– Glossary

Put/call ratio

The number of puts traded each day divided by the number of calls traded each day, or the amount of put open interest divided by the amount of call open interest. Such ratios are calculated on individual stocks, indices, or the overall market. Near market lows, the put/call ratio will rise as options traders become excessively worried about downside risk and seek to hedge their portfolios with puts, or speculate on further downside activity. Near market peaks, interest in calls heats up to form a low put/call ratio. The put/call ratio is thus a contrary indicator when it reaches extreme highs or lows.

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