Understanding the Difference: SPX and SPY

Two commonly known exchange-traded funds (ETFs) track the S&P 500 Index: SPX and SPY. They seem similar at first, but the SPX SPY difference is important to know as a trader.

Below, we look at the key difference between SPX and SPY for traders.

5 Key Differences Between SPX and SPY

  1. Expiration Dates: SPX options expire on the third Friday of the expiration month. SPY options expire on the third Friday of the expiration month.
  2. Underlying Asset: SPX options are based on the S&P 500 index and are cash-settled. SPY options are based on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust and are physically settled.
  3. Liquidity: SPY options are more liquid than SPX options because of more traders in the market.
  4. Contract Size: SPX options contracts have higher value, while SPY options contract value is much lower.
  5. Tax: SPY options may trigger tax implications. Cash-settled SPX options don’t have tax implications.

Benefits and Risks of Trading SPX Options


  • You get an overview of the S&P 500 Index movements without purchasing individual stocks.
  • SPX Options have high liquidity, making entering and exiting positions easier.


  • Day trading SPX requires a lot of capital due to the high contract value.
  • Investors who prefer physical settlements may be unhappy about cash-settled SPX options.

Benefits and Risks of Trading SPY Options


  • You can trade the S&P 500 through a single ETF.
  • They have high liquidity with physical settlement.


  • They may trigger tax implications.
  • SPY Options have a lower contract value.

How to Day Trade SPY and SPX Options for Maximum Profit

Now that you know the difference between SPX and SPY, as well as their benefits, let’s discuss how day trading SPX and SPY works. First, you need a good understanding of options trading and technical analysis.

Use an SPX or SPY indicator such as moving averages and the options Greeks to help determine your movements. Then, you’ll be able to develop a solid strategy.

Check out the tutorial below, trading SPY with the xBrat Range Breakout Cradle2Grave Bundle. A Great Strategy for SPY and SPX Day Trader. See if it available for your trading platform HERE 

Analyzing SPY and SPX Options Charts

Once you know how to trade SPX options and SPY options, you must ensure you’re making the right moves. That’s where the SPY and SPX options chart come in. These technical analysis tools help traders to identify potential trend lines as well as entering and exiting positions.


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