I wish I had good answers to your quesitons. I don't know any free source of option history, including the brokerages I use. It would be a great tool and probably clear up a lot of the mystery with options. In the meanwhile I look at options I'm interested in over a few days and consider what percentage gains in the underlying stock is neccessary to break even and hit my risk-based goals. I think it is important to consider the number of options trading if you want the flexibility to back out of a trade quickly. For comparision, I've been watching Annaly Mortgage (NLY) recently and it regularly trades hundreds of contracts each in a wide range of strike and time points. Though it has only 6 times the market cap and twice the price of VIAC, the large open interest and trading action make the spreads lower, maybe a 10% frictional cost between bid and ask. Yet I still have here trouble trading the options I want at the price I want; I've had limit orders where I was the bid or ask go unfilled for days -- usually as someone "jumps" my limit by a dime on a handful of contracts, less than a thousand-dollars-worth. Of course, I need more action than that to make my attention worthwhile.
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