If I purchased 100 contracts with a strike price of 42.50 and the stock price does not reach 42.50 but lets say never gets higher than 41.00 is it possible to sell these options or would they just expire worthless. Is it possible to sell them at a lower price and just take a loss rather than lose everything?
You can always sell your options before expiration whether it be for a little more than you paid or a little less. If they are out of the money then time decay will also be a factor in the value decreasing.
You are going to want a pretty far out expiration if you are buying 42.50 strike. The closer to in the money your options are, the more delta you will have and less chance of losing money.
I must say if you're not really well versed in options yet you should probably try your hand at a few contracts not 100.