Reuters: Single stock options worth $1.2 trillion set to expire

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(Reuters) – Single stock options totaling about $1.28 trillion were set to expire on Friday, potentially driving sharp market movements as Wall Street rounds out a turbulent week, analysts at Options Solutions said.

The options expiration represents nearly 40% of the total open interest on a notional basis, according to the Chicago-based investment adviser.

The main U.S. stock indexes ended sharply lower on Thursday as a rally evaporated late in the session with investors contemplating whether equities were bargains after Nasdaq fell into correction territory this week.

“(The) options expiration could be another risk factor because it is so unusually large which could magnify the impact of investors adjusting expiring puts and calls,” said Steve Sears, president at Options Solutions.

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