Let’s get you familiarized with the 🌊 Flow and the 🔮 Dark Pool
One of the most common questions we’ve received from users is: “How can I ‘follow the flow?'"
Here’s our response: the 🌊 Flow tool catches and displays trade details for every options order transacted across all exchanges. In addition to displaying the options tape the Flow tool also tracks the heaviest volume tickers and contracts, aggregates sector flow data, identifies Cross/Floor trades, and much much more.
ℹ️ For the best results please view the Flow via a Desktop. You can access an abridged version on the web-app as well as on the mobile application.
⚠️ Please note some technical information related to the feed:
Trade data from every options order is available to view and is collected by the website as it occurs live, but only trades totaling in $200,000 or greater will automatically enter the feed. This threshold is currently in place to ensure smooth performance for all users. To view trades of lesser value (that also match any current filters) simply perform a search or refresh the page.
Bid-Ask values are derived from the NBBO, National Best Bid and Offer: a consolidated quote that reports the highest bid and the lowest ask price of all visible options quotes.
Trades where the spot price is at or closer to the NBBO ask are labeled a BUY (🛍️), and trades with spot price at or closer to the bid are labeled a SELL (🦴). Emojis are an estimation: do not trade off emojis alone.
Any options trade placed may be a part of trade that has more than one component/leg to it. You will find these trades labeled and identified for you in the feed. You can select the multileg icon to bring up a pop-up window, from which the Unusual Whales Options Profit Calculator will preload a potential profit/loss profile for the selected trade. For more information on different options strategies view: Options Trading Strategies: A Guide for Beginners and 10 Options Strategies to Know.
⛵ Set your sails:
The sidebar (not shown) will display a different view depending on which of the following you have selected:
Navigation will bring up a menu from which you can select the various flow tools. This will be discussed later in this Doc.
Selecting Filters to bring up the filtering menu.
Select Table settings to add and remove column headers from your own flow feed.
Flow Info contains a symbol legend as well as other information related to the feed.
Show Charts will pull up the Flow charts; the information seen in the charts will be discussed later in this Doc. Use the Watchlist button to create custom filters you can quickly toggle to. Alternatively you can bookmark any flow page to save the filters on it, as each page’s URL is unique to the filters currently selected. Depending on your selection, you can view 50/100/150 or 250 trades in your Flow feed. ℹ️ Help will link you to this Doc for quick reference. You can flip between Flow pages using Prev and Next.
When the module displays ‘Marketstate’ the rest of the numbers are referencing the market as a whole. The P/C Ratio is the ratio of Puts to Calls. The Call and Put Prem values reflect the total amount of premium (in dollars) transacted for that day. The Call and Put Vol values reflect the total volume of contracts traded for that day. If you specify a ticker using the search bar the module will also display the overall % of premiums of all 🐂 bullish and 🐻 bearish contracts traded that day. ℹ️ This portion of the feed is only available to Super-Buffet/Premium (Live) users.
The Navigation menu houses all of the different Flow tools. You will also find preset Flow filters for your convenience. You can view the parameters for any of these presets by selecting one and then viewing the preset values inputted in the Filters menu.
🌊 Flow - The options flow feed. Using Show Charts from this view will display charts which consider the currently viewable 50/100/150/250 trades.
🗞️ LIVE News Flow - Live market news. You can use preset filters or use a variety of dropdowns to hone in your news search. You can opt to receive mobile notifications for tickers of your choosing.
🔮 Dark Flow - The dark pool trade feed.
👨🔬 Intraday Analyst - You’ll find an assortment of Flow tools aggregated here for any ticker of your choosing, including largest daily trades by premium, highest active chains, and more.
🎟️ Tickers - Using the Tickers menu you can search your desired ticker to see Historical Flows, daily charts, and Flow Levels information. Using Show Charts from this view will display charts which consider the full day’s flow for the selected ticker.
🔥 Hot Chains and Tickers - A feed of the hottest tickers and options chains, by premium and volume respectively.
🏗️ Sector Flow - A feed of the market sectors, sorted by highest call premium.
⌛ Halts + IPOs - A running tracker of tickers that have been halted/unhalted or have IPO’d.
ℹ️ Some of these tools are only available to Super-Buffet (Live) users.
Selecting Filters will bring up a side-menu, from which you can set custom parameters to narrow your Flow results. Each of the filter parameters has a selectable tooltip. There are other filters available that are not visible in this screenshot.
Select Time to search for flow that occurred at a date and time of your choosing. When viewing past flow only trades greater than the lesser of $25,000 premium/150 size will be returned.
Please reference this 📺 video on how to utilize the emoji/expiration/and sector dropdown filters.
How to read the feed: let’s break down a trade seen here.
At 13:52:23 on November 5th an Opening, Multileg (you can hover over the symbols next to the ticker for a tooltip) trade:
UAL 57.5C 2022-03-18: 4,462 contracts (against 2.5k OI, with total daily volume at 6.1k) purchased at $3.03 per contract for a total of $1.4M.
The Bid-Ask spread was $3.00 - $3.05 at the time of the transaction, and at the time of purchase the IV on the contracts was 40.07%.
There are 5 types of pie charts. They are available to view from a variety of different locations within the Flow, and the timeframe of data you’d like to examine will determine the location from which you should seek these charts out.
# of Calls/Puts: This pie chart compares the number of call vs put transactions. This is otherwise known as the put call skew.
Volume Calls/Puts: This pie chart compares the total number of call vs put contracts transacted.
Premium Calls/Puts: This pie chart compares the total premium transacted for calls vs puts.
Ask vs Bid Side: This pie chart displays the skew of transactions that were on the ask side vs those that were on the bid side.
🐂 vs 🐻 Premiums: This pie chart aggregates and displays a skew of ‘bullishness’ or ‘bearishness’ based on the previous four charts.
When viewing these charts it is important to understand that: a high call to put skew is not necessarily bullish and a high put to call skew is not necessarily bearish, as calls and puts can both be bought and sold. The only chart that will be able to give any reading on bullishness or bearishness is the ‘🐂 vs 🐻 Premiums’ chart.
Charts seen from the 🌊 Flow page will come in pairs. The top set of charts, labeled ‘Total Aggregate Across Entire Flow For Today’, will show you the skew of the total flow across all securities for the current day. The bottom set of charts, labeled ‘Flow for Alerts with current filters’, will show you the skew for only the data on the current page of Flow results (50, 100, 150, or 250, as determined by your setting).
Using the 🎟️ Tickers page you can view charts for all daily activity for the specified ticker.
Flow Levels charts can accessed from the 👨🔬 Intraday Analyst view and the 🎟️ Tickers page. These charts operate the same way, and provide a quick glance at predetermined premium levels ($1k+, $5k+, $15k+, $30k+) throughout the day.
You will also find charts labeled Breakdown by expiry and Breakdown by strike. For these: the x-axis represents the various contract expiration dates and strike prices, respectively, and both y-axis represent the overall premium transacted for the respective expiration dates and strike prices.
ℹ️ Please note that the charts shown here do not belong to the example Flow feeds shown in this Doc.
🔮 Dark Pool
Similarly to the Flow feed the column headers will help you identify all of the pertinent information.
You can hover over any sold or trade code for a description of the code. You can also visit the 📖 Glossary/Terminology Doc for more information.