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Options FAQ - LEAPS®

Q: What are cycles? And how are they affected when LEAPS® are listed?
A: Options on a given stock are listed according to one of the following expiration cycles:

  Q-1 Q-2 Q-3 Q-4
Cycle 1 January April July October
Cycle 2 February May August November
Cycle 3 March June September December

At any given time, there will normally be four different expiration months trading on a particular stock. All stocks will have options listed for the two upcoming expiration months along with two months from their expiration cycle. The table below illustrates the months listed for each cycle throughout the year, beginning on the first day of the year. The most recently listed months are highlighted in blue.

at start of calendar year...

Cycle 1 January February April July
Cycle 2 January February May August
Cycle 3 January February March June

the above months are listed

after January expires...

Cycle 1 February March April July
Cycle 2 February March May August
Cycle 3 February March June September

September is added to cycle 3

after February expires...

Cycle 1 March April July October
Cycle 2 March April May August
Cycle 3 March April June September

October is added to cycle 1

after March expires...

Cycle 1 April May July October
Cycle 2 April May August November
Cycle 3 April May June September

November is added to cycle 2

after April expires...

Cycle 1 May June July October
Cycle 2 May June August November
Cycle 3 May June September December

December is added to cycle 3

after May expires...

Cycle 1 June July October January
Cycle 2 June July August November
Cycle 3 June July September December

January is added to cycle 1

after June expires...

Cycle 1 July August October January
Cycle 2 July August November February
Cycle 3 July August September December

February is added to cycle 2

after July expires...

Cycle 1 August September October January
Cycle 2 August September November February
Cycle 3 August September December March

March is added to cycle 3

after August expires...

Cycle 1 September October January April
Cycle 2 September October November February
Cycle 3 September October December March

April is added to cycle 1

after September expires...

Cycle 1 October November January April
Cycle 2 October November February May
Cycle 3 October November December March

May is added to cycle 2

after October expires...

Cycle 1 November December January April
Cycle 2 November December February May
Cycle 3 November December March June

June is added to cycle 3

after November expires...

Cycle 1 December January April July
Cycle 2 December January February May
Cycle 3 December January March June

July is added to cycle 1

after December expires...

Cycle 1 January February April July
Cycle 2 January February May August
Cycle 3 January February March June


Q: When are the exchanges going to list 2006 LEAPS®?
A: Notice that January expirations for cycle 1 are normally listed after the May options expire. Since January 2004 LEAPS® are already trading, the following schedule is used to introduce a new series of LEAPS®:

Cycle 1:

  • Monday, May 12: January 2004 LEAPS® meld*.
  • Monday, May 19: Regular January Cycle 1 expirations listed
  • Tuesday, May 27: January 2006 LEAPS® listed

Cycle 2:

  • Monday, June 16: January 2004 LEAPS® meld*.
  • Monday, June 23: February expirations listed
  • Monday, June 30: January 2006 LEAPS® listed

Cycle 3:

  • Monday, July 14: January 2004 LEAPS® meld*.
  • Monday, July 21: March expirations listed
  • Monday, July 28: January 2006 LEAPS® listed

Please note that for cycle 2 and cycle 3 options, after the new LEAPS® have been listed there will be an extra month available (2 short-term expirations, 2 cycle expirations, 2 LEAPS® expirations, AND the January expiration that was originally a LEAPS®)

* To meld: change the symbol on a LEAPS® option to that of a ¿normal¿ption. The terms of the option itself do not change.

Q: Where can I find information on LEAPS® options and various strategies based on LEAPS®?
A: See LEAPS®


Important Note: Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. For more information, please read the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options.

Content Licensed by the Options Industry Council. All Rights Reserved. OIC or its affiliates shall not be responsible for content contained on the E*TRADE Securities Website not provided by OIC. Content licensed by the Options Industry Council is intended to educate investors about U.S. exchange-listed options issued by The Options Clearing Corporation, and shall not be construed as furnishing investment advice or being a recommendation, solicitation or offer to buy or sell any option or any other security. Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors.

No information provided by The Options Industry Council Website has been endorsed or approved by E*TRADE Securities LLC, and E*TRADE Securities is not responsible for the contents provided by The Options Industry Council.


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