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08/03/2022 |

Unusual Options Activity: Data Provider Comparison

One of the hottest products in the financial markets over the past few years has been Unusual Options activity data. The reason for the proliferation of this data is simple: Retail traders want to know what the big money is doing! By understanding where hedge funds, banks, and other large institutions/players are positioned, we can make more educated trading decisions.

There are many products out there, and it can be difficult to differentiate between which platform might be the best for you, so with that in mind, we thought it’d be a good idea to take a deep dive into a handful of the most popular platforms to see how they stack up against one another. Details after the jump!

Best Unusual Options Activity Data Providers

1. TrendSpider

TrendSpider seeks to provide an ‘all-in-one’ charting and data solution for the retail trader. Though they’re not specifically focused on Unusual Options data, it is provided for all users via an intuitive Unusual Options sidebar widget that offers easy-to-use slider bars for filtering and an expandable dot plot graph for a bird’s eye view of unusual options order flow.

Most Notable Features:

  • Realtime unusual options data up to 200 orders
  • Blocks Trades & Sweep Trades > 20k in premium
  • Slider bar filtering by Strike, Expiry, and Premium
  • Historical Data with a 1-year lookback
  • Time & Date of the trade
  • Contract details (type, strike, exp. date)
  • Open Interest % values
  • Dot-Plot graph visualizer

Additional Product Features:

  • Dynamic and Multi-Factor alerting
  • Trading Bots for automated order execution
  • Auto-Analysis tools for one-click TA
  • Raindrop Charts only available on TrendSpider

Cost:

2. Cheddar Flow

Cheddar Flow is an unusual options order flow scanner that is quite easy to use. Using its various filtering capabilities, the platform makes finding interesting options orders a breeze. It is also able to highlight option sweeps and block trades, commonly utilized by institutions and large investment firms.

Most Notable Features:

  • Realtime unusual options data
  • Repeat call activity for tracking consecutive orders
  • Unusual & ‘highly unusual’ options order flow
  • > $1m orders for tracking institutional buys and sells
  • Realtime alerting
  • Dark Pool prints
  • Historical data with a 1-year lookback
  • ‘Most Active Flow’ recognition
  • Top Bullish/Bearish order flow
  • Trading View integrated

Additional Product Features:

  • Easy to set up watchlists
  • Realtime visual alert notifications
  • Profit/Loss calculations
  • Historical alert analysis
  • Mobile and Desktop compatible

Cost:

  • $85/mo. Standard, $95/mo. Pro, $891/yr paid upfront
  •  Free 7-day trial

3. Flow Algo

FlowAlgo is an unusual options order flow scanner that allows you to keep an eye on what institutional investors are doing in the markets. The platform provides many of the standard data sets that the others in its class provide but also has an additional suite of tools that give it its edge.

Most Notable Features:

  • Intermarket sweep orders
  • Option block trades
  • Equity blocks and Dark Pool prints
  • Realtime voice alerts
  • Alpha AI signals
  • Historical Data
  • FlowAlgo Levels (Institutional Zones)
  • Top OI changes

Additional Product Features:

  • Trader chatroom
  • Mobile and Desktop compatible

Cost:

  • $149/mo, $387/quarter, $1188/yr
  • 2wk trial for $37

4. Unusual Whales

Unusual Whales is another well-known name in the unusual options data provider world. They offer much of the same data as their counterparts, with a focus on detailed breakdowns of the options activity found across individual names.

Most Notable Features:

  • Realtime options data for all options trades
  • Downloadable historical options flow data
  • Options profit calculator
  • Dark Pool data
  • Realtime alerts

Additional Product Features:

  • Private Discord access
  • Social sentiment tracker
  • Company earnings data
  • Mobile and Desktop compatible
  • Live news feed
  • Stock screener and heatmaps

Cost:

  • Free ‘Shamu’ Plan, $27 mo./327 yr. ‘Buffet’s Buffet’ Plan, $36 mo./395 yr. ‘Super Buffet’ Plan, ‘Super Buffet Tri’ Plan $1,137 (3 yrs), ‘Super Buffet Lifetime’ Plan $3,000

5. Black Box Stocks

Black Box Stocks offers both stock and options data with real-time scanning and trade alerts. They offer a handful of proprietary tools and have a focus on education, allowing users access to a live chat room with product experts to answer questions.

Most Notable Features:

  • Proprietary Options Alert Log, Volatility Indicator, and Heatmap
  • Options Flow Data On Chart
  • Dark Pool data
  • Color-coded prints
  • Bid or Ask recognition
  • Most-active stock tables
  • Downloadable historical data

Additional Product Features:

  • Live chat room with educators
  • Mobile and Desktop compatible
  • Realtime multi-source news feed and quotes
  • APIs to trade from platform
  • Social feed integration

Cost:

  • $99.97/mo, $959/yr

How to Find Unusual Options Activity in TrendSpider

The TrendSpider platform is currently able to track two types of Unusual Options trades: Sweep and Block trades.

  • A sweep is defined as a series of trades that hit the tape within 250 milliseconds of each other where at least 75% of the trades are at the bid or the ask and the total premium paid for the contracts exceeds 20 thousand dollars in premium.
  • A block is defined as a single options trade over 20 thousand dollars in premium that occurred at the bid or ask.

Users can choose the unfiltered view to help develop a bias and then filter by Expiry Date, Premium, and Strike Price to hone their specific trade.

For an in-depth view on how to use the tool, as well as some examples of how price reacts when Unusual Options orders hit the tape, please watch the video below!


We hope you found this article helpful and feel free to reach out to our support team via the ‘Contact Us’ button in the bottom right-hand corner of your charts if you have any questions for us! Sign up for a 7-day Free Trial of TrendSpider.