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Take two stocks, WWE and XPO, both traded on NYSE. Today, May 28, 2014,

XPO has options expiring August 2014...

XPO options

...while WWE doesn't:

WWE options

Why is that?

From my experience, the missing expiration month options do eventually show up, so I've linked the screenshots above to Google Finance to check later.

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2 Answers 2

There is a good explanation of this on Investopedia. A few quotes summarizing the issue:

Not All Stocks Trade the Same Options

When stock options first began trading, each stock was assigned to one of three cycles: January, February or March. There is no meaning as to which cycle a stock was assigned - it was purely random.

Stocks assigned to the January cycle had options available only in the first month of each quarter: January, April, July and October. Stocks assigned to the February cycle had only the middle months of each quarter available: February, May, August and November. Stocks on the March cycle had the end months of each quarter available: March, June, September and December.

The Modified Expiration Cycles

the original rules were modified, and in 1990, the CBOE decided that every stock would always have the current month plus the following month available to trade.

Every stock has at least four expiration months trading. Under the new rules, the first two months are always the two near months, but for the two farther-out months, the rules use the original cycles.

Adding LEAPS

If a stock has LEAPS available, then more than four expiration months will be available.

LEAPS are long-term options that, with some exceptions, are no more than three years out and usually trade with a January expiration date. If a stock does have LEAPS, then new LEAPS are issued in May, June or July depending on the cycle to which the stock is assigned.

But you really need to read through all of the article (and follow the links there) to understand the issue, it is quite convoluted.

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It's on a different expiration cycle.

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What expiration cycles are there and how does one get assigned? –  user1157 May 29 at 7:09
1  
as already hinted by Ask Question please add some "meat" to the bone :) ;) –  Probilitator May 29 at 7:17
    
Seriously? For the uninitiated: Investopedia - Definition of Expiration Cycle –  tyls May 29 at 11:22
    
Don't think so... both stocks have June and July options, and none of those are quarterlies. Is one changing its expiration cycle after July? –  Dan Dascalescu May 29 at 23:15
    
All months get included eventually. The roll out of expirations will always follow its cycle. In July, WWE will have an August '14 expiration. The first two monthlies follow the calendar, next two follow the cycle. –  tyls May 30 at 0:22

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