Appendix B: Symbol Construction


Commodity Futures Symbol Construction (from Washington Post help)

Use a year-code digit at the end of each symbol. Example: Cocoa, September, 1996 is "CC=U6". For cash index symbols, always use ZERO as the year-code. Example: S&P 500, Cash is "IN=X0".

Delivery Month Symbol Codes

Jan = F Feb = G Mar = H Apr = J May = K Jun = M
Jul = N Aug = Q Sep = U Oct = V Nov = X Dec = Z

The Washington Post commodity futures help has detailed information on base commodity codes (e.g. Cocoa is CC as above).


Options Symbol Construction

The following tables are used to construct month codes and strike price codes for most listed options. These codes are appended to the ticker symbol (e.g., December 96 115 Call contract on IBM is IBMLC).

Expiration Month Symbol Codes for Calls

Jan = A Feb = B Mar = C Apr = D May = E Jun = F
Jul = G Aug = H Sep = I Oct = J Nov = K Dec = L

Expiration Month Symbol Codes for Puts

Jan = M Feb = N Mar = O Apr = P May = Q Jun = R
Jul = S Aug = T Sep = U Oct = V Nov = W Dec = X

Symbol Codes for Strike Prices

Code

Strike Prices

A

5

105

205

...

B

10

110

210

...

C

15

115

215

...

D

20

120

220

...

E

25

125

225

...

F

30

130

230

...

G

35

135

235

...

H

40

140

240

...

I

45

145

245

...

J

50

150

250

...

K

55

155

255

...

L

60

160

260

...

M

65

165

265

...

N

70

170

270

...

O

75

175

275

...

P

80

180

280

...

Q

85

185

285

...

R

90

190

290

...

S

95

195

295

...

T

100

200

300

...

Symbols U through Z are reserved for special strike prices which result from stock splits.