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January Volume Breaks Records In Monthly Volume And Open Interest Volume exceeds 2000 by 30 percent

ChicagoFebruary 5, 2001

The Options Industry Council (OIC) today announced that a new monthly volume record for equity options was set in January with 73,284,884 contracts (26,106,065 puts and 47,178,819 calls), surpassing the previous record set in October 2000 with 70,079,672 contracts (27,768,702 puts and 42,310,970 calls). The January volume exceeded January 2000 volume of 56,190,292 contracts by 30 percent.

A new record was also set for equity open interest. On Jan.19, equity open interest stood at 80,380,234 contracts, breaking the previous record set on Oct. 20 at 74,923,709 contracts.

Equity open interest, is the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire.

"Historically, January is an extremely busy month for the financial markets, and this year proved no different for options," said Paul Stevens, OIC president. "The outstanding record for equity open interest this past month indicates that more investors are holding options positions."

Average daily equity options volume in January was 3,489,756 contracts, 24 percent higher than the same time last year with 2,809,515 contracts.

The 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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