Explore Your Options by Tom Gentile
UNDERSTANDING OPTION SYMBOLS
I know stock symbols usually have threeor
four-letter symbols. Why do options
have five-letter symbols?
Stocks can have one-, two-, three-,
four-, or even five-letter symbols. For
example, the symbol for Citigroup is C,
for Coca Cola it is KO, and International
Business Machines is IBM. Option symbols
consist of three pieces of information
and have between three and five symbols.
The first part is the option root symbol,
which is often the same as the ticker for the
stock. The root symbol for Citigroup is C.
In the case of a four-letter stock, the root
symbol is shortened to three letters. The
stock symbol for Microsoft is MSFT and
the option root symbol is MSQ.