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Equity Options Volume Surpasses 1999 Record New Record Set for Equity Open Interest

ChicagoOctober 3, 2000

The nations options exchanges have exceeded the annual record for equity options volume, according to The Options Industry Council (OIC). Through Sept. 30, year-to-date volume was 484,979,728 contracts, which surpasses the total annual volume record set in 1999 with 444,765,224 contracts. Year-to-date volume is 61 percent ahead of the 301,763,202 contracts traded during the same time frame in 1999.

In addition, a new record for equity open interest was set on Sept. 15 at 66,368,066 contracts. This breaks the previous record set on July 21, with 65,498,515 contracts. Equity open interest is the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire and is one indication of longer-term investing in equity options.

September equity volume of 53,325,734 contracts was 43 percent higher than the 37,411,462 contracts traded in September 1999. Average daily equity volume in September was 2,666,287 contracts compared to 1,781,491 in September 1999. Month-end equity open interest for September was 63,839,365 contracts compared to 43,720,667 in September 1999.

"We're thrilled with the popularity that equity options have steadily gained in recent years, and 2000 is no exception," said Paul Stevens, Options Industry Council President. "OIC believes that as investors discover and learn the many different ways to utilize equity options, their popularity will continue.

"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 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 or calling 1-888-OPTIONS, or sending e-mail to options@theocc.com.

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