How to Scan for Options Trades in ThinkorSwim

tc5953

New member
VIP
I am trying to make a scanner that will search all optionable tickers (excluding futures) that will show me things that have good options volume. Basically I am trying to find the most liquid optionable tickers out there (hoping for a list of 200ish tickers, this becomes my master list I use to scan for other things) I would like them to also have decent regular volume on the shares so if I decide to trade the shares instead I can.

I have done a scan but it isnt returning the best results sometimes... I cannot figure out how to post a picture in this thread but basically:
  • It looks for Open interest 12k and above
  • Stock last price $12.00 and above
  • Study average volume 10 period simple is greater than 2,000,000 all of this is on the daily time frame.

What can I tweak? what am I doing wrong to get the best results?

I put the image in I think, I would prefer to have a scan that includes just something that has a bunch of options (dont care if it is calls or puts)and not just one for calls and one for puts, but if that is the only way to do it I will accept that as well.

LqraQ12.png


Thanks for any and all help
 

rad14733

Well-known member
VIP
@tc5953 Let's take a step back before proceeding... First, what are your intentions as far as the options your scan finds...??? Are you looking to scalp, day trade, swing trade, exercise the options to purchase underlying stock...??? This all makes a big difference when it comes to locating the right options...

Let me give you an overview of how I trade options... I scalp, day trade, and sometimes swing trade options... I never Sell/Write options and don't play complex strategies like straddles. spreads, strangles, etc... I trade options like they are penny stocks and am only concerned with short term gains... I know what Stocks and ETF's have the most volatility and trade the most options and only monitor a handful that has options within my trading comfort zone on an ongoing basis... My scans only look at my short watchlist of those symbols for options that fall within my criteria... That list only consists of about 25 Stocks and ETF's... From that list I mainly focus on about 8 of those at a given time due to how they are performing in the overall market on a given day... I am going to provide my symbol list as well as my two scans for Calls and Puts for your perusal and you can tweak from there or we'll try to assist you from there... Please note that I generally only trade options just in or just out of the money...

My current watchlist consists of: AAL, AAPL, AMD, BAC, COST, CSCO, EEM, GDX, GLD, MSFT, MU, NIO, PFE, SPY, SQQQ, TNA, TLT, TWTR, UNG, UVXY, VXX, WFC, WMT.

Edited to add: There are probably only about 80 - 100 symbols that I have ever and will ever trade options for...

a3E7Z71.jpg


xLnfyIv.jpg
 
Last edited:

tc5953

New member
VIP
@rad14733 Thanks for your help on this. I am not actually trying to scan for a specific type of option (delta, days to exp etc) I have a custom built scanner on another platform that I use to scan for specific things...This scanner I am requesting is more so I can get a list of tickers that are pretty fluid with options volume so I do not waste my other scanner on things that are not liquid (can only load about 200ish tickers in it at once) I truly do not care if they are puts or calls and I don't care if it is a long term move or a short term move (I am like you I do scalp trading, day trading and swing) I am mainly just looking for something that will give me a list of liquid tickers on the options side so I don't waste energy scanning non-liquid stuff
 

geremyh

New member
@rad14733 Thanks for your help on this. I am not actually trying to scan for a specific type of option (delta, days to exp etc) I have a custom built scanner on another platform that I use to scan for specific things...This scanner I am requesting is more so I can get a list of tickers that are pretty fluid with options volume so I do not waste my other scanner on things that are not liquid (can only load about 200ish tickers in it at once) I truly do not care if they are puts or calls and I don't care if it is a long term move or a short term move (I am like you I do scalp trading, day trading and swing) I am mainly just looking for something that will give me a list of liquid tickers on the options side so I don't waste energy scanning non-liquid stuff
have you tried Scan>Option Hacker? then add filter>Option>Volume....i saw an EEM jan call with 65k volume...no lie...last week when someone else asked about scans....i wouldn't trade it but i answered his question....i did a similar thing to Rad and you, i created my list of 98 stocks with volume above 2M that i might want to enter via options...then i just have to continually scan that for my ideal setup. you'll see varied option volume depending on the DTE and other stuff like upcomings earnings, or fed meetings minutes...there's just too much that moves options volume to reliably count on it being consistent for that particular symbol. could scan for increases in implied volatility, that can denote increased interest in options for that underlying...usually goes hand in hand
 

Bpositive

New member
VIP
@tc5953 Let's take a step back before proceeding... First, what are your intentions as far as the options your scan finds...??? Are you looking to scalp, day trade, swing trade, exercise the options to purchase underlying stock...??? This all makes a big difference when it comes to locating the right options...

Let me give you an overview of how I trade options... I scalp, day trade, and sometimes swing trade options... I never Sell/Write options and don't play complex strategies like straddles. spreads, strangles, etc... I trade options like they are penny stocks and am only concerned with short term gains... I know what Stocks and ETF's have the most volatility and trade the most options and only monitor a handful that has options within my trading comfort zone on an ongoing basis... My scans only look at my short watchlist of those symbols for options that fall within my criteria... That list only consists of about 25 Stocks and ETF's... From that list I mainly focus on about 8 of those at a given time due to how they are performing in the overall market on a given day... I am going to provide my symbol list as well as my two scans for Calls and Puts for your perusal and you can tweak from there or we'll try to assist you from there... Please note that I generally only trade options just in or just out of the money...

My current watchlist consists of: AAL, AAPL, AMD, BAC, COST, CSCO, EEM, GDX, GLD, MSFT, MU, NIO, PFE, SPY, SQQQ, TNA, TLT, TWTR, UNG, UVXY, VXX, WFC, WMT.

Edited to add: There are probably only about 80 - 100 symbols that I have ever and will ever trade options for...

a3E7Z71.jpg


xLnfyIv.jpg
Hi Rad... Can you please let me know:
  • What stock setups or criteria do you use to choose where to trade the options selected from the scanner?
  • Are the scanners run on Daily or intraday basis?
  • Do you have a profit target and/or stop based on the stock itself?
Your enlightening on this is really appreciated.
Thanks
JR
 

Nick

Active member
2019 Donor
@tc5953 Let's take a step back before proceeding... First, what are your intentions as far as the options your scan finds...??? Are you looking to scalp, day trade, swing trade, exercise the options to purchase underlying stock...??? This all makes a big difference when it comes to locating the right options...

Let me give you an overview of how I trade options... I scalp, day trade, and sometimes swing trade options... I never Sell/Write options and don't play complex strategies like straddles. spreads, strangles, etc... I trade options like they are penny stocks and am only concerned with short term gains... I know what Stocks and ETF's have the most volatility and trade the most options and only monitor a handful that has options within my trading comfort zone on an ongoing basis... My scans only look at my short watchlist of those symbols for options that fall within my criteria... That list only consists of about 25 Stocks and ETF's... From that list I mainly focus on about 8 of those at a given time due to how they are performing in the overall market on a given day... I am going to provide my symbol list as well as my two scans for Calls and Puts for your perusal and you can tweak from there or we'll try to assist you from there... Please note that I generally only trade options just in or just out of the money...

My current watchlist consists of: AAL, AAPL, AMD, BAC, COST, CSCO, EEM, GDX, GLD, MSFT, MU, NIO, PFE, SPY, SQQQ, TNA, TLT, TWTR, UNG, UVXY, VXX, WFC, WMT.

Edited to add: There are probably only about 80 - 100 symbols that I have ever and will ever trade options for...

a3E7Z71.jpg


xLnfyIv.jpg
@rad14733 Thank u for all your sharing. I am also learning to trade options, primarily selling Bull Put Spread that are 5-10% OTM to collect premiums. I will look for swing trade setup, and DTE less than 14. Currently, I am using Mark Minervini trend template to find stocks that pullback to 20DMA. I would like to seek your advice on what are the filters should i use to scan for stocks with good premiums of at least $1 to sell. Thank you
 

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