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November Volume Exceeds 1999 By 23 Percent More Investors Using Puts to Protect Current Holdings

ChicagoDecember 7, 2000

The Options Industry Council (OIC) today announced that November equity options volume was 58,690,754 contracts (23,618,359 puts and 35,072,395 calls), which is 23 percent higher than the 47,750,154 contracts (14,277,276 puts and 33,472,878 calls) traded in November 1999.

"Last month's market activity created uncertainty about the future direction of stocks, and that's why we saw a number of investors using strategies involving puts to protect their current holdings," said Paul Stevens, President, Options Industry Council. "We're encouraged that regardless of the market's direction, the interest in equity options continues to grow."

November month-end equity open interest was 66,385,413 contracts vs. 48,819,830 contracts in 1999, a 36 percent increase. Equity open interest, the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire, is seen as an indication of longer-term investing in these instruments.

Year-to-date volume of 613,750,154 contracts is 56 percent higher than the 393,856,981 contracts traded during the same time frame last year.

An equity option is the right but not the obligation to either buy or sell 100 shares of stock at a predetermined price (strike price) on or before a fixed date (expiration date).

The Options Industry Council (OIC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 by the nation's options exchanges to provide investor education about equity options. Today, its members include The American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free educational programs include: an educational Web site at www.888options.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos, educational brochures and interactive software. More information on these resources is available by visiting the Web site, calling 1-888-OPTIONS (6784), or sending e-mail to options@theocc.com.

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