OptionsHouse Research Tools

Updated Sunday, March 20, 2011

Research Tools Grade: C

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The OptionsHouse research tools can best be described as hit or miss.  Market news is rather limited, as is stock specific research.  The events calendar and stock screener are not as useful as those found at many other brokers.  The technical analysis tools are well done as well as some of the more customized tools, such as volatility charts.  Advanced options traders will probably benefit the most from the OptionsHouse research offerings because of the options specific tools, so we think it is worth a look for those folks in particular.  Most other traders, however, will likely view the OptionsHouse research tools as decidedly limited.


The OptionsHouse markets research tab contains a number of useful tools.  First is a selection of charts showing the major indexes and relative strength.  To the right is a break down of daily market performance by sector, followed by news articles provided by The Associated Press, amongst others.(click on all images for larger views):

At the bottom of the markets tab is a very basic events calendar.  Events are limited to earnings announcements and dividend events.  This feature seems to have been implemented as an after thought and is not competitive with the better examples found at competitors.  Here is a view of the earnings and dividends that are set to take place on a particular date:

Typing in a stock symbol within the research tab will bring up company specific information.  Here is a view of the research page found for Research in Motion (RIMM):

Along the top of the page there are long term and daily price charts along with some relevant technical and fundamental facts for this stock.  Clicking on the technical analysis section brings up a detailed technical analysis page.  The Trading Strategies tab contains suggested strategies based on technical analysis.  Here is a look at bollinger band and RSI suggested trading strategies for RIMM:

Analyst opinions are shown broken down by five categories and clicking on this area brings up a detailed analyst opinion page.  Towards the bottom we have company relevant news stories provided by Midnight Trader, amongst others, along with company and peer event calendars.

The tools tab contains some interesting research tools.  Here is a look at what is offered:

The Trade Generator tool provides a way for traders to find opportunities based on their preferred investment strategies.  Strategies include covered calls, spreads, condors, straddles and more.  We use covered call strategies on a regular basis and find that the covered call generator to be a useful tool.  Here are covered call trade opportunities for Apple (AAPL):

The Risk Viewer displays Greeks and theoretical position values based off of various market values.  The PNL calculator and Probability Calculator are additional options related research tools.  Volatility Charts are what you would expect - they generate volatility charts for indexes or individual stocks.  Here is a one year volatility chart for Apple (AAPL):

The Stock Screener needs some work before it is can very useful.  There are 22 screening criteria to choose from but most of the choices are rather limited.  For example, users can screen by P/E but are limited to ranges of 5, 10, 15, 20 etc. and cannot specify, for example, stocks with P/Es less than 12.  Other criteria, such as book value per share, are only really useful if it is adjusted for the current price per share, which is not an option.  Here is a query that we ran for stocks with a dividend yield greater than 3%, P/E less than 15 and a market cap greater than $300 million:

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