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The OIC Announces New Monthly Volume Record For Second Time In 2005

Chicago—April 4, 2005

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that the volume in equity options for March set a new monthly record when 112,872,709 contracts traded, 4.3 percent higher than the previous record set in January 2005.

Equity options volume last month was 14.6 percent higher than March 2004, and two days in March joined the list of top 10 highest volume days.

Last month's record-breaking volume continues a trend going back to 2004, when the options industry set a new annual volume record and surpassed the milestone of a billion contracts traded. Two of the three months of 2005 have now set a new monthly volume record, and average daily volume is running about one million contracts per day better than 2004.

"The volume trend is continuing due to several factors,” said Gina McFadden, Executive Director of OIC. “A key component is the ongoing education initiative showing more and more investors how options can be used in any type of market environment."

Additional volume statistics reported by The Options Clearing Corporation include:

  • Total options volume of 123,995,185, a new record (up 14.7 percent from March 2004)
  • Average daily equity options volume 5,130,578 (up 19.8 percent from March 2004)
  • Average daily total options volume 5,636,145 (up 19.4 percent from March 2004)

March Highlights

On March 18, equity options volume reached 6,549,822 contracts traded, joining the list of top 10 highest equity options volume days as the sixth highest trading day on record. March 10 became the ninth highest equity trading on record when 6,301,307 contracts changed hands.

On March 18, total options volume reached 7,283,782 contracts traded, joining the list of top 10 highest total options volume days as the fifth highest trading day on record. March 16 became the tenth highest trading on record when 6,919,909 contracts changed hands.

Total options volume has been above 100 million contracts traded for six consecutive months, a threshold first crossed in January 2004.

About OIC

OIC is a non-profit association funded by the U.S. options exchanges and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free resources include: The Investor Services call center at 1-888-OPTIONS, an educational Web site at www.888options.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, educational literature and software.

Press Contact

Jim Binder
312-322-9853
jbinder@theocc.com

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