Would you tell me what's the symbol for Put/Call Ratio (CBOE)? (October 13, 2001)

  There is no symbol for the put/call ratio. It is a ratio of the number of puts traded on the option exchange to the number of calls traded. For example, a reading of 0.70 means that for every ten calls traded, 7 puts were traded. As you know, extreme put buying indicates extreme fear, and when the ratio closes above 1.0 (more puts than calls), that historically is an indication that fear is running high. You have to remember, most investors, speculators or whatever tend to be more bullish than bearish. When the crowd of option players (the majority are speculators, buying short term out of the money options) gets spooked and feels the market is only going to sell down, that is often a sign that things are going to swing the other way. Thee week the market re-opened, four of the five sessions showed a put/call ratio close greater than 1.0. Indeed, one session the level was 1.21, the highest recorded.

To find the put/call ratio, you can grab it after hours at www.cboe.com under 'market statistics.' This gives the reading on the CBOE. There are other option exchanges, but the CBOE is the largest, and its readings are usually accurate.

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