The Nasdaq-100 Index

Home to some of the most innovative companies in the world, the Nasdaq-100 index features modern-day industrials. It is made up of 100 of the largest domestic and international non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market based on market capitalization. read more

Investing in the Nasdaq-100 allows investors to gain exposure to leading businesses that drive the economy across a broad swath of industries including technology, health care, and consumer staples. Diversity is critical to the index’s outstanding success over the past two decades, with a total return of nearly 63% from 2007 to 2020—three times that of the S&P 500.

Tracking the Nasdaq-100 through NDX options offers investors the opportunity to capitalize on the performance of these innovative companies. Whether to protect a portfolio against a market correction, hedge risks, or generate yield enhancement, Nasdaq-100 index options give both retail and institutional investors the ability to stay invested in equities, while reducing downside risk.

Think of options as buying an insurance policy with a one-time premium payment. And with Nasdaq’s Volatility Index (VOLQ), investors get visibility into the expected volatility of the Nasdaq-100 index 30 days out, providing them yet another way to make better, more informed options decisions. read less

Total Returns of Nasdaq-100 vs. S&P 500

The Nasdaq-100 and S&P 500 are two of the most popular equity indexes in the U.S. The Nasdaq-100 is heavily allocated towards top performing industries such as technology, consumer services, and healthcare, which have helped the index outperform the S&P 500 by a wide margin over the past two decades. Despite the recent market volatility, the Nasdaq-100 index has turned out cumulative total returns of approximately 2.5 times that of the S&P 500 index for at least the past 15 years.

* Data provided by

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Investing with Index Options

  • NDX

    Nasdaq’s flagship index options product. The underlying value is equal to the full value of the Nasdaq-100 Index. NDX options offer monthly AM settlement and weekly PM settlement to fit various investor needs.

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  • NQX

    Reduced value index options product. NQX is based on 1/5th (20%) the full value of the Nasdaq-100 Index, offering investors lower notional exposure while tracking the Nasdaq-100. NQX options offer monthly and weekly PM settlement.

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  • XND

    Nasdaq-100 micro index options product. XND is based on 1/100th (1%) the full value of the Nasdaq-100 Index. The smaller notional value of the micro contract is designed to provide investors with a more precise and manageable way to hedge or gain exposure to the Nasdaq-100 Index. XND options offer monthly and weekly PM settlement.

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  • VOLQ

    Nasdaq-100 volatility index options product. The underlying value is equal to the value of the Nasdaq-100® Volatility Index times a 100 multiplier. VOLQ index options are AM-settled and allow investors to manage volatility risk as a precise at-the-money (ATM) volatility hedge for your portfolio.

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Options Architect

Select a historic market moment to test out Nasdaq-100 Index Options Strategies

Select an Amount:
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Pick a Date Range:

Amount:

Market Moments:

Test Custom Dates:

Investment Style:

  • bearish
  • Neutral
  • bullish

Strategy Feature:

Available Products:

XND i XND: Nasdaq 100 micro index options product. XND is based on 1/100th (1%) the full value of the Nasdaq-100 index. The smaller notional value of the micro contract is designed to provide investors with a more precise and manageable way to hedge or gain exposure to the Nasdaq-100 index. XND options offer monthly and weekly PM settlement. NQX i NQX: Reduced value index options product. NQX is based on 1/5th (20%) the full value of the Nasdaq-100 index, offering investors lower notional exposure while tracking the Nasdaq-100. NQX options offer monthly and weekly PM settlement. NDX i NDX: Nasdaq’s flagship index options product. The underlying value is equal to the full value of the Nasdaq-100 index. NDX options offer monthly AM settlement and weekly PM settlement to fit various investor needs.
Select from the below to test out different options strategies.
* Data provided by

For the sake of simplicity, the examples that follow do not take into consideration commissions and other transaction fees, tax considerations, or margin requirements, which are factors that may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy. An investor should review transaction costs, margin requirements and tax considerations with a broker and tax advisor before entering into any options strategy.

Options involve risk and are not suitable for everyone. Prior to buying or selling an option, a person must receive a copy of Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Copies may be obtained from your broker, one of the exchanges or The Options Clearing Corporation, One North Wacker Drive, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60606 or call 1-888-OPTIONS or visit www.888options.com.

Any strategies discussed, including examples using actual securities and price data, are strictly for illustrative and education purposes and are not to be construed as an endorsement, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell securities.

Nasdaq® is a registered trademark of Nasdaq, Inc. The information contained above is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and nothing contained herein should be construed as investment advice, either on behalf of a particular security or an overall investment strategy. Neither Nasdaq, Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any recommendation to buy or sell any security or any representation about the financial condition of any company. Statements regarding Nasdaq-listed companies or Nasdaq proprietary indexes are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investors should undertake their own due diligence and carefully evaluate companies before investing. ADVICE FROM A SECURITIES PROFESSIONAL IS STRONGLY ADVISED. © 2021. Nasdaq, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Your Selections

Initial Investment

Investment Style:

  • bearish
  • Neutral
  • bullish

Strategy Feature:

Available Products:

XND i XND: Nasdaq 100 micro index options product. XND is based on 1/100th (1%) the full value of the Nasdaq-100 index. The smaller notional value of the micro contract is designed to provide investors with a more precise and manageable way to hedge or gain exposure to the Nasdaq-100 index. XND options offer monthly and weekly PM settlement. NQX i NQX: Reduced value index options product. NQX is based on 1/5th (20%) the full value of the Nasdaq-100 index, offering investors lower notional exposure while tracking the Nasdaq-100. NQX options offer monthly and weekly PM settlement. NDX i NDX: Nasdaq’s flagship index options product. The underlying value is equal to the full value of the Nasdaq-100 index. NDX options offer monthly AM settlement and weekly PM settlement to fit various investor needs.
YOUR RETURN:

Cumulative Total Return Performance
    *This chart shows the return on a $2,500 investment, assuming an investment date of 7/1/20. * Data provided by

    For the sake of simplicity, the examples that follow do not take into consideration commissions and other transaction fees, tax considerations, or margin requirements, which are factors that may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy. An investor should review transaction costs, margin requirements and tax considerations with a broker and tax advisor before entering into any options strategy.

    Options involve risk and are not suitable for everyone. Prior to buying or selling an option, a person must receive a copy of Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Copies may be obtained from your broker, one of the exchanges or The Options Clearing Corporation, One North Wacker Drive, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60606 or call 1-888-OPTIONS or visit www.888options.com.

    Any strategies discussed, including examples using actual securities and price data, are strictly for illustrative and education purposes and are not to be construed as an endorsement, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell securities.

    Nasdaq® is a registered trademark of Nasdaq, Inc. The information contained above is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and nothing contained herein should be construed as investment advice, either on behalf of a particular security or an overall investment strategy. Neither Nasdaq, Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any recommendation to buy or sell any security or any representation about the financial condition of any company. Statements regarding Nasdaq-listed companies or Nasdaq proprietary indexes are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investors should undertake their own due diligence and carefully evaluate companies before investing. ADVICE FROM A SECURITIES PROFESSIONAL IS STRONGLY ADVISED. © 2021. Nasdaq, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    * Data provided by

    Benefits of Nasdaq-100 Index Options

    • Cash Settled

      With an NDX option contract, cash is delivered instead of the asset. This can make it easier to manage contracts around expiration dates since investors don’t need to have a closing position prior to the expiration. In addition, there’s no risk of forced delivery.

    • European Style

      Most equity options are American style, meaning they can be exercised at any point prior to expiration. European style is the opposite. These types of contracts can only be exercised upon expiration. Why does this matter? American-style options can carry higher costs to account for the fact that sellers take on more risk by not knowing when a buyer might decide to exercise their contract. Sellers of European-style options don’t have to price that risk in.

    • Tax-Favorable Treatment

      Like most other investments, options contracts are subject to taxes. However, index options benefit from a more favorable tax treatment: 40% of any gain (or loss) is taxed at the short-term capital gains rate, and 60% is taxed at the appropriate long-term tax rate. This 60/40 split is applicable even if the index option is held for less than a year.

    • Various & Flexible Expiration Dates

      Equity and index options both typically expire on the third Friday of the expiration month. But index options offer greater flexibility by allowing for AM and PM expirations. NDX has Monday, Wednesday and Friday PM expirations, as well as AM expirations for traditional third Friday monthly options.

    • Multiple Contract Sizes

      The underlying value of an equity option is 100 shares of the security. With an index option, an investor can trade reduced value options. These are designed primarily for retail investors and asset managers who handle smaller accounts since the cost is lower than trading options at the full price of the Nasdaq-100. NQX is the reduced value NDX index option. It provides the same broad-based exposure of the index at a fraction of the cost.

    More Options to Invest

    • Nasdaq 100 Index Options Nasdaq 100 PM Settled Index Options Reduced Value Nasdaq 100 Index Options Micro Nasdaq 100 Index Options Invesco Nasdaq 100 ETF
    • Options Chain NDX NDX NQX XND QQQ
    • Root Ticker Symbol NDX NDXP NQX XND QQQ
    • AM or PM Settlement AM-settled PM-settled PM-settled PM-settled PM-settled
    • Approximate Notional Size $1,140,600 $1,140,600 $228,100 $11,400 $27,800
    • Exercise Style European European European European American
    • Settlement Type Cash Cash Cash Cash Physical Shares of ETF

    Options Education

    For the sake of simplicity, the examples that follow do not take into consideration commissions and other transaction fees, tax considerations, or margin requirements, which are factors that may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy. An investor should review transaction costs, margin requirements and tax considerations with a broker and tax advisor before entering into any options strategy.

    Options involve risk and are not suitable for everyone. Prior to buying or selling an option, a person must receive a copy of Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Copies may be obtained from your broker, one of the exchanges or The Options Clearing Corporation, One North Wacker Drive, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60606 or call 1-888-OPTIONS or visit www.888options.com.

    Any strategies discussed, including examples using actual securities and price data, are strictly for illustrative and education purposes and are not to be construed as an endorsement, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell securities.

    Nasdaq® is a registered trademark of Nasdaq, Inc. The information contained above is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and nothing contained herein should be construed as investment advice, either on behalf of a particular security or an overall investment strategy. Neither Nasdaq, Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any recommendation to buy or sell any security or any representation about the financial condition of any company. Statements regarding Nasdaq-listed companies or Nasdaq proprietary indexes are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investors should undertake their own due diligence and carefully evaluate companies before investing. ADVICE FROM A SECURITIES PROFESSIONAL IS STRONGLY ADVISED. © 2021. Nasdaq, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Sign up for monthly news and insights on the ever-changing options industry.