Please open a streaming trade monitor and follow along.

  1. During market hours, starting at 9:45am ET, the streaming trade monitor streams block option trades as they happen. It is very useful to keep this window up on your screen to see what is trading in symbols of your interest. The picture below shows a streaming trade in AAPL.

    A color indicator on the bid or the ask price gives you a quick estimate of whether the trade happened closer to the bid or the ask. Here the ask price is highlighted in green as the AAPL calls traded closer to the ask price. The bid price would have been highlighted in red had they traded closer to the bid.

    Click on 'Ticker:APPL' in the streaming trade as shown in the picture above.

  2. Below is a summary of trading activity so far in AAPL. The overall activity of all the participants in the options market has caused a net of 450,000 shares to buy so far today. The options market has net bought around 10K contracts which translates to around $900K of standardized vega. One can infer that option traders are bullish on the stock and expect it to be more volatile going forward.

    To see what option structures have traded in AAPL so far today, click on 'View most active structures' as shown in the picture above.

  3. Shown below are two structures that have traded in AAPL today.

    The July 195/205 strangle was sold 500 times at $4.50 delta neutral versus buying 10,500 shares for $202.82.

    The August 190/205 put spread was bought 500 times for $5.50.

    Knowing the actual structures that have traded and whether they were bought or sold will help you understand the exact bets being made in the options market, and give you trade ideas.

  4. By default, all sectors are preselected in the streaming trade monitor. Click on 'interest' in the streaming trade monitor window as shown in the picture below.

  5. You can select the sectors you want and save settings. Here we have chosen Consumer Non-Durables, Consumer Services, ETF, Miscellaneous and Technology. Hit Save settings when done. Going forward you will only see trades for symbols in these five sectors. You can change your selection of sectors at any time.

  6. Click 'option trades analysis' on the streaming trade monitor page to open up an analysis window.

    • The option trades analysis window lets you enter any ticker you wish to see options activity in. Click on 'Get Analysis' as shown in the picture below.

      You can also click on 'Get most active Tickers' to see the most active tickers so far on the day.

      Click on 'Get market summary' to get a summary of the net effect of option trading across all symbols in the entire market.

      This window also shows you the latest trade of the day (trade with the largest number of contracts). Someone collected $0.06 to sell 45K July 40 conversions in SCHW, and effectively locked in long 4.5MM shares till July expiry.

Try for yourself.
First open a streaming trade monitor.
Also open an up-to-date listed-options analysis window.