, each SPX point was the same as $ 100 .

For case, presuppose SPX was at 2,660 points, and SPY traded near $ 266. One in-the-money SPX option gives its owner the right to buy $ 266,000 worth of the fundamental asset ( $ 100 x 2,660 ) .

One SPY option gives its owner the right to buy $ 26,600 worth of ETF shares ( 10 % of $ 266,000 ) .

Which Is Right For You ?

The assets within SPX do not trade, so there are no shares available to buy or sell. The options are written so that traders can bet on the S & P 500 ‘s price movements. SPX functions as a theoretical index with a price calculated as if it were a true index.

The 500 specific stocks in the index are rebalanced once per quarter in March, June, September, and December. You should watch for these times when trade options, as there might be new opportunities to enter and exit positions. This means it has precisely the issue of shares of each of the 500 stocks. so, while the SPX itself may not trade, both futures contracts and options based on the exponent do. This is why SPX options are settled in cash .

The SPY options are settled in shares because shares are being traded on an exchange. Therefore, the options contracts are written therefore that you take possession of shares when you exercise your choice .

Which options are best for you depends upon your scheme and goals. If you want to take possession of shares to hold or trade again, SPY might work good. If you ‘d rather trade for respect and receive cash in your report, SPX is an excellent choice .

trade SPY options does bring some extra risk. For exemplar, on the Monday following passing, you end up own shares. You ‘ll owe the price of those shares at the death time, not the price on Monday. so if the monetary value for the shares moves lower on Monday, you ‘re paying more than they are deserving on that day. however, if the price moves higher, you pay less than the current marketplace price .

The Bottom Line

The two key differences between SPY vs. SPX options are that they are either american english or european style, and SPY options are on an ETF while SPX options are on the prices of the index itself. You should understand the deviation this makes for exercising your options. additionally, the difference in value ( and colony ) makes how much capital you have to buy the options important .

If you have more capital to spare and do n’t require dividends, SPX might be a dear option. On the other hand, SPY might be a better choice if you ‘re a bite short on funds and can use the dividends .

frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )

What is options trading?

Options are contracts that give the owner the right to buy or sell a security at a particular monetary value within a pin down period. trading options is, in effect, trading the properly to buy or sell those securities without the risk of the price changing. As the name implies, the owner has the option to buy or sell at that price during the contract period, but no obligation to do thus.

How do you trade SPX and SPY options?

As with any other day deal, you ‘ll need to open a brokerage report to start trade SPX and SPY options. Find matchless that specializes in options trade and allows you to exercise trade before you put real money on the line.

The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or fiscal services or advice. The data is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or fiscal circumstances of any particular investor and might not be suitable for all investors. past performance is not indicative mood of future results. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of star.

reference :
Category : Finance

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